How to Remove a Virus From Prefetch

By Ray Padgett

A virus-free prefetch folder is crucial to proper start up.
i virus image by DAN from

The prefetch folder is a feature of Windows that logs certain aspects of your computer's booting process, making common start-up applications and tools easily accessible for a faster boot time. If a virus infects the folder though, it can slow down the process or block your computer from starting altogether. If this seems like it might be your situation, you can remove the virus using a tool already on your computer.

Start your computer in Safe Mode by clicking the F8 key on your keyboard repeatedly as you start it. This will bypass the infected prefetch folder, allowing a basic boot.

Run the "Malware Removal Tool," a tool that comes installed with every version of Windows since Windows 2000. Select "Run" from the Start menu at lower left corner of your screen. Type in "MRT" (without quotes) when the text box loads and then click the "Enter" key. If you encounter problems, download the latest version of the MRT for free from Microsoft Support; a link is provided in the Resources section.

Click once on the "Next" button.

Click once on the "Full Scan" selection. The "Full Scan" offers the greatest chance of successfully removing a virus from prefetch.

Click once on the "Next" button to begin scanning.

Follow the instructions that appear onscreen to remove the prefetch virus.

Click once on the "Finish" button.

Restart your computer.