If your computer running slow than usual, have lots of pop-ups and seeing other weird thing occurring. Then your PC might be infected with either malware, spyware, or other computer viruses or all of the above even if you have an antivirus installed on it. In today’s tutorial, I’m going to show you how to get rid of malware and other computer related viruses the right and proper way all by yourself without a computer technician.
What is Malware?
According to PC Tools, Malware is an abbreviated term meaning “malicious software.” This software is specifically designed to gain access or damage a computer without the knowledge of the owner. There are various types of malware including spyware, keyloggers, true viruses, worms, or any type of malicious code that infiltrates a computer.
How To Get Rid of Malware and Other Computer Viruses
Step 1: Disconnect the Internet
First thing you need to do is disconnect your computer from the Internet. This will help to prevent malware from spreading and or leaking your private data across the internet. To do this, simply switch off your WiFi or unplug your Ethernet cable from your PC/laptop.
Step 2: Boot Safe Mode
Next, you should boot your computer in safe mode. Booting your computer in safe mode only allows minimum required programs and services to run. If there are any malware that is set to load automatically whenever Windows starts, entering in this mode can prevent them from loading. See this post that explains how to boot in safe mode.
Step 3: Use Disk Cleanup
While in safe mode, I know that you want to start scanning your computer but before you do so, you need to run Disk Cleanup. Disk Cleanup is a computer maintenance utility included in Microsoft Windows designed to free up disk space on a computer’s hard drive. The utility first searches and analyzes the hard drive for files that are no longer of any use, and then removes the unnecessary files. To use Disk Cleanup, click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System tools and click Disk Cleanup or simply type Disk Cleanup in the search bar in the start menu. Wait until it scan your hard drive for the unnecessary files and when finished, it should look like the screenshot below.
Check the boxes of the files you want to delete especially temporary files and click OK. This will delete the unnecessary files to free disk space on your hard drive and hopefully delete couple malware and viruses at the same time. This method is one way on how to get rid of malware, as they tend to store themselves in these files.
Step 4: Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware
How to get rid of malware is to download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium. Malwarebytes anti-malware is one of the best programs you can have on your computer or laptop. This program is a standalone product that actually backup your current antivirus that you have on your computer now. Since your current anti-virus may have not detected some of those malware, you should use a different scanner to check for them.
There are two types of antivirus programs, real-time and on-demand. Most people are more familiar with real-time antiviruses and as the name suggests, it scans in real-time ensuring that no virus keeps wondering around on your computer. On the other hand, on-demand antiviruses only scan for viruses when you manually open the program and perform a scan e.g. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
Note: Only use one real-time antivirus program as this can cause performance issues on your computer. You can use couple on-demand antivirus programs for extra protection just in case one doesn’t detect any viruses or miss a few. Also, please be reminded that no antivirus is 100% on detecting all malware and other computer related viruses.
The best way on how to get rid of malware is to perform a full scan with an on-demand scanner first and then perform a full scan with your real-time antivirus program, but before you scan with your real-time antivirus please update it. For an on-demand scanner, I would recommend Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and you can download it here. In the case you do not have another computer to download Malwarebytes in order to transfer it to your infected computer via a USB flash drive, reconnect your internet and download Malwarebytes.
After downloading Malwarebytes, run the setup file and follow the instructions to install the program. After the installation finishes, it will check for updates and start the program itself. If you see a message stating that the database is outdated, click YES to allow it to download the updates and click OK when the updates finishes.
Step 5: Scan Your Computer
After the installation and updates of Malwarebytes is finished, you need to scan your computer and this is how to get rid of malware. As I mentioned earlier, first you need to perform a full scan with an on-demand scanner (Malwarebytes) then do the same with a real-time scanner (your current antivirus). Next, open Malwarebytes (if not open already after the installation), select the most appropriate scanning option, and click Start Scan as indicated below.
After the scan finishes, it displays the threat scan results and it automatically selects the most dangerous ones. If you want to remove other viruses, you can select them as well. Then click the Remove Selected button. It may prompt you to restart your computer in order to remove a specific virus, which you should do to complete the removal process.
Next, go back in safe mode and run a full system scan with your real-time antivirus program (your current antivirus) to detect other viruses and malware that Malwarebytes may have not detected.
Step 6: Reconfigure Your Web Browser
There are times when malware messes up your browser settings to re-infect your computer. The common one is when it modifies your web browser’s home page.
Note: After scanning your computer, check your home page before opening your browser! Please ensure that your home page is set to a website that you know e.g. www.google.com as indicated below.
To do this, go to Start, Control Panel and click Internet Options or simply type Internet Options in the search bar in the Start menu. When you are finish click OK.
This method is the best way on how to get rid of malware and other computer related viruses. So if you notice that your PC is running slow than the usual and have lots of pop-ups then you need to scan for malware. To do that, first you need to disconnect your internet, boot in safe mode, run disk cleanup, download Malwarebytes Anti-malware, scan your computer and reconfigure your browser.
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