Computer viruses can be dangerous and have serious consequences, but there are several ways to get rid of them before serious damage occurs. We will cover the basic tips on virus detection (scan) and cleaning, but you should also consult with an expert for a complete virus cleaning.
If you don’t have an antivirus application installed, then you should install one. Make sure that you only install one antivirus application and it is not recommended to install more than one as this can cause significant problems. Examples of antivirus software are BitDefender, Norton, and Kaspersky.
Detect (scan) viruses
After you make sure that the antivirus is working, then do a scan immediately. If you don’t know how to do this, then check your antivirus documentation. This documentation can usually be found on the antivirus manufacturer’s website. Some antiviruses provide several scan modes and you may want to run a full scan mode (usually called a “full system scan”). This thorough scan may take several hours. You do not have to wait at the computer while the scan is in progress. If no virus or malware is found, but your computer is still having trouble then try other computer troubleshooting techniques or consult a professional.
Check for malware found and recommended countermeasures
Whether the scan is in progress or is finished, the antivirus will notify you of the malware it finds and recommend various countermeasures. Usually, the recommended countermeasures are the best solution. If the antivirus is unable to provide a recommended solution, then you shouldn’t ignore it. Look for references from an internet search or contact professional help. The antivirus manufacturer’s support team can usually help you.
Virus scan results
Your antivirus software may be bundled with anti-malware software. If this is not the case, then you can install an anti-malware application and perform a scan immediately. Anti-malware will likely be able to help find malware that your antivirus didn’t find. Antivirus and anti-malware software have slightly different scan methods but they both work together, so you can apply the same steps in this guide.
If there is no other solution
If it turns out that the virus cannot be cleaned or damage has occurred to an application or your computer’s operating system, it may be necessary to erase the hard drive and reinstall the application or operating system. You can pay for a professional technician to do a reinstallation or you can do it yourself. If you reformat the hard drive it is almost guaranteed that even the most dangerous virus will be removed, but all data on your computer hard drive will be lost. This is why it is so important to back up data regularly before serious computer problems occur. If you move data from the back-up process after reformatting the hard drive, scan the data to make sure it is not infected with a virus.