Malware is a malicious program which can cause performance issues and other havoc if a device is infected. Malware is a large category including a number of infections such as spyware, Trojans, viruses, and worms. Here is a quick guide to how you can remove malware from an infected machine.
Start the machine in safe mode
Disconnect the device from the internet, and avoid using it until you have cleaned the device. This would prevent the virus from spreading into your data logs and compromising it. Start the machine in safe mode if your operating system is Windows. Safe mode allows only necessary programs to be executed, so malware may be prevented from loading, which would make removal somewhat easier.
Notice the speed; if it’s faster, then it’s a sign that the device may be infected.
Delete temporary files
Delete all temporary files so that you can free up disk space, and increase speed. In some cases, this may remove some malware as well. You can use the Disk Cleanup utility if you have a Windows-operated machine.
Download a malware scanner
Time to run a malware scanner which should remove most of the standard infections. If you already have an antivirus program installed, download a different one, because the installed probably failed to detect malware. And by the way, bear in mind that no antivirus software can detect and remove 100% malware; it exists in too many variants and types.
An antivirus program is of two main types: a real-time program that runs in the background and an on-demand scanner that inspects your device only when you execute the program, and specify a scan. While you should only have single real-time antivirus software installed, you can have multiple on-demand scanners at the same time. Even if one of them misses to detect, maybe the other can do the job.
So, run an on-demand scanner; if it disappears during the scan and you can’t reopen it, then you probably have a deep infection that killed the scanner itself. The best way to deal with it is to re-install your operating system after you have backed up your files.
Once the scan is completed, you’ll be shown the results. If results are fine, use another on-demand scanner or run a custom scan. If an infection is found, then the software would ask you of a suitable action; select remove an infection. You may have to restart the machine when done.
If the scanner doesn’t find any infections, try another one, and then run your real-time antivirus program as well, just to be sure.
Fix the browser
Generally, malware can damage system files, and often modify the browser’s homepage. Prior to running your browser, go through connection settings and check the homepage URL. Make sure it is set to a suitable website or blank page. If not, you can change the URL.
If the on-demand scanner fails to remove malware, you may have to reinstall windows. Backup files before you do.
Still suspicious that the device is infected? Get it inspected by a professional IT company.