Before getting to the heart of this guide, therefore going to find out how to get rid of viruses from a Windows 10 PC, it is my duty to provide you with some preliminary information regarding the cyber threats that may have affected your computer.
At present, although i virus represent the cause of most PC malfunctions, there are also other computer threats that can jeopardize the proper functioning of the operating system. This is the case with the spyware, i.e. programs that can send personal data to cybercriminals, and adware, which display advertisements or, in some cases, install advertising software in an unpredictable and completely reom manner on the computer.
This differentiation, in any case, remains only on paper, as the main ones antivirus and antimalware in circulation, that is to say the tools used to clean up PCs, are perfectly capable of identifying and destroying practically any kind of computer threat, except for a few cases.
Please note: if the antivirus detects an infected system file, I invite you to be very careful about the operations to be performed, as deleting or moving these files to quarantine could make Windows unusable and force you to restore or format your computer. Therefore, always proceed with the utmost caution and keeping this aspect in mind.
How to get rid of viruses from Windows 10 PC
Having made the necessary clarifications above, let's get down to business and let's find out, in practice, how to eliminate viruses from a PC with Windows 10. Below you will find all the main systems and tools you have on your side to do so. Do not be intimidated: it is actually an operation that, in most cases, is quite simple to perform.
The first, and most effective, system you can adopt to get rid of the viruses that live on your PC with it installed Windows 10 consists, as can be guessed, in resorting to the use of a antivirus. More precisely, you can turn to Windows Defender, the free antivirus solution installed "as steard" in the latest versions of the Microsoft operating system. It works by constantly monitoring the system and allows you to perform cleaning operations on files and folders targeted by the most disparate cyber threats.
By default, Windows Defender should be already enabled but, for the avoidance of doubt, I invite you to make sure of the thing e, if necessary, to remedy.
Once this is done, you can proceed by going to perform an "on comme" scan of the operating system. So, click on Start button (I cheer with the windows flag) che trovi nella part in fund to left della taskbar, click on the icon Settings (Quella with l 'gear) attached to the menu that opens e, in the window you see appear on the desktop, select the item Update and security, That Windows security that you find in the left sidebar and click on the button Open Windows Security.
In the further window that opens, click on the wording Virus and threat protection, click the link Analysis options that you find under the heading Current threats and seleziona l'opzione Comprehensive analysis, then click on the button Start analysis at the bottom to start the PC analysis.
At the end of the procedure, Windows Defender will show you a summary window with any threats detected and any actions taken (or to be taken) on the files involved.
If you feel that you need to investigate files outside the operating system, you can instead use the system to perform the offline analysis: by doing so, you will be able to identify the most insidious malware that may be hidden in the system and remove them from your computer using the latest definitions downloaded. However, keep in mind that this type of analysis requires an automatic restart of the computer and generally takes about 15 minutes.
To start the offline analysis procedure, select the option Analisi di Windows Defender Offline that you find on the screen for selecting the type of analysis and click, even in this case, on the button Start analysis placed at the bottom.
Windows Defender aside, there are also many other antivirus solutions, both at no cost and for a fee, which you can choose to rely on to eradicate computer threats on your PC, for example Bitdefender. To deepen the discussion, I refer you to reading my post dedicated specifically to the best antivirus for Windows 10.
There are some particular types of malware that common antivirus can escape: they are generally less aggressive than the "classic" viruses, but still annoying. To get rid of it, you have to resort to using a antimalware, that is, a software specifically dedicated to threats of this type. Among the many agolable on the square, I suggest you Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
In case you have never heard of it, it is a software for Windows (but not only), which is constantly updated and which is capable of detecting and annihilating even the latest malware and various other cyber threats. It works on deme and is super easy to use. Basically it is free, but eventually it is also agolable in a paid variant (costs 39,99 euros / year) with additional features, including real-time system control.
To download the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, go to the program's website and click on the button Free download. In the new page displayed, then click on the button Download now.
When the download is complete, open the file .exe ottenuto and click on your button Yes, in the window you see appear on the desktop. Next, select the option Personal use Computer and press pulsating Continue. Then click on the button Accept and install e, finally, on the one with written end.
Now that you see the main Malwarebytes Anti-Malware window on the screen, click on the button Get started now to enjoy the 14-day trial period of the Premium version, oppure on pulsating Not now to start the free version of the software, then immediately start a system scan by clicking on the button Scan.
At the end of the analysis, any threats identified will be shown to you in the form of a list, with their description and location on the disk. To neutralize them and move them to quarantine, make sure they are marked with a checkmark (otherwise you do it yourself) and click on the button Apply actions.
If, on the other he, you want some files to be ignored (because, for example, you know for sure that they are false positives), select the item Ignore from the drop-down menu that you find in their correspondence e, even in this case, click on the button Apply actions.
