How to Clean your PC from Malware
We surf the web, check our emails, and download various stuff daily and this opens our PC to attacks. We are sure that at least once during your time with your PC that it has come under attack or has been infected by what we call Malware. Malware can come in different shapes and sizes and could target specific functions of your PC, thankfully there are ways to remove Malware. And we’re here to show you how.
Diagnose your computer
Look for signs that your PC is infected by malware, do a little bit of digging. Here are a few common signs of malware infection.
- You keep on getting pop-up messages during browsing.
- You get redirected to web pages that are different from the ones you’re visiting.
- Your computer feels sluggish and unresponsive despite light usage.
- There are icons on your desktop that you do not recognize.
Although there are still chances that your computer might have malware even if does not exhibit any of the signs mentioned or is not acting weird. If you feel like your PC is indeed infected then follow the steps below.
Download an On-demand virus scanner
There are 2 types of Antivirus programs namely the real-time antivirus ones like Windows Defender that constantly scans your PC on the background and on-demand scanners like Malwarebytes, BitDefender, Kaspersky, and the like. Real-time antiviruses also have a scan feature but since these programs were already running in the background when you got infected it means that it did not detect the Malware, so it is recommended that you download a separate antivirus.
Back up your files
Now is the best time to back up your files, this is to make sure that in an event that you might need to reformat to get rid of the infection your important documents, photos and videos are safe. Do not back up program files as these programs may potentially be the ones infected, just redownload them later if need be.
Enter Safe Mode
The first thing you should do after checking your PC for infection is to enter safe mode, this way the PC would only load the core programs and services it needs. Before restarting your PC disconnect from the internet to prevent any more spread of the infection. To enter safe mode follow the steps below.
For windows 10 – Click on the Start icon locate the Power icon then press Shift + Restart, this will restart your PC and you would be greeted with a menu screen afterward. In the menu screen open the Troubleshoot menu then go to Advanced Options > Startup Settings then click Restart. After restarting you would be asked to select how you would like to start your PC, press 4 or F4 on your keyboard to enable Safe Mode, press 5 or F5 to enable Safe Mode with Networking, or press 6 or F6 to enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
For Windows 7/Vista/XP – After restarting your PC repeatedly press the F8 key on your keyboard the Advanced Boot Options menu will then appear and from here you could select how to start your PC by using the arrow and enter keys.
Delete Temporary Files
Before doing a virus scan you might want to delete your temporary files to speed up the scan, free up some space in your PC, and even potentially remove some malware. Windows 10 already has a built in disk cleanup tool just type Disk Cleanup in the start menu or in the search bar and start the program.
Scan your PC
You are now ready to rid your computer of the infection. Open up your On-demand Virus scanner and start the scan. Most antivirus programs have an option to either do a quick scan, custom scan or a full scan choose whatever you deem is necessary for your PC, the main differences of these scans is the time they take to complete. If your PC is only affected by light malware then a quick scan should do the trick, if after a quick scan and your PC is still exhibiting signs of infection then it might be wise to do a full or custom scan.
After your antivirus finishes its scan it would display which programs and files have potential malware and would then ask you if you wish for these programs to be removed or deleted. Afterward, you would be prompted to restart your PC to complete the removal process.
And there you go your PC is now clean of Malware. If the problem still persists then it would be recommended that you either reformat your PC or do a fresh install of windows. Always remain vigilant when using your PC, the best solution is still prevention. Be wary of files that you download from the internet and from flash drives or hard drives that you insert on your ports. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
This is not a one-time exercise. Make sure that you regularly do this to your PC every couple of months. This is a constant effort that one needs to be aware of. We’re working on a series of guides and internet safety tips for our #makeITsafePH series in partnership with Globe so bookmark this page for our weekly feature.
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- How to Clean your PC from Malware
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- How to Keep Safe when using Public or Free WiFi
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