The moment you realize that your Windows PC or Mac is infected with a virus can be one of the most stressful moments in life. But don't worry.
We're here to help you get back on track if a virus has taken over your computer. It happens to everyone, so don't feel alone. Keep reading to learn how to remove the infection and keep yourself safe from further problems.
So You Think Your Computer Is Infected?
First of all, be sure what type of malware has infected your computer. Then, before we strike down this virus with great vengeance and furious anger, it would be best to know exactly how much damage has the virus done already.
Why Can't You Start or Update Your Antivirus Software?
Perhaps it's been a while since you updated your antivirus software and that some new malware has taken over. Maybe the antivirus program is still running in the background despite its inability to update or block attacks on itself from outside forces. Usually, this means the program is ineffective at fighting back against threats.
They can lock users out of administrative tools such as Task Manager. You're powerless as it roams freely, causing more damage to your system every minute.
Your Computer Will Start Crashing or Freezing Unexpectedly
There are a few different types of viruses out in the world today, but they all have in common that when you get infected by them, your computer will start crashing or freezing unexpectedly. If you haven't installed new hardware or software recently, it is likely due to a virus infection in your system.
If you notice that the CPU, memory, or disk usage is higher than expected while your machine stays idle, this could mean there's a virus infection running in the background.
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Weird Pop-Ups Start Showing Up
If you're experiencing a problem with your PC, multiple windows starting popping up without warning could indicate that something needs fixing.
Only Download from Reputable Sources
Malicious software can be disguised as legitimate installation packages and distributed through free software websites. Therefore, only download from reputable sources to avoid inviting hackers into your system.
Virus infections can be a headache, causing problems like slowdowns and data loss. Computer viruses are everywhere but don't give in to panic or despair. Follow these nine steps for an effective removal strategy that will save you time and hassle.
Seek expert advice
If you are not comfortable dealing with a computer virus by yourself, we recommend contacting an expert. You can quickly find nearby service companies and get the help you need with trained security specialists.
Download and Install Antivirus Software from Reputable Vendors
Your computer needs to have antivirus software, so you can keep it safe from malware and other online dangers. If Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials are already installed on the system, make sure you opt for a different solution if these don't meet your needs. Choose from this list of reputable vendors: Kaspersky, Bitdefender, Webroot, Norton, Trend Micro, McAfee, ESET, Avast, AVG, Sophos.
Turn Off Your Internet Connection
Disconnect from the internet and turn off your wireless connection to prevent further infection. This will also block any malware trying to send itself wirelessly or get access to data on your device, so it's important for safety reasons. If you don't know how to do these things yourself, make sure someone else does it for you before proceeding.
It's a good idea to reboot your computer in safe mode if you're not sure what the best course of action is. It's for more advanced users who know what they're doing and are prepared to take on the challenge of fixing their computer in a tough situation like malware infection. In Safe Mode, your system runs with just enough services for its basic operations, which prevent most malware from starting up at all or disabling them so they can't cause any damage.
Scan the Computer for Any Viruses
To do this, run a full scan and delete any viruses that are found or place them in quarantine so they can't affect the rest of your system too much.
Clean Temporary Files and Browser Cache
For any browser, make sure you clear the cache. We've included links to related FAQs for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge Opera in case something goes wrong.
Update Your Operating System and Web Browser to Their Latest Versions
We highly recommend updating your operating system and web browser to their latest versions. Windows updates often contain fixes for vulnerabilities and exploits, so it's a good idea to get on top of things by installing them now.
Change All Your Passwords
You should also update your passwords after removing the virus before you've had time to assess what's damaged. Start with the main email account, then continue down the list according to importance until all has been changed.
Reinstall Any Files or Programs That May Have Been Damaged
To reinstall any files or programs that were damaged by a virus, you might need to recover them from an external hard drive or download them from the official site. This is where backups come in handy, and we recommend making them regularly at least once per week, so it's easy to restore deleted items on Windows devices and Macs.
If there are any damaged files or software on your computer, make sure to reinstall them before scanning them again.
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Defense Is the Key to Victory
Defense is the first line of defense against malware, but it's not enough. Make sure you're using up-to-date antivirus software and making backups that can protect your data in case something goes wrong with it.
The first step to winning any battle is knowing how and when you'll be facing one. Next, make sure that your weapons are ready because, in this war against hackers, there's no time for mistakes.
Don't Throw Away Your Computer
Don't worry if you're feeling frustrated with a slowdown in performance because there are many ways to get that old machine back up and running again for less cash than it would take to replace it, which is money better spent elsewhere.
Bato is the father of three beautiful children. When he's not dealing with product reviews and comparisons, he enjoys hiking through untouched nature. He loves adrenaline sports such as skiing, diving, rafting, and scuba diving. In addition, he likes to grill and discover new exciting food.