Many programs claim to remove these malware threats, but you need to be careful. Some tools are outright ineffective, and others are malware, posing as free malware removal tools. To keep your personal information safe and stop malware from damaging your system, you need a robust malware removal tool with excellent detection capabilities. Luckily, after thoroughly testing 30+ free malware removal tools, I was able to handpick the best ones. I noticed that the best free malware removal tools are found within an antivirus suite, and Avira was on the top of my list . Remove malware for free with Avira

Quick Guide: 5 Best Free Malware Removal Tools

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The Best Free Tools to Remove Malware From Your Device (Tested in January 2023)

1. Avira — Stops Malware From Infecting Your Device in Real-Time

Key Features: Avira is one of the best free antiviruses on the market. It has built a solid brand among millions of users worldwide. Avira’s near-perfect detection rates make it highly effective at catching and removing malware from your system. It removes all types of malware, including:

Viruses — malware that replicates itself and modifies your computer programs. Ransomware — malware that encrypts computer files unless you pay a ransom. Spyware — malicious software that gathers your data and shares it with a third party without your approval. Trojans — a malicious program that disguises itself as a harmless program.

I planted over 1,000 malware samples on a test machine to test Avira’s malware removal abilities. Avira detected 99.96% of the malware threats and quickly removed them all. Avira’s robustness is made possible by its cloud-based antivirus engine that uses a signature-based detection system to check for malware samples in its database. Avira’s free plan also offers real-time protection against malware threats, which not many free antivirus programs offer.

Real-time protection — prevents malware threats from infecting your system, removing them immediately. Nightvision — AI-based technology that identifies and blocks zero-day malware threats. PUA Shield — blocks potentially unwanted applications hidden in legitimate programs. Safe Browsing — protects you from malicious or harmful websites. Ad blocker — prevents pop-up ads and other intrusive ads from loading when surfing the web. Browser tracking blocker — stops companies from monitoring your activities online.

Apart from the antivirus protection and privacy features above, Avira’s free plan doesn’t go further, but its premium plans come with many other helpful security features. This includes:

Unlimited VPN — Browse the web securely without limits and access your home content when traveling. Password Manager — Keep all your passwords in a secure vault and quickly auto-fill them on any website. PC Tune-Up tools — Clean up your system and optimize it to make it faster. Software Updater — Update programs and patch vulnerabilities on your computer.

You can use Avira’s free plan to eliminate malware on your device. However, I recommend using the premium plan if you want comprehensive protection from every threat. Avira offers 3 premium plans

Avira Pro — Removes malware, offers real-time protection, limited VPN, phishing protection, and data protection. It covers only 1 PC. Avira Internet Security — Eliminates malware and includes all the features of the Avira Pro plan, as well as a password manager and software updater. Avira Prime — Removes malware, has all the Internet Security plan features, PC tune-up tools, and unlimited VPN. It protects up to 5 devices.

Avira Prime offers robust malware removal capabilities and the best value among all the plans. It is also reasonably priced when compared to other antiviruses. You can subscribe to Avira for as low as $34.99. Avira offers a 60-day money-back guarantee and covers 1 or 5 devices depending on your chosen plan. Remove malware for free with Avira

2. Panda — Removes 100% Of Malware and Comes With Extra Features

Key Features: Panda is one of my favorite free antivirus programs, partly because it is very easy to use. Like Avira, it offers real-time protection on the free plan and extra features like free VPN and USB scanning. I’m very impressed with Panda’s antivirus technology, as it detects and removes nearly all malware threats. Panda removes

Malware — malicious program that causes harm to a computer, network, or server. Phishing threats — fraudulent site that intends to steal sensitive information like logins and personal data. Ransomware — malware that encrypts computer files unless you pay a ransom.

You just need to run the antivirus scan to detect and remove malware from your device. During my tests, I ran the Critical Areas scan (a quick scan that checks areas on your system likely to be attacked by malware), which took just 3 minutes to complete, and found malware on my device. After detecting the malware file, Panda sent it to Quarantine for me to examine before removing it. In addition to malware removal, Panda Free also comes with an external drive scanner and a free VPN (500MB) daily, which is too little data. I recommend you check the antiviruses that offer in-built VPNs without any data caps instead. To get full access to all the extra features, including a password manager, parental controls, WiFi protection, and Identity protection for all your devices, you’ll have to subscribe to any of its premium plans. Panda offers paid plans for malware removal, among other features.

