How to Check if My Computer Has a Virus: A Complete Guide

There’s something off about your computer. It’s taking forever to boot up and run all your apps. Your browser is redirecting you to websites that you’ve never been to before.

Is the system getting old, or is there something more sinister at work? Do you find yourself Googling, “how to check if my computer has a virus?”

Malware can be a bit crafty. It hides in the background of your computer and steals your information while you remain unaware. In these cases, running a simple virus check won’t be enough.

We can help you spot this tricky malware so you can deal with it before it’s too late. Check out this guide to learn if you have a virus on your hands.

Random Web Extensions

Many web extensions help make life easier. Your browser will work better with them than without them. We will tell you that most browsers won’t download an extension without getting your input first.

If there’s one there that you don’t recognize, there’s a good chance that it might be malware. The best way to check is to attempt to uninstall the extension. How you do this will vary depending on what browser you have.

You can look up how it’s done. If you can’t find anything about removing extensions for your particular browser, you should be able to get in touch with customer support.

Once you get rid of the problem extension, if it stays gone, you’re probably in the clear. If it reinstalls itself later, you know that it’s a virus.

Normal Process or Virus?

When your computer begins to slow down, you get to play a nice game of “normal process or virus?” Most viruses use up a ton of CPU, disk resources, and memory. This is especially true if they’re not well constructed.

No matter if you’re trying to figure out how to know if your laptop has a virus on Windows 10 or you need to know how to check a computer for a virus on Mac, you can open your task manager. Here, you’ll see many processes.

Some programs, such as your web browser naturally use a bunch of resources. If there’s something there that you’ve never seen before, right-click on it to search it on the web.

If most of the hits you get mention malware, it’s time for you to run a virus scan.

Your Antivirus Is Disabled

Some malware goes the extra mile by disabling your antivirus. You won’t be able to turn it back on or do any updates that will allow you to perform a scan.

The good news is that your program will still be useful in one way. You’ll get messages telling you that your system is no longer protected.

Sometimes you can fix your antivirus by performing a computer update. Your PC doesn’t always tell you when you have one available. You may have to manually search for it.

Doing this will vary, depending on what operating system you have. If that doesn’t work, you can use portable antivirus software.

It’s a program that you plug into your PC via a flash drive. Since the program isn’t technically on your computer, the virus won’t be able to stop it from doing its job.

Do a Scan

If you want to know how to get rid of a computer virus the best way, the answer would be to perform a classic virus scan. Most operating systems have built-in antivirus software.

All you have to do is go to your settings menu and click on the Security tab. We will warn you that this is a surface-level scan. It might miss some things. You might want to get a second opinion by performing a scan with a backup antivirus program.

Slow Startup Times

Malware programs run in the background, using up a ton of memory. Some of them allow a hacker to perform tasks using your PC power. As you can imagine, this will slow down your system.

To make sure that the problem is rooted in malware, go to your task manager and close any programs that you don’t need at the moment. You can remove search marquis from Mac and speed it up in general by downloading a clean-up program.

If you’re using up a lot of disk space, that might the cause of your problem. Try to delete some stuff that you don’t need and see if that helps.

If performing these checks and balances doesn’t work for you, you might have a bad case of malware.

Your Friends Are Receiving Spam Messages

Social media acts as a breeding ground for hackers. A good indicator that someone’s gotten ahold of your password is spam messages. If your friends complain about receiving them from you, you’ve been hacked.

Log out of your social media across all your devices. Once that’s done, change your password and set up a two-factor authorization code.

Your Browser Redirects You

Some malware programs will force your browser to redirect you to malicious websites. Not only is this dangerous, but it can also be annoying.

It’s hard to get things done if your browser is fighting against you. You can solve your problem by installing an anti-phishing extension. When your browser tries to redirect you, the extension will stop the site from loading.

How to Check if My Computer Has a Virus Before It’s Too Late

Is your computer beginning to run slow? Does your browser redirect you to strange websites? There’s a good chance that you might be dealing with malware.

Before you Google “how to check if my computer has a virus,” try out some of the methods that we’ve talked about here. Save your computer before it’s too late.

Are you looking for additional ways to make your computer more efficient? Check out the technology section of our blog for all the latest tips and tricks.


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