Malware, short for malicious (or malevolent) software, is software used or programmed by attackers to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. It can appear in the form of code, scripts, active content, and other software. ‘Malware’ is a general term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software.
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 active malware threats are usually worms or trojans rather than viruses.
It’s not always easy to tell if your computer was compromised or not,because these days cybercriminals are going to great lengths to hide their code and conceal what their programs are doing on an infected computer.
It’s very difficult to provide a list of characteristic symptoms of a infected computer because the same symptoms can also be caused by hardware incompatibilities or system instability,however here are just a few examples that may suggest that your PC has been compromised :
- You may receive the error “Internet Explorer could not display the page” when attempting to access certain websites
- Your web browser (e.g., Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome) freezes, hangs or is unresponsive
- Your web browser’s default homepage is changed
- Access to security related websites is blocked
- 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
- There are new icons on your desktop that you do not recognize
- 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)
- You are unable to access the Control Panel, Task Manager, Registry Editor or Command Prompt.
This article is a comprehensive guide, which will remove most of malware infections that may reside on your computer. And if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, then we strongly advise you follow this guide to check and remove any infection that you might have on your computer.
How to easily clean an infected computer (Malware Removal Guide)
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.
To remove malware from Windows, follow these steps:
- STEP 1: Scan your computer with Kaspersky TDSSkiller
- STEP 2: Use Rkill to stop the malicious process
- STEP 3: Scan your computer with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
- STEP 4: Scan your computer with HitmanPro
- STEP 5: Scan your computer with Zemana AntiMalware Free
- (OPTIONAL) STEP 6: Scan your computer with Malwarebytes AdwCleaner
- (OPTIONAL) STEP 7: Reset your browser to default settings
We recommend that you first try to run the below scans while your computer is in Normal mode, and only if you are experiencing issues, should you try to start the computer in Safe Mode with Networking.
To start your computer Start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, you can follow the below steps:
- Remove all floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs from your computer, and then restart your computer.
- If you are using Windows XP, Vista or 7 press and hold the F8 key as your computer restarts.Please keep in mind that you need to press the F8 key before the Windows start-up logo appears.
Note: With some computers, if you press and hold a key as the computer is booting you will get a stuck key message. If this occurs, instead of pressing and holding the “F8 key”, tap the “F8 key” continuously until you get the Advanced Boot Options screen.If you are using Windows 8, press the Windows key + C, and then click Settings. Click Power, hold down Shift on your keyboard and click Restart, then click on Troubleshoot and select Advanced options.
- In the Advanced Options screen, select Startup Settings, then click on Restart.
- If you are using Windows XP, Vista or 7 in the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode with Networking , and then press ENTER.
If you are using Windows 8, press 5 on your keyboard to Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
Windows will start in Safe Mode with Networking.
STEP 1: Scan your computer with Kaspersky TDSSKiller
In this first step, we will run a system scan with Kaspersky TDSSKIller to remove any malicious software that might be installed on your system.
- Please download the latest official version of Kaspersky TDSSKiller.
KASPERSKY TDSSKILLER DOWNLOAD LINK(This link will open a new web page from where you can download “Kaspersky TDSSKiller”.)
- Double-click on tdsskiller.exe to open this utility, then click on Change Parameters.
- In the new open window,we will need to enable Detect TDLFS file system, then click on OK.
- Next,we will need to start a scan with Kaspersky, so you’ll need to press the Start Scan button.
- Kaspersky TDSSKiller will now scan your computer for malware.
- When the scan has finished it will display a result screen stating whether or not the infection was found on your computer. If it was found it will display a screen similar to the one below.
- To remove the infection simply click on the Continue button and TDSSKiller will attempt to clean the infection.A reboot will be require to completely remove any infection from your system.
STEP 2: Use Rkill to stop the malicious process
RKill is a program that will attempt to terminate all malicious processes associated with this infection, so that we will be able to perform the next step without being interrupted by this malicious software.
- You can download Rkill from the below link.
RKILL DOWNLOAD LINK (his link will open a new web page from where you can download “RKill”)
- Double click on Rkill program to stop the malicious programs from running.
- RKill will now start working in the background, please be patient while this utiltiy looks for malicious process and tries to end them.
- When the Rkill tool has completed its task, it will generate a log. Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.
STEP 3: Scan your computer Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free uses industry-leading technology to detect and remove all traces of malware, including worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware, and more.
It is important to note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware works well and should run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.
- You can download download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the below link.
MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware”)
- Once downloaded, close all programs, then double-click on the icon on your desktop named “mbam-setup” to start the installation of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
- When the installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.
To install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.
