Best Malware Removal Tools

Malicious programs in the context of this article (PUPs, AdWare and Malware) are not exactly viruses, but rather programs that show unwanted activity on the computer (advertising windows, incomprehensible behavior of the computer and the browser, Internet sites), to often installed without the knowledge of users and difficult to remove. Special malware removal tools for Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7 allow you to automatically deal with this type of software.

The biggest problem associated with unwanted programs is that antivirus programs often don't report them, the second of the problems is that the usual removal routes for them may not work and they are difficult to find. The malware issue has been touched on earlier in the instructions on how to get rid of ads in browsers. In this review - a set of the best free utilities to remove unwanted (PUP, PUA) and malware, clean AdWare browsers and related tasks. It can also be useful: The best free antivirus.

  1. AdwCleaner
  2. Microsoft Malware Removal Tool
  3. CrowdInspect (checking Windows processes)
  4. Malwarebytes
  5. RogueKiller
  6. Comodo Cleaning Essentials
  7. IObit Malware Fighter
  8. Emsisoft Emergency Kit
  9. Rkill
  10. Junkware removal tool
  11. SuperAntySpyware
  12. Browser shortcut exploration tools
  13. Chrome cleaning tool
  14. Zemana Anti-Malware
  15. HitmanPro
  16. Spybot Search and Destroy


I recommend starting to check and clean your system for malware exactly with AdwCleaner. Especially in the most common cases today, such as pop-up ads and the automatic opening of unnecessary pages with the inability to change the home page in the browser.

The main reasons for the recommendation to start with AdwCleaner - this tool to remove malware from your computer or laptop is completely free, in Russian, effective enough, does not require installation and is updated regularly (in addition, after checking and cleaning advises how to avoid infecting your computer in the future - very sensible advice, which I often give myself).

Using AdwCleaner is straightforward: run the program, click the "Scan" button, examine the results (you can uncheck items that you do not think are necessary to remove), and click the "Clean" button. Also, you can enable cleaning of network settings, hosts file, and other items in the settings section.

During the removal process, you may need to restart your computer (to remove the software that is currently running before it starts). And after the cleanup is complete, you'll get a full-text report of exactly what has been removed. More information on using AdwCleaner and where to download the scanner.

Note: AdwCleaner pretends to be some programs that you must combat, be careful. And, if you download the utility from a third-party site, don't be lazy to check with VirusTotal (online virus checker

Microsoft Malware Removal Tool

If you have Windows 10 installed on your computer, the system already has a built-in malware removal tool (Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool) that works both in automatic mode and is available to be run manually.

You can find this utility at C: {Windows} System32} MRT.exe. I should point out right away that this tool is not as effective as third-party adware and malware removal software (for example, AdwCleaner, discussed below, works better), but it is worth a try.

The whole process of finding and removing malware is done in a simple wizard in Russian (where you just have to click "Next"), and the scan itself takes a long time, so be prepared.

The advantage of the Microsoft MRT.exe malware remover is that, being a system program, it is unlikely to cause damage to your system (assuming it is licensed). You can also download this tool separately for Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7 from the official website

CrowdIsnect - a tool to check running Windows processes

Most of the malware search and removal utilities in this review search for executable files on your computer, examine the Windows autorun, registry, and sometimes browser extensions, and display a list of potentially dangerous software (referring to your database) with a brief summary of the type of threat detected.

Instead, the Windows Process Checker CrowdInspect analyzes the Windows 10, 8, and Windows 7 processes that are currently running, checking them against online databases of unwanted programs, performing checks using the VirusTotal service, and displaying connections from network established by these processes (also showing the reputation of the sites that have the corresponding IP addresses).

If it is not entirely clear from the description how the free CrowdInspect program can help in the fight against malware, I recommend reading the separate detailed review: Checking Windows processes with CrowdInspect.

Free Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Malwarebytes (formerly Malwarebytes Anti-Malware) is one of the most popular programs for finding and then removing unwanted software from your computer, which can also function as an antivirus. You can read more about the program and its settings, as well as where to download it, in the Using Malwarebytes Anti-malware review.

Most reviews highlight the high detection of malware on the computer and its effective removal, even in the free version. After scanning, the threats found are quarantined by default, and then you can remove them by going to the corresponding section of the program. If you want, you can exclude the threats and not quarantine / uninstall them.

The program is initially installed as a paid Premium version with additional features (such as real-time scanning), but after 14 days it goes into free mode, which still works great for manually scanning for threats. The home use version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free can be downloaded for free from the official website


RogueKiller is one of the anti-malware tools that has not yet been purchased by Malwarebytes (unlike AdwCleaner and JRT) and the search results and threat analysis in this program (both the free versions, which work quite well, as paid ones are available) differ from their counterparts, subjectively - for the better. Except for one nuance: the lack of language of the Russian interface.

RogueKiller allows you to scan your operating system and search for malicious items in:

In my test comparing RogueKiller with AdwCleaner on the same system with some potentially unwanted programs, RogueKiller was more successful. If your previous attempts to combat malware were unsuccessful, I recommend that you give it a try: Details on how to use and where to download RogueKiller.

Comodo Cleaning Essentials

Comodo Cleaning Essentials is not only a scanner to find viruses and malware, but also a set of additional tools that allow you to:

  • Check the Windows 10, 8.1 and Windows 7 Autorun items.
  • Clean a browser hijacked by unwanted software.
  • It performs a scan of the running processes, looking for the doubtful ones among them.
  • Fix crash of Windows system utilities.

Detailed summary of all program features: virus removal, malware removal and other features of Comodo Cleaning Essentials.

