Viruses and malware attack your computer and compromise the data you use. These viruses can drastically affect the performance and reduce the life of your PC. Although, you can use antivirus software and tools for preventing such problems, you need to be more careful about protecting your PC from viruses. In our earlier article, we have explained about cleanup virus infected PC. However, many users do not know that their computer is infected with virus at first. If you are in doubt, here are some options on how to find your PC is infected with virus.
Table of Contents
- What are the Signs of a Virus in PC?
- How to Find Your PC is Infected with Virus?
- 1. Random Pop-up Windows
- 2. Unknown Computer Programs
- 3. Trouble in Downloading Programs
- 4. Slow Speed and Poor Performance
- 5. Lack of Storage Space and Missing Files
- 6. Mass Emails Sending
- 7. Web Browser Extensions
- 8. Check Virus Through Windows Task Manager
- 9. Delete Temporary Files
- 10. Scanning Computer for Virus
- Prevention is Better than Cure
What are the Signs of a Virus in PC?
Each malware has a different property and uniquely attacks the operating system. Talking about the most common signs of a computer affected by a virus, you might be facing application crashes and slow response when working. However, modern viruses and malware are more likely to work silently in the background without giving any noticeable change in system performance. Most often, a sudden drop in PC performance can be a major sign of a virus on your computer.
How to Find Your PC is Infected with Virus?
Unfortunately, there is no fixed way to find a virus on your PC. You have to try out different methods to find the problem. And here are some of the possibilities.
1. Random Pop-up Windows
One of the first thing is that you will be noticing unusual dialogue boxes or signs during your routine work. These pop-ups generally show fake information like warnings that force you to take some action. For example, you will see messages like “Your computer is at risk, click here to protect now”. When you click the link in a hurry, there will be information stealing or software download to further infect your PC.
This type of malware is also known as spyware or adware and is programmed to collect and steal sensitive data without informing the user. It is very common and installed by the reseller or dealer especially when you purchase Windows based laptops from Chinese dealers. This is a symptom that you need to act upon and cleanup those unnecessary trojans from your computer before you loose data.
Note: Remember that virus scanning programs like Windows Protection never prompt you to click random links or call a number.
2. Unknown Computer Programs
A virus might contain malware programs that launch automatically when you boot your computer. This can result in increased workload on the computer and you may be noticing constant hard drive sound as well. This is a strong indication that your computer is affected by a virus.
3. Trouble in Downloading Programs
Generally, computer viruses are programmed to expand and spread the malicious code all over your files and folders. This will prevent you from downloading PC protection and antivirus software. If you are unable to download antivirus tools or not able to update currently installed antivirus, this might because of the nature of the virus that has affected your PC.
4. Slow Speed and Poor Performance
Any computer will become sluggish and perform slow over the period. However, if your new computer takes more than normal time to get started, then it may have a virus. Slugging performance, freezing, and unwanted PC restarting are also the main factors of a PC infected with a virus.
5. Lack of Storage Space and Missing Files
Some malware programs make your computer unstable. Most commonly, you can notice less storage space in Windows installation drive (generally C: drive) of your computer. Viruses can occupy disk space and also cause problems by deleting programs or files. If you are noticing low disk space or missing files, there is a high chance of malware attacking your PC.
6. Mass Emails Sending
If you are receiving suspected emails, there might be a chance of hackers or malware attacking your computer. You might also notice vulnerable emails in your outbox or sent items which you did not send. This happens because the virus program might be working as an extension in your browser and getting access to your private information. The virus might try to send the collected information automatically without your intervention.
7. Web Browser Extensions
We have explained in other article, why you should not use extensions in Chrome and other browsers. Though reputed extensions help you to get additional features, some extensions are known to collect private information or data which is then sold to third-party advertisers. Sometimes, these extensions get installed without your confirmation and can get your computer infected with a virus. If you see a browser extension that you have not installed, there is a chance that your computer is infected with virus.
8. Check Virus Through Windows Task Manager
One of the easy ways to find whether your PC is infected is to check the running processes. There are multiple processes running in background when are working in your computer. you can check any strange processes are running which could be more likely a virus. Press “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” shortcut keys to open Windows Task Manager to find all processes running on your computer to get more details.
Note down the processes that use large amount of memory, CPU or disk resources. These are potential items more likely to be a virus or malware. You can use the process name and search online to get more details about it to confirm whether it is part of any application, Windows OS or a trojan.
It is worth to note that malware processes can also be named similar to original processes like “Google Chrome”. In this case, make sure you have the application open when the process shows it is running. When the application is not running but you see a process in Windows Task Manager, then it is a potential case to investigate further.
9. Delete Temporary Files
Sometimes, the accumulated temporary files can cause trouble and make your computer acts like infected with a virus. You can remove all temporary files through the Disk Cleanup tool and check if that resolved the problem. The process can be done as follows:
- Go to the Start menu and search for Windows Administrative Tools.
- Open “Disk Cleanup” and select “Temporary files”.
- Click on the “Ok” button.
10. Scanning Computer for Virus
Scanning plays a vital role in finding infected files on your computer and keep it safe from malware or virus. Windows 10 scans your PC in real-time through the integrated Windows Security application (also known as Windows Defender). Sometime, users disable this protection for installing applications or for any other specific reason. If you suspect something happened when you have disabled the protection, then try to scan your PC to check if there are any infected files.
- To begin with the scanning process, open “Settings” and click on “Update & Security” option.
- Open the “Windows Security” menu.
- Click on the “Virus & threat protection” menu to perform an anti-malware scan.
- Afterwards, click on the “Quick Scan” and the tool will scan your system for malware.
- You can also do the complete scan which is the best method to inspect your computer for virus infected files or programs.
If Windows Security reports any malicious files, then you can confirm the computer is infected with virus.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Do not get panic if you find any malicious files or virus on your computer. Check out this article and follow the steps to remove the virus from your PC. However, below are some of the guidelines you should follow in order to avoid reinfecting with viruses.
- Always enable Windows Security or use reliable antivirus software.
- Keep you antivirus software always updated with the latest virus signature files.
- Do not click on any malicious links in emails.
- Avoid browsing pornography and other illegal sites that could damage your computer.
- Quit sites having private connection error and avoid using financial transaction on these sites.
- Avoid downloading and installing unnecessary application and extensions.
These things will help you to protect your PC from viruses and malware.