Sometimes the worst happens and a virus or some other Malware finds its way on to your computer, what should you do?

  1. The first thing to do is make notes.  Make a note of the name of any virus/malware infection you see in the result of any scans (or take screenshots).  They may help you when looking for tools to fix the problem, or they may help a computer expert if you end up taking the computer to them.  Even if the notes don’t help them, they will appreciate the fact that you’ve at least tried to be helpful! 😉
  2. Something else you could try is using System Restore (Start > Help and Support > Undo changes or restore software) to take your computer back to an earlier state without losing personal data.
    This might help, but it can’t be guaranteed that this will remove the infection.
  3. You could look for software tools to fix the problem (some of them are listed on this site – but some are specific depending on the infection you have, so I can’t hope to keep an up-to-date list here), but you need to be very careful.  It may be best to physically disconnect your computer from the Internet, to prevent further damage, and if you just search and randomly download anything that promises to “clean your computer” you may find yourself in deeper trouble.  Most malware gets on to your computer by duping you into thinking it is something legitimate, whether an email attachment, a download or something else.
    There are genuine tools available that will scan for and remove malware.  Sometimes a specific tool has to be written to fight a specific infection.  If you’re confident running these tools, then you might try this, but only download from a site you trust or that you’re absolutely sure is genuine.
  4. Finally, be prepared to pay someone to help you.  Cleaning a PC is a tedious and time-consuming job, and few people enjoy doing it.  Also, try to be patient, it may take a few days to diagnose and purge the system of any malware – particularly if you’ve asked for your files to be kept intact, or cleaned where possible.