How to Get Rid of Viruses in Safe Mode

by Amanda Kondolojy

If you suspect your computer has a virus on it, it can be scary. Adding fuel to this fear is the ability of many powerful viruses to inhibit your anti-virus software, thus subverting your computer's only weapon in the fight against malware. However, by using safe mode, you can make sure that your anti-virus software is not tampered with, and you can kill the virus safely.

Reboot your computer, and when your computer's manufacturing logo pops up, press the "F8" button. The computer will boot into safe mode. Note: you will not be able to access the Internet in safe mode, or any third-party programs that are not identified as security software by your operating system.

Launch your anti-virus software and run a virus scan on your "C:" drive. The screen will flicker, and you will see your computer revert to its "Setup" mode. This is normal. A thorough scan can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the size and percentage of free space of your hard drive.

Reboot your computer and allow it to go into normal mode. Your anti-virus software should produce a virus report, detailing what malware was found during the scan in safe mode.


  • check If you do not have any anti-virus software installed on your computer, see the "Resources" section for links to reputable free anti-virus software.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera virus alert image by Pontus Edenberg from