How to remove viruses and malware from a pc

If your computer behaves strangely, this is possibly due to a nasty virus. Finding out how to remove viruses from your PC doesn’t have to be complicated. In this article, you will learn how to manually remove malware from your Windows computer or laptop, and then provide the antivirus tool you need to stay virus-free.

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What is a computer virus?

Computer viruses are nasty forms of software that can cause your PC to behave in a variety of nasty ways. Viruses spread from one computer to another by hogging the resources of their host computers to copy and replicate themselves – just like biological viruses do from one person to another. A virus on your computer changes the way certain programs or functions work, allowing the virus to copy itself.

This article contains:

This article contains:

Some viruses are relatively harmless, others can cause harmful long-term effects. The good news is that Virus infections are largely curable. You can even try to fix problems with viruses and remove viruses yourself.

What is the difference between viruses and malware?

The terms "virus" and "malware" are often used synonymously, although they don’t quite mean the same thing. This conceptual conflation can be particularly problematic when you are trying to figure out how to remove other forms of malware besides viruses. So let’s clarify the difference between viruses and malware.

Malware is an umbrella term for all forms of "malicious Software" designed to infiltrate your device without your knowledge. Viruses are just one dish on the big malware menu. All viruses are malware, but not all malware are viruses.

If you need to delete malware, the process may vary depending on the type of malicious code. Therefore, it is important to consider the distinction when removing viruses from your computer.

How to remove viruses from a PC

It’s time to act. You have an infected computer, and together we will remove all viruses and make it work again. The most reliable way to remove malware such as viruses is to use a special virus removal tool. Your computer is automatically scanned for traces of infection without you having to worry about how to remove viruses yourself.

Below we will show you how to remove malware from Windows 10. However, you can apply the same basic principles to older versions if necessary. But first, a quick note: using older software poses a security risk, as updates and patches regularly fix vulnerabilities in earlier versions. When you connect a computer to the Internet, it should be equipped with the most up-to-date software available.

Here we go! Let’s find out how to remove viruses from your PC.

1. Start your PC in safe mode

You will need to reboot in safe mode first, which will limit your computer to the basic operations it needs to function. This is helpful when removing viruses from your computer or laptop, as it should also disable infected files.

Depending on the level of computer access you currently have, you can enter Safe Mode in a number of ways:

Option 1: Enable Safe Mode in the Settings menu

Press the Windows-Key + I, button to open the Settings menu. You can also access the Settings menu by pressing the Start -Open the menu and go to the Settings scroll down.

Select the category Update& Security Security. you may have to scroll down a bit to find them.

Selecting the Update & Security category in the Windows Settings menu of Windows 10

In the settings for the& select Update security the option Restore and then click under the heading Advanced startup click the button Reboot now.

Selecting the Restart Now button in the Recovery settings of Windows 10

From here your PC will restart and display the screen Select an option to. You can set in Windows 10 how you want it to start. Navigate through the settings Troubleshooting > Advanced options > Startup settings > Restart.

Restarting a PC in safe mode on Windows 10

Choosing a Startup Settings troubleshooting mode in Windows 10

After another reboot, you will see a new list of options for loading your operating system. Choose the 4 or press F4, to start in safe mode.

Option 2: Go to safe mode from the login screen

If you can’t log into your computer, you can boot it into safe mode from the login screen. Keep there Shift button while clicking the Power on-Click icon and Restart select.

Your computer will then be presented with the screen Select option reboot. From there you can perform the same operation as the previous option.

Option 3: Go into safe mode by shutting down your computer

If your computer is unresponsive, force shutdown by holding down the power button for 10 seconds. After shutting down the device, restart it by pressing the power button as usual. As soon as the first signs of life appear – a startup signal, a logo on the screen – hold the power button again for 10 seconds to shut down the computer again. Repeat this reboot process again.

When you turn on your computer for the third time, let it restart completely to enter WinRE (the Windows recovery environment). From there, follow the same steps from the screen Select an option and select the safe mode as described in option 1.

2. Remove all temporary files

Run Disk Cleanup in Safe Mode to remove all temporary files from your computer. If you reduce the number of files on your device, you can speed up the virus scan, which you’ll do in the next step. You may even get lucky and get rid of your malware infection already at this point.

First open the Start menu and select Control Panel from the Windows System-Dropdown menu.

Selecting the Control Panel in the Start menu in Windows 10 Safe Mode

Select Administration From.

Selecting the Administrative Tools category in the Control Panel of Windows 10 Safe Mode

Open the Disk Cleanup from the list of tools.

Select the checkboxes next to the file types you want to remove. We recommend deleting all temporary files and emptying the Recycle Bin. If your system does not use other items, delete them as well.

The Disk Cleanup tool in Windows 10 Safe Mode

After you have made your selections, click on OK. Click to confirm Deleted files.

Deleting files with the Disk Cleanup tool in Windows 10 Safe Mode

3. Scan the system for viruses

When you have deleted all temporary files, you can Scan your device for signs of computer viruses with a trusted cybersecurity tool. Avast Free Antivirus thoroughly scans your device for viruses, other types of malware, and a host of other risks to your online security and privacy. Then you can protect your PC by fixing problems with just one click. And we’re constantly updating our antivirus software to protect you against the latest threats as they emerge.