Essential — Removes malware and offers firewall, real-time protection, and WiFi protection. Advanced — Includes all the Essential features, including parental controls, ID protection, and Ransomware protection. Complete — Has all the Advanced features and password manager, data shield, and device cleanup tool. Premium — Offers all the Complete plan features, including unlimited VPN, software update manager, and unlimited 24/7 premium support.

You can use all of Panda’s premium features to remove malware and protect all your devices. It covers unlimited devices, goes for as low as $17.49, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Panda is easy to install and lightweight. So it won’t slow down your system when removing malware and other threats. Remove malware for free with Panda

3. TotalAV — Perfect Malware Detection Abilities

Key Features: TotalAV is the new kid on the block that’s built a solid reputation as a globally trusted antivirus brand. It competes favorably against the top antivirus brands on the market and offers numerous security features that make malware removal a breeze. TotalAV removes a host of malware, such as:

Viruses — malware that easily replicates itself and causes damage to other computer programs. Trojans — a malicious program that poses as a harmless program. Spyware — malicious software that gathers your data and shares it with a third party without your approval. Adware — an unwanted program that promotes advertisement to you when browsing websites. Ransomware — malware that encrypts computer files unless you pay a ransom.

Unlike the previous malware removal tools on this list, TotalAV detects 100% of malware and removes them flawlessly. I planted over 1,000 malware samples on a test machine during my tests and ran a full disk virus scan. I was impressed that TotalAV detected and removed all malware threats, including those hidden in a compressed zipped file. While TotalAV’s free version can remove malware from your system, it lacks real-time protection. However, the free version comes with a 7-day free trial of the Pro plan (which includes real-time protection), but it doesn’t have some features like VPN and license sharing. To get comprehensive protection from malware and other threats, TotalAV’s premium plans are worth investing in. There are 3 premium plans:

Antivirus Pro — Eliminates malware, offers real-time protection, ransomware protection, system tune-up tools, and browser cleaner, and covers 3 devices. Internet Security — Removes malware, includes all the features of the Antivirus Pro plan, supports 5 devices, and offers a VPN. Total Security — Scans and removes different types of malware. It offers all the Internet Security plan features, including an ad blocker and password vault for up to 6 devices.

You can sign up for any of TotalAV’s premium plans to get comprehensive protection against malware and other threats. I recommend the Total Security plan, which provides more protection and covers up to 6 devices. TotalAV’s subscription plans start at $29.00 and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Remove malware for free with TotalAV

4. Bitdefender — Robust Malware Removal Tool With Tons of Extra Free Features

Key Features: Bitdefender offers a reliable malware removal tool within its antivirus suite. It’s a worthy contender among free malware removal tools, providing many features within its free plan and offering excellent malware detection rates. Bitdefender Free offers core antivirus software, including:

Advanced threat detection — behavior-based technology detects zero-day threats and ransomware. Anti-malware tools — removes malware files like viruses, trojans, spyware, and worms. Real-time protection — Instantly removes malware files before they infect your device. Anti-phishing and anti-fraud protection — prevents phishing and online fraud when you browse or shop online. Web filtering of harmful sites — block malicious sites to ensure you don’t land on a harmful website. Cloud scanning for reduced system impact — compares your files to a database of known malware, making it faster to scan your system.

Like TotalAV, Bitdefender offers 100% malware detection rates. I planted over 1000 malware samples on my test machine during my tests and ran a full system scan. It took about 48 minutes, but Bitdefender detected and removed all the malware samples on my system. After the full scan had removed all the malware files, I ran a Quick scan, and it didn’t find any malware files anymore. While Bitdefender’s free version has many more features than Avira and Panda, it lacks ransomware protection. This can only be found in the premium plan, among other advanced features like WiFi protection, password manager, secure browser, firewall, VPN, and more. Bitdefender offers multiple premium antivirus plans for malware removal.

