How to check your computer for viruses: ways

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How to check your computer for viruses: ways
How to check your computer for viruses: ways

Since the advent of Windows operating systems, their users have been haunted by viruses of all stripes, which can often steal personal data and disable the entire computer system. Thus, security issues, especially with the current almost uncontrolled access to the Internet, should be a priority for any user. About how to check your computer for viruses, further and it is proposed to talk. But first, let's find out exactly what means can be used for this and what, in fact, threats need to be found and neutralized.

How to check your computer for viruses: options for action

So, to date, a lot of specialized software, the task of which is to protect computer systems from all kinds of threats or neutralize them when they penetrate computers, has been developed. Every userknows that for Windows it is mandatory to install third-party anti-virus programs, since the system's own tools, no matter how they are praised, are, to put it mildly, good for nothing. This is especially true for installing software that, from the point of view of the same "Defender", is unwanted or potentially dangerous, although in fact it is not.

However, let's see how to check your computer for viruses using a few basic methods. Among all possible solutions, the following tools are considered basic:

  • regular antiviruses;
  • portable healing tools;
  • portable online scanners;
  • antivirus Internet resources;
  • disk utilities with built-in loaders;
  • tools for checking network and remote computers.

What are we looking for when checking?

The basic techniques and tools are sorted out. Let's leave the consideration of each option for later, but for now let's see what kind of threats we have to pay attention to (the choice of the preferred verification tool will depend on this to a very large extent).

Priority attention is paid to destructive and spyware threats by all well-known antiviruses, although spies belonging to the class of Spyware viruses are not always detected by regular and portable scanners.

Browser hijackers
Browser hijackers

The same applies to adware viruses united in the Hijackers group. Most of these threats penetratecomputer systems under the guise of official (most often partner) software that has the status of a trusted one. And some applets even have certificates and digital signatures. That is why many protective equipment skip them. Accordingly, to detect such viruses, which are mostly represented by browser hijackers, you must either use specially designed utilities or search for them in the system yourself.

Checking with regular antiviruses

Checking your computer for viruses with a regular type antivirus (installed in the system) is the easiest. To do this, just open the main scanner window and run an on-demand scan.

Activating Smart Scan
Activating Smart Scan

Practically all programs have several types of scans (deep scan, scanning of selected partitions, S. M. A. R. T.-test using boot sectors and records, etc.). The disadvantage becomes quite obvious if the standard scanner has already missed the threat. It is quite possible that the scanner will be able to determine it during the verification process, but it will not be able to isolate or neutralize it. Sometimes you can observe situations when the regular program of notifications about the detection of a threat does not issue it at the stage of penetration into the system, but determines it only when the user initiates an on-demand scan.

How to check your computer for viruses without installing an antivirus: healing utilities

If installed antiviruses for any reason with their direct responsibilities for comprehensive protectionsystems fail, portable programs come to the rescue. It is quite easy to check your computer for viruses without installing scanning software. Almost all such utilities are represented by one executable file to run and a database of virus signatures, which should be immediately updated when starting a portable application.

Portable KVRT Utility
Portable KVRT Utility

To detect common threats, programs like Dr. Web CureIt!, KVRT and the like. To neutralize spyware or adware, it is better to use Malwarebytes software (for example, AdwCleaner).

Online Scanners

In principle, special portable applications work in a similar way, which are programs that initially connect to the developer's web site, on the server of which both the main anti-virus database and the scanning tool are located. In a sense, it is similar to the functioning of cloud services, and the programs that run on the computer serve as a kind of shells and redirection tools to a server on the Internet.

Online scanner from ESET
Online scanner from ESET

ESET Online Scanner, Panda Cloud Cleaner, F-Secure Online Scanner, HouseCall, Microsoft Safety Scanner, Kaspersky Security Scan, McAfee Security Scan Plus and others are especially popular among utilities of this type.

Checking files for infection via the Internet

If we talk about how to check your computer for viruses using the Internettechnologies, you can give preference to services specially designed for this. They can be conditionally divided into two large categories.

Scanning for viruses in Kaspersky VirusDesk
Scanning for viruses in Kaspersky VirusDesk

Some allow you to upload custom files to your own resource with subsequent verification, others work like online scanners, but only through a web browser with direct access to service sites (Virustotal from Google, Kaspersky VirusDesk, etc.).).

Disk Utilities

Now let's see how to check your computer for viruses using disk programs, which can absolutely rightly be called unique developments. All of them are generally called Rescue Disk. The essence of their use is to write program files to removable media, boot from it, setting the appropriate boot priority in the BIOS / UEFI primary input / output system parameters, and check the computer system for viruses even before the operating system starts. And such utilities can both detect and destroy threats of any type, even those that are firmly established not even on the hard drive or in its hidden partitions, but in RAM.


Sometimes issues related to checking computer systems for viruses can be solved by using general-purpose optimizing software packages. Some of them (for example, the Advanced SystemCare program) have built-in anti-spyware or anti-advertising modules that can be used during the quickchecks. And some optimizers even contain full-fledged anti-virus scanners, the quality of which, however, raises legitimate doubts.

Remote verification tools

Finally, let's see how to scan a remote computer for viruses. In the simplest case, if there is a connection to the remote "Desktop" of another terminal, and an anti-virus program is installed on it, you can simply run it on the child computer from your own.

Remote scan of computers in the local network
Remote scan of computers in the local network

In the case of local networks, it is better to give preference to programs like Kaspersky Small Office Security, which were originally developed for local networks and are installed on the central server as a main package, and on child network terminals as client modules.

What is not recommended?

Finally, it remains to be added that under no circumstances is it recommended to install such widely advertised applications on the Internet like SpyHunter, since the definition of true threats in them looks very doubtful, they do not eliminate threats without buying a key (there is no trial period), and getting rid of the anti-virus programs of this type themselves, completely removing them from the system, is not so simple.

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