How to remove a Trojan, Virus, Worm, or other Malware (2023)

  • Table of Contents

  • 1Adware, Trojans, and Ransomware Oh My!
  • 2How do these infections start?
  • 3Use an anti-virus and anti-malware program to remove and protect yourself from infections
  • 4How to remove these infections manually
  • 5How to protect yourself in the future
  • 6Conclusion

Adware, Trojans, and Ransomware Oh My!

If you use a computer, read the newspaper, or watch the news, you will know about computer viruses or other malware. These are those malicious programs that once they infect your machine will start causing havoc on your computer. What many people do not know is that there are many different types of infections that are categorized in the general category of Malware.

Malware - Malware is programming or files that are developed for the purpose of doing harm. Thus, malware includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, hijackers, and certain type of adware.

This article will focus on those malware that are considered viruses, trojans, worms, and viruses, though this information can be used to remove the other types of malware as well. We will not go into specific details about any one particular infection, but rather provide a broad overview of how these infections can be removed. For the most part these instructions should allow you to remove a good deal of infections, but there are some that need special steps to be removed and these won't be covered under this tutorial.

Before we continue it is important to understand the generic malware terms that you will be reading about.

Ransomware - Ransomware are programs that encrypts the files on a computer and then demand a ransom in order to decrypt them. The ransom is typically in a digital currency called Bitcoins.

How to remove a Trojan, Virus, Worm, or other Malware (1)
Example of a Ransomware Infection

Adware - A program that generates pop-ups on your computer or displays advertisements. It is important to note that not all adware programs are necessarily considered malware. There are many legitimate programs that are given for free that display ads in their programs in order to generate revenue. As long as this information is provided up front then they are generally not considered malware.

(Video) How to remove a Trojan, Virus, Worm, or other Malware for FREE by Britec

How to remove a Trojan, Virus, Worm, or other Malware (2)
Example of Adware Injecting Advertisements

Tech Support Scams - Tech Support Scams are programs that pretend to be an security alert from Microsoft or another company. These fake alerts indicate that something is wrong with your computer and that they locked you out of it until you call a listed phone number. Once you call that number, though, the scammers will try to sell you unnecessary remote support services and software.

How to remove a Trojan, Virus, Worm, or other Malware (3)
Example of a Tech Support Scam Infection

Backdoor - A program that allows a remote user to execute commands and tasks on your computer without your permission. These types of programs are typically used to launch attacks on other computers, distribute copyrighted software or media, or hack other computers.

Dialer - A program that typically dials a premium rate number that has per minute charges over and above the typical call charge. These calls are with the intent of gaining access to pornographic material.

Hijackers - A program that attempts to hijack certain Internet functions like redirecting your start page to the hijacker's own start page, redirecting search queries to a undesired search engine, or replace search results from popular search engines with their own information.

How to remove a Trojan, Virus, Worm, or other Malware (4)
Example of a Home Page Hijacker

Spyware - A program that monitors your activity or information on your computer and sends that information to a remote computer without your knowledge.

(Video) How to remove a Trojan, Virus, Worm, or other Malware

Trojan - A program that has been designed to appear innocent but has been intentionally designed to cause some malicious activity or to provide a backdoor to your system.

Virus - A program that when run, has the ability to self-replicate by infecting other programs and files on your computer. These programs can have many effects ranging from wiping your hard drive, displaying a joke in a small box, or doing nothing at all except to replicate itself. These types of infections tend to be localized to your computer and not have the ability to spread to another computer on their own. The word virus has incorrectly become a general term that encompasses trojans, worms, and viruses.

Worm - A program that when run, has the ability to spread to other computers on its own using either mass-mailing techniques to email addresses found on your computer or by using the Internet to infect a remote computer using known security holes.

How do these infections start?

Just like any program, in order for the program to work, it must be started. Malware programs are no different in this respect and must be started in some fashion in order to do what they were designed to do. For the most part these infections run by creating a configuration entry in the Windows Registry in order to make these programs start when your computer starts.