Antivirus Plus — The basic antivirus plan covers 3 devices, removes malware, and offers ransomware protection. Internet Security — Detects malware but lacks device optimizer tools. Total Security — Covers 5 devices, removes different types of malware, and provides many security features like VPN and password manager. Premium Security — Removes malware, includes every Total Security feature, and protects 10 devices. Ultimate Security — This plan includes every Premium Security feature and Identity Theft protection. It also protects 10 devices.

All Bitdefender’s plans can remove every type of malware on your system. However, I prefer the Total Security plan as it offers the most security features at a budget-friendly cost. Bitdefender’s subscription plan starts at $19.99 and is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can try Bitdefender for free using the 30-day free trial. Remove malware for free with Bitdefender

5. Sophos HitmanPro — Installation-Free Malware Removal Tool

Key Features: Sophos provides excellent security and malware removal tools in different products, including its antivirus suite. HitmanPro is Sophos’ free Windows-only malware removal tool. It doesn’t have as many features as the best antivirus software for Windows, but HitmanPro scans your system, and if malware is found, you’re offered a 30-day free license to remove the detected malware files. HitmanPro is lightweight, and you can use it to remove malware even without installing it on your computer. It removes:

Viruses — malware that replicates itself and modifies your computer programs. Rootkits — a malicious program designed to infiltrate core system areas and give unauthorized access to an attacker. Spyware — malicious software that gathers and shares your data with a third party. Trojans — a malicious program that disguises itself as a harmless program. Malware — malicious program that causes harm to a computer, network, or server.

Unlike Avira, HitmanPro doesn’t offer real-time protection. To get comprehensive protection, you will have to go for the complete antivirus solution (Sophos Home). You can use Sophos Home to scan and remove malware from your system and get additional security features like:

AI Threat Detection — effective defense against zero-day malware threats. Ransomware Security — stops ransomware from encrypting your files. Privacy Protection — prevents unauthorized access to your webcam or keystrokes. Web Protection — blocks compromised or malicious websites. Real-Time Protection — protects you from known malware threats. Parental Web Filtering — blocks inappropriate content on your child’s devices.

Unlike other antivirus packages, Sophos only has a single scan option — there are no fast scan and zero customization options. However, you can still use Sophos to remove malware for free from your computer using its 30-day free trial. It covers up to 10 devices, and pricing goes for as low as $44.99 if you upgrade to the premium plan, which I highly recommend. Remove malware for free with Sophos

Bonus Option: Norton 360 — Best Premium Malware Removal Tool

Key Features: Norton has proven to be a highly secure antivirus with an excellent malware detection rate, anti-phishing protection, a robust firewall, and more. Norton successfully eliminated every malware on my system in my tests, scoring perfect removal scores. I was impressed with the speed of Norton’s malware scanner. The Quick scan took just 2 minutes to check over 10,000 files on my system, while the Full scan was completed in less than 12 minutes. These results are powered by Norton’s SONAR system that matches known threats against sites or files you interact with and examines the behavior of applications to determine whether they’re a risk before they’re officially known. In addition to malware removal, Norton comes with many other useful security features such as:

Cloud Backup — Encrypted storage up to 500GB. VPN — Stream home content and securely access the web. Firewall — monitors inbound and outbound traffic and blocks malicious programs. Parental Controls — Prevent your child from accessing inappropriate websites. Password manager — store and use all your passwords from an encrypted vault.

Norton offers different plans for malware removal as follows:

Norton Antivirus Plus — Easily removes malware, and covers only 1 device but offers additional features like online threat protection, 2GB cloud backup, a firewall, and a password manager. Norton 360 Standard — Includes advanced malware removal, all the features of the Plus Plan, supports up to 3 devices, PC Safecam, and dark web monitoring. Norton 360 Deluxe — It effectively removes malware and supports all the features in the Standard plan. It covers 5 devices and offers 50GB of cloud storage, parental controls, school time, VPN, and a privacy monitor. Norton 360 Select — Removes all types of malware, includes all the features in the Deluxe plan, and offers 250GB cloud storage, covers 10 devices, stolen wallet protection, identity restoration, credit monitoring, and ID verification monitoring.

