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Check How to Detect and Remove a Keylogger
Keyloggers are a particularly deceptive type of spyware that can record and retrieve consecutive keystrokes (and much more) that a user enters on a device. The term keylogger, or “keylogger”, is obvious: software that records what you type on your keyboard. Be that as it may, keyloggers can also allow cybercriminals to spy on you, watch you on your system camera, or tune in through your smartphone’s microphone.
How to detect a keylogger
The warning signs for a keylogger program on your computer are simple: a slow browser, a delay in mouse movements or keystrokes, or a disappearing cursor. A keylogger can track you even if you are using one of the best browsers for privacy. Some keylogging symptoms also occur with old or cluttered devices, or can be the result of other malware such as adware.
This will teach you how to find a keylogger in Windows 10 and other operating systems so you can keep your data safe. Before we dive in, remember that the best keylogger detector is solid antivirus software that automatically removes keyloggers and other malware as soon as they are detected.
Use Task Manager
Task Manager is a quick way to check your computer for a keylogger. It’s a utility program on PC that shows you what background apps and processes are running (on Mac, use Activity Monitor). Follow these steps to search for a keylogger program on your PC.
- Right click on the taskbar and select Task Manager.
- Click More details in the lower left corner to see a list of processes running on your computer.
- Review the list of open applications and active processes. If you see unknown programs consuming resources, search for them online. If they seem unnecessary or potentially dangerous, right-click on them and select End Task.
- Next, check the programs that turn on when your computer starts up by checking the Startup tab. This is at the top of Task Manager.
- If you notice any unusual programs set to activate at startup, look them up online and if they are unnecessary or dangerous, disable them.
Inspect programs and features
Programs and Features is a section in Control Panel on Windows devices that allows you to add or remove programs. It’s a good way to search for keyloggers. The name of this feature will vary depending on the version of Windows you are using. In Windows 10, you’ll find a setting for Apps and Features called Add or Remove Programs in Windows 98 and Programs and Features in Windows Vista and Windows 7.
- Type control panel in the Start menu or taskbar search box and open Control Panel from the results.
- Click Programs, then click Programs and Features.
- Look for suspicious or unknown programs. If you see something you don’t know about, look it up online. If it is unnecessary or dangerous, right click and uninstall it.
Scan for keyloggers using antivirus software
The two steps above show you how to search for keyloggers manually. But keyloggers can masquerade as legitimate programs that are difficult to find on your own. Instead, run an antivirus scan with an antimalware scanner and removal application that can detect keyloggers automatically.
- Download and install Avast One.
- Follow the prompts to run your first scan.
- Avast will start a smart scan of your device to check for keyloggers, other types of malware, and other online threats.
How to remove a keylogger
The options for keylogger removal are similar to the options for discovery, remove them manually by following one of the processes below, or remove them automatically with antivirus software. The easiest and safest way to stop keyloggers is to use a keylogger detector to remove them automatically. Avast One has powerful anti-malware technology that will thoroughly scan your system to ensure that any type of keylogger infection is removed immediately.
Removing keyloggers can be as simple as uninstalling the program from your device. If you managed to find the keylogger using Task Manager or Programs and Features, the next step is to uninstall the program. Below is one to uninstall programs on your PC. If you’re using a Mac, follow our guide to uninstall apps on Mac.
- Go to the Start menu or search box and type control panel, then select Control Panel from the results.
- Choose Programs, then click Programs and Features.
- Right-click on the program you suspect is a keylogger and select Uninstall or Uninstall/Change.
- Follow the prompts until the process is complete.
Delete temporary files
Temporary files, or “temp” files, are a common place for keyloggers to hide. The Temp folder quickly becomes cluttered, making it easy for keyloggers to disguise themselves as legitimate files. Deleting temporary files can lead to successful keylogger virus removal. Here’s how to clear temporary files in Windows 10:
- Click the gear icon in the Start menu to open Windows Settings.
- Select System (the computer icon).
- Click Storage in the left navigation menu, then select Temporary files on the drive where Windows is installed.
- Select all temporary files using the check boxes and then click Delete files.
Reset your PC
As a last resort, try to remove a keylogger by restarting your PC. Doing so will wipe your entire drive, so make sure you have a safe backup of any files you want to keep before you reboot. To reset your PC, reinstall Windows 10, and remove a keylogger, follow these steps.
- Click Start and open Settings.
- Choose Update & security.
- Select Recovery and click Get started under the Reset this PC heading.
- Select Delete All.
Final remarks: How to Detect and Remove a Keylogger
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