Unfortunately, though, in the Windows operating system there are many different ways to make a program start which can make it difficult for the average computer user to find manually. Luckily for us, though, there are programs that allow us to cut through this confusion and see the various programs that are automatically starting when windows boots. The program we recommend for this, because its free and detailed, is Autoruns from Sysinternals.

When you run this program it will list all the various programs that start when your computer is booted into Windows. For the most part, the majority of these programs are safe and should be left alone unless you know what you are doing or know you do not need them to run at startup.

At this point, you should download Autoruns and try it out. Just run the Autoruns.exe and look at all the programs that start automatically. Don't uncheck or delete anything at this point. Just examine the information to see an overview of the amount of programs that are starting automatically. When you feel comfortable with what you are seeing, move on to the next section.

(Video) How to remove a Trojan, Virus, Worm and Malware from your PC

Use an anti-virus and anti-malware program to remove and protect yourself from infections

Make sure you are using an anti-virus program and that the anti-virus program is updated to use the latest definitions. If you do not currently have an anti-virus installed, you can select one from the following list and use it to scan and clean your computer. The list below includes both free and commercial anti-virus programs, but even the commercial ones typically have a trial period in which you can scan and clean your computer before you have to pay for it.

It is also advised that you install and scan your computer with a good Anti-Malware programs. Many times these programs are quicker to update their definitions then a standard anti-virus program and also target more adware and unwanted programs.

The recommended anti-malware programs are:

  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
  • Emsisoft Anti-Malware
  • Zemana Anti-Malware

For more information on how to use Emsisoft and Malwarebytes, you can review the guides below.

How to use Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware to scan and remove malware from your computer
How to use Emsisoft Anti-Malware to scan and clean malware from your computer

After performing these instructions if you still are infected, you can use the instructions below to manually remove the infection.

How to remove these infections manually

We have finally arrived at the section you came here for. You are most likely reading this tutorial because you are infected with some sort of malware and your standard anti-virus or antimalware tools are not detecting it. With this knowledge that you are infected, it is also assumed that you examined the programs running on your computer and found one that does not look right. You did further research by checking that program against our Startup Database or by searching in Google and have learned that it is an infection and you now want to remove it.

If you have identified the particular program that is part of the malware, and you want to remove it, please follow these steps.

(Video) How to Remove Trojan Virus from Windows?

  1. Download and extract the Autoruns program by Sysinternals to C:\Autoruns
  2. Reboot into Safe Mode so that the malware is not started when you are doing these steps. Many malware monitor the keys that allow them to start and if they notice they have been removed, will automatically replace that startup key. For this reason booting into safe mode allows us to get past that defense in most cases.
  3. Navigate to the C:\Autoruns folder you created in Step 1 and double-click on autoruns.exe.
  4. When the program starts, click on the Options menu and enable the following options by clicking on them. This will place a checkmark next to each of these options.
    1. Include empty locations
    2. Verify Code Signatures
    3. Hide Signed Microsoft Entries
  5. Then press the F5 key on your keyboard to refresh the startups list using these new settings.
  6. The program shows information about your startup entries in 8 different tabs. For the most part, the filename you are looking for will be found under the Logon or the Services tabs, but you should check all the other tabs to make sure they are not loading elsewhere as well. Click on each tab and look through the list for the filename that you want to remove. The filename will be found under the Image Path column. There may be more than one entry associated with the same file as it is common for malware to create multiple startup entries. It is important to note that many malware programs disguise themselves by using the same filenames as valid Microsoft files. it is therefore important to know exactly which file, and the folder they are in, that you want to remove. You can check our Startup Database for that information or ask for help in our computer help forums.
  7. Once you find the entry that is associated with the malware, you want to delete that entry so it will not start again on the next reboot. To do that right click on the entry and select delete. This startup entry will now be removed from the Registry.
  8. Now that we made it so it will not start on boot up, you should delete the file using My Computer or Windows Explorer. If you can not see the file, it may be hidden. To allow you to see hidden files you can follow the steps for your operating system found in this tutorial:

    How to see hidden files in Windows

  9. When you are finished removing the malware entries from the Registry and deleting the files, reboot into normal mode as you will now be clean from the infection.

