How to Remove a Virus Manually

Wondering how to remove a virus manually? Computer virus repair can get really complicated, so make sure you're comfortable with working in your Windows Registry and other vital system files.

Exhaust your other options.
Removing a computer virus manually is your option of last resort. You should always attempt other virus repair options before you turn to manual removal. Try installing an anti-virus program, updating your virus definitions and giving it a crack at removing the virus before you do anything else.

If you have already used an anti-virus program and had no success, try rolling back to a previous Restore Point. If that doesn't fix your issues, and you can't afford professional computer virus help, you can try manually removing a computer virus.

Do a Web search for your virus.
Hundreds of thousands of computer viruses exist. If you want to remove your computer virus manually, you have to know what computer virus you have, what it affects and where it lives. Try doing a Web search for your computer's symptoms, or if you know the name of the virus, do a search for the virus itself. You need this vital data before you can attempt manual removal.

When to do a backup.
If the computer virus doesn't affect your documents or photos, you should back them up before you do anything else; but if your regular files are infected, backing them up only means you can get the computer virus again even if you manage to remove it successfully. Prepare yourself for this possibility.

Go into Windows Safe Mode.
Some computer viruses protect themselves when you're running your regular Windows install. They may resist your attempts to remove them, or even replicate themselves when you try to remove them in regular Windows mode. Go into Windows Safe Mode before you attempt to do anything with the virus.

Delete the virus.
This is where your earlier reconnaissance comes in handy; once you've started your computer in Safe Mode, it's time to delete the virus file itself. The virus comes in the form of an executable file, or .exe. You might not know where the file is located unless you're able to find data about it in your Web search, so this is why you must gather data first.

Edit the Registry file.
The Windows Registry file is one of the most important files in your computer, and it's dangerous to edit this because you can break elements of your computer's operating system or software structure. However, if you're set on manually removing the virus, you must typically go into the Windows Registry and remove entries that the virus makes. To open the Registry Editor, go to Start > Run, and type "regedit" in the open field. The Registry Editor will open immediately.

Check win.ini and system.ini.
These .ini files offer another way for the virus to penetrate your system, so you should check these files for virus entries, just like the Registry file. If you find virus entries, delete them; leave everything else.

Check other hiding spots.
Finally, viruses may clone themselves or hide in more than one spot. Do a system search for files similar to the name of your virus.exe file. Check your Start Folder to see if the virus is lurking there. Finally, check your Windows Processes from the Task Bar to make sure it's not running virus processes. If it is, stop the processes, find out where they originate and remove them.

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