How to remove viruses and other get rid of malware on your computer

There is nothing worse than when you realize that your PC, Mac or laptop is infected with a virus or malware. But with careful and determined action, virus removal can be quick and easy. Learn how to remove a virus from your laptop, PC or Mac immediately, or let our free tool solve the problem for you.

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How to detect a virus on a Windows PC?

When your computer is infected, it’s not always obvious. Here are some of the warning signals that could indicate that your PC or laptop may have caught a virus, Trojan, worm or other type of malware:

A very slow running computer

pop-up messages that appear out of nowhere and are difficult to remove

Unknown computer programs that launch on their own

Noises from a hard drive that is constantly in use

The cause of all these symptoms could be a virus or some other type of malware. If you observe two or three of these symptoms at the same time, this is a clear indication of a virus. However, you should also know that many types of modern malware, such as z. B. spyware and so-called cryptominer do their best to stay hidden as much as possible.

If you want to get rid of them, you need to download an antivirus program now. For example, you can download AVG AntiVirus FREE and run it in minutes. Antivirus programs are packed with scanners and other tools to detect viruses and malware, even if the computer has no symptoms.

If your PC or laptop is infected with a virus, follow the steps below (information for Mac users is located further down this page.)

#1 The virus removal

These steps should lead to success regardless of what malware is on your system. This procedure works just as effectively for Trojans or adware as it does for an ordinary virus.

Step 1: Launch Safe Mode

Hold down the Shift key and restart your PC by opening the Windows menu, clicking on the On/Off icon and then on Reboot Click.

Your computer will restart and a menu with various advanced startup options will appear. Choose Troubleshoot.

Reboot your Windows PC and choose'Troubleshoot'.

Select Advanced options.

After selecting'Troubleshoot', you need to select 'Advanced Options'.

Click on Startup settings.

Under'Advanced options', you need to select 'Startup Settings'.

Click on Restart.

Here you can restart your computer in Safe Mode so you can remove the virus

Press the 5 key to start in the Safe Mode with network drivers, but make sure that your PC does not connect to the Internet.

Step 2: Delete temporary files

Use the tool in safe mode Disk Cleanup to delete your temporary files:

Open the Start menu and scroll down to the option Windows management programs. Click on it and select the option from the drop-down menu Disk Cleanup.


Scroll through the list "Files to delete" and select "Temporary files". Click on OK.

Delete your temporary files to make it easier to detect the virus

Deleting these files may speed up the upcoming virus scan. Deleting your temporary files may even get the malware off your back if it’s programmed to run when your computer boots up.

Step 3: Download virus scanner

There are two types of scanners that can detect and delete computer viruses and malware: Real-time scanners and on-demand scanners:

A real-time scanner like AVG AntiVirus FREE scans for viruses in the background while you use your computer.

An on-demand system scanner, such as z. B. the Microsoft Safety Scanner, have to activate it manually every time you want to run a scan.

Get it for Android, iOS, Mac

Get it for Mac, iOS, Android

Get it for Android, Mac, iOS

Get it for iOS, Mac, Android

To remove the virus it may be necessary to use both types of virus scanners. If you don’t have an antivirus installed on your PC yet, it’s high time to get back online and download one.

Even if you cannot connect to the Internet, If necessary, you are. be able to download Microsoft Safety Scanner because you have your computer in Safe Mode with network drivers have started.

Step 4: Run virus scanner

Run your on-demand scanner first, and then run your real-time scanner. Both scanners should be equally capable of identifying the virus and removing it, but running both scanners increases the chances of success.

If necessary, remove a virus manually

Some types of malware need to be removed manually. However, you should only try this if you are familiar with the Windows registry and know how to view and delete system and program files. If you are not sure, contact an IT expert who specializes in virus removal.

#2 Recovery or. Reinstalling corrupted files or software

If the virus was detected and removed during the scan, you may need to reinstall any corrupted files or programs.

In such cases, backups are very handy and we would like to suggest that you create them at regular intervals, at least once a week. Makes it easy to recover deleted files on Windows and Mac devices. If you want even better results, you should get an external hard drive.

#3 Better defenses

Make sure that your antivirus is always up to date

Updating your antivirus software will ensure that your laptop or PC remains protected against all types of malware. It is very important to keep your cybersecurity tools up to date as new viruses are being developed all the time. Even if you bought an antivirus only a month ago, it may already need to be updated. Take a look at AVG antivirus solutions – they install quickly and update automatically to give you the most convenient protection possible.

Create backups

Make regular backups of your files and put them on an external hard drive or use a cloud service – or both. Here’s how to prevent losing important data in the event of another malware infection. If you have not made backups so far, you should start now.

#4 Proactive measures to prevent further infections

Here are some quick and easy tips on how to avoid downloading a virus again:


Install the latest software updates for Windows



Make regular backups of your data


Do not click on any pop-up messages that claim to have detected a problem on your computer


Exercise caution when opening emails from unknown senders, especially if they contain a link or attachment

Remove viruses or malware on a Mac

Many Mac users believe that your device cannot be infected with viruses, spyware, worms, or other types of malware. However, this is not true, even though there are fewer viruses and malware that target Macs than there are Windows PCs and laptops. We have already put together a detailed guide on Mac security, but here is a quick overview.

Here are some known examples of malware for Mac computers:

These names give the impression that they are antivirus products. However, they are all malicious and are designed to trick Mac users into giving away their credit card or Apple ID account details. Do not download them under any circumstances.

The two main risks Mac users face are false alerts and previously installed malware. If you see messages like "A problem has been detected on your Mac" while browsing, it is most likely an attempt to get you to download malware. Instead, incorporate the following tips into your Mac habits.

Ignore the message. If you did download something from the website, quit Safari (or. the browser you are using), go to the Downloads folder and drag all the items contained in it to the Trash. Then empty the Recycle Bin. Avoid further visits to this website, as it may have been hacked.

Stop the infected app. If you think malware is already installed on your Mac – especially if pop-up messages ask for your Apple ID or credit card information – quit the app/software you think is infected. launch Activity Monitor and search for the specific app or malware listed above. Once you have identified the malware, click the button End process and close the Activity Monitor. Then, open the Programs folder and drag the unwanted software to the Trash.

Last but not least, make sure all software and apps are up to date. Also check if you have actually obtained and installed the latest bug fixes and updates for the operating system from Apple.

Just like on a PC, it’s a good idea to install additional protection. AVG AntiVirus for Mac is a comprehensive free cybersecurity tool that detects viruses, spyware, ransomware and malware in real time. It automatically updates to keep your Mac protected against the latest online threats. AVG AntiVirus for Mac also protects your family and friends – because when a PC or mobile device threat is detected on your system, we prevent you from accidentally infecting someone else’s.

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