How to Find & Get Rid of Computer Viruses on Mac or PC

Macs are less vulnerable to viruses than Windows PCs. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s immune to adware, malware, or other security threats. If you notice any kind of performance lag, your computer might be the victim of viruses and malware. 

If you think that malicious software has infected your computer, follow the tips given in this article to identify the issue and get rid of it. But let’s first understand how you should know that your computer is infected by a virus. 

How to Detect that The Computer Is Infected

If your Mac is infected, it will work slower than usual in the first place. In a majority of cases, viruses do their best to remain undetected. If the cybercriminals are using malware to steal data from your computer, they will keep it undetected as they don’t want you to detect it. 

The unusual behavior of your computer can give clues that the device is infected. The fan will run continuously; the device will run slower or stop responding and start rebooting abruptly. 

If you find anything that you have not installed, such as software, a plugin, toolbar, or a browser extension, a malicious program can be the culprit. Moreover, if you detect that your system settings have changed mysteriously, malware can be the reason. 

Some of the common signs of virus or malware infection in your computer include:

  • A sluggish Mac that takes minutes to respond to a command
  • Your computer freezes all of a sudden or shuts down abruptly
  • A web browser installed on your computer changes the Home page suddenly
  • Files and folders won’t open or disappears
  • The computer screen displays error message pop up window constantly
  • Sound issues on your computer

However, if you notice any of the above-mentioned signs, that doesn’t always mean that your computer is infected with a virus, malware, or adware. 

There are multiple reasons such as software conflict, download running in the background, multiple startup programs running simultaneously, and many more causing system slowdown or shutdowns. 

Similarly, if you detect sound issues, outdated sound drivers might be causing the problem, so try to fix it by installing the latest drivers. If you are looking for a possible workaround, see this to fix the sound problem on a MacBook. 

How to Find and Remove Virus From Computer

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The process to find the presence of a virus in your computer varies based on what operating system you are using. To detect viruses in macOS, you should go to the Activity Monitor. In MS Windows 10, head to the Task Manager to find and remove any virus or malware. 

However, there are a few tips and ways to help you find and remove viruses from your computer. 

Disconnect From the Internet

Whether you are using a Mac or a PC, the first thing you should do to detect malware is disconnect from the internet. It will prevent your computer from sharing sensitive Information with the malware server. On suspecting any malicious activity, try to stay offline as much as possible. 

Boot Your Computer in a Safe Mode

Safe mode allows your computer to perform necessary health and security checks. It only allows essential programs to load, making it easier to remove the malware app from the system. To enter Safe Mode in Mac, press the power button and hold down the Shift key for a few seconds till the Apple logo appears. 

To enter Safe Mode in Windows, click the Windows icon, hold down the Shift key, press the Power icon, and then select Restart. 

Examine the Activity Monitor

Identify if any unusual programs are installed and running on your Mac computer. Certain types of malware apps can put excessive load on the processor resulting in system slowdowns. Activity Monitor can help you identify such programs and remove them. To get to the Activity Monitor, press Command + Space keys, Type in Activity Monitor and click on Activity Monitor to open it. 

Look for any suspicious programs, note down the name, and delete it from the Finder window. 

Install Anti-Virus Application

Running a virus scan can enable you to detect and remove the virus from your computer. If your computer equips an anti-virus application, it will provide you with extensive protection against such security threats in the first place. So, make sure that you always have a responsive anti-virus application installed on your system.


All in all, there are quite a few things to know when dealing with potential cybersecurity threats on your computer. Hopefully, you can use this article as a reference and learn what is needed to do so that you can counter potential malware attacks or prevent them from happening in the first place.

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