How to Check for a Virus on My Computer

By Michelle Varsallona

Use an antivirus program to check for viruses on your computer.
i anti-virus pill image by patrimonio designs from

If you notice you have been getting a lot of errors on your computer lately, or maybe your computer has been running slower than normal, you may need to check your computer for viruses. The only way you can effectively scan and rid your computer of viruses and other malware is to use an antivirus program. Antivirus programs will scan every file on your computer, recognize any suspicious files and quarantine them so they cannot harm your computer.

Install an antivirus program. You can be well protected by purchasing a full program online or from a local electronic store. These typically come with identity protection, Internet security, firewall, antispyware and more. You can also choose to download a free antivirus program. Popular programs are ETrust and AVG Free. You will get basic protection from these.

Update your program. On the home screen of the program should be an update button. This will update your virus library to ensure that the program catches all current viruses and malware.

Run a scan. Scan the main hard drive for viruses and warnings. If you have the option between a full scan and a quick scan, choose the full scan. It will take longer, but it will cover every nook and cranny in your hard drive. The scan may take 15 minutes, 30 minutes, sometimes up to one hour; it depends on your computer and the program you are using.

View the list of detected viruses and threats. Most antivirus programs will automatically quarantine the viruses. If yours does not, you can manually quarantine it or delete it by using the program.