It’s every computer user’s worst fear: your computer’s got a virus. Just as we would agonise over a sick pet, we flounder and turn to an expert for a cure. It might have been from a dodgy website, or an application downloaded from the internet, or malware which hackers have sent you. While any virus should be treated seriously and you should seek out advice from tech support for it, there are some simple measures you can take to try to fix some of the symptoms in the short term, and make the virus easier to remove in the long term.

Antivirus Protection

It’s very true to say that the best cure is prevention. Antivirus software can detect viruses and remove them before they take hold, even without your needing to know. If you don’t have an antivirus program installed, you can get free antivirus security online from numerous websites. Avast is one of the most reliable sources out there, but obviously only download applications from sites that you have verified for yourself and can trust. You can decide how often the antivirus software scans your computer, and the running of these scans may reduce your computer’s speed but not by very much.

Manual Virus Removal

If you’re feeling brave, and know your way around a computer, you can try removing a computer virus manually. You can do this by first identifying the virus, using antivirus protection. You can also use an online virus scanner if you can connect to the internet. There are lots of good virus scanners around, find one specific to the kind of computer you have, such as Mac or PC. If you can’t connect to the internet, then try restarting your computer in safe mode with the network connected. You may need to reset your internet browser proxy settings as well.

Once you’ve identified the virus, you can look up the name of the virus or a description of it on an antivirus vendor’s website. The site will give you specific instructions as to how to remove the virus from your computer. This may involve deleting temporary files, or turning an application back to its factory settings. Remember, if at any point you feel unsure of what to do, call a professional.

Recovering Corrupted Files

Even after the virus has gone, some of your files may still be corrupted, meaning your computer can’t read the file’s information properly. But it may be possible to recover some or all of this information. If your computer makes automatic backups, it may be possible to go back to a previous copy of the file and restore it from that. Alternatively, there is online software as well as applications which are designed to recover content from a variety of different files. These applications work by unpacking files, finding the corrupted or missing content, and then rewriting them based on other parts of the file. Then you can read the file as normal.

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