Virus & Malware Removal

If your computer is Kenyon–owned, please contact Helpline immediately if you believe it is infected with a virus or malware. We will walk you through performing initial diagnostics and contact our professional staff for further evaluation.

Helpline does not remove viruses and malware on personal computers. We will answer questions and offer guidance on removing them, though. If you suspect that you have virus or malware on your personal computer, these instructions will guide you through the process of removing them.

Download Critical Software Updates

To protect your computer, it is very important to consistently run critical software updates (recommended weekly). Download these updates now: 

Install and Run Antivirus Software

It is crucial to have an antivirus program installed on all Windows computers. There are a variety of free antivirus programs available for Windows:

Helpline's Recommended Windows Antivirus Software:

It is critical to keep your antivirus up to date in order for it to be effective. Most antivirus programs allow for automatic updating in the background. Set your antivirus program to update daily in order for it to work most effectively. Check virus definition date and update if necessary using these instructions:

  • Connect to KenyonWiFi and log in to the network.
  • Immediately update your antivirus software. An option labeled Update or Update Now is found in the startup screen of our recommended antivirus programs.
  • Note: If you are unable to access the network, contact Helpline and ask how to proceed with updating your virus definitions.

Scan Hard Drive for Viruses

Scanning the hard drive can take an hour or more, depending on the number of files you have. However, most scans can run in the background and allow you to continue working, though this may slow down your computer. Before running a virus scan, it is recommended that you backup the data on your hard drive to either an external hard drive or a cloud drive. Here are our instructions on running a virus/malware scan (for Windows computers, see our Malwarebytes instructions):

Follow these steps to boot your computer into Safe Mode

  • Windows:
  1. Shut down and power off your computer. Wait 30 seconds before turning the computer back on.
  2. Immediately start tapping the F8 key every half second. 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.
  3. Make sure that the Safe Mode option is selected on this screen. In most cases, it is automatically. The computer will then start in Safe Mode, which takes a few minutes.
  • macOS:
    1. Shut down and power off your computer. Wait 30 seconds before turning the computer back 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 and perform an initial directory check, which takes a few minutes.

    Run the antivirus scan

    1. Once your desktop appears and/or you log in, open your antivirus program.
    2. Initiate a full scan of the computer. In most antivirus programs, if any viruses are found by the scan, they will show up in the scan results. If their status states quarantined, then they have been rendered inactive.
    3. After the scan completes, you can safely delete any quarantined items. You can also scan your hard drive a second time to confirm that the computer is clean. There should be no viruses remaining in the scan results screen after the second scan.
    4. If any malware or viruses still remain, check their status. If it is "active" or "quarantine failed," you will have to manually remove them. You may have to come to Helpline for further instruction.
    5. 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/malware, the virus/malware may have not been successfully removed or there may be a hardware issue with your computer. You should consult with Helpline in-person, but may ultimately have to get further help from one of the local repair services in the area, listed below: 

    Other Security Tips

    • Keep your system up to date, including all antivirus and anti-spyware packages. New malware and virsuses come out everyday.
    • Do not follow email links offering anti-spyware software. These links may themselves install the malware they claim to be keeping off your computer.
    • Do not click on links within pop-up windows. Pop-up windows are often malware activators. Close the pop-up with the "x" on the titlebar and not the "close" link, if any, within the window.
    • Always be careful when downloading files from the Internet; always be sure the source is legitimate and reputable.
    • Always be skeptical of free downloads. A free program may cost more than it is worth.
    • Create an administrator password for your computer. This will force pre-authorizations of most unwarranted actions on your computer

    No antivirus program can make your computer invulnerable to viruses. There is always a window of time after a virus is released and before the antivirus software knows how to prevent it. Antivirus software does not fully protect against malware. Protect yourself and your computer by taking active defensive measures.