Removing a virus from your computer can be a difficult process, depending on the type of virus you have. In this article, we’ll discuss some basic steps for removing viruses and other malicious software from your computer.
Before You Begin
Before beginning any virus removal process, it’s important to make sure that your computer is up-to-date with the latest security patches, anti-virus programs, and firewall settings. This will help ensure that any malicious software that is found is blocked before it can cause any additional damage.
It’s also important to make sure that you have an up-to-date backup of all of your important data. By doing this, you’ll be able to restore your system to its original state if any files are damaged or deleted during the removal process.
If you suspect that your computer has a virus, it’s important to avoid using it as much as possible until it has been cleaned. This is especially true if you’re using a shared network or public Wi-Fi.
1. Scan Your Computer with Anti-Virus Software
The first step in removing a virus from your computer is to scan it with an anti-virus program. There are several free anti-virus programs available, such as AVG Free, Avast Free Antivirus, and Microsoft Security Essentials. All of these programs are capable of detecting and removing most types of viruses.
Once you have installed an anti-virus program, you should run a full system scan. This scan may take several hours, depending on the size of your hard drive and the speed of your computer. It’s important to let the scan run until it is finished, as stopping it early may leave some malicious software on your system.
2. Install Malware Removal Tools
Once you have completed your anti-virus scan, it’s important to install additional malware removal tools. Several of these tools are available for free, such as Malwarebytes, Spybot Search & Destroy, and Ad-Aware. Each of these programs is designed to detect and remove different types of malicious software.
After installing each of these tools, run them and allow them to check your entire system. This process may take several hours, so it’s important to be patient. Once the scans have finished, make sure to remove any malicious software that is found. Depending on the program, you may be able to do this automatically or you may need to delete files manually.
3. Disable System Restore
Once you have removed any malicious software from your system, it’s important to disable the Windows System Restore feature. This feature creates periodic snapshots of your system in order to help you restore it in the event of a problem. Unfortunately, it can also store malicious software, so it’s important to turn it off after removing a virus.
To disable System Restore, open the Control Panel and select “System.” From there, select “System Protection,” then click the “Configure” button. You should then uncheck the box next to “Turn on System Restore,” then click OK. This will disable System Restore and help ensure that any malicious software is not stored on your system.
4. Manually Remove Infected Files
Once you have disabled System Restore and removed any malicious software from your system, you may need to manually remove any infected files. To do this, open the Windows Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete, then select the “Processes” tab. Look through the list of processes and try to identify any suspicious or unfamiliar processes.
If you find a process that looks suspicious, right-click on it and select “Open File Location.” This will open the folder containing the file, which you can then delete. It’s important to be careful when deleting files, as deleting the wrong file can cause problems with your operating system.
5. Re-enable System Protection
Once you have removed all of the malicious files, it’s important to re-enable System Protection. To do this, open the Control Panel and select “System.” From there, select “System Protection,” then click the “Configure” button. Check the box next to “Turn on System Restore,” then click OK. This will enable your system’s restore feature and help protect your system from future malicious software infections.
Removing a virus from your computer can be a challenging process, but it is important to do so in order to protect your system from further damage. Follow the steps outlined in this article to safely and effectively remove a virus from your computer.