Most PC users know to run a scan with their anti-virus software at the first sign of an infection. However, what happens when a persistent virus stays on a computer even after a scan?

Users have a few at-home alternatives they can try if Plan A didn't work out. Eventually, they may need to rely on professional virus removal if these methods don't eliminate the threat.

Run anti-virus scan in Safe Mode

Sometimes, non-critical programs can simply get in the way when users try to run a virus scan. It can be more difficult for malware to propagate or subvert anti-virus software if a computer is run in Safe Mode, which boots the computer without starting non-essential applications.

How to run a virus scan in safe mode:

1. Turn on the computer
2. Tap F8 on the keyboard repeatedly right as the computer turns on
3. In the Windows Advanced Boot Menu, select "Safe Mode"
4. Once the desktop loads, open and run anti-virus software as normal
5. After scanning and deleting viruses, restart computer in regular Windows.

Manually remove virus

If, even after the previous steps, a virus remains installed on a computer, users may need to manually remove the malware's components from their computer registry.

However, this is often a complicated process that's best left to a Washington, D.C. virus removal professional.

System Image

As we covered in previous posts, a system image or system restore will convert a user's computer to an earlier saved state. This won't eliminate any viruses or malware, but it can clear off the nagging after-effects – such as sluggish performance – left over once the computer has been serviced by a virus removal specialist.