Malicious programs in the context of the current article (PUP, AdWare and Malware) are not completely viruses, but programs that display unwanted activity on the computer (advertising windows, incomprehensible behavior of the computer and browser, Internet sites), which are often installed without the knowledge of users and difficult to remove. To cope with such software in automatic mode, special means of removing malware for Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7.
The biggest problem associated with unwanted programs - antiviruses often do not report them, the second of the problems - the usual removal paths for them may not work, and the search is difficult. Previously, the problem of malware was addressed in instructions on how to get rid of ads in browsers. In this review - a set of the best free utilities for removing unwanted (PUP, PUA) and malware, cleaning browsers from AdWare and related tasks. May also be useful: Top free antiviruses .
- Microsoft Malware Removal Tool
- CrowdInspect (Windows Process Check)
- IObit Malware Fighter
- Emsisoft emergency kit
- Junkware Removal Tool (note 2018: JRT support will end this year)
- Browser Shortcut Checker
- Chrome Cleanup Tool
- Zemana AntiMalware
- Spybot search and destroy
I recommend starting the system scan and cleaning of malware from AdwCleaner. Especially in the most common cases today, such as pop-up ads and automatic opening of unnecessary pages with the inability to change the start page in the browser.
The main reasons for the recommendation to start with AdwCleaner - this tool to remove malware from a computer or laptop is completely free, in Russian, quite effective, also does not require installation and is regularly updated (plus after checking and cleaning it advises how to avoid computer infection in further: very practical advice, which I often give myself).
Using AdwCleaner is as simple as simple - start the program, click the Scan button, examine the results (you can uncheck the items that, in your opinion, do not need to be removed) and click the Clear button. Additionally, you can enable the cleaning of network parameters, hosts file and other elements in the settings section.
During the uninstallation process, a computer restart may be required (in order to uninstall the software that is currently running before it starts). And upon completion of the cleaning, you will receive a full text report on what exactly was deleted. Details on using AdwCleaner and where to download the scanner .
Note: under AdwCleaner some programs that he is called to fight are now masked, be careful. And, if you download the utility from a third-party site, do not be too lazy to check it on VirusTotal ( online virus scan virustotal.com ).
Microsoft Malware Removal Tool
If Windows 10 is installed on your computer, then the system already has a built-in malware removal tool (Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool) that works both in automatic mode and is also available for manual launch.
You can find this utility in C: \ Windows \ System32 \ MRT.exe . I note right away that this tool is not as effective as third-party programs for fighting Malware and Adware (for example, the AdwCleaner described below works better), but it's worth a try.
The entire process of searching for and removing malware is carried out in a simple wizard in Russian (where just click “Next”), and the scan itself takes a long time, so be prepared.
The advantage of the Microsoft MRT.exe malware removal tool is that as a system program, it is unlikely to be able to damage anything on your system (subject to its licensing). You can also download this tool separately for Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7 on the official website https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/890830
CrowdIsnpect - a tool for checking running Windows processes
Most of the malware search and removal utilities presented in the review search for executable files on a computer, study Windows startup, the registry, sometimes search for browser extensions and display a list of potentially dangerous software (check with your database) with a brief reference about which threat is detected .
In contrast, the Windows Process Validator CrowdInspect analyzes the currently running Windows 10, 8, and Windows 7 processes, comparing them with online databases of unwanted programs, performing a scan using the VirusTotal service and displaying the network connections established by these processes (displaying also the reputation of sites that own the corresponding IP addresses).
If it is not completely clear from what is described how the free CrowdInspect program can help in the fight against malware, I recommend reading a separate detailed review: Checking Windows processes using CrowdInspect .
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
Malwarebytes (formerly Malwarebytes Anti-Malware) is one of the most popular programs for finding and subsequently removing unwanted software from a computer, which can also work as an antivirus. Details about the program and its settings, as well as where to download it, can be found in the overview Using Malwarebytes Anti-malware .
Most reviews note a high degree of malware detection on the computer and its effective removal even in the free version. After scanning, found threats are quarantined by default, then they can be deleted by going to the appropriate section of the program. If you wish, you can exclude threats and not quarantine / delete them.
Initially, the program is installed as a paid Premium version with additional functions (for example, real-time scanning), but after 14 days it switches to free mode, which continues to work fine for manual scanning for threats. The version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free for home use can be downloaded for free from the official website https://ru.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download/ .
RogueKiller is one of the anti-malware tools that has not yet been purchased by Malwarebytes (unlike AdwCleaner and JRT) and the results of the threat search and analysis in this program (both free, fully operational, and paid versions are available) differ from their analogues , subjectively - for the better. In addition to one caveat - the lack of a Russian language interface.
RogueKiller allows you to scan the operating system and find malicious elements in:
In my test, when comparing RogueKiller with AdwCleaner on the same system with some potentially unwanted programs, RogueKiller turned out to be more effective. If your previous attempts to combat malware were unsuccessful - I recommend you try: Details about use and where to download RogueKiller .
IObit Malware Fighter
Many users are familiar with products from the IObit developer, they also have their own software for detecting malicious and potentially unwanted programs - IObit Malware Fighter.
A very simple utility for novice users, in general, working, but not without drawbacks. A detailed review and where to download: Removing malicious and potentially unwanted programs in IObit Malware Fighter .
Emsisoft emergency kit
Emsisoft Emergency Kit is a simple free tool for detecting, deleting or quarantining malicious and potentially unwanted programs, as well as rootkits and processes in memory, completely in Russian, available in both free and paid versions.
