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Getting malware on your Windows 10 device, however unlikely it may seem, is still possible these days. Every day, new malware is being created, and the number of potential threats to your device and information is increasing rapidly. A single erroneous click could infect your PC with a virus, leading to the compromise of your files and security.
It is crucial to detect and eliminate malware from your device as early as possible. The longer the malware stays on your device, the greater the harm it can cause. Fortunately, there are numerous malware removal tools available that can help combat virus infections. Although removing malicious software is feasible, the process may not always be straightforward. Hence, in this article, we will identify how to detect and remove malware from your Windows 10 device.
Security tip – The easiest way to guard your Windows 10 device against malware is to use antivirus software. Windows Defender can provide good protection against most malicious programs so make sure it’s up to date!
What is Malware
Malware, or malicious software, is a type of software specifically created and designed to cause harm. There are many types of malware with varying degrees of maliciousness. The most prominent ones are ransomware, spyware, adware, rootkits, bootkits, and bots.
All of these malware types work a little differently and may be designed for seemingly different purposes. But the general intent of malware creators is to steal data, compromise files, get money, and simply cause harm to individuals or organizations.
How do I know Malware is on my system
Malware that’s infected your computer is not always easily detectable and can be very subtly running in the background. Though some types of malware, like adware or ransomware, are easier to spot. If you suspect that your Windows 10 device got infected with malware, check for these signs:
- Ads pop up in unexpected places, frequently.
- You’ll see a ransom message in case of ransomware infection.
- Device is running slower than usual.
- Device is consuming more power than necessary.
- Your device is behaving strangely, such as installing programs without your consent, even after rebooting it.
How to remove malware from Windows 10
Dealing with malware infection on your device can be a daunting experience, and the prospect of removing it may appear overwhelming. However, despite the complexity involved, eliminating malware from your device is entirely feasible. In this regard, to assist you, we have prepared a detailed and user-friendly guide on the step-by-step process of removing malware from your Windows 10 device.
Step 1. Disconnect from the internet
The first step to take when you want to remove malware from your computer is disconnecting from the internet and turning off your router. That way, hackers won’t be able to continue stealing your data.
Disconnecting from the internet doesn’t necessarily solve the core of the problem. Continue following the next steps to completely remove malware from your Windows 10 device.
Step 2. Switch to Safe Mode
This will in turn make for easier malware removal. In Safe Mode, your device will allow main software and programs to load but will not permit background services or applications to start up. Malware regularly activates automatically so Safe Mode is useful in preventing that. Safe Mode will make it far easier to delete files, run scans, and fully remove malware. Many 3rd party Anti-malware software will prompt to go into Safe Mode as it is more reliable way of permanently displacing malware.
Use the article How to Access Safe Mode
Step 3. Delete temporary files
Illegitimate software writers make a habit of assigning malware to temporary folders as that is where most new software sits and is less likely to raise a red flag. Generally end-users ignore these folders when running manual scans; occasionally Antivirus/Anti-malware software will overlook it as well. The below will walk you through the process of removing all files and folders:
- Press Windows + R key combination. It’ll open the RUN window.
- In the pop-up window, type in “%temp%” and click “OK”.
- The temporary file folder will open. Delete all files and folders that are in this destination.
- Right-click on your Recycle bin. Press “Empty Recycle Bin”.
Step 4. Reinstall your browser
Some types of malware can make changes to your default browser. To infect your computer again once you connect to the internet, malware changes the default homepage to a malicious one and installs unsafe extensions.
However, you can get ahead of this by uninstalling your browser. Remove the browser in the “Uninstall a program” option under Programs of Windows Control panel and. Reinstall the browser once you connect to the internet again.
Step 5. Run a malware scan
While you can remove malware manually, it’s not always possible to keep up with everything that gets into your computer. If you get a quality antivirus/anti-malware, you can be sure you’ll be protected in real-time, all the time. The process of removing malware with an antivirus/anti-malware is extremely simple:
- Get an antivirus/anti-malware software of your choice.
- Run a scan.
- After the scan is done, follow the recommendations of the antivirus.
- That’s it! Hopefully you’ve removed malware from your device.
We highly recommend Windows Defender. It is free, built in, updated hourly, and is very capable. Check out our Windows Defender article for more details.
As it should now be clear, malware can cause serious security problems. It is dangerous while roaming free in the wilds of the internet, and even more so when it’s gotten into your device. It can encrypt your files, enlist your device into a botnet or simply scour your device for information to steal and corrupt.
And even though your Windows 10 device comes with a default Windows Defender software, it may not be enough, especially if your device got infected. Fortunately, it is feasible to remove malware from Windows 10, either manually or by utilizing a reliable antivirus program.
In addition, taking preventative measures to safeguard your computer is essential for your peace of mind. Regardless of whether you have had previous experiences dealing with malware or not, installing antivirus software and adhering to general security practices is highly recommended.
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