General Question

KRD's avatar

How can I get rid of a computer virus on my own?

Asked by KRD (5259points) December 14th, 2023
7 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

I don’t have a virus but in case I get one how can I get rid of it on my own? I don’t want to call someone.

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Lightlyseared's avatar

Have a regular backup of your important files that is kept separate from your PC. Bonus points if you are backed up twice to two separate places.

That way if you do get a virus you can format everything and reinstall the operating system without a second thought. Virus gone. PC as good as new

elbanditoroso's avatar

Download one of the free antivirus softwares (Avira, Komodo, AVG, it doesn’t matter).

Install it
Run it – they’ll identify and remove the virus

Then keep it or uninstall the program, your choice.

smudges's avatar

It’s a good idea to have one installed. It will likely catch any viruses. The ones mentioned above are all good. I use Bitdefender and am happy with it. I pay $60/year but there are good free ones out there. I figure it’s a good investment and can’t imagine running a computer without an anti-virus program.

Entropy's avatar

Short version – it depends.

If it’s a well-known virus, having a virus software like AVG or Avast or any number of others will detect it, probably prevent it from installing in the first place, and clean it up for you. At most you may have to run a full scan if it snuck through.

Back in the day, a novel virus might force you to do things to uninstall it that could range from as simple as deleting a file, removing a registry entry, removing it from the start list, or whatever. But the really smart ones would replace system files that were real and rather than doing anything overt, would use that to then install the part of the virus doing the deed. I had one of them (see your other question).

But all of this is MUCH less common than Ye Olde Days. We’re in the era where viruses and cyberattacks are less likely to be bored teens and young-adults and more likely to be organized money-making operations in Russia, North Korea, China and other places that don’t give a f—- about playing by the rules.

They are far less likely to be interested in a private citizen because you’re unprofitable. A company is profitable. Their LIST of credit cards is profitable. You’re small potatoes. That and..modern systems are getting a bit more secure. Microsoft has closed some of it’s most gaping security holes in the last decade after decades of stubbornly refusing to do so. It’s not that it’s impenetrable, but it’s good enough now that you’re no longer the complete sitting duck you used to be.

SnipSnip's avatar

Do a boot scan to find it, then isolate or delete it. There are instructions.

KRD's avatar

@smudges does Bitdefender remove viruses on its own?

smudges's avatar

I believe so. It’s never asked me to remove one or shown that I have one. If you don’t want to spend money for one, AVG is very good as is Komodo. I’ve used AVG in the past.

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