Ways to Remove Malware From Your Computer

If your desktop computer or notebook is going very slow, or strange dialog boxes pop up when you are browsing, your system may quite possibly have been infected by a virus, adware, or one of the many types of malware found on the web. This article will tell you how you can remove malware from your computer.

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Preventing Malware

Does your system have an Internet security software with an up-to-date firewall, antivirus program, and antispyware? Such a security software program is the very least you have to have in your security arsenal. The best way to have good security on your system is installing a good Internet security suite. You can read reviews of security software programs to find an appropriate one for your computer.

However, if you already have an up-to-date security application and yet your system is infected, simply scanning the system is the first step; however, it is less likely to solve the issue. Once the malware is installed, it may be able to turn off your antivirus. Although security software can prevent threats to a great extent, if it has been disabled, it is unlikely to be able to fight the threat. Remember, none of the antivirus programs can detect all of the millions of malware variants.

Additionally, returning to a previously created System Restore point may be able to help, but the malware may be ahead of this. System Restore is a very useful option though. So, assuming your PC has been infected, follow these steps to fix the issue.

1 Enter Into the Safe Mode

You first need to disconnect your system from the Internet. Unplug the wired connections and turn off Wi-Fi on the computer. Now you have to boot into Windows Safe Mode option. This is a boot option of Windows running without most of the applications and processes required by the full version of Windows. Safe Mode allows you to use the computer without causing any more damage, and it may be able to help you spot where the problem is. Malware applications cannot run in Safe Mode.

To get into Safe Mode in Windows Vista and Windows 7, first turn off the system. Then turn the system back on and tap the F8 key at the top of the keyboard repeatedly. You should now see Windows’s Advanced Boot Options. Select “Safe Mode with Networking” from here and press Enter.

Windows 8 works a little differently. Windows 8 PCs boot faster, so there isn’t enough time to tap F8. For Windows 8, at the login screen, select Restart and hold down the Shift button. You will see the options to troubleshoot your PC; from this, you can choose to boot in the Safe Mode.

Of course, most people who want Safe Mode already have an issue with their computer. If you are logged in and the screen stays black, press CTRL+ALT+DEL to bring up the selection window, and click logout followed by restart. Then hold down the Shift key to get to the window from which you can select Safe Mode.

2Delete Temp Files

This step is not critical, but it may be able to help. Deleting temporary files from your system will speed up virus scan, free disk space, and may even delete some malware. Go to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Disk Cleanup. From this window, delete the temp files.

3 Get Malwarebytes

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As said above, you have to use a different antimalware to the one you have in the system, since your current security software has failed to find the malware. You can use an on-demand scanner that searches for infections only when you open it and manually run a scan. The benefit is you can run an on-demand malware scanner along with your primary security application.

You can use Malwarebytes AntiMalware, which is a free scanner. To begin with, reconnect to the web in order to download and install Malwarebytes. Of course, you have to disconnect from the Internet before you start the scan. The best way to be safe is to download the application on a different computer, save it to a pen drive, and bring the pen drive to your infected PC.

Once installed, Malwarebytes prompts for new updates and launches itself. If you see a message box that says the database is outdated, click Yes to get the updates. Once Malwarebytes opens, select the default option (quick scan) and click the Scan button.

Though there is a full scan option, it is recommended you do the quick scan first, as the quick scan usually identifies all of the malware anyway. Based on your PC configuration, the quick scan may take from five to twenty minutes to complete, while the full scan may take thirty to sixty minutes or more. While the application is performing the scan, you can see the files and objects the software has scanned already and the number of infections it has identified.

If Malwarebytes closes automatically after it starts the scan and will not reopen, you may have a rootkit virus or a similar deep infection that disables scanners automatically. Though it is possible to work up some tricks to bypass this malicious technique, you may be better off reinstalling the operating system itself after backing up all your files.

If Malwarebytes’s quick scan does not find any infection, it will open a Notepad file with the results of the scan. If you are still not convinced, consider running a full scan with Malwarebytes and some other on-demand scanners as well. If Malwarebytes finds any infection, it brings up a dialog warning you about it. To see which suspicious files the scanner detected, click the Scan Results button at the lower right-hand side. It automatically checks the option to remove the found dangerous threats. If you would like to delete any other detected items, select those as well. Then click the button “Remove Selected” at the lower left remove the selected infections.

After deleting the infections, Malwarebytes opens a notepad file listing the results of the actions; check the results to ensure that the antimalware successfully removed each infected item. Malwarebytes may also ask you to restart your computer in order to finish the malware removal. If you think the malware is gone, run a full scan with your main security program to confirm it.

Conclusion

Your computer should be now free of any malware. However, this may not free you from any after effects of the infection. You will probably find, for instance, that your web browser has now an unknown search engine and a home page you never selected. You should adjust the settings of your web browser to fix this issue. Additionally, you should change all your login passwords, especially for the accounts containing sensitive information, including email and social media accounts.