How to Scan for Malware in Windows 10

Is your Windows10 computer performing slower than usual? Are you seeing different pop-ups thatweren’t there before?

If these are thecases, you may have a malware-infected PC on your hands. There are ways you cancheck. This article will teach you how to scan your PC for malware in Windows10.


The first logicalplace to start would be Windows Defender. Not only is it free, but it alsocomes with every Windows 10 purchase. It’s also simple to use — making it theideal solution for your average users who won’t go beyond mainstream sites.

It works byscanning for threats like adware, spyware, and viruses. Turning Defender onwill stop malicious software from doing any significant damage.

Turningon Windows Defender

Open Windows Settings. Go to Update and Security > Windows Security. Under Protection Areas, select Virus & Threat Protection.

A new window will pop up with a list of security options. Click Virus & Threat Protection. Now click Manage Settings under Virus & Threat Protection Settings. Go to Real-Time Protection and switch it to the on position if it’s currently off.

Once activated,Windows Defender will automatically scan your computer for malware. The mostrecent iteration of Windows Defender is not available on Windows 7 or Windows8.

IsWindows Defender enough?

The short answer is no — not if you’re looking for a much more robust solution. As mentioned earlier, Defender will be enough for the average user.

But if we’re talking pure performance, there are third-party solutions out there that offer more protection and can be fine-tuned to meet specific needs. One tool we have always suggested in Malwarebytes Anti-Malware .

Diagnosing Malware in Windows 10

There are otherways of diagnosing malware in a Windows 10 computer. Below are just a few.


PCs have afeature called Safe Mode. When you boot a PC through this mode, only theessential programs are loaded. Malware is prevented from launching. If yourcomputer performs faster while in Safe Mode, there’s a chance that you havemalware.

To access SafeMode, go to Start > Power. While holding the Shift key, press Restart. After the computer reboots, you should be able to accessSafe Mode.

You want todelete temporary files while in Safe Mode. Go to Search and type Disk Cleanup.It’s a free utility tool that’s included in Windows 10. This will help you removeold files and possibly malware after a quick scan.


If you feel like your current antivirus solution isn’t up to the challenge, maybe it’s time to consider installing one of the many malware scanners in the market today.

Some of these solutions are free while others you’d have to pay for. There are one-time purchases while others are subscription-based. Some antivirus software work better than others. Make sure you install one that’s highly recommended and comes from a reputable company.


Malware can makechanges to your browser settings. For example, malware can change your homepagesettings to launch sites that are meant to extract information or display adswhenever you open a browser.

You need to checkyour settings as soon as possible to prevent browsers from launching annoyingsites.


To modifyMicrosoft Edge settings, go to Settingsand More > Settings. Underthe Open Microsoft Edge Withdrop-down menu, select A Specific Pageor Pages.

Check the URLs inthe list and remove the unfamiliar domains.


Open GoogleChrome and go to Customize > Settings. Scroll down and locate On Startup. Select Open a Specific Page or Set of Pages.

Remove theunfamiliar domains from the list.

Reformatting Your PC

There are timeswhen users are forced to reformat their computers to remove malware. But beforeyou do, make sure you back up important files if it’s still possible for you todo so.

Go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. Under Reset This PC, select Get Started. You will be presented with two options.

Keep My Files will reformat your computer without deleting your files. Remove Everything will do just that – remove all files.

Note: There’s a higher chance ofremoving malware if you remove everything. However, you do so at the risk ofdeleting files and settings.

Follow theon-screen commands until Windows 10 prompts you to reset your PC.