How To Find and Remove Viruses/Malware from a Windows 10 PC

To find and clear viruses or malware from your Windows 10 PC using the built-in tools, do the following:

1. Click the Windows button in the bottom-left corner of your desktop. You can also press the Windows key on your keyboard.

Begin typing "Virus & Threat" then click on the matching suggestion once it appears. This will open the Windows Security app.


Animated image showing the windows search feature to locate the "Virus & Threat Protection" tool in Windows Security

2. Click the "Virus & Threat Detection" tab on the left-hand side of the Windows Security app you opened in the previous step.

This will show the "Current Threats" section near the top, which we'll use in Step 3.

Animated image showing the Virus & Threat Protection page within the Windows Security app

3. Under "Current Threats," you can click to run a Quick Scan. You can also click "Scan options" to choose a deeper scan setting, then click "Scan Now."

Some options take longer to run, but each has a description of what will be happening when you run it.

Note: A "Quick Scan" may miss threats that something like the "Windows Defender Offline Scan" (the most heavy-duty option) can locate, so choose the scan type depending on your situation.
Image showing the different options for scanning your computer


Image showing an example of a Quick Scan progress bar


4. If a scan finds any infections, you will want to choose to Clean My Computer as your final step.

There's no harm in running a more advanced scan if a Quick Scan doesn't come up with a results, but you're still concerned about infections.

The rule of thumb is that a Quick Scan is good for preventative upkeep, but if you think you have malware or viruses, a Full Scan (or a Windows Defender Offline Scan) is best.


Article ID: 78782
Tue 5/21/19 3:16 PM
Thu 11/18/21 8:23 AM