Question from Kim Y.: I have a 2 year old Acer laptop that’s running Windows 10.
It appears that it’s infected with viruses because it acts weird all the time and it runs really slow.
Also, my Norton software keeps finding two viruses that it can’t remove and I don’t know what to do next.
I’ve heard that resetting Windows 10 will remove all the viruses from the system. Is that true or do you think I should just break down and buy a new laptop?
If you think I can just do the reset can you tell me how do to it?
Rick’s answer: Kim, first of all you do not need to buy a new laptop just to rid the one you already have of viruses.
I have written a post that explains step by step how to completely rid your PC of malware without having to re-install Windows. You can read it right here.
If you’d rather not spend the time required to follow all the steps listed in the above-mentioned post, you can always simply reset the Windows 10 installation and that should indeed wipe out any malware that’s currently on your machine.
If you do decide to reset Windows I recommend that you back up any user-created files (photos, Office documents, etc.) that you don’t want to lose onto other media, then choose the option to wipe everything out and start over.
Also, be aware that you’ll need to reinstall all of your user-installed programs and apps as well as your printer driver and software.
When you’re ready to proceed simply follow the instructions in this post to reset your Windows 10 installation (again, be sure to choose the option to wipe everything out and reinstall Windows).
After the reset procedure is complete you’ll need to decide whether you want to download and install a quality third-party antivirus program like Avast or simply use Microsoft’s native Windows Defender (which is actually quite good these days).
Regardless of which full-time antivirus tool you decide to use, I strongly recommend that you also install and run frequent scans with the free version of Malwarebytes.
And finally, I also recommend that you read this post which explains how to (hopefully) avoid encountering a virus in the first place.
Bonus tip: This post explains why you should always use just one antivirus program at a time for the best protection.
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