How to Get Rid of Viruses & Unwanted Ads

By Ray Padgett

Updated September 15, 2017

Fix your computer and get rid of ads with the Malicious Software Removal Tool.
i computer virus image by Marina Bartel from

Computer viruses can damage your computer in a seemingly limitless variety of ways, from disabling certain system functions to opening doorways that allow hackers access. Certain viruses are known as “adware,” due to their ability to display unwanted ads all over your computer. If such ads are appearing, you likely have adware installed on your computer. If you’re experiencing other problems, you may have additional viruses as well. Microsoft includes a tool with Windows to fix both these problems.

Load Microsoft’s “Malicious Software Removal Tool.” To do so, open your desktop's Start menu and click the dialogue labeled “Run.” Type “MRT” when the Run dialogue opens and then hit ENTER. If this tool seems to be missing or the virus has disabled it, you can obtain another copy for free from the link in Resources.

Click on the button labeled “Next.”

Select the option labeled “Full Scan.” While this takes a little longer than the “Quick Scan” default, it offers a better chance of finding all the adware and viruses.

Click on the button labeled “Next.” Wait for the tool to finish scanning the infected hard drive.

Follow the onscreen prompts to remove all the viruses, adware and other malicious software the tool uncovers.

Click on the button labeled “Finish.”

Restart your PC.


If a virus prevents your computer from booting properly, start your PC in Safe Mode by hitting the F8 key repeatedly as it starts up.