Malware is one of, if not the most common issue with computers “slowing down”. Many people mistake poor performance for a virus, when it’s actually easily removable malware/spyware/bloatware, etc. Before you try and take your computer in to a repair shop, here’s a few steps to try and fix your system yourself!
Make Sure Your Computer is Safe
If viruses have hijacked your computer, you first have to get into an environment where you’re safe. Step one is to boot into Safe Mode. If you’re using Windows 8/10, follow these steps:
1. Click Start.
2. Locate the “Shut Down”/”Restart” button towards the bottom of the menu
3. Hold down the Shift key and click “Restart”
4. When the menu appears, click, “Troubleshooting”, “Advanced Options”, and “Startup Settings”, in that order.
5. Select “Safe Mode”, which is #4.
6. If you need to connect to scanners or other network items, hit #5, “Safe Mode with Networking”.
If using Windows 7 and earlier, simply press, “F8”, on your keyboard while the computer is booting up.
Delete Temporary Files
Use the Windows Disk Cleanup feature to get rid of any temporary files you have on your computer. The Disk Cleanup feature is in the Control Panel, or, if you’re using Windows 10, you can type “Disk Cleanup” into the search bar and click it to run.
Computer Repair Pro Tip
To help avoid getting malware and viruses in the first place, we recommend a strong Antivirus with good real-time protection, like Webroot. We can help you choose and configure an antivirus that’s best for you.
ADW Cleaner and Malware Bytes
Now, you’ll need to download ADW Cleaner and Malware Bytes. Once done, disconnect the internet. Run both and follow the wizard to see what your results are. Once you get a clean bill of health, move to the next step below.
Both programs are simple to install and use. For ADW, simple run the application and select, “Scan”. When the scan has completed, select “Clean”, and the program will get rid of all known threats. Be warned though, the system will have to reboot immediately after the removal.
For Malware Bytes, you’ll be running the same steps, Scan then Remove. Download links are provided below.
Check Startup Items
In Windows 8/10, open Task Manager and go to the startup tab. From there, you can disable anything that is fishy. Be careful though, disabling the wrong items here can make some programs misbehave. In Windows 7, you can do the same thing by clicking the Start button and typing MSCONFIG. Be careful here too, as above!
Make Sure Things Are Normal
Always go to Internet Options and check the Home Page settings (General) to make sure your homepage is something you recognize. Check to make sure everything is back to normal, and then you can be relatively sure that your computer repair worked.
It’s always best to check with a computer repair company like San Diego Computer Help to make sure your computer is truly free of malware. However, following these steps on a Windows-based device can help you get rid of malware, improve your speed, and help your machine run more efficiently. Remember, this is only a brief overview and isn’t guaranteed to clean every virus or malware… if these steps seem daunting or they don’t fully get rid of everything, give us a call (858) 810-6710 and a friendly Computer Helper can get you squared away ASAP!