How To Remove a Trojan Virus on a PC
Trojan viruses have been wreaking havoc for decades, and no system is safe from them. If your PC has been infected by one, here’s how to safely remove it.
Trojan viruses are among the most widespread types of malware. They are designed to steal your personal information, delete your files, and take over your computer. A trojan virus can also be used to give a hacker remote access to your machine, making it possible for them to spy on you or even steal your identity.
If you think you have one, but don't know how to remove a Trojan virus on your own, this step-by-step guide will help you through the process.
What Is a Trojan Virus?
A Trojan is a malicious program that is disguised as a legitimate application or file. Although they are technically not viruses, Trojans are still commonly referred to as such. Today, they are referred to as viruses or malware interchangeably, but it’s important to know the difference.
A Trojan doesn't replicate itself as viruses do; instead, it must be installed by the user. The main goal of a Trojan is to attempt to interfere with, crash, or occasionally outright steal a user's data, such as login credentials and credit card numbers.
Trojans often download other malware to your device, which can disable your anti-malware software, making it easier to disrupt your entire system.
There are two main ways to tell if your computer has Trojan malware on it. The first is to look for suspicious-looking files or programs that you don't recognize. The second is to run a malware scan using an antivirus program.
How Do Trojans Work?
Trojans infect systems by tricking users into downloading and installing them. They can be disguised as free games, music files, or other programs. One of the common examples of infections by a Trojan horse virus are phishing emails with infected attachments that spread to the computer when opened. This is only one type of social engineering attack used by hackers to trick users into downloading malware on their computers.
There is a set of damaging effects a Trojan virus can cause. Some of them can be easily fixed, while others may require hiring a professional or even involving the authorities. Here are some common types of damage a Trojan can cause.
Your device can be used for cybercrime. Sometimes, cybercriminals will not be satisfied with just stealing your sensitive data. There are cases where your device can be compromised with a Trojan and then used as a weapon for another cyber attack.
In such a scenario, your device can be used as an endpoint that takes part in a DDoS attack. This should definitely concern you because, apart from having your computer compromised, your IP address can be traced back to criminal activity.
Theft of sensitive information. This is a far more common use of Trojan viruses. After it has been planted on your computer, your passwords and account details can be stolen and passed on to a third party.
Changed settings that allow future threats. Trojans are known for creating backdoors on users’ computers by changing the security system and allowing more malware to enter the system without the user ever realizing it.
Types of Trojans
Today, there are millions of Trojan viruses, and they never cease to cause damage to individuals and businesses alike. Some of the most widespread types of Trojans are:
- Remote Acess Trojans, or RATs, grant hackers full control of the device they’ve infected and can be completely unnoticed while running on a device.
- Downloader Trojans download threats such as keyloggers and ransomware to the device. They are sometimes called “droppers” as they’re used for distributing ransomware or rootkits on other devices.
- Security software disabler Trojans are particularly dangerous as they have the ability to disable antiviruses and firewalls without your knowledge. This leaves your device vulnerable to Trojans and other threats.
Trojan Virus Removal - Step-By-Step Guide
There are different steps you need to take when removing Trojans, depending on whether the Trojan in question is pretending to be a regular program running malicious background processes, or if it pretends to be a startup program.
If you want to remove a Trojan that’s disguised as a regular program, do the following:
- Go to your PC settings
- Go to Apps and Features
- Click on the Trojan-infected program
- Click Uninstall
If you’re removing a Trojan that’s pretending to be a startup program, do the following:
- Open the Run menu by pressing Windows + R
- Type “regedit”
- Click HKEY_CURRENT_USER and then the Software folder
- Find the Trojan
- Right-click it and delete it
To remove a Trojan that’s running malicious background processes, follow these steps:
- Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to open the Task Manager
- Right-click on a malicious process
- Click on Properties
- In the details tab, see the program name
- After closing the Properties window, click End Task
- Uninstall the program that ran the process
As you can see, there are a few ways to remove malware and trojans, but the most effective one is to use an anti-malware program. These programs are designed to detect and remove all types of malware, and they can usually do so quite effectively.
If you don’t have an anti-malware program, there are many free and paid options to choose from, and you should definitely make getting one a priority. After all, prevention is the best cure.
Trojans are able to steal passwords, as well as more sensitive information, including bank details.
Trojan viruses are able to access almost everything on your computer. This includes the webcam, which is why many people prefer to keep their webcams covered, even when they don’t suspect their computer might be infected.
There are several ways to remove Trojans. You can manually remove an infected program if you can identify it, and you can also get rid of Trojans by using antivirus software. In our article, we offer detailed instructions on how to remove a trojan virus from your computer.
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