The best way to deal with a virus on your computer is to run your antivirus program and let it remove the malicious files. Most antivirus programs are able to search for and destroy malicious files, eliminate infection and restore your computer to working condition.
But what if your antivirus fails? How do I remove resistant malware from my computer when the antivirus isn’t working?
How to remove stubborn malware
A virus that won’t budge is not fun. Moreover, it is potentially dangerous and can lead to other problems (if it has not already happened). If you have a virus, the likelihood of data loss, including passwords, banking information, etc., increases.
This does not mean that a virus is stealing your data. Some types of malware turn your computer into a zombie within the broader botnet, while others will spam your screen with pop-ups with malware removal tools that are expensive but do absolutely nothing.
You have several ways to remove persistent malware from your computer.
1. Update your antivirus software and scan again.
2. Boot into Safe Mode and scan again.
3. Perform a factory reset of the operating system.
Let’s look at the options in order.
Upgrade your antivirus and recheck your system
The first option is the simplest, but the easiest to implement. If you have a virus, it means that your existing antivirus program did not detect the malware entering your system, or that it disabled your antivirus before infecting your system.
In any case, you should re-scan your system with another antivirus program and see if that removes the virus.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free
First download and install Bitdefender Antivirus Free. The free version of Bitdefender antivirus is highly recommended and consistently performs well in malware removal testing.
Scan your system with Bitdefender Antivirus Free for leftover malware and remove any nefarious entries.
Your next stop is Malwarebytes, another great anti-malware tool. You can use the free version of Malwarebytes to scan your system and remove any viruses that Bitdefender Antivirus Free misses.
As with Bitdefender, download and install the latest version of Malwarebytes, then scan your system. The latest version of Malwarebytes (fourth at the time of writing) is faster than ever before and can scan your system in minutes.
Boot into safe mode and recheck your system
Depending on the type of malware on your system, it may be difficult for you to download and install antivirus software. In this case, you should boot Windows in Safe Mode and then try to scan for viruses.
Safe Mode differs from a regular Windows installation in that it does not load the full range of services and disks and is used primarily as a diagnostic tool. Since it does not load the full set of Windows servers and drivers, there is a good chance that the malware lurking on your system will not start either. If the malware fails to download, it cannot block your attempts to remove it.
There are several methods you can use to enter Safe Mode in Windows 10. The easiest option is to type Advanced Startup in the Start Menu search bar and select Best Match. Now in the Advanced Startup section select Restart Now.
Your system will reboot as soon as you click â€œReboot Nowâ€. After restarting, you will see three options: Continue, Troubleshoot, and Turn Off Computer. Select Troubleshoot and then Advanced Options. In Advanced Startup Options, select Restart, then Safe Mode.
Once booted into Safe Mode, you can run the antivirus programs from the first section of the article. Since Safe Mode uses fewer services and drivers, including those related to malware, antivirus programs are more likely to detect and remove any dangerous files.
Check out our guide to removing malware before booting Windows for more information.
Factory reset Windows 10 to its original state
If the malware still won’t migrate, you can try to restore Windows 10 to its original state. That is, you can reset Windows 10 to factory settings to delete all files and all data, wiping out malware in the process. Of course, restoring Windows 10 to factory settings will delete all files to ensure that all traces of the virus are gone as well.
Windows 10 has several options for restoring factory settings. The best option is a standard factory reset, which allows you to keep or delete all your personal files along with your Windows installation.
Removing tough malware requires a drastic response, and the Remove All option is the kernel option. Remember that this will delete all files from your computer. Before proceeding, you must back up your personal files to a separate drive.
Go to Settings> Update & Security> Recovery. Under Reset This PC, select Get Started. Then select “Delete All”.
Now you have two more options: data deletion and data discs. The Data Wipe option deletes all your files without a secure disk cleanup. Data Disk cleans up all drives connected to your machine, including external drives and recovery drives. Do not select this option as it will erase all drives currently connected to your computer.
Confirm your settings, then go to the factory settings of your device.
Before recovering data on a beautiful and clean installation of Windows 10, scan your external drive with Malwarebytes to make sure the files are virus-free, preventing the possibility of reinfection.
Are you finding it difficult to remove malware?
Removing a virus that does not want to be carried is painful. This is about worrying about your data and wasting your precious time. Follow the steps above and you should fix your serious malware problems!
If you’re still struggling with malware, check out our guide on how to remove malware entirely with free tools. And if that doesn’t work, you should consider scanning your system for rootkits.