There are many forms of computer threats that fall under the general heading of malware including: spyware, adware, trojans, rootkits, virus, etc. A professionals approach and choice of tools to malware removal will vary with what is encountered. Often several passes are required. You may need professional assistance, however, this procedure is a first step that you can do yourself that in many cases will resolve your PC problem, and it is totally free.
Things You Will NeedDownload two free utilities: MalwareBytes and CleanUp! MalwareBytes is a malware (including spyware) detection and removal tool. CleanUp! is a file cleaning utility.
Make a backup of your files, Email, etc. These should not be affected by the following steps, but it is always better to protect yourself before hand.
It's a good idea to have these utilities available on a USB drive for easy use. Don't try to download them from an infected PC. Pick a stable PC with a good Internet connection and save them to a USB drive for use on the infected PC.
Step 1NOTE: If you can clearly identify the date of the infection, and that date is relatively recent, consider going directly to the last step, step 5 and try a System Restore first. If that doesn't work then you can always come back to step 1 and proceed through the following steps.
Start the infected PC in Safe Mode. For a Windows PC, this involves touching the F8 key, while the PC is beginning to start up, typically with a black screen or with the PC manufacturers logo or splash screen. You must get the computers attention before the Windows operating system begins to load.
Don't hit the F8 key too rapidly, try for a 2 second delay.
Windows will alert you to the fact that it is running in Safe Mode. The display will look different, with bigger icons. This is because Safe Mode does not load many drivers and services to keep the operating environment simpler for testing.
Step 2Install and run CleanUp! This will delete a lot of files, some of which may be contaminated, and it will allow your MalwareBytes program to run faster.
Step 3Install and run MalwareBytes. Delete everything that it finds and offers for fixing.
Step 4Restart your PC in normal mode and rerun MalwareBytes.
Step 5If the malware condition reoccurs, then there may be one more easy solution.
Start the PC in Safe Mode. Then open System Restore. Restore your system to a date that precedes you first experience of malware problems. Perform the System Restore which will involve a restart.
System Restore will probably not be helpful if you've been "living" with the malware condition for a while. If, on the other hand, you can point to, for example, "it all started yesterday morning," then going back a few days may well solve the problem.
System Restore should not affect your data, but you may lose some updates, or freshly installed programs that occurred after your restore date.
Conclusion:These simple steps will often detect and completely clear a malware condition.
If they do not totally cure your PC, it will be cleaner, possibly more usable, and ready for professional assistance, if desired.
Tips & WarningsBackup your files before doing any maintenance to your PC.
Keep a good AntiVirus program installed and updated.
Perform a monthly preventative maintenance procedure to keep your PC clean and healthier.