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Virus Removal 101: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

published 10/2/2020

Computers have become essential while working from home, but they are prone to viruses and other forms of malware. If your computer has become infected, you will likely end up with a far more difficult time working, or worse- you may risk having your private information stolen!

How can you protect your computer and remove unwanted viruses from your PC?

Virus removal can be tricky, but there are some ways you can tell if you have a virus. Here are some surefire signs that you've contracted a virus, as well as some ways you can get rid of them.

Symptoms of a Computer Virus

Depending on the type of computer virus your laptop or PC has contracted, you may experience different issues. Here are a few that you may discover while using your computer.

Your Computer is Slower Than Normal

Are your programs opening slowly or are your files refusing to open? If so, you may have contracted a computer virus. Computer viruses tend to take up a lot of space on your computer and drain your processing speed to run. This means that any programs and files you have are going to take a lot more time to open up.

Constant Pop-Ups

While some websites have their own pop-ups built in, too many pop-ups are a clear sign that you have a virus. The links often encourage you to download virus protection software or lead you to another website, only to force you to download an actual virus instead.

If you see any of these mysterious pop-ups, do NOT click on them. Instead, you may want to examine your computer to see if it is already infected.

Mysterious Computer Programs/Icons

Have you noticed a program or file on your computer that you don't recognize? Some viruses are able to sneak their way onto your computer and hide as programs with simple icons to lure you into clicking on them. They may even begin to load on their own and open up on your computer without you interacting with them. If one of these programs start to open, you should turn off your system immediately to avoid it being hacked into.

Website Changes

Viruses are able to change your homepage settings or create browser errors while you're on the Internet. If you've noticed that your homepage has changed or that you're flicking between websites, you likely have a virus.

Disabled Security Software

Even if you have anti-virus software, you can still contract computer viruses. Some viruses can even deactivate your security software and make it unusable.

If you notice that your virus removal software has been disabled and you do not remember disabling it, then you may be infected with malware.

Your Computer Crashes Frequently

The "blue screen of death" is something that most computer users fear. Computer crashes are a clear sign that you may have a virus, so if you suddenly lose access to your computer or struggle to turn your computer on, you should scan for viruses.

Virus Removal Tips

Now that you know some of the signs that your computer is infected, it's time to learn how to remove viruses from your computer. Here are a few steps you can take to get rid of unwanted viruses.

Enter Safe Mode on Your Computer

Safe mode is useful for when you still need to do work on your computer but are worried about viruses. In order to access safe mode, you should first make sure that your computer doesn't have any CDs or USBs plugged in. Once you've removed any external drives from your computer, shut it down.

Restart your computer, then while it's loading, press the F8 key repeatedly. An advanced options menu should open if done right.

Once you're in advanced options, select Safe Mode and hit Enter. While you won't be able to access all of your programs from safe mode, you will at least be able to access your basic programs and files.

Run a Malware Scan

If you are able to run your anti-virus software, then you should do so now. Open up whatever software you use and run a security scan; this will detect any potential threats on your computer. Once the scan is complete, you should have the option to remove any programs your software has deemed a threat.

Delete Unknown Files or Programs

If you are unable to use your malware, or if your antivirus program doesn't detect any issues, you may have to search for threats manually. You can do this by opening up a list of your computer's programs and searching for anything you don't remember downloading.

If you aren't sure about any programs, you may want to hold off on deletion until you are sure that the program isn't meant to be there. To be safe, contact a computer expert for more information.

Contact a Computer Expert

If you are unable to find a solution to your computer problems, or if your computer won't start, you may have to contact someone for assistance. Many tech stores have computer experts who are able to work with your PC and determine the problem, then work toward a solution.

Clean Computer

While computer viruses can be intimidating, computer virus removal doesn't have to be. Use these tips the next time you think your computer may be infected for an easier time with virus removal!

Is your computer displaying concerning signs that you don't know how to fix? Are you worried it may be infected with a virus?

Contact us with any issues you're experiencing and get your computer back to normal today!