How to Delete Harmful Files

Every program is made of individual files, whether or not it's a regular application or a parasite. Spyware programs use harmful files to install themselves and secretly collect personal information about you. Many spyware programs use your Internet connection to access your PC and hijack your browser, monitor your Web surfing habits, change your settings, and annoy you with pop-up ads.

You can delete spyware files two ways: manually, or with an anti-spyware program. To remove harmful files manually you must be familiar with computer technology. When you manually remove any computer file, there's a risk that the smallest mistake may destroy your PC, so choosing to use an anti-spyware program is by far the safest and quickest way you can delete harmful files. An anti-spyware program scans your computer, displays the suspected files, and allows you to decide what should be removed.

Learn how to remove unwanted harmful files and folders from your computer, even when they're hidden.

Delete Harmful Files Manually

Warning: Manually deleting malicious files is a difficult and risky. If you delete the wrong file, your computer may crash and important data may be lost. As a precautionary measure, please back up important files and set a System Restore point (click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore, and follow the on-screen instructions) or run a spyware check with a trusted anti-spyware program to automatically detect spyware.

Locate the harmful file

If you know the name of the parasite you want to remove or at least part of it, you should use Windows search tool to the exact file path of the parasite. To launch the Windows search tool, click the "Start" > "Search" > "All Files or Folders". Type the file name or its part to the field and locate where you want to search for it. Click on the drive, folder, or disk you wish to perform a search. It is recommended that you select "Look in: Local Hard Drives" or "Look in: My Computer" to get better results. Click on the "Search" button to start the search.

Search Harmful File

Make hidden files visible

If you don't know the exact spelling of a filename, but you have an idea where it can be located, you should try to find the file manually. Parasites tend to hide themselves so you will need to enable the functions that lets to display hidden and system protected files.

  1. First, you should start Windows Explorer. If the version of OS that you use is Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, click on the "Tools" menu and select "Internet Options". In the "Advanced Settings" list find the title "Show hidden files and folders" and select it. It is recommended to remove a checkmark next to the line "Hide protected operating system files", in order not to affect the files from your OS.

    Search Harmful File

  2. There are cases that some files may still remain invisible. To see them, load the "Command Prompt", press the "Start" button on your taskbar and select "Run". In the emerged dialog, type in "cmd" and press enter or click "OK" button.

    Run cmd

  3. In the emerged window type "dir /A name_of_the_folder" in order to display all the files, including those that are hidden.

    View Folder Name

Delete the harmful file

You can delete the harmful file by using Windows Explorer or any other similar program that locates files and folders in your machine. You should also note that the Recycle Bin should be emptied before starting the removal procedure. The message may appear that the file is in use and is impossible to be removed. In this case, you should terminate the process which is associated with the file and then delete it.

In order to delete it, you should open the Windows Task Manager by pressing "CTRL + ALT + DEL" or "CTRL + SHIFT + ESCAPE". Look at the Processes tab and select the process that corresponds with the file and click on the "End Process" button.

Kill Process with Task Manager

It is possible that some processes will start just after you terminate them. To avoid that, you will need to reboot your machine into the Windows Safe Mode. When this mode is launched, the programs do not start automatically on startup, so it means that many system services can be easily terminated and harmful files can be removed.

The harmful file can also be located and removed by using the "Command Prompt". To find the location of the harmful file, type "cd name_of_the_folder" and invoke the command by typing "del name_of_the_file".

Delete File with Command Prompt.png

If you want to delete entire folder, use the command "rmdir /S name_of_the_folder".

Delete Folder with Command Prompt.png

If you feel that the listed removal procedures are too complicated and you still want to remove the harmful file, we recommend to download SpyHunter's spyware scanner.

Posted: June 6, 2006
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