A computer can catch viruses, or malwares at any moment, especially on machines that are not protected by an anti-malware program. There are few very specific symptoms by which you can judge whether some sort of malicious program has nested in your computer. For example, the reduction in computing speed is one of the very common outcome a virus puts in a computer.
Unwanted pop ups, failure of .dll files, corruption of installed programs, regular files turning into shortcuts and the original getting hidden – these are few symptoms malwares would show when they somehow make way to your computer. If you need to cure your PC of any of these symptoms, following steps are your savior.
- Get into Safe Mode: Safe Mode in Windows is designed to only run the absolutely necessary options in a computer, thus almost none of your third party installations will run in your computer. While this sounds kind of rude, it helps stopping the virus application in your PC, while only the necessary processes run to boot up the computer. Usually, the Safe Mode is entered through pressing the F8 button on any computer, however some manufacturers might define a separate Safe Mode button on a computer. Please check with your manufacturer’s website if F8 doesn’t work. When the Safe Mode screen shows up on screen, select Safe Mode with Networking so that you get internet connectivity.
- Get Rid of Temporary Files: While you are inside Safe Mode, clean the Temporary Files folder inside Windows folder. You could do this manually, or simple use the Disk Cleanup tool. The tool is located inside Accessories> System Tools> Disk Cleanup for most operating systems. However, for Windows 8 and Windows 10 users, using the search bar to open Disk Cleanup will be helpful.
- Use a Third Party Malware Scanner: Booted in safe mode and cleaned the temporary files; now your computer is ready for a malware scanner to be installed. You could have installed a malware cleaner through regular Windows mode and without cleaning the temporary files, but the effectiveness of that installation would have remained in question. Since the virus or malware infection would have remained active in regular mode, the installation of malware scanner might have faced interruption and get corrupted. However, install an on-demand malware scanner for more effective scan of your system.
- Malwarebytes, for example: As described in the previous process, user can get Malwarebytes for an effective scan of the system. It’s an on demand malware scanner, and unlike the real-time protection software Malwarebytes can actually provide with an in-depth scan and generate comprehensive report on the detected malwares on a system. Download Malwarebytes from this link and install as you normally would a software.
Quick scan takes time, depending on the size of your hard drive the duration could vary between 30 and 60 minutes. However, the detection of malwares would be shown in real time and also the action taken against those files.
This procedure intends to help a computer user whose device has been already compromised by a malware. If your computer is still infection free, it’s high time you got yourself a good antivirus program before a malware infection takes place.