The System Scan button is greyed out


If you have just installed Spybot, you may find that you cannot run a System Scan because the button has been greyed out.

Please see here for more information if you are using Windows XP or Vista, and the System Scan button appears as three dots (…).


Spybot’s System Scan button will be accessible when a complete update has been carried out. This is done to ensure that users are scanning their system for all the latest malware and viruses we have on record.

Please see here for instructions if you are experiencing any issues downloading updates.

FAQ Category: Known Issues, Spybot 2, Start Center, System Scan

The System Scan cannot be run, and shows three dots (…)

The cause of this problem:

This issue is caused by the installation of Spybot 2.5 on Windows XP or Vista PCs.

Modifications have been made to Spybot 2.5 to ensure it functions correctly on Windows 10. For users of Windows Vista and XP, we still recommend using version 2.4 of Spybot, which can be found here.


  • Please uninstall Spybot 2.5 from your PC using the Control Panel. You can then download and install Spybot 2.4 from here.

    If you purchased a licensed edition of Spybot, you can run your license at this point to apply it to the installed copy of Spybot.

  • When this has been successfully installed, please delete the file “Post Windows 10 Spybot-install” from your Desktop (if it exists).
  • Please also delete the folder:
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\AV\Spybot – Search and Destroy

    These files were included in updates for users who are upgrading to Windows 10, but they are not needed if you are using Windows XP or Vista.

FAQ Category: Spybot 2, Start Center, System Scan

Spybot’s system scan freezes at Zlob.ZipCodec

This problem was caused by a minor issue in the Spybot program. We are now providing a small installer that will correct this issue on your PC.


  • The scan proceeds as normal, but will stop progressing at Zlob.ZipCodec and won’t appear to finish.
  • The “Settings” button in the Start Center is unresponsive when clicked.


  • If you are experiencing this issue, simply download and run this small installer.

    This installer replaces a file that was identified to cause the issue.

FAQ Category: File Scan, General, Known Issues, Settings, Spybot 2, Start Center, System Scan

What is the Start Center?

The Start Center is the home of all of Spybot’s tools and features.

This is the main window you see when you open Spybot.

Here, the options are categorized as Basic, Advanced and Extra tools (such as System Scan or Startup Tools).

You can also view Live Protection, Internet Protection and the Update Status from the Start Center as well as a helpful “Tip of the day”.

To view all of Spybot’s tools and features, tick the checkbox next to Advanced User Mode.

FAQ Category: Spybot 2, Start Center

What is Advanced User Mode?

Advanced User Mode allows you to view all of Spybot’s tools and features from within the Start Center.

When you open the Spybot Start Center, by default, only the Basic tools are shown.

This is designed for simple users who do not want to worry about some of the more advanced features that Spybot has to offer.

If you would like to use Spybot’s Advanced and Extra tools, tick the checkbox beside Advanced User Mode, located at the bottom left of the Start Center.

FAQ Category: General, Spybot 2, Start Center

How do I open Spybot with Administrator privileges/as an admin?

Windows may sometimes tell you that Spybot does not have the correct permissions to your system, or that you need elevated permissions to do what you attempted.

You can solve this problem as follows:

  • Open Spybot by right-clicking on the Spybot icon and choosing the option to “Run as administrator”.
  • Run as Administrator

  • This will require you to be signed into your PC using an administrator account. Administrator accounts, by default, do not run programs as an administrator as this could allow malicious software to have administrator permissions on your PC.

FAQ Category: General, Spybot 2, Start Center

How do I check my Spybot edition?

To check your Spybot edition:

  • Open the Spybot Start Center.
  • Under the Spybot logo on the top left corner of the Start Center, you should see the Spybot edition written in blue writing.
  • If you are a licensed user you should also have “+ANTIVIRUS” written in red writing.

Spybot Edition

For more information on your Spybot Edition and License, you can click the blue writing which will open the “License Overview” window.

FAQ Category: Spybot 2, Spybot License, Start Center

How do I view Spybot Help?

To view Spybot Help, open Spybot’s Start Center and click on “Help” in the top left corner of the Start Center.

This will open the Spybot Help file.

FAQ Category: General, Spybot 2, Start Center

How do I view the Spybot License Agreement?

To view the Spybot License Agreement with Spybot installed, you can go to:
Start Center > Help (top left corner of the Start Center) > About Start Center > License

Two versions of this can also be found on our website:
For Home Users
For Business Users

FAQ Category: Spybot 2, Spybot License, Start Center

“This software is being updated” in the Start Center / System Tray


It states in the Start Center / System Tray “This software is being updated” because in the Licensed Editions of Spybot, the updates are performed automatically through a scheduled task.

This message does not mean Spybot is downloading or installing updates currently, but instead means the automatic updater is activated, running and updating Spybot on a regular basis.

We are going to improve this message in the next version to make it less confusing to our users.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this misunderstanding.

FAQ Category: Known Issues, Spybot 2, Start Center, Updates

How to refresh the system whitelist?

When you first install Spybot +AV you will have the option to create a whitelist. This is a list of programs that are known to be safe. This will speed up the scanning process as these files will not be scanned in the future unless they have been altered in some way.

30 days after the time Spybot +AV was installed this option will no longer appear in the ‘Start Center’. The reason for this happening is that it is recommended not to create a whitelist on systems that have been in use for some time as you may ‘whitelist’ files that have become infected.

If you want to refresh your whitelist and the option is no longer available in the ‘Start Center’ it can still be done manually.

To do this, navigate to the folder where Spybot is installed. If Spybot was installed in the default directory, this will be:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Spybot – Search & Destroy 2

Here, locate the executable file ‘SDPrepPos.exe’ and run it as an administrator by right-clicking the file and choosing the option to “run as administrator”. This must be done to ensure Spybot has the permissions it needs to function correctly.

You will then be prompted to create a whitelist.

FAQ Category: Spybot 2, Start Center, Whitelist

How to remove the system whitelist?


You can delete the whitelist file in the Includes sub-folder of the Spybot – Search & Destroy install folder, which is by default:

Windows XP:

C:\Program Files\Spybot – Search & Destroy 2\Includes\

Windows Vista or higher:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Spybot – Search & Destroy 2\Includes\


FAQ Category: Spybot 2, Start Center, Whitelist

Why did the Whitelist link disappear (from the Start Center)?

The option to create a whitelist is only being offered on systems that are not older than 30 days.
If your system has been installed more than 30 days ago, the Whitelist Creator can not be started via the Start Center. If you still want to create a whitelist you can use the ‘SDPrepPos’ in the Spybot – Search & Destroy program folder, by default:
Windows XP: C:\Program Files\Spybot – Search & Destroy 2
Windows Vista or Windows 7 or Windows 8: C:\Programs (x86)\Spybot – Search & Destroy 2

A Whitelist should only be created on a system that is known to be uninfected.
We recommend that you only use it on a new system, after all software has been set up,
but before connecting it to the Internet.

FAQ Category: Spybot 2, Start Center, Whitelist

How can I get administrator rights under Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8?

To open Spybot as administrator, simply right click on the Spybot desktop icon or the start menu icon and click “Run as Administrator”:

Admin Rights

Then you can right-click on the module’s icon you are about to run and select “Run as administrator”.


FAQ Category: General, Spybot 2, Start Center