How to protect yourself in the future

In order to protect yourself from this happening again it is important that take proper care and precautions when using your computer. Make sure you have updated antivirus and spyware removal software running, all the latest updates to your operating system, a firewall, and only open attachments or click on pop-ups that you know are safe. These precautions can be a tutorial unto itself, and luckily, we have one created already:

Simple and easy ways to keep your computer safe and secure on the Internet

How to Protect and Harden a Computer against Ransomware

Please read this tutorial and follow the steps listed in order to be safe on the Internet. Other tutorials that are important to read in order to protect your computer are listed below.

Understanding and Using a Firewall

Safely Connecting a Computer to the Internet


Now that you know how to remove a generic malware from your computer, it should help you stay relatively clean from infection. Unfortunately there are a lot of malware that makes it very difficult to remove and these steps will not help you with those particular infections. In situations like that where you need extra help, do not hesitate to ask for help in our computer help forums. We also have a self-help section that contains detailed fixes on some of the more common infections that may be able to help. This self-help section can be found here:

(Video) How to Remove ANY Virus from Windows 10 in ONE STEP in 2021

Virus, Spyware, Malware Removal Guides


Is there a way to remove Trojan virus? ›

Can Trojan viruses be removed? Trojan viruses can be removed in various ways. If you know which software contains the malware, you can simply uninstall it. However, the most effective way to remove all traces of a Trojan virus is to install antivirus software capable of detecting and removing Trojans.

How do I completely remove all viruses? ›

How to Remove a Virus and Other Malware from your PC
  1. Get in touch with a service professional.
  2. Download and install antivirus software.
  3. Disconnect from the internet.
  4. Reboot into safe mode.
  5. Run a full scan, delete the virus or put it in quarantine.
  6. Delete temporary files and clear browser cache.
  7. Update your browser and OS.

Can you remove worm virus? ›

Remove the worm.

Most antivirus tools that detect computer worms can also remove them. Once they find a worm, most antivirus software can quarantine or remove the malware automatically.

What is the best Trojan remover? ›

The best way to clean up a Trojan infection is to use Malwarebytes' free trojan scanner, and then consider Malwarebytes Premium for proactive protection against future Trojan infections. Malwarebytes Premium will initiate a scan for Trojans and then remove Trojans so they can't cause further damage.

Can Windows Remove Trojan? ›

The Windows Defender Offline scan will automatically detect and remove or quarantine malware.

How do I get rid of a virus for free? ›

Yes, Google Chrome features a built-in malware scanner that will find and remove harmful files and applications on your computer or browser. Go to Settings > Advanced > Reset and clean up and Chrome will scan your computer and remove malicious programs.

How do I get rid of a virus on my computer without antivirus? ›

Part 1. Remove Virus from PC or Laptop Without Antivirus
  1. End Running Virus-Related Processes in Task Manager. ...
  2. Disable Unknown or Strange Process from Windows Startup. ...
  3. Turn Windows Defender Firewall On. ...
  4. Remove Virus with Virus & Threat Protection in Windows Defender. ...
  5. Disconnect the Internet from Your PC.
Sep 22, 2022

Does resetting all settings remove viruses? ›

If your PC, Mac, iPhone, or Android smartphone becomes infected by a virus, a factory reset is one way of potentially removing it.

Will factory reset remove all viruses? ›

Does Factory Reset Remove Viruses from Your Phone? The short answer is “yes”! By returning the phone settings to factory model, the reset option automatically deletes viruses and any infected file or program on your device. It's an extreme option and works pretty much every time—except in some very rare cases.

How do I see all my viruses? ›

To run a virus scan on your Android phone, you'll need to download a mobile security software app . Most phones don't come with one installed. Android is an open-source platform, so there are many options for virus scanners, including McAfee Mobile Security.

How do you get rid of worms? ›

For most people, treatment will involve taking a single dose of a medication called mebendazole to kill the worms. If necessary, another dose can be taken after 2 weeks.

