SpyHunter by Enigma Software Group USA, LLC is a program that was previously listed as a rogue product on the Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products List because of the company's history of employing aggressive and deceptive advertising 1. It has since been delisted but some users have reported they still engage in deceptive advertising 2. Newer versions of SpyHunter install it's own "Compact OS" and uses Grub4Dos loader 3 to execute on boot up. The user no longer sees the normal Windows boot menu but instead sees the GRUB menu. In some cases this has caused the computer to go into a continuous loop or experience other issues when attempting to boot. 4,
Unfortunately, AV-Test has not included SpyHunter in their comprehensive testing analysis. If Enigmasoftware's SpyHunter was included, which we hope they attempt to do so, we would get a much clearer picture as to how it compares to other anti-spyware programs in terms of protection, detection, repair and usability.
While there are mixed reviews for SpyHunter, some good and some bad, my main concern is the reports by customers of deceptive pricing, continued demands for payment after requesting a refund, lack of adequate customer support, removal (uninstall) problems and various other issues with their computer as a result of using this product 6. For example, some users are not aware that when purchasing SpyHunter, they have agreed to a subscription service with an automatic renewal policy 6. This information is in fine print at the bottom of the SpyHunter Purchase Agreement.
SpyHunter is a 6 month subscription spyware detection/removal service. By making this purchase, customers agree, for their convenience, to be autorenewed every 6 months in order to receive ongoing spyware protection, definition & program updates, custom fixes to their specific spyware problems, and advanced technical support from our Spyware-Helpdesk. You will receive an e-mail notification to opt-out, if you do not wish to be autorenewed.
You may want to read some of the user comments posted on the Complaints Board: Enigma Software Group Spyhunter Complaints & Reviews to see why there are so many concerns regarding this product.
Further, when searching for new malware or malware removal assistance (and removal guides) on the Internet, it is not unusual to find numerous hits from untrustworthy sites that provide inadequate removal instructions and then offer a tool that a visitor must purchase before it removes anything. These sites recommend a pay-to-clean program, rather than a free-to-clean program, because the site owner will make a commission on the sale of the program. SpyHunter (SpyHunter-Installer.exe) is one of the most common removal tools pushed by these sites.
SpyHunter is not classified as malware or rogue security software and other antivirus and antimalware vendors do not target it for removal. Those security vendors which have tried in the past received threats of legal action for attempting to do so or agreed to legal settlements as a result of litigation brought forth by Enigma Software 7. See this Table of Threats and Demands which identifies Enigma as one of the companies to make repeated "Cease and Desist" demands against those companies which detect, remove, and/or criticize their product. Enigma also appears to consider online community security sites as competitors for evaluating legal options...see Enigma Software, A Mystery?
In my opinion SpyHunter is a dubious program with a high rate of false positives 2. If you have downloaded and scanned with SpyHunter, detection results should be analyzed carefully before you remove anything. Based on this information, it is in my opinion that you remove this program and replace it with highly regarded alternatives such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 8 or Emsisoft Anti-Malware 9.
If you want to uninstall SpyHunter, then use the guides and information below to help you...
The correct way to remove SpyHunter per the vendor, Enigma Software Group, is from within its program group Uninstall shortcut in Start Menu > All Programs or by using Programs and Features (Add/Remove Programs) in Control Panel.
Alternatively, you can use a third-party utility like Revo Uninstaller.
Note: Sometimes the uninstall works more effectively if you first stop and disable the program's service (and associated processes) or perform the removal in safe mode so there are less processes which can interfere with the uninstallation.
SpyHunter4 creates the following scheduled task which should be disabled/removed before uninstalling.
SpyHunter4Startup "C:\Program Files\Enigma Software Group\SpyHunter\Spyhunter4.exe" /s
If you have AutoRuns or CCleaner installed, you can also use those tools to disable and remove tasks.
Some users have reported that you may need to open Windows Explorer, navigate to the following location, look for and delete a SpyHunter related file named SHSetup.exe before uninstalling from Programs and Features (Add/Remove Programs) in Control Panel.
-- XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Local Settings\Temp
-- Vista, Windows 7/8: C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\Temp
If the suggested removal methods fail...then you need to Contact ESG Technical Support Team and submit a ticket.
* How to Submit a Customer Support Ticket
Submitting support tickets is only for customers who purchased ESG products. If you are not a paid customer or not able to logon to their members section, you can try contacting ESG through the Inquiries & Feedback page.
If you feel that that SpyHunter or the developer has engaged in deceptive marketing, then I also suggest you write about your issues on the Complaints Board: Enigma Software Group Spyhunter Complaints & Reviews and send Enigma an email (email@example.com). If you read through those comments, you will notice that Enigma Representatives will respond to those making complaints.
I am the Vice President of Technical Support and Research at Enigma Software Group. I read the post above and I would like to let you know that we have an email specifically for complaints. You or anyone can submit a complaint and I can assure you that we will find a suitable solution for any problem that is related to SpyHunter or to our service. If you have any questions or complaints, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I personally read all emails from that account. At Enigma Software Group, we work hard to maintain the best level of service and make sure that every customer becomes a satisfied customer.
Enigma Software Group USA, LLC.
I have referred several other members to follow the above instructions and all were successfully assisted by ESG Tech Support with removing SpyHunter.