6 Signs Your Computer Might Have Malware


Knowing how to identify potential malware signs on your computer is one of the best ways to ensure that you have a solid cybersecurity strategy intact. 

Malware can get on the device via different sources. Email attachments, shady landing pages, illegal downloads, files that you open when there is no antivirus software on the computer, and so on.

The longer the malware unseen on your computer, the worse it can become. Thus, you should learn about indications and eliminate the threat before it snowballs.

Random Crashes and Restarts

Random computer crashes and restarts are the first item on the list. If you mind your business on the device and get a sudden disruption because the computer restarts, consider the possibility that you have malware on the device.

A crash that also leads to a blue screen is also a good indication that you have cybersecurity problems. 

Annoying Ads

We are not talking about ads that you encounter on the Internet when surfing. Those can be dealt with with an ad blocker extension.

No, in the case of malware and computers, you might experience random pop-ups and other ad types on your computer without even launching your Internet browser.

It is an excellent example that you have a virus on the device. Imagining a different source for such a phenomenon is quite difficult. Perhaps a specific app you use might display ads, but those are easy to identify and trace, unlike random pop-ups and such.

Shrinking Computer Storage

As soon as you notice that the computer’s disk has less and less storage without you affecting it (downloading and deleting data), do not ignore the issue. It will not solve itself. If left unattended, the problem will only grow.

Shrinking computer storage is one of the tell-tale signs that there is malware on the device. Once you take care of it, you should notice a sudden increase in free available storage on the computer’s drive. And that will translate into better overall performance.

Appearance of Random Files

Unless you download or install something on your computer, you do not expect to see a new file appear on the device, right?

Random files, particularly the .exe type, are another example of how malware makes itself known. 

It makes things easier when the file appears on the desktop. You can identify it pretty quickly. However, what about files that are hidden behind multiple folders? Going through directories without knowing what you are really looking for sounds like an awful experience.

In some cases, these random files are also not large enough to impact the computer’s storage, which means that tracking them becomes even harder. 

Error Messages

Error messages that appear whenever you try to launch an app or do another task on a computer should be treated as a virus/malware.

Some errors will clearly indicate what the error was. However, if the source of the error is malware, it would be foolish to expect helpful information. By definition, malware is there to do harm rather than help you.

Computer and Accessory Incompatibility

While such cases are not that common, you can still expect to experience some issues when trying to connect accessories to your computer.

For example, if you are on a laptop and want to enhance your audio with wireless earbuds but cannot join the two devices together, it might be malware that is causing the problem.

Or what about trying to connect a different computer mouse or keyboard only for the computer to fail to install the necessary drivers because malware is causing the issues?

The struggles to make your accessories work are annoying, and if solving the malware problem is a solution, then all the more reason to get to it as soon as possible.


Having said all that, while malware can often be the main cause behind the issues mentioned in this article, you should also not underestimate the possibility that the fault lies elsewhere. For example, it could be the lack of OS updates or faulty hardware.

Nevertheless, considering how dangerous malware is and how much damage it can do to you, do not discard the possibility either. Make sure to use reliable antivirus software that scans the computer to identify and eliminate corrupted data. 

In more extreme cases, depending on how much damage the malware has done, you might also have to reinstall the operating system to give your device a clean slate.

Finally, get in the habit of backing up your data. Be it digital storage or a physical storage accessory, a copy or multiple copies of your files will go a long way as a precautionary measure.

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