How can I remove Trojan virus from my laptop? ›

Remove malware from your Windows PC
  1. Open your Windows Security settings.
  2. Select Virus & threat protection > Scan options.
  3. Select Windows Defender Offline scan, and then select Scan now.

How can the worm virus be stopped? ›

Like other forms of malware — computer worms can be stopped with the right antivirus and anti-malware software and safe computing practices. Please don't entertain suspicious links, emails, texts, messages, websites, P2P file networks, and drives.

Are Trojans hard to remove? ›

A Trojan virus is usually disguised as “legitimate” software before revealing its true intentions. Hijackers use Trojan horse viruses to trick unsuspecting users into giving Trojans access to their devices. Once they're in, Trojans can be hard to remove.

How do I know if I have a Trojan virus? ›

A common symptom of Trojan infection is the sudden appearance of apps you don't recall downloading or installing. If you notice an unfamiliar app from an unverified developer in your Windows Task Manager, there's a good chance that it is malicious software installed by a Trojan.

What is Trojan virus on phone? ›

Trojans that run on the Android operating system are usually either specially-crafted programs that are designed to look like desirable software (e.g., games, system updates or utilities), or copies of legitimate programs that have been repackaged or trojanized to include harmful components.

Is a Trojan virus serious? ›

Trojan viruses can not only steal your most personal information, they also put you at risk for identity theft and other serious cybercrimes.

Should I worry about a Trojan virus? ›

It is destructive: It can destroy complete computer systems. It is criminal: in addition to being destructive to your (or your business) property, it can also be destructive to you personally: trojans can steal personal data. It is resilient: It cannot always be removed by antivirus programs.

How did I get a Trojan virus? ›

You can also get a trojan horse by visiting an insecure or malicious website. Once a trojan horse is installed on your computer, it can spy on you, steal your personal information, and/or create backdoors that allow other hackers to do the same.

How do I find suspicious apps on my computer? ›

How to Check for Spyware on the Computer?
  1. MSCONFIG. Check for spyware in StartUp by typing Msconfig in the Windows search bar. ...
  2. TEMP Folder. You can also check for spyware in the TEMP Folder. ...
  3. Install an Anti Malware Software. The best way to check for spyware is by scanning the computer with anti malware software.
Oct 21, 2022

Which app is best for removing virus? ›

Part 4: Top 10 Android Virus Remover Apps
  • Bitdefender Antivirus.
  • McAfee Security & Power Booster.
  • Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus.
  • Norton Security and Antivirus.
  • Trend Micro Mobile Security.
  • Sophos Free Antivirus and Security.
  • Avira Antivirus Security.
  • CM Security Antivirus.

How do you know if you have a virus on your phone? ›

7 signs your phone has a virus
  1. Your device feels physically hot. Your phone isn't built to support malware. ...
  2. Random messages are sent to your contacts. ...
  3. The device responds slowly. ...
  4. You find fraudulent charges on your accounts. ...
  5. The phone uses excess data.
Aug 24, 2022

Will factory reset remove hackers? ›

Can resetting my Android device remove hackers? A factory reset can remove most forms of malware, but you'll lose all of your stored data in the process, including photos, contacts, files, and similar items.

Will factory reset remove spyware? ›

A factory reset will delete everything on your phone, including the spyware. Make sure you have a backup of your phone before you do this to prevent losing your photos, apps, and other data. You'll need to restore your phone to a backup from before you started experiencing the spyware issues.

What to do if my computer has a virus? ›

What to Do If You Get a Virus. If you think your computer has been infected, start by running a full system scan using your antivirus software and an anti-malware program. Review the threats and take any action that you can (the software should guide you through this).

Does factory reset remove everything? ›

A factory data reset erases your data from the phone. While data stored in your Google Account can be restored, all apps and their data will be uninstalled. To be ready to restore your data, make sure that it's in your Google Account. Learn how to back up your data.

