Virus and Spyware Removal Guide

Once a computer has become infected with viruses and spyware, it can often require several steps to get the computer clean again. This document describes the recommended steps that should be taken to clean an infected computer.

Recommended Steps for Virus and Spyware Removal

The following steps are merely suggestions. If you are not comfortable performing these steps on your own, please contact the Help Desk for further assistance.

  1. You should have current anti-virus software installed. Students, faculty, and staff at UW-Madison are eligible for Trend Micro (MacOS) or Windows Dender (Windows). Please see Trend Micro - Introduction to Trend Micro AV for Personally Owned macOS Devices or Windows Defender - Enabling Antivirus Threat Protection & Windows Firewall for installation. Windows Defender comes pre-installed on all copies of Windows 10, while Trend Micro is for MacOS.

  2. Perform a scan using a previously mentioned anti-virus. For help with scans, see Windows Defender - Running an Antivirus Scan or Running a scan with Trend Micro.
  3. Your anti-virus program should be current. Check that program's documentation for help updating it.

  4. Finally, you should perform an online scan. This will help verify whether the computer is truly free of viruses and spyware. There are several online scanners that are useful:

You should contact the Help Desk for further assistance if these steps fail to completely remove the spyware or viruses that are on your system, or if you have trouble with any of the steps described.