IObit Malware Fighter.

Many users are familiar with the products of the developer IObit, they also have their own software for detecting malicious and potentially unwanted programs - IObit Malware Fighter.

A very simple utility for novice users, it generally works, but it is not without its drawbacks. Detailed Review and Where to Download: Remove Malicious and Potentially Unwanted Programs in IObit Malware Fighter.

Emsisoft emergency kit.

Emsisoft Emergency Kit is a simple free tool to detect, remove or quarantine malicious and potentially unwanted programs, as well as rootkits and memory processes, completely in Russian, available in both free and paid versions.

In all likelihood, users will have no problem using the utility: just run a scan, read the list of detected threats, and remove them or try to quarantine them. More information about the utility and its use: Remove Emsisoft Emergency Kit Malware.


Sometimes the execution of malicious programs and the changes they have made to the system interfere with the execution of the tools mentioned here to remove unwanted software and with access to the registry editor, task manager and other Windows tools. . The RKill utility can be used to remove these obstacles.

Find out more about what exactly RKill does and the details of using the tool in the Free RKill malware removal utility instructions.

Junkware removal tool

Free Adware and Malware Removal Tool - Junkware Removal Tool (JRT) is another effective tool to combat unwanted programs, browser extensions, and other threats. Like AdwCleaner, it was acquired by Malwarebytes after a time of growing popularity.

The text-based utility automatically searches for and removes threats in running processes, autostart, files and folders, services, browsers, and shortcuts (having previously created a system restore point ). Finally create a text report of all the unwanted software removed. Unfortunately, support for this product was discontinued after Malwarebytes took over. Detailed description of the program and download: Junkware Removal Tool.


And another standalone malware removal tool: SuperAntiSpyware (without Russian interface language), available both for free (even portable version) and paid (with real-time protection option). Despite its name, the program allows you to find and disinfect 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 quite some time, the threat databases continue to be updated regularly and, when checked, SuperAntiSpyware shows excellent results, detecting some elements that other popular programs of this type "do not see" .

Download SuperAntiSpyware from the official website

Utilities to check browser shortcuts and other programs

When fighting AdWare in browsers and beyond, you need to pay special attention to browser shortcuts: often, although they apparently remain the same, they don't exactly launch the browser, or they launch it differently than the default. As a result, you may see advertising pages or, for example, a malicious browser extension may keep coming back.

You can check browser shortcuts manually using only Windows tools, or you can use automated scanning tools like free Shortcut Scanner or Check Browser LNK. Learn more about these shortcut checking programs and how to do it manually in the How to check browser shortcuts in Windows guide.

Google Chrome Cleanup Tool

One of the most common causes of unwanted ads in browsers (in pop-ups, clicking on any site) is malicious browser extensions and plug-ins. At the same time, based on experience when responding to comments in articles on how to get rid of this type of advertising, users who know about this do not follow the obvious recommendation: disable all extensions without exception, because some of them seem to be quite They are trusted and used for a long time (although in reality it often turns out that this particular extension has become malicious - it is even possible that the appearance of the advertisement is caused by the extensions that previously blocked it).

The Google Chrome browser has a built-in Chrome Cleanup Tool (an official Google program, formerly called Google Software Removal Tool). Before it was available as a standalone utility on the Google website, now it is part of the Google Chrome browser.

More information about the utility: use the malware removal tool built into Google Chrome.

Zemana Anti-Malware.

Zemana AntiMalware is another good antimalware program that the comments in this article have revealed. Advantages include efficient cloud search (finds what AdwCleaner and Malwarebytes AntiMalware sometimes don't see), individual file scanning, Russian language, and generally clear interface. The program also allows real-time computer protection (a similar function is available in the paid version of MBAM).

One of the most interesting functions is to check and remove malicious and suspicious extensions from your browser. Considering that these types of extensions are the most common cause of pop-ups and unwanted ads by users, this feature seems great to me. To enable scanning for browser extensions, go to Settings - Advanced.

Among the disadvantages - that it only works for free for 15 days (however, since these types of programs are used mostly in emergencies, it may be enough), and the need for an Internet connection to work (at least for the initial check of the computer for malware, adware and other things).

Download the 15-day free version of Zemana Antimalware from the official website


HitmanPro is a long-standing utility to clean your computer from malware with an excellent reputation. It differs from others mainly in the speed and number of threats detected, including those that have been removed, but of which there are "queues" in Windows, it does not require installation on the computer.

HitmanPro is a paid program, but for 30 days there is the possibility to use all functions for free - this is enough to remove all garbage from the system. Upon checking, the utility found all the pre-installed malware and successfully cleaned the computer from them.

Judging by the reviews that readers have left on my site on articles on removing viruses that cause ads in browsers (one of the most frequent problems today) and on returning a home page Normal, Hitman Pro is the utility that helps the largest number of them to solve the problems with potentially unwanted and simply harmful software, and, in combination with the next product under consideration, it works almost without failures. You can download HitmanPro from the official website

Spybot Search & Destroy

Spybot Search & Destroy is another effective way to get rid of unwanted software and protect yourself from malware in the future. In addition, the utility has a wide range of additional functions related to computer security. The program is in Russian.

In addition to searching for unwanted software, the utility allows you to protect your system by monitoring installed programs and changes to important system files and the Windows registry. In case the removal of the malicious programs that caused the malfunction is unsuccessful, you can revert the changes made by the utility. Download the latest version for free from the developer:

I hope that the presented anti-malware tools help you to solve the problems, and if you have anything to add to the review, I will be happy to receive your comments on the article.