How do I get rid of pop-ups, viruses, adware, or spyware?

If you suspect that your computer is infected with a virus or other malicious software, remove it as soon as possible.

Unlike other software, malware can't be completely removed using your operating system's Add/Remove Programs feature. Some bits of malware may still be hiding on your hard drive, doing its damage behind the scenes. To get rid of malware, use software specifically designed to find and delete it.

Many solutions are available for ridding your computer of malicious software. You can find these programs by searching the Web for virus protection. Whatever software you choose, be sure to keep it up-to-date.

In some extreme cases, anti-virus programs may not be able to remove all malware. It may be necessary to reformat your hard drive and reinstall its operating system. If you're using a laptop computer, installing the operating system from the partition backup may not completely remove malware. Instead, be sure to get installation disks for your operating system from your hardware vendor and use those to reinstall your operating system.