DIY Remove a Resident Virus

What is a Resident Virus?

Resident viruses are among the most common type of computer virus. They embed themselves in the RAM (random access memory) of your computer, and spread throughout the machine each time a certain function is performed. For instance, a resident virus may be activated each time a particular file is opened or a specific program is run.

This type of virus takes advantage of the fact that many users multi-task, or have many programs running at the same time. For instance, if the virus is waiting to be activated when you open your word processing software, it will then infect the Internet browser and other programs that are currently running when you open the word processor. A resident virus can often be spotted and removed by an anti-virus program, such as AVG free. To avoid future infections, have a reliable anti-virus and firewall running on your computer at all times.

How do I Remove Resident Viruses?

To remove a resident virus from your computer, follow one of the two options below:


Option 1: Run an Anti-Virus Software

Because resident viruses are quite common, they are often known by anti-virus programs. Running a free anti-virus software is the easiest way to seek out the problem and have it removed. Because this type of virus is in your memory, and can spread quite quickly, an anti-virus program will be able to find all instances more swiftly than you can.


    1. Put your computer into safe mode. This will reduce the likelihood that the resident virus can interfere with the anti-virus software. To enter safe mode, shut down or restart your computer. When your computer begins to start up again, hit the F8 key repeatedly until you see the Advanced Options menu. Note that you need to hit the F8 key before anything appears on your screen for it to work. Choose “Safe mode with networking” from the list and hit “Enter.


    1. Open AVG Free or another anti-virus program, if you already have it installed on your computer. If you need an anti-virus program, go to and download the software. Open AVG Free once the download is complete.
    2. Click on the “Scan options” tab in the main menu and then choose “Whole computer scan.” AVG Free will begin to search your computer for instances of the resident virus. AVG Free automatically quarantines and treats known threats. If prompted, approve the healing of all found threats. Once the scan is complete, you can restart your computer in regular mode.


  1. Open Word on your computer. Click on the Windows icon and go to the “Open” link. Choose the file that you think is infected with the Macro virus while holding down the “Shift” key on your computer. This will disable macros on the document.

Option 2: Manually Remove the Virus

If you are able to figure out which resident virus you have, you can access the computer registry and remove it by yourself. Note that deleting the wrong registry file can have very adverse effects to your computer, so you should not attempt this process if you are a computer novice or totally unfamiliar with the registry.

To figure out which resident virus you have, pay attention to the error messages you receive on your computer as a result of the virus. Conduct an Internet search of the error code to get the name of the virus; you should also look for any specific files that are associated with that virus, so you know what to look for on your registry.

    1. Press the “Control,””Alt,” and “Delete” keys on your keyboard and then choose “Start Task Manager” from the menu. Go to the “Processes” and look for any suspicious viruses. Specifically, you should look for anything that includes the name of the virus, or unfamiliar .exe files. When you locate a process that is associated with the resident virus, click on it once and choose the “End Process” button at the bottom of the Task Manager window.


    1. Open the Windows start menu by clicking on the Windows icon in the bottom left corner of your desktop. Type “Run” (no quotations) in the search field and hit the “Enter” key. Type “regedit” in to the Run search field and press “Enter.” If prompted, click “Yes” to allow your computer to open the Registry Editor.


    1. Click the arrow next to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” in the left panel to expand it. Then, click on the “Edit” menu tab on the top toolbar and select “Find” from the drop-down menu.


  1. Enter the name of the resident virus you want to remove and check the boxes next to “Keys,” “Values” and “Data.” Press the “Enter” key and wait for the Windows registry editor to look for the virus files.
  2. Right-click on files you suspect are infected and choose “Preferences.” Look at the date the file was installed on your computer; if the installation date listed is around the time the resident virus attack began, delete the file. Repeat this step for all the virus related files in the registry.

only at