A virus locked computer is a problem that requires thinking. You need to plan what your next move should be.
Considering how much damage viruses can do to digital devices, it would not be a stretch to suggest that once you have a virus on a computer, you are unlikely to use it. At least not until the problem is resolved.
Causes Behind the Locked Computer
The first thing you want to do is go back and figure out what might have caused this issue in the first place. Knowing it will help you avoid the problem in the future. Or, at the very least, reduce the odds of it appearing again.
Perhaps you opened a shady email and clicked on a URL that redirected you to a dangerous landing page. Or maybe you downloaded an attachment on your computer and your antivirus software was not enough to identify the threat and eliminate it?
As a rule of thumb, you should have reliable antivirus software as a foundation of a solid security setup. Adding a firewall, VPN, and other tools is also a worthwhile idea.
Keep in mind, though, that there are exceptions. According to this article, there are a few instances when you want to remove antivirus software from your computer. At least as far as some integrated software options go.
While not always related to cybersecurity problems, some built-in tools, including antivirus software, are known to cause performance issues. As such, do not discount it as a possibility behind a potential malware problem.
Now that you are a little bit familiar with what can cause viruses on a computer let’s take a look at what you can do to counter the issue, particularly once the device is locked.
#1 – Restart the Computer
The simplest solution can be the best. Restart the computer and see if that unlocks it. The odds are small, but it is possible that the locking exists because of a small internal system error which can be fixed with a quick restart.
As a rule of thumb, many computer issues can and should be resolved by first trying to restart the device. And the virus lock is no exception.
#2 – Scan Thoroughly With Antivirus
Another important step is to scan the computer’s system thoroughly using antivirus software. Make sure that the software is reliable and that it does its job properly.
You want to be running antivirus software in the background all the time when the computer is on anyway. However, as soon as you encounter an issue like a virus blocking the device, you must initiate a custom disk scan.
Actively checking the computer files for potentially corrupted data is necessary to ensure that the antivirus software does not miss a potential threat while the tool is running in the background.
Most antiviruses also have the features to deal with a threat. If a scan reveals a potential threat, command your antivirus software to deal with that threat.
It could be an application that is infected, for example. And if your antivirus software cannot delete an entire application from the computer, try one of the methods suggested in the following video:
#3 – Reinstall the Operating System
The operating system reinstallation is a hassle when you encounter what seems like a relatively simple problem. Nevertheless, if you cannot find a solution to the computer getting locked with a virus, then giving the device a clean slate is a go-to option.
If you have never reinstalled an operating system, look up some guides on the Internet. A step-by-step article or videos with clear explanations should be enough to get you through.
And keep in mind that this specific suggestion (reinstalling the OS) applies regardless of what operating system you are running. Be it MS Windows, Linux, or macOS, reinstalling the OS is a sure way to get rid of a plethora of different issues that a computer has, including those related to viruses.
#4 – Seek Professional Advice
The last suggestion in this article is to seek professional help. If you are not that well-versed in computers and are struggling despite trying different solutions, remember that you can still take your computer to a service store.
Someone who works as a computer technician is bound to have more knowledge than you. As such, you can expect a suggestion on how to solve the problem. Or, as an alternative, leave the computer in the hands of a professional and let them fix it.