HijackThis is free and open-source tool for Microsoft Windows that tries to detect malware/adware by comparing a Windows system with a list of files that are normally found on a uninfected Windows system.

It is used to find registration of 3rd party tools/software in Windows system and usually used to find and de-register adware/malware.

Development stopped after purchasing project by Trend Micro company.

They still provide free version but most annoying: it doesn't handle paths on x64. Program can detect registration but usually shown that file missing because program doesn't adopted to WOW64 Windows subsystem.

Any alternatives to HijackThis?

4 Answers 4


Googling around shown suggestion that autoruns.exe from Sysinternals even more capable then HijackThis.

More interesting that Microsoft bought Sysinternals and hire its famous author Mark Russinovich so now we have officially supported signed by Microsoft software to find malware/adware.

I previously mostly use procexp.exe but long time ago. Now both tools able to make hash-sum and check executable with Virus Total database which help a lot.


One of the most notable malware detectors is Malwarebytes. It has a free and paid version, but the free version should be everything you need. It is updated quite frequently and is available for a number of systems including Windows.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Freemium)

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is considered to be the next step in the detection and removal of malware. In our product we have compiled a number of new technologies that are designed to quickly detect, destroy, and prevent malware. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware can detect and remove malware that even the most well known anti-virus and anti-malware applications fail to detect. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware monitors every process and stops malicious processes before they even start.

Activating the full version unlocks realtime protection, scheduled scanning, and scheduled updating.

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Another alternative is Spybot - Search & Destroy. This is also updated quite frequently and is aviable only for Windows. It to has a free version that should be all you need but there is also a paid version as well.

Spybot - Search & Destroy (Freemium)

Spybot - Search & Destroy detects and removes spyware, a relatively new kind of threat not yet covered by common anti-virus applications.

Free for private use. Companies and institutions need to buy licenses for the commercial versions of our software. There are two editions of Spybot S&D for non-private use: Spybot S&D Small Business Edition and Spybot S&D Corporate Edition.

Spyware silently tracks your surfing behaviour to create a marketing profile for you that is transmitted without your knowledge to the compilers and sold to advertising companies. If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you havent intentionally installed, if your browser crashes inexplicably, or if your home page has been "hijacked" (or changed without your knowledge), your computer is most probably infected with spyware.

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The anti malware program that I personally use now is SUPERAntiSpyware. They have updates everyday and has many tools alongside the program itself. It's again free with a paid option but free is all you need (it seems to be that among these types of programs the paid just gives you scheduling and realtime protection).

SUPERAntiSpyware (Freemium)

SUPERAntiSpyware is a software application which can detect and remove spyware, adware, malware, trojans, rogue software, worms, rootkits, parasites and other potentially harmful software applications, as well as restore modified system settings. It can detect malware, however it is not designed to replace an antivirus software.

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