A computer virus can be anything from a slightly irritating bit of malware that any decent antivirus program should easily recognize and remove to a very complex, stealthy, and dangerous set of code that can be very difficult (yes, sometimes nearly impossible) to remove. If you were to contract a computer virus that your system does not detect, it can have bad results; however, there are indicators that can hint at an infection and ways to remove infections in many cases. Any reputable Antivirus vendor will have procedures posted on their websites to remove many individual virus infections, and also provide other useful tools to deal with a computer virus infection.

Computer Virus Symptoms


  • The computer runs slower than normal.

  • Your browser redirects to a previously unknown website.

  • The computer stops responding, and/or locks up repeatedly.

  • The computer restarts arbitrarily, and does not run as normal.

  • Applications do not work as normal.

  • Disks and/or disk drives cannot be accessed.

  • A program disappears even though you did not remove it.

  • Your antivirus program is disabled for no reason and it will not restart.

  • An antivirus program cannot be installed on the computer, or the antivirus program will not run.

  • You see unfamiliar error messages.

  • You see distorted menus and/or dialog boxes.

  • There is a double extension such as a .jpg, .vbs, .gif, or .exe. on an attachment that you recently opened.

  • Unfamiliar icons appear on the desktop and/or the icons are not from any recently installed programs.

  • Strange sounds and/or music come from the speakers suddenly.

  •    Other signs include those indicated in Malware (regarding rogue malware), but the most important thing is this: Is your antivirus doing its job? Nothing is perfect, but please use the links to the right and run a virus scanner to be safe.


       Do you have a computer virus infection? If you suspected so and ran the Microsoft Safety Scanner did it find and remove the virus? Perhaps you used McAfee or another from the links on the right side of this page, but what were the results? Computer viruses can be difficult to detect especially if they hide within System Restore and if you think a virus may exist on your computer even if a scan did not detect any virus, it may be advisable to temporarily disable it and run a scan then.

       McAfee has a tool called the Stinger Removal Tool which operates either in normal or in Safe Mode, but as with many such tools it might be advisable to disable System Restore in Windows because many virus (and other malware) infections hide within System Restore. Bear in mind that tools such as the McAfee Stinger can detect and remove certain predefined infections, but are not a substitute for complete virus protection.


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