These removal tips are generally written for Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems. However, this document will contain tips for Windows XP or Windows 2000 where it is appropriate.
Whether the malware you are having a problem with is a virus, adware, or spyware, the precautions and removal process should be very similar. This is because these types of software were usually written to prevent their own removal, thus making the removal difficult. Although this is the case, even if you are not a computer expert, with the proper study and using the proper procedure, it should be possible to remove most malware reasonably safely. There are also many tools that make this process easier. This tutorial documents how to remove several types of malware. These tips should apply to:
- Adware removal
- Spyware removal
- Virus removal
- Trojan removal
- Worm removal
Reason for Malware Removal Caution
Caution must be used when removing malware. This is because malware may change system settings in your computer. Possible changes include:
- File associations – Sometimes the system is reconfigured so the malware software is required to run some or all of your executable programs. If the malware is removed and this system change has been made, you can cripple your system if you remove the malware without following the proper procedure. This could force you to re-install your operating system.
- Registry settings – The registry is normally configured so the malware will run automatically when the system is booted.
- Permission settings – You may not have permission to view or modify files associated with the malware.
The processes that you want to remove may re-spawn themselves while you are shutting them down. Before performing malware removal, you should gather sufficient information about the type of software you are dealing with and how to remove it. Removing malware can be a daunting task due to the fact that it is designed to work against you and prevent its own removal. Therefore, it is important to follow the Identification and Information Gathering removal phases discussed later in this totorial prior to removing the malware.