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Dr.Web CureIt!: What, why, and how?

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Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Dr.Web CureIt! occupies a place of honour in Doctor Web's product line. Introduced in 2005, this free curing utility, which eliminates viruses and other malicious programs on infected computers, quickly gained popularity and trust among users. The first prototype of the utility was released a year earlier—it existed in the form of a BAT file; the scanner itself did not have a graphical user interface and was launched from the command line. And although for almost 20 years of the program’s history, it received many useful features and improvements, the very concept of the product has remained unchanged—a simple but functional and reliable anti-virus scanner designed to cure infected devices. In this Anti-virus Times issue, we will try to answer all possible questions about Dr.Web CureIt!

We understand that Dr.Web CureIt! needs no special introduction. We will refrain from excessive use of the word "most" and from subjective evaluations, but, for example, Google knows what will happen if you type "Dr.Web" in the search bar. Some users still have old versions of CureIt! on flash drives and even on CDs recorded many years ago. A huge number of different versions can be found on the Internet (you can read more about this below). And, of course, this name is familiar to many of those who do not use anti-viruses. And yet, let's remind our readers what our utility is.

Dr.Web CureIt! is based on the Dr.Web Scanning Engine, which is used in Dr.Web products. The distinctive feature of the utility is that it does not require installation and works on 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows, starting with Windows XP. In addition, it is not demanding of a computer’s resources. System performance will affect the scan time, but for launching the utility, by modern standards, almost any Windows PC is suitable. Dr.Web CureIt! is designed to cure devices that have already been infected. In other words, if you suspect that something is wrong with your computer, it would be a good idea to download and run the utility, and then use it to start an anti-virus scan. Especially if you don't protect your system with a comprehensive anti-virus. As noted above, Dr.Web CureIt! does not need to be installed in the system—the program is literally launched by double-clicking. This is important because malicious activity can make it difficult or impossible to install new programs. By default, the optimal settings are used, so you can start scanning immediately after downloading the utility to your computer.

We have talked about the utility's operation, and now let's state the main questions related to Dr.Web CureIt! and try to answer them.

Free or paid?

Dr.Web CureIt! is marketed as a free program for home use. This means that anyone can freely and without restrictions use it to check and cure their personal computer. At the same time, the user agrees to send non-identifying statistics to Doctor Web. To use the utility for business or commercial purposes, a paid version of the program is provided, which, at the same time, allows users to disable the option to send statistics.

Why should I agree to send statistics?

Statistics are transmitted during scanning and contain only general information about the device, the operating system parameters, and the installed anti-virus software, as well as the scan itself and any detected threats. This data helps our specialists develop the anti-virus and helps them obtain up-to-date information about virus activity in the world. Collected statistics cannot be used to identify the user. We use the collected data only to improve our products because we value our name and our reputation as an honourable company. As they say, we help you, and you help us. Paying for the commercial version of the utility is also you helping us, so in this case, the option to send statistics can be disabled.

What are other differences between the paid and free versions?

The paid version allows users to honestly use Dr.Web CureIt! for business purposes and, as mentioned above, to disable the option to send statistics. There are no other differences between the versions.

What should I do if I want to help my friend cure a PC with this utility?

The best choice would be to give them the link for downloading the utility from our official site or to help them download Dr.Web CureIt! from it. First, the newly downloaded version will contain the most complete virus databases, which means it will be the most effective version. The Dr.Web CureIt! utility does not contain a built-in module for updating virus databases automatically. Therefore, before scanning, it is most advisable to download the latest version with the latest databases from the official site. Second, it will be the right thing to do according to the license agreement.

When downloading the utility from the official site, an email address is required. What for?

We ask that you provide an email address for marketing purposes. You will receive a personal link to download the program to the specified email. Please note that you can unsubscribe from newsletters and advertising messages. To do this, just ignore the corresponding field in the program download window. Of course, advertising promotion is good for a company, but our priority has always been to protect the data, including personal data, that we receive from our customers.

You can learn more about Doctor Web's privacy policy by following this link.

Can I download Dr.Web CureIt! from a third-party site?

Even if you do not take into account the issue of piracy, downloading programs from an unofficial source is dangerous. We cannot guarantee the authenticity of a utility that is not downloaded from our site. But, even if the utility itself is not changed and its digital signature is valid, this version of Dr.Web CureIt! will contain obviously outdated virus databases. They are updated up to several times per hour, so you should download the utility from our official website immediately before using it to ensure the virus databases are up to date.

In addition, a malicious program can hide under the name of the utility, and by running it, you will only exacerbate the issue you are having with your computer.

Why do I need a paid anti-virus if Dr.Web CureIt! will cure my computer?

It’s always easier and cheaper to prevent consequences than it is to eliminate them. Of course, Dr.Web CureIt! will neutralise detected threats and will very likely restore a device's performance. However, it is not capable of returning your stolen data or money, decrypting already encrypted files or protecting you from online fraud. After all, the efforts of virus writers are most often not aimed at slowing down your computer but at stealing your personal data and obtaining material benefits. Therefore, the best solution would be to use a reliable anti-virus to provide your digital environment with permanent preventive protection. Dr.Web CureIt! is your “lifesaver” in case something goes wrong when your device is initially insufficiently protected. But such situations are best avoided.

I’ve decided to check my PC with Dr.Web CureIt! What should I do?

First, download the latest version of the program from our official website. The download link will be sent to the email address you’ve specified. It’s best to run the utility as administrator—in this case, during the scanning process, the scanner will be able to access a larger number of files. The default settings are optimally selected, so you should not change them unless necessary. Click the Start scanning button to start an express scan of the most vulnerable objects. When scanning is complete, if threats are detected, information about them is displayed in the report window. The detected threats should be neutralised. To do this just click on the appropriate button.

How can I perform a full system scan using the utility?

This requires a change of the default settings. In most cases, it is enough to perform an express scan to neutralise threats on a computer. But if you want to scan all objects, you should perform a full scan, as well as enable archive scanning, which is disabled by default. To enable archive scanning, go to the Exclusions tab in the application settings and select the Archives check box. In this case, the scan time will be increased.

The utility’s settings also allow you to perform a custom scan, set actions for different categories of detected threats and select exclusions. For more information about the utility’s available settings, please refer to the product documentation.

Dr.Web CureIt! won’t start. What can be done?

This can happen if the integrity of the program file has been violated. Make sure that the download process completed correctly and that the utility itself was downloaded from the official website.

And if the operating system itself has stopped showing signs of life, we recommend that you use the Dr.Web LiveDisk boot utility. This is one more useful tool that we will speak about in detail in upcoming issues.

My computer is not connected to the Internet, and I cannot download the utility. How can I scan it?

In this case, you will need an Internet-connected device to download the program file and then transfer it, using removable media, to the computer that needs to be checked. However, it should be remembered that when the utility is launched, the virus databases are checked to see how current they are. If they are outdated, you will not be able to start scanning. Therefore, all actions will have to be done quickly.

That is why we recommend that you use a fully functional anti-virus even on devices that are not connected to the Internet. Infected flash drives and worms spreading in local networks are still an issue.

The Anti-virus Times recommends

  1. Dr.Web CureIt! cannot replace a fully functional anti-virus. Do not forget about preventive protection for your devices.
  2. For the most reliable scanning possible, download the utility only from Doctor Web's official site and immediately before launching it.
  3. Be aware of the risks. Dr.Web CureIt! will help restore an infected device’s performance, but it will not be able to undo the consequences of an infection.
  4. Use the free version of the program only for personal purposes ;)

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