Computer Virus: Stages, Symptoms & Solutions

A computer virus is software that self-spreads to disrupt the functioning by damaging its software and stealing data. The virus replicates itself and causes severe harm to the computer if left unchecked. 

No two computer viruses are the same; they are of different types and damage the system in various ways. Based on the nature of the virus, it travels from one computer to another, one program to another, or from one file to another. 

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How Do Viruses Work?

While you can easily recognize a virus’s existence on your computer in some cases, others are hard to detect. Virus infection is not sudden; they go through four different stages before they turn severely harmful to your computer. 

Dormancy: The initial stage in which the virus infects the computer but remains hidden for some time so that the user cannot detect it. Some viruses activate when the infected program is executed several times, while others wait for a certain period to wake up. 

Replication: The stage when the computer virus wakes from sleep and begins to reproduce itself. During the replication phase, it is still difficult to detect the virus and the user barely notices it. The chances are that the computer starts behaving abnormally or functions sluggishly. 

Trigger Event: The virus gets a signal from the trigger event that instructs it to bring the malicious code to life. The trigger event can be a date, a particular browser search, or anything that is predefined. 

Execution: The phase when the virus starts implementing its mission. If you see the sudden deletion of files or the browser search redirect error, the reason is virus intrusion. That’s when you need to search for how to get rid of yahoo redirect virus on mac, for example.

How to Detect Computer Virus?


Detecting computer viruses is important to reduce their damaging effects. The earlier you detect it, the better. It operates in different stages and becomes crucial with every subsequent phase. 

By careful consideration, you can easily detect the virus’ intrusion into your system. You need to scan your computer using an antivirus application, and on finding a virus, delete it immediately so that it won’t spread anymore. 

Let’s understand the symptoms that enable you to understand virus intrusion. 

Signs That Indicate Your Computer is Infected 

  • Missing Files

If you are not able to locate your files or find new files and folders that you have not created, it indicates virus intrusion. Delete any suspicious files or other items right away as they could be a virus. 

  • Frequent Crashes

A simple virus can harm your computer severely, and it could crash often. If you are experiencing a similar issue, there might be a hardware or software breakdown. Run diagnostics check to detect the hardware component that is at fault. 

  • Slow System Performance

A sluggish computer is a clear symptom of virus infection. Run an antivirus application to scan your system and detect the virus. On Detecting anything malicious, delete it permanently from the hard drive. 

  • Unrecognized Login Items

When you turn on your computer, and unfamiliar apps start running automatically, it could be a sign of a virus attack. The app that runs automatically on login can be malware and prompt you to click somewhere. Avoid clicking anywhere and remove it right away. 

  • Low Storage Space

Despite having sufficient storage space available on the hard drive, you might be getting an error message indicating low storage space. In that case, run an antivirus program to scan your computer thoroughly. 

  • Intrusive Pop-Up Windows

Unusual or unexpected pop-up windows and boxes are among the first few signs of virus intrusion. Pop-ups will compel you to visit illegitimate websites or encourage you to click a link to download antivirus. 

  • Browser Search Redirect 

In some cases, the browser homepage will display an unusual website, and you might not be able to reset it. Moreover, the search result may redirect you to another browser page with an unfamiliar search result. 

  • Application Malfunctioning

You may have to deal with an unresponsive app that is not responding to any command or not even closing down. Force quit these apps and scan your computer by running an antivirus application. 

  • Corrupted Files & Apps

When you notice that the apps, programs, and content files are becoming corrupted one after another at a rapid pace, viruses can be causing the issue. Run a deep scan to detect and remove the virus and restore any lost data from the backup. 

The Conclusion

So, these are some of the common signs that help you detect viruses in your computers. Having a backup is considered the best practice to deal with any uncontrollable issue such as virus intrusion, data loss due to hardware or software breakdown, and more. 

Back up your data regularly and be extra cautious while browsing the web. Avoid clicking any suspicious link and download all apps from reliable resources only.

Originally posted 2022-04-28 10:00:00.

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