How to Delete/Remove Virus Without Antivirus

Jean updated on Sep 17, 2019 to File Recovery | How-to Articles


You don't need to pay for expensive antivirus software that may or not work to rid your computer of malware. Instead, you can use the built-in Command Prompt on your PC to delete virus files for free. Regardless of which method you take to clean up your virus-infected computer, we recommend you use data recovery software afterward to locate and get back inadvertently deleted files.

Can I Remove a Virus Without Antivirus Software

"I had a sudden drop in PC performance which I assume to be a virus. I searched around and found many antivirus programs, many that claim to be free. I downloaded a few of the more reputable ones, but found that they are not really free! Some ask for a payment straight-up or allow you to scan for malware but have to pay to clean out the virus. From scanning, now at least I am certain that my hard drive is infected. But they’re ridiculously expensive, I can’t afford that. There’s got to be a way to remove a virus without antivirus software. How can I do this?"

Before purchasing antivirus software, first use Windows Command Prompt (cmd) to remove the virus from your computer, laptop, external hard drive, pen drive or USB stick.

Remove Virus from PC/Laptop Without Antivirus Using CMD

Windows Command Prompt is built into Windows and, thus, completely free to access on your PC. Its syntax can be a bit technical, but it has extremely powerful functions capable of resolving various computer and system problems. Most important for you currently, cmd is able to find and remove all types of viruses, such as the shortcut virus, that delete computer files, corrupt system configurations or deteriorate system performance.

Be careful while using cmd. If you are unsure about the syntax of cmd, make sure you only enter commands from trusted sources, and that you type them out correctly. Improper use of cmd can result in serious damage to your system.

The attrib command is what you're going to use for virus cleanup. Follow the detailed guide below.

To clean up the virus with cmd, we will use the attrib command. It's less approachable than most commercial antivirus tools, but it is a superior virus remover solution when used with some guidance. If you would like to understand the cmd input for the attrib command, check out the linked article. 

1. Click on Start and select Command Prompt (Admin).
Sign in with your Administrator account and password if the system asks.
2. Type: D: and hit Enter. (Replace D: with the drive letter where the virus files exist.)
3. Enter attrib.
4. Enter attrib -h -r -s /s /d D:\*.* (again, replace D: with the appropriate drive letter)
5. Enter del autorun.inf If other virus file types exist on your computer, replace autorun.inf with extensions such as *.ink, *.exe, or *.vbm  to delete those suspicious files respectively.

Supplemental - recover files after removing the virus

Using cmd to remove a virus is effective for most virus infections, but is not sufficient in every single case. The same unfortunate truth also applies for using antivirus software, including the renowned ones such as McAfee, Norton, Kaspersky, Avast, etc. 

No matter how you end up killing the computer virus, you should always check your storage device for data loss afterward. While the virus itself may delete or hide files, the removal of virus files from cmd or with antivirus software can also inadvertently delete non-virus files. 

This data recovery software can scan your entire storage device for any lost files, allowing you to preview and retrieve them. (The free version enables you to recover up to 2GB of data. For unlimited recovery, you must upgrade to the Pro version).

Using this software is incredibly straightforward, and you won’t have to learn any technical syntax to get it working. Take a look at this guide to see just how to recover deleted data.

1. Select the desired data location

Select the location from where you have lost files after anti-virus scan program. For example, you lose files from C drive after using the anti-virus program, then you should select the C drive.

select the location where the antivirus deleted your data

2. Scan the anti-virus deleted files

Click Scan to generate a Tree-view of all the recoverable files.

With intuitive user-interface, the recovery process is quite straightforward and does not demand technical expertise. 

let the software scan the antivirus deleted data

3. Recover the anti-virus deleted files

Select the desired files from the list and preview what you want to recover. You can click the "Deleted files" option to find the desired files. The "Filter" option provides a quick way to your wanted files, click the option if you have difficulty in finding the desired files.

recover antivirus deleted data

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Frequently Asked Questions

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"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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