The definition of malware viruses refers to malicious software that is usually created to carry out criminal acts. Malware is commonly used by cybercriminals to steal data, cause havoc, and damage devices. The stolen data can be in the form of credit card data, health records, personal emails and passwords, personal identities, even mining Bitcoin or other crypto currencies.
How to get rid of malware viruses quickly? Maybe you’ll ask someone more tech-savvy how to remove malware or you’ll try cleaning your PC yourself or using antivirus software.
The signs that you should pay attention to are if your PC starts to slow down, crashes frequently, pop-ups appear randomly in the browser, or the appearance of strange applications that start operating automatically.
All the signs mentioned above indicate that your computer is infected with a malware virus. Then, what should you do now?
In this article, you will be guided step by step to quickly remove malware viruses and return your PC to normal condition.
Know the Types of Malware Viruses
It is important for you to know the type of malware virus. It is because to get rid of malware, you first need to know the type, behavior, and specifications of the malware that is infecting your PC.
The following is a list of types of Malware that you need to know:
Viruses are malicious software that are usually attached to documents or files. Once downloaded, the virus will not be active until the document or file that has been infected with the virus is opened and used by the user.
Viruses are designed to interfere with system operation on the user’s device. As a result, viruses can cause significant operational problems and users can lose data.
You can detect malicious viruses using one of McAfee vs Norton which is the best antivirus software.
Worm-type malware can replicate itself and spread independently to other devices. Worms usually enter the system via a network connection or from a downloaded file.
Unlike the virus, once entered, the worm can work and reproduce itself without requiring any activation or human intervention. This type of malware can also directly spread throughout the network or through an internet connection.
This type of malware usually disguises itself as a harmless application, thereby deceiving users. But once the user downloads and uses it, the Trojan can then spy on and steal sensitive data on the user’s device.
In addition, due to its stealth nature, Trojans can also open backdoor access to the user’s device system and do various things such as delete, block, modify, and copy data, as well as interfere with computer performance. Unlike viruses and worms, Trojans are not designed to reproduce themselves.
As the name implies, this type of malware is designed to enter the device, collect device user data, and send it to third parties without the user’s consent. Spyware is usually implanted on a device without the user’s explicit knowledge.
This type of malware can log all forms of activity on the device, from personal information to internet browsing details such as passwords, credit card numbers and surfing habits.
Different from others, this type of malware is usually used by cybercriminals to threaten and demand ransom from the user of the device.
Ransomware is a criminal money-making scheme that can be installed via deceptive links in emails, instant messages, or websites. It has the ability to lock the computer screen or encrypt important files predefined with a password.
Adware usually displays flashing ads or pop-up windows when the user performs certain actions.
While not necessarily dangerous, aggressive adware can compromise device security, for example helping to deliver malware which often includes spyware. Adware is more invasive and annoying when it appears on a user’s device.
A botnet is a network of hijacked computer equipment that is then used to carry out various frauds and cyberattacks. The term “botnet” comes from the words “robot” and “network”. Botnet assembly is usually the infiltration stage of a multi-layer scheme. Bots serve as tools to automate mass attacks, such as data theft, server crashes, and malware distribution. Botnets use your device to deceive others or cause interference, without the user’s consent.
Once you know the types of malware, you are now ready to take steps to quickly remove malware. Let’s look at 7 effective ways below:
- Scan for Malware Through Safe Mode
Before you do anything, you need to disconnect your PC from the internet, and don’t use it until you are ready to remove malware from your PC. This can help prevent malware from spreading or leaking your personal data.
If you think your PC is infected with malware, boot your PC into “Safe Mode” which will only load the minimum necessary programs and services.
When Windows starts and there is malware loading automatically then this Safe Mode can prevent it, this is your chance to remove or get rid of malware quickly.
Your PC should run faster in Safe Mode, but if it runs slowly then this could be a sign that your PC system has been infected with malware.
- Remove Malware Using Windows Defender
Every PC running Windows has at least one application that is tasked with protecting the system from malware infections. This application is Windows Defender.
However, sometimes, malware can outsmart Windows Defender by hiding inside Windows while the operating system is running. To get rid of this sneaky malware, you need to set Windows Defender in offline mode.
Here are the steps you should take to get rid of the malware with the help of Windows Defender.
- Type settings in the Windows search box and click on the Settings app which should be the first search result.
- Click the Update & Security application and then click the Windows Defender item in the navigation window.
- Scroll down the page until you reach the Windows Defender Offline section.
- Click the Scan Offline button to start the process and your PC will restart automatically. Make sure you have saved all work and close all open applications.
Windows will indeed restart, but not directly into the operating system. Instead, Windows Defender will scan your system for malware. If any malware is found, you will be asked if you want to remove it. Click the Yes option.
- Remove Malware with Antivirus Software
Below is how to remove malware with antivirus software such as Norton 360 Deluxe:
- Run the on-demand scanner first, followed by the real-time scanner on your PC. One of them should be able to identify the virus and remove it.
- Another alternative is to manually remove the virus if necessary.
Remember that you should only remove viruses manually if you are experienced with the Windows Registry and know how to view and delete system files and programs.
- Remove Malware by Reinstalling System
Sometimes the only way to make sure your computer is free of malware is to completely reinstall your operating system and applications or programs from scratch.
Before wiping the hard drive, backup all your files to an external drive. Here’s how to wipe your startup disk before reinstalling the operating system.
- Reinstall MacOS
Restart the Mac and hold down Command-R after the startup sound – Choose Disk Utility – Erase.
- Reinstall Windows
Follow the factory preset return options. Windows provides the option to keep the files or delete them all.
Select the Start button – Settings – Settings & Security – Recovery – Reset This PC – Get Started – Remove Everything.
- Clear Browser Cache
Try to clear your browser cache. The browser cache is a temporary storage location on your computer where data is stored, so your browser doesn’t have to download it every time.
Follow the steps below to learn how to clear cache for Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer.
- Chrome (for Windows and Mac):
History – Clear Browsing Data – Time Range – All Time – Clear Data.
- Safari (for Mac):
Select Safari – Preferences – Privacy – Manage Website Data – Remove All.
- Internet Explorer (for Windows):
Select Tools – Safety – Delete Browsing History.
- Uninstall Unknown Software
Unknown software or commonly known as PUP (Potentially Unwanted Programs) usually enters your computer through freeware software that has been included in the installation of this type of software.
This unknown software is also included in a special installer on many download sites. To remove or uninstall unknown software, you can follow these steps:
- Uninstall malicious software from the operating system.
- Use Malwarebytes to remove unknown software.
- Use the malware removal tool to scan for malware and unknown software.
- Double check for malware with an antimalware tool.
- Reset browser settings to their original defaults.
Delete Temporary Files
If previously your PC was in Safe Mode, now is the time for you to run a virus scan. But before doing that you have to delete the temporary files first.
This can speed up virus scanning, free up disk space, and even remove some malware.
To use the Disk Cleanup utility included with Windows, you can simply type Disk Cleanup in the search box or after pressing the Start button, select a tool called Disk Cleanup.