Has your computer been infected by a virus? Viruses and other malware can pose a significant security risk to your data and personal information, and can have a drastic effect on your computer’s performance. They can be tricky to get rid of, since many are programmed to be extremely difficult to remove.

1.Backup your data. Before starting the virus removal process, make sure that all of your important data is backed up. This will ensure that nothing of value is lost if the computer has to be completely reformatted, and you can get back up and running with minimal time invested.

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2.Check to ensure that other factors aren’t causing your problem. Oftentimes a slow computer will give the impression that it is infected with a virus, when it may be an issue with memory, storage, adware, or a number of other factors. Failing hardware, especially hard drives, can significantly slow down your computer and corrupt files.

3.Gather your tools. You should already have an antivirus program installed, but if you don’t there are a variety of both free and commercial products are available. Most paid programs have a trial period that will allow you to scan and remove viruses, so don’t worry about cost and download the program that sounds the best to you.

  • If your virus infection is preventing you from successfully downloading files, you will need to download them on another computer and transfer them via USB drive.

4.Reboot in Safe Mode. In order for a virus to do anything, it needs to be run. Most viruses run themselves by attaching to startup services that load when Windows loads. Safe Mode only loads the most essential files for Windows to run, which should stop almost all viruses from starting. This will allow you to identify and remove them.

5.Run your scans. Run a full system scan with your antivirus program. Quarantine anything that doesn’t look right after the scan is complete (most antivirus programs have a quarantine function). After you are finished running the virus scan, run each of your additional anti-malware scans. Each program is capable of removing any infections it is able to find.

6.Test your computer. After the scans have all completed, reboot normally and test your computer’s performance. Run your web browser and any other programs that you originally had issues with. If your infection is gone, you’re done! If problems persist, read on to the next section.

 

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