Despite all your vigilance, it can happen that malware reaches your system, especially in the presence of a zero-day flaw (security flaw which is not yet known by the publisher of software or that is not yet fixed) on Windows or on your software.
The consequences on your Windows PC : Ads popping up from anywhere, strange behavior software, vulnerabilities that allow hackers to access your computer and steal your personal data, system failures, etc ..
To repair your Windows PC and remove all the malware installed there, I explain how to use the most powerful anti-malware software that exists today: AdwCleaner and Malwarebytes.
AdwCleaner or Malwarebytes ?
Since October 19, 2016, AdwCleaner has been owned by Malwarebytes and is now called Malwarebytes AdwCleaner.
Although both target adware, spyware, browser hijackers, Potentially unwanted program (PUP), unwanted browser toolbars, etc. each has its own detection and suppression technology.
Completely free, these are two complementary disinfection software :
- AdwCleaner is a standalone product that requires no installation. It has the advantage of being very fast, it scans your Windows PC in seconds. It must be executed manually.
- Malwarebytes Free requires installation and has more functionalities (rootkit search, analysis of archives, etc.) with in particular the possibility of scheduling periodic analyzes. It also offers real-time protection in its Premium version.
Why use Malwarebytes ?
Just because no antivirus software is 100% effective, that’s why it is good to do antivirus scanning with other software.
On the software side, here is what you need to do to protect yourself against all types of malware : choose antivirus software, install it on your computer and let it act in the background. And once or twice a month, scan with anti-malware software like AdwCleaner and Malwarebytes.
Anti-malware VS anti-virus
Malware refers to all programs developed to harm a computer system. They include viruses, worms, Trojans and the threats they cause (rootkits, spyware, adware, etc.).
Today, all anti-virus software is anti-malware software. They have all evolved and act as both anti-virus and anti-spyware, anti-rootkits, anti-trojans.
Disinfect your PC with AdwCleaner
AdwCleaner is the malware disinfection utility preferred by Windows users. It scans the computer very quickly for adware, spyware and other junk, in addition to being light and very easy to use. It is still the benchmark standalone malware disinfection utility today.
AdwCleaner scans for malware only in the folders most likely to get infected, it doesn’t scan your entire drive. AdwCleaner is therefore the ideal tool to remove:
- The potentially unwanted programs or PUPs (potentially unwanted software or LPI).
- Toolbars (toolbars grafted to the web browser).
- Browser hijackers (who hijack certain web browser options such as the start page or the search engine).
Here’s how to use AdwCleaner :
- Download AdwCleaner then run it. As this is portable software, you can – if desired – place the AdwCleaner executable on a USB stick so that it can be easily launched from any potentially infected PC.
- Click the Scan Now button to start scanning for malware on your Windows PC.
- When the scan is complete, the scan result displays all of the threats detected. To learn more about them, click the View report button. To eradicate them from your system, click Clean & Repair.
- Confirm the restart of the computer by clicking Clean and restart now or click Clean and restart later if you have tasks in progress (do not forget to restart as soon as possible).
- After restarting the PC, when Windows starts up, AdwCleaner attempts to remove the threats it has detected. You can see the number of threats it has successfully removed and compare it to the number of threats detected.
- Click the View Log File button for more information on the threats that have been removed and those that AdWCleaner has failed to delete from your system.
Unwanted software is divided into several categories : Services, Folders, Files, DLL, WMI, Shortcuts, Tasks, Registry, Chromium (and derivatives), Chromium URLs, Firefox (and derivatives), Firefox URLs.
- If threats are still present, re-run a scan and clean up.
If AdwCleaner still cannot remove the threats it has detected, use the Malwarebytes anti-malware software (see below).
- Advanced users (optional): launch basic repairs to reset certain Windows settings that may have been modified by malware.
By default, only the Delete tracing keys and Reset Winsock options are activated.
AdwCleaner has successfully removed malware from your computer! Remember to repeat the operation once or twice a month.
If you want to analyze all of your disks and do a more in-depth analysis, use Malwarebytes (see below).
Disinfect your PC with Malwarebytes Free
Malwarebytes is the best anti-malware software to clean up an already infected computer.
The Premium version is offered for 14 days : it adds real-time protection and replaces your usual antivirus. It also has the following features:
- Web protection;
- Protection against exploits ;
- Protection against malware ;
- Protection against ransomware (softwares that takes hostage personal data for use in exchange for payment of money with the hacker).
If you are not interested in the Premium version and only want to use the Free edition right away, you can switch to the free version in Settings > Account information > Deactivate Premium trial.
Here’s how to use Malwarebytes to disinfect a Windows PC:
- Download Malwarebytes, install it and then run it.
- In Settings > Protection, activate the search for rootkits.
- Click Scan Now to start scanning for malware.
Wait for the threat scan on your PC to finish.
- Once the scan is complete, Malwarebytes displays a list of all the threats it has detected. Click on the selected Quarantine button to put them all in quarantine .
- Malwarebytes has neutralized the malware that has installed on your Windows PC.
You can find out more about the analysis and the actions performed for each threat by clicking on View report.
If you want, you can remove all quarantined threats by going to the Quarantine page.
Do not forget to repeat the operation once or twice a month.
Thanks to AdwCleaner and Malwarebytes Free anti-malware software, you are ready to effectively eradicate malware from your computer.
AdwCleaner is for those who want to quickly search for malware in the most sensitive places on their system. It is simple to use, very effective and keeps improving with each release. Malwarebytes Free is intended for users wishing to scan all of their disks with advanced functions to detect and remove malware.