Remove Malicious Files Effectively from Your Computer

ransomware-virusIn this digital age, we are relying heavily on technology and PCs are massively used on a daily basis. This need has pushed malware writers to code different types of cyber-threats to serve their interests, which are usually either financial or political. This is why it is important to have the knowledge to detect and remove the traces of such files from your computer.


Before We Begin

You should know that situations may vary when malicious files are the subject of removal. There are harmful files of programs that are not friendly in general, but are not malware, and there are programs that are malware, installed directly on the victim’s computer. We will provide removal methods for both, but strongly advise users to back up their data because we hold no responsibility for the outcome because of how variable the situation is.

Harmful Files That Are Not Malware

Indirectly Harmful files of such type are generally easy to remove, but they may be present difficulties in some situations as well. This is because they may be concealed in different folders and may be set to run and restore themselves after deletion every time Windows restarts. This is why, before removing those files, you need to stop them as active Windows Processes.

Step 1: Stopping an Active Process

1)Right-click on your Windows toolbar and choose “Start Task Manager” or “Task Manager” (Depends which Windows version you are running).

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2)Look for a suspicious process by going to the “Details” tab of your Task Manager.

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N.B. To find suspicious processes you should watch mainly the Description and the Username Tabs of the harmful process to identify it. In addition, to that, it is highly recommended to refer with the notorious Process Library which has information about the Windows processes.

3)Find the location of the process by right-clicking on it and choosing “Open file location”.

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4)Finally, stop the process by again right-clicking it in the Task-Manager and selecting “End Process.

5)Delete all associated files in the folder. If some files cannot be deleted, use one of the methods in Delete Doctor – free software that can erase any file in Windows.

After removing the harmful program, we recommend following these steps to identify and remove any left-over objects:

1.Remove or Uninstall Harmful Software in Windows
2.Remove Harmful Software from Your Browser

To restore any settings in you Windows Registry Editor modified by the harmful files, we highly recommend that finally you reset the registry permissions of your Windows Registries.

Harmful Files That are Malware

For malicious files, the situation may be rather complicated. First, you need to know what you are dealing with. Is the malware a Worm, a Virus, Ransomware or a simple Trojan, etc. Whatever the case may be, it is important to know that malware uses devious tactics to be concealed.

One of the tactics used by malware is to mask itself as legitimate Windows Processes or programs that are well known. The processes that are often imitated are:

  • Svchost.exe
  • System.exe
  • Notepad.exe
  • Explorer.exe
  • Winlogon.exe
  • WindowsUpdate.exe

Furthermore, the malware may insert malicious code into legitimate Windows Processes to create exploits or to stop defenses. Some malware modules may even have the ability to hide the process as if it was never there from the Windows Task Manager.

The malware usually uses the following folders to drop its harmful files:

  • %User%
  • %Users%
  • %AppData%
  • %Roaming%
  • %System%
  • %System32%
  • %Temp%
  • %Local%

Since different malware may have the ability to connect to active hosts and create more than one malicious process or migrate a process once it has been discovered, we highly recommend using an advanced anti-malware tool to scan for and remove all malicious objects associated.

To correctly and efficiently scan your computer, the first step is to isolate the malware by stopping the internet connection. Then, it is advisable to download the anti-malware software from a clean device. It is highly preferred to use an offline installer with the latest updates already installed because you will have to update the anti-malware tool later. After you install the anti-malware tool, boot your PC into Safe Mode. If it hasn’t updated, boot it in Safe Mode with Networking. For more information on how to boot into safe mode, refer to the after-mentioned tutorial.

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Harmful Software
2. Remove Harmful Software with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
3. Back up your data to secure it against infections and file encryption by Harmful Software in the future
Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

After removing the files, it is again recommended to reset your registry permissions.

Conclusion

Of course, removing malware may be a tricky process and these instructions is no guarantee that the coder creating it has not made a backup protocol. What is more, we highly recommend you to use a boot scan to check if there is a rootkit file installed directly onto your hard drive before beginning to check your computer manually. Of course, an expert advice would be to wipe the hard drive clean off several times and then reinstall a fresh copy of Windows only after backing up your data for maximum efficiency against harmful files. But then again, it depends on the type of objects and their danger level to the computer and the information stored in the PC.

Vencislav Krustev

A network administrator and malware researcher at SensorsTechForum with passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cyber security. Strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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