Once a computing device is infected with a virus (or malware, spyware, etc.) it often causes major problems. Problems may include right from slowing of your computer to a crawl to taking over your web browser or even your whole computer.
In case of such an unfavorable event, removing a virus can seem like an impossible. This is a quick guide will help you remove a virus from a computer.
The first thing you have to do is run a full virus scan using your anti-virus software. If you don't already have one installed, get one RIGHT NOW ! If you are a Windows user, the best safety software in my opinion is the Microsoft Security Essentials. It is free and has been created by the same company that made the Operating System of your computer.
If you already ran a virus scan and it didn't fix your problem, you've probably come to a point where you need a little more help. The best way that I've found is to tackle a virus in Windows, is to:
- Boot into Safe Mode with Networking. To boot into Safe Mode with Networking, restart your computer. As your computer restarts press and hold the F8 key on your keyboard. This will bring you to a black screen called Advanced Boot Options. Choose Safe Mode with Networking.
- When you have restarted your computer on Safe Mode, head over to download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. This is a great, free tool to use on badly infected computers. It is probably the number one tool I use when tackling bad virus infections. If you have anti-virus software installed, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will warn you that you have to disable it before continuing. If after disabling the anti-virus software, it still warns me, go ahead and uninstall the anti-virus software (the PC is already infected, so it won't make any difference taking it off!). Choose "Perform full scan" and click the "Scan" button. This will usually find what's left lurking on your system. It might take 20 minutes to an hour or more to run, depending on how many drives you have and how much data you have on them.
- Be sure your firewall is turned on. Windows has a built-in firewall and it works great. Firewalls help keep intruders out of your computer. Here's the link to Microsoft's site for more detail. To check it's status, click Start (or in Windows 8, while at the start screen) and type "windows firewall". Click the Windows Firewall icon to check the status.
That's it - your computer should be virus-free! Make sure you have antivirus software installed, Windows is up to date, your firewall is turned on and you practice safe web browsing to stay clear of viruses in the future.