Get it for Android, iOS, Mac

Get it for iOS, Mac, Android

Get it for Android, Mac, iOS

Get it for Mac, iOS, Android

Now all you have to do is let Avast Free Antivirus – or your chosen antivirus solution – do its job. Since you are in Safe Mode, you will not be able to open Avast Free Antivirus as usual, although it will continue to protect your computer. Instead, we will show you how to set up a startup time scan in Safe Mode and then restart your computer. This will allow Avast Free Antivirus to scan your computer for malware and detect it when it restarts.

Press the keys Windows + R, to open the Run box. Tap cmd and press Enter, to open the interface with the command line.

In the command line interface, type in CD followed by the location of your Avast installation file. The default location is C:\Program Files\Avast Software\Avast. Then press the Enter-Key.

To schedule a scan at system startup for all drives in your PC, type sched /A:* and press the Enter key.

The command line interface should start the scan at system startup with the word "Scheduled" Confirm. After you see this word, type shutdown /r and press Enter to restart your computer and run the scan at system startup.

When you restart your computer, Avast Free Antivirus performs a scan at system startup to thoroughly scan for viruses and other malware. The scan may take a few minutes to complete.

When scan is finished, your computer will complete the startup process.

4. Restore corrupted software and data

Your cybersecurity tool will detect if a file is a virus and remove a virus from a file without deleting it. However many viruses can and will cause direct damage to your software and files. You can try to restore them from a backup.

Note that you need to enable Windows backup tools before using the.

Use backup files

If you have not backed up your most important files regularly so far, start doing so now. Keeping an up-to-date backup on an external drive or cloud server is one of the best protections you can give yourself against viruses – aside from an antivirus tool, of course.

Here’s how to restore your files from a backup in Windows 10:

From the Start menu, go to Control Panel in the lower right corner of the screen.

Select Backup and Restore (Windows 7) in the System and Security section.

If you have previously created backups, you can find them here. Click Recover my files to get your files back.

Now select which files from your backup you want to restore. You can restore the entire backup by Search for folders select.

Select your backup and click on Add folder.

You will see your backup in the list of files and folders you want to restore. Click Continue, to continue.

In Windows, enter where you want the recovered files to be stored. If you want everything to be exactly as before, select To the original location, and then click Restore.

If Windows determines that the original files are still on your computer, you can choose to replace them or leave them uncopied. Select Copy and Replace, to ensure that you get pristine, uninfected files. At the bottom of the window, check the box next to "Perform this step for all conflicts", to replace all duplicate files.

Once the recovery is complete, click Finish, to complete the process. Now you can enjoy your virus-free files and folders again.

How to tell if your computer has a virus

After your computer is virus-free, let’s take a look at how you can search for and detect viruses in the future. Become an expert in malware detection and learn to determine if your computer has a virus by staying sensitive to the following symptoms:

Your system starts running slower than usual. This may be because a virus is diverting your computer’s resources to reproduce itself. With less processing power left for your own processes, your computer will slow down and suffer from other performance issues.

Advertisements and pop-ups will appear on your desktop. Many viruses fall into the adware category – malware created to flood you with ads and generate revenue for a cybercriminal. A sudden onslaught of pop-up ads may well be due to a virus.

you find programs and other software that you have not installed on your computer. A virus can download additional malware to your computer for use in subsequent acts of cybercrime. The only programs on your computer should be those that you have installed yourself or that are provided by the manufacturer.

Your system is starting to behave unusually. When a virus enters your computer, crashes, shutdowns or program errors can be the result.

It is worth mentioning that these problems can also be due to non-viral causes, z. B. a crowded download folder or a full cache. Computers can fill up with data junk faster than you think, and this kind of digital hoarding can have the consequences described above. Use a cleanup tool like Avast Cleanup to jettison the clutter and restore it to working condition.

What should you try first if you’re sure your computer is infected but your anti-malware software didn’t detect and remove a virus? Just scroll up a bit and read through our detailed instructions on how to remove a virus!

Can infect other devices?

Windows PCs are not the only devices at risk from viruses. Different from the past Is now possible to catch malware on almost any device, including Macs and smartphones. That’s why it’s so important to scan devices for malware, no matter what type of technology you prefer.

The methods of removing viruses vary greatly depending on which one you use. Removing a virus from a Mac is a very different matter than removing a virus from Android or removing malware from iOS. Regardless of what you use – your best defense against viruses is always a reliable antivirus solution from a reputable vendor.

I thought Windows Defender would protect me from viruses.

That makes it – but not always particularly well. Windows Defender provides some protection against viruses, but is nowhere near as comprehensive as a dedicated anti-virus tool.

If you look at a recent assessment of antivirus software, you will find that Windows Defender does a good job, but is not the first choice. Although it protects you from most common viruses. But Windows Defender is not good enough to fight all threats on the Internet.

For this reason we strongly recommend, that you protect your devices with special cybersecurity software.

Remove malware easily

One of the biggest benefits of cybersecurity software is its ability to detect and remove viruses and other malware in real time on your device. Avast Free Antivirus runs discreetly in the background, looking for traces of malware and removing them before they can infect your computer. Our software is constantly updated to combat new threats as they are discovered. Here’s how to stay safe in an ever-changing online environment.

When you choose Avast Free Antivirus, you join the many millions of people around the world who protect their PC with a top-notch cybersecurity tool.

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