To remove a computer virus, disconnect the Internet, start the computer in safe mode, delete all temporary files and run a malware scanner. Before launching a browser window, adjust the browser's settings in the Control Panel.
If a computer virus slips through the system's antivirus program, run through the following steps to remove it from Windows.
- Disconnect the Internet
- Boot the computer in safe mode
- Clear temporary files
- Run a malware scanner
- Adjust browser settings
- Reinstall Windows (optional)
Disconnecting the computer from the Internet helps contain the problem.
Safe mode is a startup mode that runs minimal programs, which may prevent the malware from running. Start the computer in safe mode by pressing the F8 key repeatedly as the computer starts. Select "Safe Mode with Networking" from the advanced options that pop up on the screen.
Clearing temporary files frees up disk space, which makes virus scanning faster. It may also delete some virus files in the process. Delete temporary files using the Disk Cleanup utility in Windows.
Briefly reconnect the Internet to access scan and removal software. Download and run a malware scanner such as Microsoft Safety Scanner, Malwarebytes, BitDefender Free Edition or Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool. Once the program is open, follow any prompts that pop up on the screen to scan and remove the virus.
Some viruses adjust browser settings in an attempt to load the virus back onto the computer. To prevent this from happening, go into Internet Options in Control Panel and check the home page settings. Then, click the Connections tab and set the LAN settings to automatically detect settings.
If the malware scanner fails to remove the virus, back up important files and reinstall Windows.