With a high probability, users will not have any problems using the utility: just scan, read the list of detected threats and either delete them or try to quarantine them. Details about the utility and its use: Removing malware in the Emsisoft Emergency Kit .
Sometimes, running malicious programs, as well as changes made by them in the system, interfere with the launch of the utilities listed here to remove unwanted software and access to the registry editor, task manager and other Windows tools. In order to eliminate this interference, you can use the RKill utility.
Details of what RKill does and the features of using the tool in the instructions Free RKill utility for removing malware .
Junkware removal tool
The free Adware and Malware removal tool, the Junkware Removal Tool (JRT), is another effective tool for combating unwanted programs, browser extensions, and other threats. Like AdwCleaner, it was acquired by Malwarebytes after some time of growing popularity.
The utility works in a text-based interface that searches for and automatically removes threats in running processes, startup, files and folders, services, browsers and shortcuts (after creating a system restore point). Finally, a text report is generated of all the removed unwanted software. Unfortunately, support for this product was discontinued after it was taken over by Malwarebytes. Detailed program review and download: Uninstall unwanted programs in the Junkware Removal Tool .
And another independent malware removal tool is SuperAntiSpyware (without the Russian interface language), available both for free (including as a portable version) and in a paid version (with real-time protection capability). Despite the name, the program allows you to find and neutralize not only Spyware, but also other types of threats - potentially unwanted programs, Adware, worms, rootkits, keyloggers, browser hijackers and the like.
Despite the fact that the program itself has not been updated for a long time, the threat databases continue to be regularly updated and, when checked, SuperAntiSpyware shows an excellent result, revealing some elements that other popular programs of this type do not “see”.
You can download SuperAntiSpyware from the official website https://www.superantispyware.com/
Utilities for checking shortcuts for browsers and other programs
When fighting AdWare in browsers, not only special attention should be paid to browser shortcuts: often, while remaining the same, they do not launch the browser entirely, or launch it in the wrong way by default. As a result, you can see advertising pages, or, for example, a malicious extension in the browser can constantly return.
You can check browser shortcuts manually using only Windows tools, or you can use automatic analysis tools, such as the free Shortcut Scanner or Check Browser LNK. Details about these shortcut checking programs and how to do this manually in the How to check browser shortcuts in Windows guide.
Google Chrome Cleanup Tool
One of the most common reasons for unwanted ads to appear in browsers (in pop-ups, by clicking anywhere on any site) is malicious browser extensions and add-ons. At the same time, according to the experience of responding to comments on articles on how to get rid of such advertising, users, knowing this, do not fulfill the obvious recommendation: disabling all extensions without exception, because some of them seem to them quite trustworthy, which they use for a long time (although in fact it often turns out that this extension has become malicious - it is quite possible, it even happens that the appearance of advertising is caused by extensions that previously blocked it).
The Google Chrome browser has a built-in Chrome Cleanup Tool (the official program from Google, formerly called the Google Software Removal Tool). Previously, it was available as a separate utility on Google, now it is part of the Google Chrome browser.
Details about the utility: using the built-in Google Chrome malware removal tool .
Zemana AntiMalware is another good anti-malware program that the comments on this article have drawn attention to. Among the advantages are an effective cloud search (it finds something that AdwCleaner and Malwarebytes AntiMalware sometimes do not see), scanning of individual files, the Russian language and a generally understandable interface. The program also allows you to protect your computer in real time (a similar option is available in the paid version of MBAM).
One of the most interesting features is checking and removing malicious and suspicious extensions in the browser. Given the fact that such extensions are the most common reason for pop-ups with advertisements and simply unwanted advertisements for users, such an opportunity seems to me simply wonderful. In order to enable checking browser extensions, go to "Settings" - "Advanced".
Among the shortcomings - only 15 days work for free (however, given the fact that such programs are mostly used in emergency cases, it may be sufficient), as well as the need for an Internet connection to work (in any case, for the initial check of the computer for availability Malware, Adware and other things).
You can download the free version of Zemana Antimalware for 15 days from the official site https://zemana.com/AntiMalware
HitmanPro is a long-standing utility for cleaning your computer from malicious software with an excellent reputation. It differs from others primarily in the speed of work and in the number of detected threats, including deleted ones, but which left “tails” in Windows, does not require installation on a computer.
HitmanPro is a paid program, but within 30 days it is possible to use all the functions for free - this is enough to remove all garbage from the system. When checking, the utility found all the malicious programs that I previously specially installed and successfully cleaned the computer from them.
Judging by the reviews of readers left on my site in articles about removing viruses that cause ads to appear in browsers (one of the most common problems today) and about returning to a normal start page, Hitman Pro is the utility that helps to solve the largest number of them problems with potentially unwanted and simply harmful software, and even in combination with the next product under consideration, it works almost without fail. You can download HitmanPro from the official website https://www.hitmanpro.com/
Spybot search & destroy
Spybot Search & Destroy is another effective way to get rid of unnecessary software and protect yourself from malware in the future. In addition, the utility has a wide range of additional features related to computer security. The program is in Russian.
In addition to finding unwanted software, the utility allows you to protect the system by tracking installed programs and changes in important system files and the Windows registry. In case of unsuccessful removal of malicious programs that caused failures, you can roll back the changes made by the utility. You can download the latest version for free from the developer: https://www.safer-networking.org/download/
I hope the presented anti-malware tools will help you solve the problems, if you have something to supplement the review with, I will be glad for your comments on the article.