Spyware is a nefarious malware program that steals information about your online activities, including credit card numbers, passwords, and browsing habits. It can be disguised as legitimate software, or operate in the background to spy on your activity and report back to cybercriminals who may use it to sell your personal information, hack your account, steal identity or money or cause your computer to slow down or even crash. Spyware can also display strange pop-ups, redirect you to a browser to other sites or send spam messages to your contacts that appear to be from you.

Many of the best free anti spyware windows 10 software programs provide options like a firewall or heuristic detection to stop unknown threats, and a large community to share virus definition updates. Some offer real-time protection and are light on system resources. Some of the top ones include:

SUPERAntiSpyware is among the most popular, providing four different types of scans: Comprehensive Scan (complete) as well as Quick Scan (quick), Critical Point Scan (critical point) and Custom Scan. It can be set to not ignore System Restore or Volume Information information, run more quickly (called Scan Boost), and include an option to scan only certain folders. It also can detect spyware by file content rather than a file extension it can open and scan over 20 archive formats (not just ZIP).

Another option is Malware Eraser, which focuses on removing and detecting only malware, not viruses or other threats. It has a simple interface, and it can run an entire scan or simply check selected folders or drives. It can also detect suspicious processes and kill them. It is able to detect and remove rootkits, spyware, viruses trojans, worms, and rootkits.