If your Windows computer is being redirected to unwanted sites, advertisements are popping up while you browse the Internet, or a message saying a virus was detected, then it is possible that you have malware installed on your computer.
This is for Windows 7 through 10, also applies to Macs and mobile devices. The wording in this post is for Windows 10
Malware refers to any type of malicious software that tries to infect a computer or mobile device. Hackers use malware for any number of reasons such as, extracting personal information or passwords, stealing money or preventing owners from accessing their device.
Malware includes computer viruses, ransomware, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, keyloggers, dialers, spyware, adware, malicious BHOs, rogue security software and other malicious programs. The majority of malware threats are usually worms or trojans rather than viruses.
Following are some examples of an infected PC:
- Your web browser (e.g., Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome) freezes, hangs or is unresponsive
- You get redirected to web pages other than the one you intended to go to
- You receive numerous web-browser popup messages
- Strange or unexpected toolbars appear at the top of your web browser
- Your computer runs slower than usual
- Your computer freezes, hangs or is unresponsive
- Your computer restarts by itself (but not a restart caused by Windows Updates)
- You see unusual error messages (e.g., messages saying there are missing or corrupt files folders)
For several months, I had malware that crashed my PC on a daily basis. I read lots of help articles and followed its advice. I soon came to realize that no one piece of software will remove the malware. In my case, the virus would attach itself to a Dell executable (exe) file. I located the suspected file and renamed it, no luck here. So, I deleted the file; the suspected file would recreate itself with the virus attached. I did a scan of the Registry to find the infected file, it was not found. What the heck is going on? Then I came across an in-depth article on removing malware. In summary, to remove the malware, perform the following:
Restart your machine and stop all running programs
Download, install and run the following programs one at a time in order as shown below. There is a free or trial version for each software. Do not install any third-party tools associated with the installs. The softare title and links are as follows:
Now, restart your machine. The malware should be eliminated. Since this is a one-time removal, uninstall each program. If left installed and active, they will interfere with each other and cause other problems.
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