To learn more about how Malwarebytes Anti-Malware works, you can refer to my guide specifically dedicated to this software. If, on the other he, you want to try alternative antimalware, you can conont my article dedicated to the best solutions in the category.
Antivirus and antimalware can't remove the viruses on your PC or, even worse, just can't start the operating system because some computer threat prevents it from working properly? In that case, you can rely on the use of a rescue disk (o rescue disk): this type of support allows the execution of a complete antivirus "outside" the operating system installed on the computer.
Using it, therefore, it is possible to carry out the analysis of files in complete tranquility, easily identifying the viruses and malware hidden in all the disks connected to the computer.
Among the various rescue disks agolable, I advise you to contact Kaspersky Rescue Disk, the one made agolable by the software house Kaspersky, specializing in IT security. It is free, it can be started from both CD / DVD and USB stick and provides its users with a whole series of useful tools for analyzing and detecting malware present in files on disk.
To use it, go to the Kaspersk Rescue Disk website and click on the button Download, in order to start downloading the image file. Once the download is complete, burn theISO image obtained on a diskette, following the instructions contained in my guide on how to burn ISO files, or on one USB pendrive, following the instructions I gave you in my post on how to create a bootable USB stick.
After creating the support, connect it to the PC you want to go to act on and turn it on (or restart it) to access the configuration BIOS / UEFI, as I explained to you in my guide on how to get into the BIOS. Next, set as the primary boot device il CD player or the USB port, again depending on the media created, following the instructions in my post on how to set the BIOS.
Afterwards, you will see the writing appear on the screen Press ESC to load Kaspersky Rescue Disk: then press the button ESC on the keyboard e, in the subsequent menus, select the language English and option Kaspersky Rescue Disk, Graphic mode. Once the main interface of Kaspersky Rescue Disk is displayed, select the boxes present in the initial window, then press the button Accept and start a full scan of your PC by clicking on the button Start Scan.
At the end of the analysis, you will be shown a summary screen with the actions taken automatically or any requests on the operations to be performed on the infected files that have been found.
I also point out that, if necessary, again from the Kaspersky Rescue Disk interface, you can access the contents of the disks connected to the computer at any time by clicking on the icon Volumes. You can also browse the Internet by clicking on thefirefox icon, and take advantage of all other accessible tools (terminal, screenshot, file manager, etc.) from the system menu, which you can open by clicking on the K-shaped button located at the bottom left.
Once all the operations have been completed, to resume normal use of Windows 10, finally free from viruses, you can restart the computer by opening the menu of Kaspersky Rescue Disk, selecting the item Leavenworth from the latter and then that Restart.
Have no way to use the antivirus and antimalware tools already mentioned? In that case, you can rely on the use of a online antivirus to eliminate viruses on your PC, through which you can control the entire computer or individual files saved on it in a practical and fast way. If you're interested, check out my specific guide on online virus scanning to find out more.
And if none of the systems I have already indicated has proved useful, if viruses continue to lodge on your PC and if, even worse, the system files have been irreparably corrupted, the only viable way remains that of formating: by doing so, the operating system will be reinstalled and your computer will then be restored to the state it was in at the time of purchase or at the time of the first use of Windows 10.
How to avoid viruses
Have you followed the instructions contained in this guide in detail and have you finally managed to eliminate viruses from your PC with Windows 10? Very well. To conclude, however, allow me to provide you with some "tips" to avoid finding yourself having to deal with other cyber threats again in the future.
- Keep system protections active - Windows 10 has some built-in security tools, such as SmartScreen filter and User Account Control, which can prevent potentially harmful or infected software from running. I therefore suggest that you always keep them active, even if this will inevitably involve a few more clicks, in order to prevent the launch of programs beyond your control.
- Keep your antivirus updated - considering the fact that the techniques that cybercriminals use to create and spread malware are constantly evolving, it is practically essential that the antivirus installed on your PC is always updated to the latest version agolable and that the definitions are downloaded regularly for various viruses.
- Run trusted software - download and install on your PC only programs from certified sources, such as the Microsoft Store and the official Internet sites of commonly used software. Also, stay away from "pirated" software, which are among the main means of transmission of computer viruses.
- Beware of "bundled" programs - Many free software promotes the installation of unwanted programs or spyware, usually for profit. Therefore, I invite you to pay particular attention to the screens proposed during installation and to the check marks set, in order to avoid the installation of sponsored or junk programs and toolbars.
- Use common sense - although the installation of infected software is the most common vector for the spread of viruses, it is not the only means of transmission. To give some examples, just open an email with an infected attachment or connect an infected key to your PC to find yourself the victim of some cyber threat. By virtue of this, try to be as cautious as possible in performing these and other operations on the PC that require some interaction with external sources.