We’ve all been there at some point. Your laptop decides to run noticeably slower than usual. Programs won’t open as fast as they did before. Although your first thought is to think that it might be the age of the computer, that isn’t always the safest bet. You may want to look into the inner systems to see if it has been infected with a virus.
If this is the case, you’ll need to remove it as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Here are the six best ways on how to remove a virus from laptop machines:
1. Run Antivirus
The first step on how to remove a virus from your laptop is determining if one actually exists. To do this, you should run antivirus software. Laptop computers come with this already pre-installed in some fashion, although it may be just a trial version to boot.
Once you have a fully-fledged version installed, the software will go through your entire operating system to see if any malware exists. If one, or several, does, your antivirus program will place each into a list. You may then proceed to wipe the viruses out and restart your laptop.
2. Safe Mode
Sometimes, antivirus software doesn’t necessarily remove all types of viruses or malware present on your laptop. You may find that rebooting the computer after running antivirus eliminates some malware but leads to the discovery of others. If that’s the case, then you may want to try rebooting the laptop into Safe Mode. This means that you will be able to work with your laptop using only the main core elements of the current operating system.
Viruses are very intricate pieces of software. In some cases, they will store themselves in a registry folder and will only activate once the computer has been loaded or restarted. Safe Mode allows you to work around this for the time being, as you figure out other permanent removal options.
3. Research The Virus Name
If antivirus doesn’t completely eradicate the malware installed on your laptop, write the file name of the virus down. This will be the basis of some independent research you’ll have to do in order to determine its origin. Researching the files online using its appropriate Internet security firm is how to go about doing this.
Internet security firms will generally list every single file that is linked with a specific virus. This inevitably will tell you the exact location of where the virus exists on the laptop. Before deleting the file associated with the virus, just be sure save a backup copy of your registry folder or you risk your computer running improperly.
4. Download Autoruns
If you’re using a Microsoft operating system, a neat tool you should be using is called Autoruns. Autoruns is essentially a program that lists various programs that have been started up with the current session. Once you have downloaded the extracted folder and have Autoruns up and running, it will show you a list of all suspicious services currently running.
Use your discretion to determine which one of these are actually viruses by looking them up online via a secondary computer. If you come to the conclusion that it is indeed a virus, you can delete the service and any files or folders associated with it off the Autoruns list. You should repeat this process for any and all programs that do not appear to be friendly, until the list has been cleared of potential viruses.
5. Changing Browser Home Pages
Effective viruses usually involve the automatic changing of your browser’s home page to something entirely new. This new home page could be the foundation of a malicious website. In some cases, the virus will even corrupt the browser’s files so that it can’t revert back to your normal home page.
There are two great options to use here. First, you can circumvent this by changing your browser’s home page while in Safe Mode to prevent further damage caused by the virus. Or, you may have to completely uninstall the browser program itself and reinstall it at a latter point in time.
6. Reinstall Your Operating System
Usually, running antivirus software or any of the options listed here will eliminate the threat of viruses installed on your laptop. If all else fails, you may have to hit the nuclear option and reinstall your present operating system. Just be sure to back up what files you can. Also, consider taking your laptop to a professional repair service, who may be able to assist in eradicating the virus for good.
Viruses can be pesky little pieces of software. They shouldn’t, however, be a cause for a headache. Using a few of these steps will get your laptop back up to speed in no time. Once they have been eradicated, just be cognizant of the websites you are exploring and the files you are downloading. Going through the virus-removal process can be time-consuming on its own, and shouldn’t have to be done multiple times if you are wary of your online actions!