On occasion, you may find evidence on your computer of a particularly pernicious virus or malware, even after you have run several malware and antivirus scans. When this happens it may be necessary to restart your computer in Safe Mode (a boot mode in which some, but not all, system fuctions are running), then run the scan(s) again.

Windows

  1. Shut down and power off your computer. Wait 30 seconds and then turn the computer on.
  2. Press F8 when the manufacturer’s logo appears on the screen. 
  3. You will soon see the black-and-white Starting Windows moving bar at the bottom of screen. The black Windows Advanced Options screen will appear after that.
  4. Make sure that the Safe Mode option is selected on this screen. In most cases it is. The computer will then start in Safe Mode, which takes a few minutes.

Apple

  1. Shut down and power off your computer. Wait 30 seconds and then turn the computer on.
  2. Immediately after hearing the startup tone press and hold the Shift key.
  3. Release the Shift key when the Apple logo appears along with a spinning gear.
  4. The computer will then start in Safe Mode, which takes a few minutes while it performs an initial directory check.

After booting your computer in Safe Mode, follow these steps:

  1. Once the desktop appears, open your antivirus program and run a scan.
  2. If a virus is found, scan your hard drive a second time after removing the virus to confirm that the computer is clean.
  3. When finished with virus removal, restart your computer as you normally do.

Note: If your computer still exhibits strange symptoms or poor performance after checking and clearing any viruses, you may have adware or spyware on your computer. They must be removed before your computer will work properly. These can be used using programs such as Malwarebytes.