How to Get Rid of a Virus in Less Than 10 Minutes
Updated · Jul 19, 2022
The word “virus” is often followed by groans of annoyance. The very last thing that you want is to have your files corrupted.
Some of the problems viruses cause are the destruction, infiltration, and theft of valuable digital resources.
This then leads to the question - how to get rid of a virus?
I’ve got you. This article will show you how to remove a virus from your PC, and the best ways to avoid it altogether.
What Is a Computer Virus?
Before we get into the methods of protection against computer viruses, let’s define the issue.
A virus is an infectious agent that corrupts its host. In a computer setting, it can delete, steal or hold your data for ransom.
That’s only if you open and install the malware.
In case you’ve done that, it’s important to learn how to get rid of viruses on your computer.
First things first:
How Do I Know If My Computer is Having a Virus?
The most common signs include:
- Slow booting and performance
- Missing files
- Endless popups
- Being locked out of the system
- Abnormal error messages
- The presence of new software that you did not install
- Slow internet
How To Get Rid of Viruses on Your Computer
Viruses are also unique to operating systems. That is to say; there are different viruses cross-platform e.g Windows, Mac, Android, etc.
Here’s the drill:
Windows has an in-built anti-malware security system called Windows Defender. However, hackers have become more innovative in developing viruses that creep beyond it.
Popular ones include:
- WinNT.Remote Explorer
If you think your device has been infected, you need to:
Contact a computer technician
Best rely on a professional to show you how to remove malware from your PC. The extent of the damage will determine the type of solution that they will proffer.
Use an antivirus software
A good antivirus solutions is a must.
If you already have a virus on your PC, and system performance and functionality have gone haywire, you might be unable to install one. In that case, you need to:
Disconnect your PC from the Internet
Malware can share your data with remote hackers, putting you at risk, as is the case with ransomware. Disconnecting your PC from the internet is a way of containing the virus.
After this, you may want to consider:
Rebooting your PC into safe mode
If you want to clean your computer of viruses, rebooting your PC into safe mode is one of the most efficient methods.
The system will run only the basic programs and services required for minimal operations. As such, malware finds it difficult to operate to full, devastating capacity.
Do a full rescan and make sure that all your hard drive paths are included in the scan route. If you use external storage devices along with your PC, make sure that it is connected to the system.
After the virus has been detected, you can either delete it altogether or put it into quarantine. The latter option is useful if the files involved are valuable to you.
Clear browser cache and temporary files
Another reason why viruses are so efficient is that they can run undetected. Your cache and temporary folders are likely hideouts, so do a disk cleanup.
For browsers, navigate to settings and locate cache files.
Clear it all!
Update your version of Windows
There’s a good chance your out-of-date OS (operating system) contains some security bugs that a virus has taken advantage of. If you are serious about removing the virus from your laptop, you should update your Windows to the latest version.
Update your browser
Same story here. If your browser is not up-to-date, then you can be sure that security bugs will abound, leaving you susceptible to malware.
Okay, we covered Windows. What about macOS?
Uninstall faulty apps
Navigate to Finder>Applications. Search the grid or list for apps you have not installed, and delete them. Target those suspicious behavior such as unexpectedly closing and launching.
Delete suspicious browser extensions
Go to Safari and open up Extensions, if you have any installed. Search for funny-looking names and ones with strange behaviors. The chances are that the virus is lurking in one of them.
Delete malicious profiles
Go to System Preferences and click on Profiles. Look around for suspicious-looking ones and select Remove, if you find any.
Use an Antivirus software
The inbuilt Gatekeeper system is simply not enough. Although there are free virus removal solutions available, nothing beats the paid ones.
Antivirus Software Worth Your Attention
There are several antivirus solutions out there, but you can’t trust all of them. The free ones will often provide minimal features. Others will clean viruses for free but will bombard you with pointless ads.
Here is a list of reputable and efficient ones:
Bitdefender’s Plus Plan is its best offering. It provides an all-around antivirus solution to users who don’t have extra-technical skills to get rid of computer viruses. In other words, Bitdefender is easy to use.
It offers you full security online and offline, and natural threat-detection capability. You can use it without compromising computer performance.
The free version of Bitdefender protects against web attacks and has a few advanced feautures like anti-phishing. You can enjoy the free version for up to 30 days before you decide to purchase a plan.
As one of the big names in the cybersecurity industry, Norton is one of the best software with which to get rid of viruses. Its anti-malware system is second to none, using machine learning and heuristic analysis.
Norton antivirus solution has three different scan modes for accurate detection of any deep-hidden threats. You can scan temporary files, and specific disk and file locations.
Its cybersecurity system goes beyond ordinary malware detection with its innovative Smart Firewall system.
The antivirus solution also comes with a dedicated web extension for browsers. In addition, it monitors intrusions from the dark web, notifying users of data breaches.
McAfee’s computer virus protection tool extends to unlimited devices, meaning that it offers excellent value for money.
There are different subscription packages available, with the Basic plan allowing you to use the antivirus solution with as much as 10 devices. In addition, it has anti-theft protection, a password manager and encrypted storage mechanisms.
McAfee detects malware with ease and blocks malicious web pages and popups. It takes the antivirus tool longer than the industry average to complete a full system scan, however. Nevertheless, it is no less efficient at detecting threats to your computer.
Malware is more than just annoying. It can seriously damage your device and data.
This is why its vital to know how to get rid of viruses.
If you suspect your gadget or browser are infected, be sure to perform a full scan. Then, follow our guide.
You’ve got this.
How do I know if I have virus?
Your system will begin to act funny - think slow performances and processing lag. In addition, there will be frequent needless popups, and strange software appearing deep in your storage.
You may also notice the absence of some of your important files.
Can you just delete a virus?
No, you can’t just manually delete a virus the way you would a media file. For one, you have you know exactly what to look for.
Get a decent antivirus software and perform deep scans to fish out malware. Then, you can delete them.
Should I remove or quarantine?
Remove, if you are sure that it is malware. If unsure, quarantine.
There you have it - the world is a bit safer for you, now that you know how to get rid of a virus.
Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.
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