Viruses, spyware, malware, etc. all have one thing in common: they all suck. They slow down your computer, damage your files, illegally steal your information, etc.
You’ve probably seen these ads on the Internet advertising a service that will scan your computer for free and magically clean your computer and also make it 20 times faster. Well, these websites will scan your computer, which is true, however most of them will charge a lot to get rid of all the errors they find when scanning. Plus, many of them are fake and actually install more malware and spyware on your computer.
However, most of the services use a simple antivirus scanner / removal tool. There are much better software available to you for free. By following the advice in this article, you can remove most types of viruses, spyware, or malware from your computer.
Obviously, not all malware is created equal, and some elements are much more difficult to remove than others. In such cases, the best option is to perform a clean install, which is the only surefire way to make sure that any remaining infection is gone.
Method 1 – Erase
There are thousands of different programs in the spyware and virus removal category, many of which are free. Please be aware that different virus removal programs will give different results, and none of them is 100% accurate.
For example, you can scan your computer with one virus removal program, remove viruses, and then deploy a computer scan with another program that will catch even more viruses that the first program did not find.
Therefore, the best thing to do when your system has a dangerous infection with many viruses, malware or spyware is to run multiple programs. However, many of these new viruses are smart and do not allow antivirus or antivirus tools to run inside Windows.
To get around this, you must either scan the system before loading the operating system, or you need to put Windows into Safe Mode and start the scanning process there. To get started, read my post on how to restart Windows 7/8/10 in safe mode.
Once in safe mode, you need to run several scan programs one after the other until the infection is no longer detected. So which programs should you choose to run? Luckily, I’ve already written an article on the best free anti-spyware, antivirus, and antivirus software out there today.
In my opinion, you should run SUPERAnti-Spyware first, then MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, and then Spybot and Ad-Adware. Of course, you’ll need an internet connection to do this, so make sure you’ve turned on Safe Mode with network drivers loaded.
If you have a really smart virus, it will even disconnect your internet connection by changing the settings in Windows. In that case, read my post on Troubleshooting Internet Connection Issues and it should fix your problem.
With careful scanning, most infections can be completely cured. It’s a tedious process that requires some technical work, but it usually gets the job done.
The second method – rescue tablets
In addition to the safe mode method, you must also scan your computer before Windows can even boot. You can do this with a standalone antivirus scanner or a pre-download scanner.
This works in such a way that you have to use another computer to download the ISO image file from an anti-virus company such as Microsoft or Kaspersky and then burn it to disk. You will then boot from that disk instead of the normal Windows installation and run your antivirus software from there.
Since Windows is not running, the infection cannot intervene and you have a much better chance of removing it. In fact, this method is the only way to get rid of a really nasty virus or malware infection with a scan.
I recommend using multiple rescue disks. The first is from Microsoft and is called Windows Defender Offline Read my previous article on using Windows Defender Offline to scan your computer.
Again, as with scanning software, you should try multiple rescue disks to ensure that the virus or malware has been removed. Others that I suggest using:
Kaspersky Rescue Disk Bitdefender Rescue CD Avira Rescue System
Please note that some of them allow you to download the EXE file and install the files to a USB stick, which you can then boot from instead of CD / DVD. As mentioned, this is a bit technical, but all sites have guides on how to create discs and how to use them.
Method 3 – Clean Install
A clean install isn’t fun, but it’s the only guaranteed way to get rid of viruses, spyware, and malware. It’s pretty simple: when you do a clean install, you delete everything on your hard drive. Therefore, there are no more viruses.
Sometimes viruses do not infect objects such as images, text documents, videos, or MP3 files. It’s good that you scan all your personal data and, if you don’t find viruses, copy it to an external drive. This way you can do a clean install and not lose anything important. Obviously, you will have to reinstall all your programs, etc., but sometimes you have no other choice.
Performing a clean install is not at all as difficult as it might seem, it just takes time because you have to wait for Windows to install. Plus, with Windows 8 and Windows 10, this process has become even easier because you no longer need to have an installation CD / DVD.
Read my previous post on how to factory reset Windows (reinstall Windows). This article is for Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
If you’re having trouble using the built-in reset feature in Windows and don’t have your original Windows drive with you, check out my post on how to legally boot Windows and install it on a flash drive.
If you have the original product key, or, in the case of Windows 10, if this is the same computer that previously had Windows 10 installed, you can simply boot from a USB drive and reinstall Windows.
Finally, when your PC is clean and working fine again, check out my post on how to protect yourself from viruses and malware in the future. However, the safest way to protect your computer from viruses is to create a virtual machine and make everything shady in it. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!