How to Get Rid of Viruses in Safe Mode


If you suspect your computer has a virus on it, it can be scary. Adding fuel to this fear is the ability of many powerful viruses to inhibit your anti-virus software, thus subverting your computer's only weapon in the fight against malware. However, by using safe mode, you can make sure that your anti-virus software is not tampered with, and you can kill the virus safely.

  • Reboot your computer, and when your computer's manufacturing logo pops up, press the "F8" button. The computer will boot into safe mode. Note: you will not be able to access the Internet in safe mode, or any third-party programs that are not identified as security software by your operating system.

  • Launch your anti-virus software and run a virus scan on your "C:" drive. The screen will flicker, and you will see your computer revert to its "Setup" mode. This is normal. A thorough scan can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the size and percentage of free space of your hard drive.

  • Reboot your computer and allow it to go into normal mode. Your anti-virus software should produce a virus report, detailing what malware was found during the scan in safe mode.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not have any anti-virus software installed on your computer, see the "Resources" section for links to reputable free anti-virus software.

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  • Photo Credit virus alert image by Pontus Edenberg from
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