Combofix: A spyware and malware cleaner that’s not for the faint of heart

It’s always good to use multiple tools to clean an infected PC, mostly because one might miss something the other will not and it’s a safe practice to make sure your computer is indeed clean.

Combofix is a free spyware and malware removal tool, that when used properly can perform a thorough scan of your system and remove malware, spyware and even junk files.

Installation & Requirements

Combofix is a portable tool so after you launch it, the program will automatically setup all the files it needs to run once. All you have to do is agree to the disclaimer. If you don’t have the latest version, Combofix will provide the option of automatically updating itself. Also, the installation will automatically start the program and it’s not your usual type of utility: Combofix will automatically scan and remove any suspicious entries it finds without asking confirmation from the user.

The tiny program runs on Windows XP, Vista and 7 with no other requirements.


Because Combofix does everything automatically, namely scanning your system, removing suspicious items and creating a log you could say it’s not very hard to use. However, before you run Combofix there are some preparations that need to be made, to ensure the program will run correctly. Otherwise it could severely damage the system.

Before running Combofix you must close all applications and windows, turn off any antivirus or antispyware programs that are running on your computer (if you don’t Combofix will display a warning and ask you to close them) and disable your firewall or add Combofix to the firewalls exception list.

Also, you should be aware that Combofix verifies and cleans Temporary Internet Files, the Temp Folder and the Recycle Bin. If you need some or all of that data it would be good to perform a backup before launching the tool.

Once you launch Combofix, it will automatically install and start itself. All of its actions will be shown in a Command Prompt window. Combofix creates a System Restore Point and a registry backup before scanning the system so if anything goes wrong, you have a previous working state of your system to go back to.

The scan process is performed in stages from 1 to 50 and when it’s over Combofix will start to delete suspicious folders, files and registry entries. Actually not just suspicious items since in our case Combofix also found some junk files left behind uninstalled programs. When the cleanup process is complete, Combofix will create a log report that will automatically be opened in Notepad and close itself. Be patient, the log creation could take a while and you might even be under the impression that the program froze.


– Automatically installs and runs itself going through scanning, cleanup and log creation.
– Performs a thorough scan of your system.
– Creates a System Restore Point and registry backup before scanning and cleanup for safety.


– Running Combofix without going through all the required steps can damage the system.


Combofix can be a very powerful malware removal tool, but only when used properly. That’s why it’s best to only use Combofix if you really know what you’re doing, otherwise get some qualified help.