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How do I get Rid of a Trojan Virus?

By Keith Koons
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are several ways to get rid of a Trojan virus from an infected computer system, and any delay on the part of the user places his personal information at risk. Perhaps the most direct route for the average person would be to install a comprehensive antivirus program that can remove the Trojan automatically, but there will also be times when an unidentified threat is not recognized and it will have to be removed manually. Sometimes, this can be as simple as deleting a corrupt program from the infected system by way of the control panel, but in other cases, it may require actually searching out the Trojan virus and forcibly removing it from where it was installed.

The most effective way to get rid of a Trojan virus is to have software that can spot it in real time, meaning as soon as it is downloaded, and an antivirus program that stops and eliminates it. Many of the antivirus scanners, including free versions, offer real-time protection, but it has to be activated; if the program icon does not show up in the bottom right-hand corner, then it is not currently running. If a Trojan virus or any type of malware is suspected, run a full scan on the infected computer and quarantine or delete any of the located files. Of course, the antivirus program is virtually worthless if it does not remain fully updated, so be sure to keep automatic updates turned on and visit the manufacturer’s website often to check for newer versions.

If the antivirus program fails to get rid of a Trojan virus, then it will have to be disabled automatically. On any Windows® system older than Windows 7®, select “start” then “run,” and in the field box type “msconfig.” Next, click on the startup tab and browse through the listed entries, looking for any name or path that does not belong to a vital program. Write down each of the suspected entries and perform a web search to identify what each of them are, and disable those that are questionable. For Windows 7® systems, this same service can be accessed from the control panel under the “programs” tab.

Once all of the suspicious programs that load at startup are identified, write down the “location” of the file and manually locate and delete it from the system. An alternate method to get rid of a Trojan virus would be to perform an additional web search that contained the name of the file and “removal” in the text; chances are that others have encountered the exact same problem and step-by-step instructions may be listed on a forum or antivirus website. A final method to get rid of a Trojan virus would be to download and install a completely separate antivirus program, since even the best ones do not catch 100% of the Trojan viruses out there, but this method would require that the current antivirus program be uninstalled first.

Another sound option would be to implement the operating system’s restore option, but since any data that was created after that restore point will be lost, it is not recommended unless absolutely necessary. When all else fails, the system can also be reformatted with a clean installation of an operating system. This restores the computer to factory condition.

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Discussion Comments
By Lostnfound — On Feb 14, 2014

Depending on the kind of virus, and how nasty it is, you may end up having to use the system restore. Ransomware is a particularly nasty form of malware or virus. It will literally hold your computer hostage unless you know how to get past it, and that is usually through a system restore. But beware: your computer may not start in safe mode with a command prompt, and will not let you open the restore tool. So, you have to do an end run pass.

For Windows Vista and 7, open the start menu and in the search box, type: rstui.exe then select your restore point. Try to get it 24 hours before the ransomware was activated.

My husband ran into some ransomware and that was the only way we got rid of it. We had active virus protection enabled, but this thing got past it. The system restore got rid of the malware and we were able to use our computer again.

Always know how to do a restore from the Start menu, just in case.

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