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May 16, 2024

Does Your Computer Have a Virus? Here’s How to Check

4 Ways to Change the Administrator Name in Windows 11


Key Takeaways

One of the simplest ways to verify your PC for viruses is to run a guide virus scan of your system with Microsoft Defender, Malwarebytes, or one other antivirus program. You can too press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Job Supervisor and search for uncommon processes utilizing a whole lot of sources.


Home windows computer systems typically do get viruses and different malware, however not each gradual or misbehaving PC is contaminated by malware. This is how one can verify should you even have a virus — and whether or not that suspicious course of is harmful or not.

This Cybersecurity Consciousness Week article is delivered to you in affiliation with Incogni.


What Are the Indicators of a Virus?

Poor efficiency, utility crashes, and pc freezes can typically be an indication of a virus or one other sort of malware wreaking havoc. Nonetheless, that is not at all times the case: There are a lot of different causes of issues that may decelerate your PC.


Likewise, simply because your PC is working advantageous doesn’t suggest it would not have malware. The viruses of a decade in the past had been usually pranks that ran wild and used a whole lot of system sources. Trendy malware is extra more likely to lurk silently and covertly within the background, attempting to evade detection so it will possibly seize your bank card numbers and different private info. In different phrases, modern-day malware is commonly created by criminals simply to become profitable, and well-crafted malware will not trigger any noticeable PC issues in any respect.

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Nonetheless, sudden poor PC efficiency could also be one signal you have got malware. Unusual purposes in your system can also point out malware — however, as soon as once more, there is no assure malware is concerned. Some purposes pop up a Command Immediate window after they replace, so unusual home windows flashing onto your display screen and rapidly disappearing could also be a standard a part of the respectable software program in your system.

There is not any one-size-fits-all piece of proof to search for with out truly scanning your PC for malware. Generally malware causes PC issues, and typically it is well-behaved whereas sneakily carrying out its objective within the background. The one technique to know for positive whether or not you have got malware is to look at your system for it.


Learn how to Verify if a Course of Is a Virus or Not

You could be questioning in case your pc has a virus since you’ve seen an odd course of within the Home windows Job Supervisor, which you’ll open by urgent Ctrl+Shift+Esc or by right-clicking the Home windows taskbar and deciding on “Job Supervisor.”

It is regular to see fairly a number of processes right here — click on “Extra Particulars” should you see a smaller record. Many of those processes have unusual, complicated names. That is regular. Home windows contains fairly a number of background processes, your PC producer added some, and purposes you put in usually add them.

Windows 10's Task Manager showing running processes.

Badly behaved malware will usually use a considerable amount of CPU, reminiscence, or disk sources and should stand out right here. In case you’re inquisitive about whether or not a particular program is malicious, right-click it within the Job Supervisor and choose “Search On-line” to search out extra info.

If details about malware seems whenever you search the method, that is an indication you doubtless have malware. Nonetheless, do not assume that your pc is virus-free simply because a course of appears to be like respectable. A course of may lie and say it is “Google Chrome” or “chrome.exe,” however it could simply be malware impersonating Google Chrome that is situated in a distinct folder in your system.

One other software you need to use is VirusTotal. VirusTotal permits you to scan a file with a number of manufacturers of antivirus concurrently to verify whether it is malware or not. On this case, we’ll scan the method’s executable. To discover a processes’s executable, right-click the method in Job Handle and choose “Open File Location.”

Open File Location to view a process EXE.

Notice the handle and executable identify in File Explorer.

The File Path and EXE for the process we picked in File Explorer.

Now you have got two choices: click on “Select File” and navigate to the exec utilizing the file path you beforehand famous, or drag and drop the EXE file from File Explorer to the VirusTotal web page.

Drag and drop the EXE into VirusTotal.

It’s going to take a second to research it (and bigger recordsdata do take longer), then it’s going to present you the outcomes from every antivirus suite.

The results of our scan.

You can too click on the opposite tabs to get extra particular info or view group dialog about it.

In case you’re involved you may need malware we additionally suggest performing an anti-malware scan.

Learn how to Scan Your Laptop for Viruses

By default, Home windows 11 is at all times scanning your PC for malware with the built-in Home windows Safety utility, also referred to as Microsoft Defender. You may, nevertheless, carry out guide scans.

On Home windows 10 or 11, open your Begin menu, sort “Safety,” and click on the “Home windows Safety” shortcut to open it. You can too head to Settings > Replace & Safety > Home windows Safety > Open Home windows Safety on Home windows 10, or Settings > Privateness and Safety > Home windows Safety > Open Home windows Safety on Home windows 11.

Opening the Windows Security application from Windows 10's Settings.

To carry out an anti-malware scan, click on “Virus & menace safety.”

Opening the Virus & threat protection settings in Windows Security.

Click on “Fast Scan” to scan your system for malware. Microsoft Defender will carry out a scan and provide the outcomes. If any malware is discovered, it can provide to take away it out of your PC routinely.

Manually scanning for viruses and other malware in Windows Security.

If you’d like a second opinion — at all times a good suggestion should you’re involved you may need malware, and your main antivirus would not discover something — you possibly can carry out a scan with a distinct safety utility, too.

We like and suggest Malwarebytes, which pairs properly with Home windows Safety to offer an additional layer of safety in your PC. The free model of Malwarebytes will allow you to carry out guide scans to verify for viruses and different malware in your PC. The paid model provides real-time safety — however, should you’re simply trying to take a look at a pc for malware, the free model will work completely.

Click "Scan."

In case your antivirus utility finds malware however has bother eradicating it, attempt performing a scan in Secure Mode, use an antivirus rescue software program, or use Microsoft Defender’s Offline Scan.


You can too guarantee you do not have malware in your PC by resetting Home windows to its default state.

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