How to Find a Virus on My Computer

By Susan Reynolds

If your computer is acting strangely, running slowly or showing pop-ups that won't go away, you probably have a computer virus. Viruses range from mild and harmless to malicious and damaging. In order to find the virus, you will have to download and run an antivirus software program that will locate and destroy it. Many antivirus programs are free to download and use, so you should always have one installed to prevent viruses and hackers from attacking your computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Antivirus software

Step 1

Go to the website and choose a free antivirus software from the list of software they recommend. You can choose by Editor's Rating or User's Rating. Download the program and install it onto your computer with the help of the automatic installation menu.

Step 2

Disconnect your computer from the Internet. Without an Internet connection, many viruses are rendered temporarily ineffective.

Step 3

Open the antivirus software and click on the icon that allows it to scan your computer for viruses. Allow the search to check your computer for harmful viruses; it may take up to an hour, depending on the software.

Step 4

After the antivirus software has found the virus, it will eliminate it or quarantine it. Doing this makes the virus ineffective. Your antivirus program will now block most viruses from hacking into your computer with an alert feature.

Step 5

Keep your antivirus software up to date and running constantly in your computer's background. If it is disabled, viruses are able to get into your system.

Tips & Warnings

  • Antivirus software programs that you need to pay for have extra features like rootkits and identity-theft protection.
  • Not every antivirus program can eliminate all viruses. If your computer isn't working normally after running the antivirus program, bring it to a computer-repair specialist.