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My computer has a virus—what should I do? (Preliminary malware troubleshooting)


  • You suspect that your computer is infected with a virus or malware (such as Poweliks)


  • You were directed by ESET technical support to complete Preliminary malware troubleshooting


Before proceeding

  • Back up any important or valuable files on your computer.
  • If you cannot connect to the Internet on the infected computer, see the following Knowledgebase article before completing the steps in this article:
  • If your ESET product is detecting a threat and you want to learn more about it, visit ESET Virus Radar

ESET Support Services can help

You can contact our ESET Support Services team to have them remove malware for you (charges may apply).


  1. Bookmark/save this article
    Before proceeding we highly recommend that you bookmark this article in your web browser , print it for reference or view it on another device so that you can easily return to it and continue on to the next given step (for example, in step 4 you will have to access this article again after restarting your system in Safe Mode).

  2. Rule out currently trending threats
    To check for, and remove (if present) a trending threat, follow the steps in one of the following Knowledgebase articles:
  3. Run ESET Rogue Application Remover (ERAR)
    The ESET Rogue Application Remover (ERAR) will detect and attempt to remove rogue applications that are infecting your computer or making undesired changes to your registry.
  4. Scan your computer
    If you have an ESET product installed, run a Computer scan. If you do not have an ESET product installed, run the ESET Online Scanner (using default settings). The ESET Online Scanner looks at your system from a different perspective than a typical ESET Computer scan. To run the online scanner, follow the steps in the Knowledgebase article below:

    Leave detected threats in the quarantine

    Files in the quarantine will not run on your computer again as they are stored there in an inert, encrypted format that is useful for analysis.
  1. Restart your computer and observe system behavior
    If, after completing steps 1-4, you restart your computer and no longer notice the issues / symptoms that brought you to this article, you do not have to continue to step 6. If your issue / symptoms persist, continue to step 6 below.

    Complete all steps

    If steps 1-4 alleviated the symptoms you were experiencing, but you were unable to complete one of the steps above, we strongly recommend that you go back and attempt that step again.

  2. Gather logs and contact ESET technical support
    To complete this step, send a copy of a Scan log, Detected Threats log and SysInspector log to ESET technical support following the steps in the Knowledgebase articles below:

Need Personalized Assistance in North America?

If you're not already an ESET customer, ESET Support Services are available to clean, optimize and secure your system. Call 866-944-3738 or click to schedule an appointment with ESET Support Services today!