How to Get Rid of a Worm or Virus on Your Computer
By Ticara Gailliard
If your computer is connected to the Internet, there is a good chance that it will, at some point, come into contact with a computer virus. Viruses are bits of malware designed to essentially disable your computer and spread the virus beyond your computer. If your computer becomes infected, it may be frustrating, but there are ways to remove the infection from your computer. That way, you can get back to using your computer as normal.
Run your antivirus software. Update the software so it has the latest virus information, then perform a full system scan. Performing a scan will detect any viruses you have.
Allow the antivirus software to remove any virus it finds. Some antivirus programs require permission or approval for virus removal. Give your machine the OK to remove the threat or threats. You may have to restart your computer for complete removal.
Set up your antivirus software for real-time protection. Real-time protection allows for immediate detection of viruses and can remove the virus before any serious damage occurs. If your software doesn't offer real time protection, make sure it is set to do daily scans.
Download the Autoruns program from Sysinternals. Once the download is complete, extract it to C:\Autoruns. Reboot your computer in safe mode. You can do this by running "msconfig" and selecting "Safe Mode" from the boot menu, then restarting, or by restarting your computer and hitting "F8" repeatedly, then selecting "Safe Mode" from the advanced menu that pops up.
Navigate to the Autoruns folder you created, then double-click "autoruns.exe." Click "Options" once it loads, then select the options "Include Empty Locations," "Verify Code Signatures" and "Hide Signed Microsoft Entries."
Press "F5" to refresh the start-up list. This will show you a list of entries on your computer that may be malware. Check the Image Path list for the filename of the virus. It is important to note that the virus may rename itself similarly to other Microsoft files, so be careful what you delete. The virus may also have more than one file due to replication. When you find the virus, delete that entry or entries by right-clicking and selecting "Delete"
Navigate to the location in which the virus file was found. Delete the file from this location by right-clicking and selecting "Delete." If the file is hidden, unhide your system files. Restart your computer in normal mode.
- If your computer does not have an antivirus protection program, you should look into installing one. Microsoft offers a free antivirus download in the form of Windows Defender, and many other antivirus companies offer free versions of their software.
Ticara Gailliard is a college graduate with a degree in communications/film and video production from the University of Memphis. She has been a writer for over 15 years and has been published in local writing magazines such as "Grandmother Earth." She also edited two books for her high school.