Remove Viruses and Malware on Your Windows PC
Almost everyone will experience some kind of malware infection on one of their computers, but if you know what to do, you can eliminate the virus from your PC or laptop. If you can still access Windows and access the Internet, keep reading. Malware refers to any type of malware that attempts to infect a computer or mobile device. Hackers use malware for a variety of reasons, such as extracting personal information or passwords, stealing money, or preventing owners from accessing their device. "Malware" is a general term for a variety of hostile or intrusive software.
It is not always obvious that your computer is infected. Some of the warning signs that your PC or laptop might have a virus are:
- A very slow computer
- Contextual messages that appear out of nowhere and are difficult to eliminate
- Computer programs that you do not recognize or do not start yourself
- You can hear the sound of the hard drive in constant action
Step 1: Disconnect from the Internet
Disconnecting the Internet will prevent more of your data from being sent to a malware server or malware spreading further. It is important to stay as far as possible offline if you think your computer has been infected. If you need to download a removal tool, log out once the download is complete and do not log back in until you are sure that the malware has been removed.
Step 2: Enter safe mode
Safe Mode, often referred to as Safe Boot, allows you to start your computer so that it can perform checks and allow only the minimum required software and programs to load. If the malware is set to load automatically, this will be avoided, which will make it easier to remove.
- Launch (or restart) your Mac, then immediately press and hold Shift. The Apple logo will appear on your screen.
- Release the Shift key when you see the login window (if you are prompted to log in twice, learn more about what to do here).
- Restart your PC.
- When the login screen appears, hold down the Shift key and select Power → Restart.
- After restarting your computer, on the "Choose an option" screen, select: Troubleshoot → Advanced Options → Startup Settings.
- In the next window, click the Restart button and wait for the next screen to appear.
- A menu appears with the numbered startup options. Select number 4 or F4 to start your PC in safe mode. (safe mode).
Step 3: Delete temporary files
Now that you are in safe mode, you must run a virus scan. But before that, delete your temporary files. This could speed up virus scanning, free up disk space, and even eliminate some malware. To use the Disk Cleanup utility provided with Windows 10, simply type Disk Cleanup in the search bar or after pressing the Start button and select the tool that appears, named Disk Cleanup.
Step 4: Run a malware scanner
Fortunately, malware scanners can remove most standard infections. Remember, if you already have an antivirus program on your computer, you must use another scanner for this malware check because your current antivirus software may not detect the malware initially.