What does factory reset do to hackers? ›

Yes, you should be able to remove a hacker by doing a factory reset on your phone. Keep in mind that this solution will remove all of your data, including contacts, third-party apps, photos, and other files. You will need to set up your phone entirely from scratch.

Is my phone infected with spyware? ›

How can you detect spyware on an Android phone? If you look in Settings, you'll see a setting which allows apps to be downloaded and installed that aren't in the Google Play Store. If this has been enabled, it's a sign that potential spyware may have been installed by accident.

Is there a virus scanner? ›

There are several free online scanners available online. The easiest and safest way is to choose a free tool from a trusted cyber security provider for safe scanning. You can usually use these even if you have an antivirus software installed already.

Did I have a virus? ›

The only sure way to know if you have a virus is to scan your computer with an antivirus program with up-to-date virus definitions.

What if I accidentally clicked on a suspicious link? ›

If you clicked on a phishing link that took you to a spoofed page entered personal information or credentials, then you'll need to change your passwords and contact your security team for further advice. Another danger is that attackers usually know whether or not you clicked on the link.

How do I check myself for worms? ›

How the Test is Performed
  1. Firmly press the sticky side of a 1-inch (2.5 centimeters) strip of cellophane tape over the anal area for a few seconds. The eggs stick to the tape.
  2. The tape is then transferred to a glass slide, sticky side down. ...
  3. Wash your hands well.
  4. Take the bag to your health care provider.

How do you know if you have a worm? ›

find a large worm or large piece of worm in your poo. have a red, itchy worm-shaped rash on your skin. have sickness, diarrhoea or a stomach ache for longer than 2 weeks. are losing weight for no reason.

How do I know if I have a parasite? ›

The signs of a parasite are often caused by the toxins that it releases into the human bloodstream. Here are the most common symptoms: Unexplained constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, nausea or other symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. You traveled internationally and got diarrhea on your trip.

How do I know if I have a Trojan virus on my iPhone? ›

The best way to know if your iPhone has a virus is to check for the following signs: unfamiliar or crashing apps, lots of Safari pop-ups, unusual charges or data usage, a rapidly draining battery, or a consistently hot phone.

Can a Trojan virus access camera? ›

Cybercriminals can use so-called Trojan horse malware. You click on an attachment or download a piece of music or video infected with malware, and hey presto! – A cybercriminal can remotely control your PC's functions – including your camera and microphone and may even be able to record images and audio remotely.

Can your immune system get rid of worms? ›

More than 1 billion people are host to parasitic worms that take up residence in their intestines. For most, it's a short stay, with the immune system evicting the worms in days or weeks and leaving no trace that the parasites were ever there.

Can your immune system fight worms? ›

The immune system can 'remember' infectious invaders. EPFL scientists now show how immune memory triggers the body's ability to repair tissues damaged during worm infections.

How serious is Trojan virus? ›

Trojan viruses can not only steal your most personal information, they also put you at risk for identity theft and other serious cybercrimes.

Can Trojan virus be harmless? ›

Dropper/downloader Trojans

One of the best-known dropper Trojans is the Emotet malware, which has now been rendered harmless but which, in contrast to a backdoor Trojan, cannot execute any code on the PC itself. Instead, it brings other malware with it, for example the banking Trojan Trickbot and the ransomware Ryuk.

Is a Trojan worse than a virus? ›

Unlike viruses, Trojan Horses do not replicate themselves, but they can be just as destructive. Trojans also open a backdoor entry to your computer, giving command to malicious actor or allowing malicious users/programs access to your system. This leads to confidential and personal information being stolen.


1. How to Remove a Trojan - Virus - Malware from windows
(Mango School)
2. How to Remove a Trojan Worm Virus
(ExpertVillage Leaf Group)
3. How to Remove a Trojan/Virus/Miner (Windows)
4. How to Remove Any Virus From Your Computer Trojan/Malware/Adware/Worms
5. Malware: Difference Between Computer Viruses, Worms and Trojans
6. Best Virus Removal Tools: Cleaning a deeply infected system
(The PC Security Channel)
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