We often see clients who believe they have a virus or malware infection. In today’s post, we wanted to discuss what to look for if you think you have a virus.

Symptoms Of A Virus

General symptoms of a virus or malware inflection can include application crashes, freezes, or overall poor performance. It should be noted that just because your computer is slow doesn’t mean you have a virus; several factors will result in a slow computer.

Viruses of yesteryear were clunky and sucked up your computer’s resources. Modern-day infections are sneakier, designed to run without you even knowing its there. Most are designed to steal your personal information or credit card numbers. However, if your computer’s performance drops all of a sudden, it could be an indicator of a virus or malware program. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all evidence to be on the lookout for without scanning your system. This is where a solid anti-virus program can come in handy.

Processes In Task Manager

Whenever a client tells us their computer is slow, one of the first places we look is the Task Manager. Task Manager will list all of the programs and processes running on your computer. It will display in several columns, Name, Status, CPU, Memory, Disk, Network, GPU.

Firstly, right-click on the taskbar at the bottom of your screen and select Task Manager from the list. Secondly, a new window will pop up. Lastly, click on more details to fully expand Task Manager.

Programs and processes will be continually moving around inside the task manager. This is normal. Look at your hardware columns and see if any are unusually high. Clicking on the column will sort the activities by greatest or least consumption. If there is a process or program that looks unfamiliar but is using a lot of resources, right-click on it and select search online to see if it is a known virus.

Note: Windows has several processes or systems running at any given moment, and some may spike your hardware. For example, if your computer is downloading updates in the background, your CPU usage might be higher than usual. Also, if your RAM usage is consistently over 60%, you may want to add more RAM for better performance.

Scan Your System

If nothing looks out of place in Task Manager and you have a third party anti-virus program installed, open the program up and run a scan. If you do not have any third-party anti-virus installed, Windows Defender is active by default.

To open Windows Defender: Windows Icon (bottom left corner) > Settings Tab (gear icon) > Update & Security > Windows Security

To run a scan, select the Virus & threat protection option. If you want a second opinion on Windows Defender or your third party anti-virus, we recommend Malwarebytes. There is a free and premium version of the program, and it is very effective at finding malware on a machine.

If you are concerned about your virus protection, feel free to stop by your local Computer Warriors. We have in house protection plans that will beef up your security and are packed full of other great benefits!

If you found this article interesting or helpful, check out our other posts!