Last Updated: Monday, April 25, 2016
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Have a Mac device? Click here to learn how to remove malware from it.
What is malware?
"Malware" is short for malicious software, and is generally used as an umbrella term for any kind of software that is designed to disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information, gain access to private computer systems, display unwanted advertising, etc. Things such as viruses, worms, adware, and spyware are all
examples of malware. For more information on some types of malware and what they do, Microsoft TechNet's
Defining Malware: FAQ, and Apple's
OS X El Capitan: What is malware? may serve as helpful resources.
Knowing how to effectively remove malware once your device is infected can prevent further harm from occurring. Below you will find some free software options that can be downloaded and used to remove malware from your device.
CleanUp! is a powerful, easy-to-use, and completely free application that removes temporary files created while browsing the internet, empties the Recycle Bin, deletes files from your temporary folders and more, thereby enabling your computer to run more efficiently. Click
here to download CleanUp!. On the webpage, be sure to click the "Primary download site" link to ensure proper downloading.
It is strongly recommended that you make a backup of all important files before running CleanUp! for the first time, or before trying an upgraded version of CleanUp!. If you have never before used CleanUp!, then please take the time to read the "Introduction to CleanUp!" section of the Help file. This describes in detail what files and settings are "cleaned" when you run CleanUp!. If you make a habit of saving files that you wish to keep in any of these places (e.g., temporary file folders), then note that they will be deleted when CleanUp! is run. Note that it is generally considered poor practice to use temporary folders or the Recycle Bin to store files you intend to keep.
AdwCleaner is a program that searches for and deletes adware, toolbars, potentially unwanted programs (PUP), and browser hijackers from your computer. The types of programs that AdwCleaner targets are typically bundled with free programs that you download from the web. In many cases when you download and install a program, the install will state that these programs will be installed along with the program you downloaded. Unless you perform a custom install, these unwanted programs will automatically be installed on your computer leaving you with extra browser toolbars, adware, and other unwanted programs. By using AdwCleaner you can easily remove many of these types of programs for a better user experience on your computer and while browsing the web. Click
here to download AdwCleaner. On the webpage, click the "Download Now @BleepingComputer" button to begin the download and installation process.
Bitdefender Adware Removal Tool for PC
Bitdefender Adware Removal Tool scans your computer for adware, malicious hijacker programs, unwanted toolbars and other browser add-ons (installed with or without your consent), then produces a list of apps marked for removal. You will be able to choose what to keep on your computer. Click here to install Bitdefender Adware Removal Tool.
Having trouble with this program? Click here to access the FAQ.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware's industry-leading scanner detects and removes malware like worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, spyware, and more. All you have to do is launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and run a scan. To download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free, click
Malwarebytes Junkware Removal Tool
The Junkware Removal Tool (JRT) is custom built to detect and remove over 250 junkware variants, including adware, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), and unwanted toolbars, browser extensions, and browser helper objects. Click here to download Malwarebytes Junkware Removal Tool.
Adblock Plus (ABP) is a free browser extension (available for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and more) that allows you to block annoying ads, banners, and pop-ups, disable tracking, and block domains known to spread malware. ABP does not function on its own, meaning it does not block anything until you "tell" it what to block by adding external filter lists. Filter lists are essentially an extensive set of rules that tell Adblock Plus which elements of a website to block. You can add any filter list you want. You can also create your own filter lists. To install ABP for Chrome click here, for Firefox click
here, and for Internet Explorer click