Is your Windows 10 computer running slower than usual? Are you browsing through various popups that were not there before?
If these are the cases, you may have a computer infected with malware in your hands. There are ways you can check. This guide will teach you how to scan your computer for malware in Windows 10.
The first logical place to start is Windows Defender. Not only is it free, it also includes any Windows 10 purchase. Plus, it's easy to use - making it ideal for average users who won't go beyond mainstream sites.
It works by scanning for threats such as spyware, adware, and viruses. Enabling Defender will prevent malicious applications from causing significant damage.
It's spinning in Windows Defender
Open Windows Settings. Go to Update & Security> Windows Security. Under Protection spots, select Virus & threat protection.
A new window will appear with a list of security choices. Click Virus & Threat Protection. Click Virus and threat protection settings. Go to real-time protection and change it to position if it is disabled.
When Windows Defender starts, it will automatically scan your computer for malware. The latest version of Windows Defender is not available on Windows 7 or Windows 8.
Is Windows Defender enough?
The short answer is no - no if you are trying to find a more robust solution. As mentioned before, Defender is likely to be sufficient for the average user. However, if we're talking about pure functionality, you'll find third-party solutions that offer more security and may be okay to meet your specific requirements.
Diagnosing malware in Windows 10
There are different methods to evaluate malware on a Windows 10 computer. Below are just a few.
Computers have a trait known as safe mode. When you start your computer this way, only the most important applications are loaded. Malware was prevented from running. In case your computer runs faster in safe mode, chances are you have malware.
To access Safe Mode, go to Start> Electricity. While holding down the Alter key, press Restart. After restarting your computer, you should be able to enter Safe Mode.
You want to delete temporary files in safe mode. Go to Search and type Disk Cleanup. It is a completely free utility application included with Windows 10. Thus, you can eliminate old files and malware after a quick scan.
If you feel your existing antivirus solution isn't up to the challenge, it may be time to think about installing some of the numerous malware scanners on the market today.
Many of these solutions are free and some would have to be included. You'll find one-time purchases while some are subscription-based. Some antivirus software works better than others. Make sure you install one that is highly recommended and comes from a reputable company.
Malicious software may modify your browser preferences. For example, malware may reconfigure your home page to launch web pages believed to extract data or display advertisements each time you launch your browser.
Whenever possible, you need to check your preferences to prevent browsers from launching annoying websites.
To change Microsoft Edge settings, visit Settings and much more> Settings. Below the drop-down menu, open Microsoft Edge with, then select Specific page or pages.
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Check URLs from the list and remove unknown domain names.
Open Google Chrome and go to Customize> Settings. Scroll down and find On Startup. Select Open a specific page or page location.
Remove unknown domains from the list.
Reformatting the computer
There are times when users need to reformat their computers to eliminate malware. Before doing this, however, make sure you have backed up your important files if still possible.
Go to Settings> Update & Security> Downloads. Under Reset this PC, select Get started. You will get two options. The Keep My Documents feature will reformat your computer without deleting the documents. Eliminating everything will do just that - it will eliminate all paperwork.
Note: there is a greater chance of eliminating malware if you eliminate everything. But you do it with the option to delete documents and preferences.
Follow the on-screen instructions until Windows 10 prompts you to reset your PC.