Billions of dollars are spent each year on cleaning viruses from computers. No matter who you are or what your browsing habits, I can almost guarantee you that you have malware on your PC right now as you are reading this. Good news is, I can also guarantee you that if you run these 5 tools your computer will be in much better health than it started out. Removing infections is a fairly simple task, especially for home computer users. This is a list of 5 free programs that I consider to be the best solution for removing the nasty little intruders. I recommend running them in the order they are listed.
RogueKiller is a powerful tool in a small and simple to use package. It is effective at killing rogue processes, and removing code that malware uses to disguise, or reinstall itself. Simply download the latest version of the software here and run the executable. Once the install is complete, click “Start Scan”, and then click “Scan”.
When the scan completes right click on the objects found to select all, or select each individually, then click “Remove Selected”.
Hitman Pro is a second opinion scanner that uses multiple antivirus engines, and a cloud based scanner, to obtain higher detection rates and fewer false positives. Hitman is great at finding malware that standard antivirus programs don’t yet know about. It is also probably the easiest program on this list to use. If I had to pick a favorite antivirus removal tool Hitman would be the one. Download it here and run the executable. Click on “Settings”, click on the “License” tab, then select “Activate Free License” to activate a 30 day free trial. Once the license is activated, click on “OK”, and then click “Next”. Once the scan finishes review the findings and choose the action to apply.
Spybot cleans temp files and finds many types of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), adware, and spyware. It can be downloaded here. Just be sure to run the updater before running a scan. Running a scan is fairly simple and self explanatory. I’ve personally never seen it report any type of false positive, so pretty much anything it finds you can almost be sure you want to remove it. Just click “Fix selected problems” when the scan finishes.
Malwarebytes is one of the slowest scans on this list, but that’s because it’s one of the most thorough. Download it here. Run through the installer. I always like to untick the box to “activate the trial of premium”. The premium version is great, but if you don’t plan to spend the $24.95 on it, the free trial will eventually get annoying with reminders that it is expired. I always run a “custom” scan and choose the option to “Scan for Rootkits”.
Leave comments of any issues you run into while using these tools and I will try to provide assistance or suggestions.
RogueKiller, Hitman, Spybot, Malwarebytes, ESET Online Scanner.