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Best Free Rootkit Scanner and Remover | Gizmo’s Freeware Archive


A lot of anti-rootkit programs are available but most of them are very advanced and require an experienced and technical minded user who is familiar with computers and operating systems. However, there are a couple of options that do not require much technical ability and are also very effective.

Below are several programs that we have rated and could recommend with the best of these as good as any commercial product in this category.

[Doakio Editor's Note: This article was restored from Gizmo's Freeware archives as a service to the freeware community. Gizmo's Freeware provided high-quality, volunteer freeware reviews for decades. They shut down in July of 2021.]

Rated Products


Kaspersky TDSSKiller  It has an easy-to-use interface, fast scan times and great detection rate

Our Rating: 5

License: Free

Easy to use GUI, high detection rate, removed all infected files in tests and is 64 bit compatible.
Limited scope and range of types of rootkits detected.

Read full review…


aswMBR  Avast's anti-rootkit scans your computer and MBR for rootkits and fixes issues

Our Rating: 4

License: Free

Works well. Detects most rootkits, easy to use. ‘FixMBR’ function within Windows is invaluable; a must have on any USB flash drive.
Results sometimes hard to interpret and removal failed on some rootkits.

Read full review…


GMER  A rootkit detector and remover for experienced and technical users

Our Rating: 4

License: Free

Considered class-leading technology.
No help file, but information online. Not suitable for average users.

Read full review…


Dr.Web CureIt!  A malware scanner and removal tool effective at removing some rootkits

Our Rating: 3

License: Free (Private/Educational use)

Sandbox environment useful for halting processes and scanning MBR.
Unable to detect some of the modern rootkits.

Read full review…

Other Rootkit Scanners and Removers

Sophos Anti-RootkitSophos Anti-Rootkit has a small but easy to use interface with no options other than choosing where you want to scan. As it scans it opens up to a slightly larger interface where it lists the results of the scan and gives you information about each result as well as a recommendation for them. Additionally, a small help file is available that explains the program in a little more detail and gives directions on how to use the command line anti-rootkit tool which is also included. This would be a great tool if it was kept up-to-date but in my testing it failed to find or remove any of the modern threats I tested.


F-Secure BlacklightF-Secure Blacklight is another great tool for rootkit removal. Unfortunately, support for it ended a couple of years ago. However, you can still download it on the F-Secure web site and it is compatible with Windows Vista and XP.

Still works well for older rootkits but gives “Incompatible” error if ran on Windows 7. Blacklight is also unable to detect most modern rootkits and therefore, I recommend one of the other tools for now.


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