Removing a Virus (Windows)

If your computer has been infected by a virus, ITS recommends that you follow the guidelines below. The Evaluate Security and Download Files section will help you to identify the current level of security on your computer and the files you will need to download. The Install and Run Necessary Software section will help you install and run the antivirus program.

New viruses are released every day. It may take time for the vendor of your antivirus software to develop a solution for a new virus. For these reasons, we cannot guarantee that the steps below will successfully remove all the viruses from your computer.

Evaluate Security and Download Files

Check Your Operating System Patches

Windows regularly releases security patches to correct security vulnerabilities. Start by making sure that you have all released security patches for your operating system.

  • If you currently have an Internet connection, you can download the necessary Windows security updates from using Internet Explorer (IE). If you are using a browser other than Internet Explorer, you can go to the Microsoft Download Center. You may need to visit the site several times in order to download all of the necessary updates.
  • If you do not have an Internet connection, or ITS has blocked your computer because of a virus, you will need to download the updates on another computer, then transfer them to and install them on the infected computer.

Check Your Antivirus Software

Check to see if your computer has an antivirus program installed. If you do not have an antivirus program installed, or if updates are not available for your virus definitions, you should download Sophos Endpoint Security from the ITS software download page.

Check Your Virus Definitions

Sophos Endpoint Security automatically updates virus definitions for your operating system.

To check to see if you have the latest virus definitions for Sophos Endpoint Security, follow the steps below:

    1. From the Start menu, click All Programs.
    2. Select Sophos Endpoint Security and click Sophos Endpoint Security and Control.
    3. The virus definitions information is located in the upper left-hand corner of the page. The Last Updated: date is when the virus definitions were last updated.


  1. If you believe that your virus definitions are out of date, please contact the ITS Customer Support Center.

Install and Run Necessary Software

Install Downloaded Software

Install the software that you downloaded in Section A. Make sure to install the antivirus software before installing or updating the virus definitions.

Restart the Computer in Safe Mode

Windows has an operating state called Safe Mode, which disables devices and loads as few executable modules as possible. A virus can be most easily be detected in this mode. Click one of the links below for instructions on restarting your computer in Safe Mode:

Scan for Viruses

If you do not see the Sophos shield in the systray next to the clock while in Safe Mode, start Sophos manually by following the steps below:

    1. Click Start and select All Programs.
    2. Select Sophos Endpoint Security and click Sophos Endpoint Security and Control.
    3. In the Sophos Endpoint Security and Control panel, click Scan my computer.

Note: The length of the scan will vary from a few minutes to more than an hour, depending on how fast your computer is and how many files you have. If the antivirus program finds a virus, you should follow the prompts to quarantine, clean, or delete the infected file.

  1. Restart the computer.

Getting Help

For questions, or if the virus persists, please contact the ITS Customer Support Center .