How to Get a Virus Off a Computer for Free

By Victoria Ries

Updated September 28, 2017

Viruses not only slow your computer down to a crawl, they steal private information and invade your privacy. Some viruses may destroy your hard drive completely, leaving you with a useless computer. It is possible to remove viruses for free using a choice of free antivirus software. Online virus scans are offered on many websites that will remove viruses and malware for free. Removing the offending virus is also possible by accessing your computer's registry files and deleting the virus manually.

Surf to Avast (see "Additional Resources," below), and download their excellent free Home Edition. You may try this software for up to one year. The software alerts you to viruses and is always running unless you choose to disable any of its processes such as email monitoring. The software is not invasive and automatically updates every few hours, alerting you with an unobtrusive screen in the bottom right-hand corner of your monitor. Avast will rid your computer of viruses and malware after you have downloaded the free software, and will keep your computer virus-free at no cost.

Visit AVG's download page (see "Additional Resources," below) and get rid of your viruses now. The free home-use version can be downloaded immediately and will protect your computer against viruses, spy and adware, and identity theft. This free version is compatible with Windows Vista and Windows XP. A special free version is also available for Linux platforms on the download page.

Go to Trendmicro (see "Additional Resources," below) for a free online virus scan of your computer. Trendmicro scans your computer for viruses, trojans, adware and malware, giving you an option to delete the viruses when the scan has been completed. Thirty-day free trial versions of antivirus software are also available for immediate download: Trend Micro Internet Security Pro; Trend Micro Internet Security; and Trend Micro AntiVirus plus AntiSpyware.

Delete viruses from the registry when you know their complete file information. To gain access to the registry, click "Start," then "Run." In the Open field, type "regedit" and click "OK." The Registry Editor comprises two windows: The left pane enables you to view and edit files, whereas the right window shows the value of the selected file. All the files associated with the virus must be deleted. Some viruses prevent or block access to the registry to ensure their survival; when this is evident, it may be possible to delete infected files by searching for them in the Start menu and simply deleting them when they appear in the search results.

Note that if you know that you have just gotten a virus, do not click on any part of its screen. Instead, shut down you monitor and press your tower's off/on button for four seconds until it shuts itself down. This action shuts down your computer without saving--meaning that the virus has not been saved, either. Shutting down your computer in this fashion occasionally won't affect the performance of your equipment.


Clean your registry regularly; defragment your computer and delete unnecessary files that you don't use to keep your computer running faster.


Avoid Stop Sign--this company gives you a free virus scan and then charges exorbitant prices to download their anti-virus software in order to remove them.