- Once installed, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will automatically start and will update the antivirus database. To start a system scan you can click on the “Scan Now” button.
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for malware. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is scanning it will look like the image below.
- When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes Anti-malware has found, click on the “Remove Selected” button.
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now quarantine all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. When removing the files, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot your computer, please allow it to do so.
After your computer will restart, you should open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and perform another scan to verify that there are no remaining threats
STEP 4: Scan your computer with HitmanPro
HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner, designed to rescue your computer from malware (viruses, trojans, rootkits, etc.) that have infected your computer despite all the security measures you have taken (such as anti virus software, firewalls, etc.). HitmanPro is designed to work alongside existing security programs without any conflicts. It scans the computer quickly (less than 5 minutes) and does not slow down the computer.
- You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “HitmanPro”)
- Double-click on the file named “HitmanPro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “HitmanPro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows).
Click on the “Next” button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.
- HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malware.
- When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the “Next” button, to remove malware.
- Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
STEP 5: Scan your computer with Zemana AntiMalware Free
Zemana AntiMalware Free is a second opinion malware scanner which can detect malicious programs that your antivirus has failed to find.
- You can download Zemana AntiMalware Free from the below link:
ZEMANA ANTIMALWARE FREE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will start the download of “Zemana AntiMalware Free”)
- Double-click on the file named “Zemana.AntiMalware.Portable” to perform a system scan with Zemana AntiMalware Free.
You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this program. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to allow Zemana AntiMalware to run.
- When Zemana AntiMalware will start, click on the “Scan” button to perform a system scan.
- Zemana AntiMalware will now scan computer for malicious programs. This process can take up to 10 minutes.
- When Zemana has finished finished scanning it will show a screen that displays any malware that has been detected. To remove all the malicious files, click on the “Next” button.
Zemana AntiMalware will now start to remove all the malicious programs from your computer. When the process is complete, you can close Zemana AntiMalware and continue with the rest of the instructions.
STEP 6: Scan your computer with Malwarebytes AdwCleaner
This step should be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.
- You can download Malwarebytes AdwCleaner from the below link.
MALWAREBYTES ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will start the download of “Malwarebytes AdwCleaner” on your computer)
- Before starting Malwarebytes AdwCleaner, close your web browser, then double-click on the Malwarebytes AdwCleaner icon.
If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run Malwarebytes AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
- When the Malwarebytes AdwCleaner program will open, click on the “Scan” button as shown below.
Malwarebytes AdwCleaner will now start to search for adware and other malicious programs.
- To remove the malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the “Clean” button.
- Malwarebytes AdwCleaner will prompt you to save any open files or documents, as the program will need to reboot the computer to complete the cleaning process. Please do so, and then click on the “OK” button.
When your computer reboots and you are logged in, Malwarebytes AdwCleaner will automatically open a log file that contains the files, registry keys, and programs that were removed from your computer. Please review this log file and then close the notepad window.
(OPTIONAL) STEP 7: Reset your browser to default settings
This step should be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.
Reset Google Chrome
Google Chrome has an option that will reset itself to its default settings. Resetting your browser settings will reset the unwanted changes caused by installing other programmes. However, your saved bookmarks and passwords will not be cleared or changed.
- Click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled Settings.
- Chrome’s Settings should now be displayed in a new tab or window, depending on your configuration. Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Show advanced settings link (as seen in the below example).
- Chrome’s advanced Settings should now be displayed. Scroll down until the Reset browser settings section is visible, as shown in the example below. Next, click on the Reset browser settings button.
- A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the Reset button.
Reset Internet Explorer
You can reset Internet Explorer settings to return them to the state they were in when Internet Explorer was first installed on your PC.
- Open Internet Explorer, click on the “gear icon” in the upper right part of your browser, then click again on Internet Options.
- In the “Internet Options” dialog box, click on the “Advanced” tab, then click on the “Reset” button.
- In the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” section, select the “Delete personal settings” check box, then click on “Reset” button.
- When Internet Explorer has completed its task, click on the “Close” button in the confirmation dialogue box. You will now need to close your browser, and then you can open Internet Explorer again.
Reset Mozilla Firefox
If you’re having problems with Firefox, resetting it can help. The reset feature fixes many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information like bookmarks, passwords, web form auto-fill information, browsing history and open tabs.
- In the upper-right corner of the Firefox window, click the Firefox menu button (), then click on the “Help” () button.
- From the Help menu, choose Troubleshooting Information.
If you’re unable to access the Help menu, type about:support in your address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting information page.
- Click the “Refresh Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
- To continue, click on the “Refresh Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
- Firefox will close itself and will revert to its default settings. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click on the “Finish“.