Removing Malware

Removing Malware

When you are removing malware or viruses on your computer there are several steps to consider. You want to follow these steps so that you can isolate the damage to a single computer if possible and restore it to being fully functional.

Steps to follow when removing malware

Step One (Identify the symptoms):

What is the computer doing that makes you think it is infected? Is it going slower than usual? Is it popping up advertisements? Identify what it is doing to know if you have solved the problem.

Step Two (Quarantine):

You want to isolate the computer from the rest of your network. Unplugging the network cable and shutting off any WiFi that it has so other computers in your network are not infected and that any malware can not communicate with the internet.

Step Three (Disable Restore):

You want to disable system restore if you are using Windows so that you do not get a bad restore point. You can do the same thing with other operating systems: Time Machine for Macs and Timeshift for Linux.

Step Four (Scanning for malware):

You want to scan for malware using a dedicated disk or thumb drive that has anti-malware/anti-virus software on it. Using the anti-malware/anti-virus on the system could be infected or corrupted.

Step Five (Updates):

Run updates to the OS and then schedule them to automatically update. Most malware and viruses take advantage of unpatched vulnerabilities in the operating system – always keep it up to date. Set the anti-malware/anti-virus software to automatically scan for problems.

Step Six (Enable system restore):

Re-enable system restore now that you have scanned and cleaned the system (Windows) or Time Machine for Macs or  Timeshift for Linux.


There are a lot of anti-malware/anti-virus programs for various operating systems out there. Choose the one that best suits your needs. I wrote this article to show you a method of systematically going through the steps of how to remove malware from your system. It is intended to be a brief overview and does not go into details of any software individually.

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Updated on January 16, 2022