Malware is any malicious software that is programmed to affect computer operation. For that reason, it is essential to scan your computer for malware programs that may be running on it, before you proceed to troubleshoot your computer for hardware or software problems you may be experiencing like Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) errors, Unrecognized devices, DLL file errors, installation or uninstall problems, unresponsive system, etc.
Use this guide to scan and clean your computer for Malware, before you try to resolve any problem that you face on your computer. For heavy infected computers follow the virus removal steps from this article: Full Malware Scan & Removal Guide to Clean Heavy Infected Computers.
ATTENTION: All the Anti-Malware programs and removal tools that suggested in this guide are totally FREE.
Notice: If you cannot download any of the bellow suggested programs on the infected computer, then you can download them from another clean computer and transfer them (e.g. by using a USB flash disk) on the infected computer.
How to easily check your computer for Viruses, Trojans, Rootkits, etc.) for FREE
Step 1. Start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking.
In order to check your computer for possible Malware programs running on it, it is better to start your computer in Safe mode with network support. To do that:
Windows 7, Vista & XP users:
- Close all programs and reboot your computer.
- Press the "F8" key as your computer is booting up, before the appearance of the Windows logo.
- When the "Windows Advanced Options Menu" appears on your screen, use your keyboard arrows keys to highlight the “Safe Mode with Networking” option and then press "ENTER".
Windows 8 & 8.1 users:
- Press “Windows” + “R” keys to load the Run dialog box.
- Type “msconfig” and press Enter.
- Click the Boot tab and check “Safe Boot” & “Network”.
- Click “OK” and restart your computer.
Note: In order to boot Windows in “Normal Mode” again, you have to uncheck the “Safe Boot” setting by using the same procedure.
Step 2. Check for & terminate possible malicious processes with RogueKiller.
1. Download and save RogueKiller utility on your computer'* (e.g. your Desktop). RogueKiller is an anti-malware program written in C++ and is able to detect, stop & remove generic malwares and some advanced threats such as rootkits, rogues, worms, etc.
Notice*: Download version x86 or X64 according to your operating system's version. To find your operating system's version, "Right Click" on your computer icon, choose "Properties" and look at "System Type" section.
2. Double Click to run RogueKiller.
3. Let the prescan to complete and then press on "Scan" button to perform a full scan.
3. When the full scan is completed, select all items found in 'Registry' & "Web Browsers" tabs and then press the "Delete" button to remove them.
(If asked, press Yes to reboot your computer and reboot again in "Safe Mode with Networking")
Step 3: Remove Adware programs with AdwCleaner.
1. Download and save AdwCleaner utility to your desktop. AdwCleaner is a powerful utility to clean all the Adware, Toolbars, PUP & Hijacker programs from your computer.
2. Close all open programs and Double Click to open ”AdwCleaner” from your desktop.
3. After accepting the “License Agreement”, press the “Scan” button.
4. When the scan is completed, press “Clean” to remove all the unwanted malicious entries.
4. Press “OK” at “AdwCleaner – Information” and press “OK” again to restart your computer.
Step 4: Remove Junkware & Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUP) with JRT.
1. Download and run JRT – Junkware Removal Tool. JRT is a security utility that searches for and removes common adware, toolbars, and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) from your computer.
2. Press any key to start scanning your computer with “JRT – Junkware Removal Tool”.
3. Be patient until JRT scans and cleans your system.
4. Close JRT log file and and then reboot your computer.
Step 5. Remove Malware with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free.
Download and install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware one of the most reliable FREE anti malware programs today to clean your computer from remaining malicious threats. If you want to stay constantly protected from malware threats, existing and future ones, we recommend that you install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium:
Quick download & Installation instructions:
- After you click the above link, press at the “Start My Free 14-Trial” option to start your download.
- To install the FREE version of this amazing product, uncheck the “Enable free Trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium” option at the last installation screen.
Scan & Clean your computer with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
1. Run "Malwarebytes Anti-Malware" and allow the program to update to its latest version and malicious database if needed.
2. When the update process is completed, press the “Scan Now” button to start scanning your system for malware and unwanted programs.
3. Now wait until Malwarebytes Anti-Malware finishes scanning your computer for malware.
4. When the scan has completed, press the “Quarantine All” (Remove Selected) button to remove all threats found.
5. Wait until Malwarebytes Anti-Malware removes all infections from your system and then restart your computer (if required from the program) to completely remove all active threats.
Step 6. Scan and Remove Viruses with your Antivirus Program.
Open your Antivirus program and perform a full scan for viruses on your computer. *
* Suggestion: Before scanning your system with your antivirus program, download and run the ESET Online Scanner, (Standalone Virus Removal Utility) to clean your computer from threats.
- Related article: Best Free Antivirus Programs for Home use.