I like that Norton offers excellent security and tons of features. It’s easy to use and compatible with popular devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You can even use Norton for free for 7 days by linking your payment information. All Norton plans offer excellent malware removal results, but I recommend the Deluxe plan because it offers comprehensive security features at an affordable price and is backed by a generous 60-day money-back guarantee. Remove malware with Norton

4 Easy Steps: How to Remove Malware for Free

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Quick Comparison Table: 2023’s Best Free Malware Removal Apps

How I Tested & Ranked the Top Free Malware Removal Tools

Malware Removal Capabilities — I only selected malware removal tools that offer excellent malware detection abilities and remove all forms of malware including viruses, trojans, worms, adware, spyware, and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). Real-time protection — I chose the malware removal tools that offer real-time protection against zero-day malware and other cyber threats and stop malware from infecting my system. Additional Security Features — I focused on malware removal tools that offer extra security features. I looked out for those that offer web protection tools like VPNs, anti-phishing protection, and PC optimization tools. Ease of Use — I prioritized the malware removal tools that are easy to use and provide apps for all the popular operating systems like Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS. Free Trial — I focused on malware removal tools found within an antivirus suite that offered free trials of its full suite for comprehensive protection against all types of cyber threats.

Warning! Avoid These 4 Malware Removal Apps

1. Lookout Mobile Security

Although Lookout Mobile Security is popular, it misses a lot of malware files during scans. Also, its website filter feature (Lookout Safe Browser) doesn’t work with VPNs. This prevents you from being able to use a very effective safety layer, potentially exposing your browsing data to cybercriminals.

2. Super Cleaner Studio’s Virus Cleaner

Even though this app rates decently on the Google Play Store, it can’t remove malware. If you run a scan, it detects issues, but when you try fixing them, it doesn’t really do that. It lists the exact same problems when the app is next reopened.

3. Avast/AVG

Avast is a popular antivirus brand, but the company has been caught selling its user’s browsing data to third parties. Due to this serious privacy violation, I don’t recommend using it to remove malware from your device, as it could be selling your personal information on the side.

4. Trend Micro

While Trend Micro can remove some malware types, it fails to remove trojans. This makes it unreliable because it might not detect the malware you have on your device, so we’re unable to recommend it at this time.

What is Malware?

Malware is any form of malicious software like viruses, trojans, spyware, adware, and ransomware designed to damage or exploit vulnerabilities in your software, computer, or network. You can get rid of malware using the best free malware removal tools found on this list. These tools effectively remove malware and stop them from causing damage to your device.

How can I get rid of Malware for free?

With a malware removal tool, you can scan your computer, and once the malware is discovered, remove them from your system. Besides the great free malware removal tools we’ve listed above, you should look into protecting your device online with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is essentially a private tunnel your computer uses to connect to the internet. When you’re connected, it encrypts your entire internet traffic, preventing hackers from hijacking your online activity. ExpressVPN offers one of the best VPN services, with great speeds, secure servers, and military-grade encryption technology.

Can Malware delete my files?

Yes. Some malware types, like ransomware, can delete important files from your device or prevent you from accessing them. However, you can protect yourself by downloading a robust malware removal tool found within an antivirus suite. Beyond removing malware, these antivirus tools prevent ransomware and other malware types from deleting your files or causing any form of damage to your data.

Can Malware damage my device?

Yes. Malware can cause severe damage to software installed in your device, like your Operating System, your files, or even in some cases, the hardware itself. To prevent malware from causing harm to your device, you should use a malware removal tool to get rid of the malicious software before it causes damage to your device.

What’s the best free Malware removal tool?

Avira tops the list of the best free malware removal tools that I carefully researched and curated. However, even though you can get rid of most malware for free, it might be worth considering protecting your device against future malware with a premium antivirus program. From my extensive tests of several dozens of premium antivirus, I found that Norton offers the best antivirus software, having perfect malware-detection scores and excellent security features. On top of that, with several of its plans, you’ll also have access to cloud storage to keep your sensitive data away from prying eyes and other extra features such as Dark Web Monitoring, which keeps looking whether your credentials have been leaked online. Remove malware with Avira

Get Rid of Malware Threats With the Best Free Malware Removal Tools

Malware is everywhere on the internet and continues to cause severe damage to systems, hardware, and computer networks. If you notice your device is unusually slow, regularly crashes, or experiencing unusual network activities, you’re most likely infected by malware. You need to remove the malware files to keep your software and device safe. However, you’ll need the right tool to do the job. After testing over 30 malware removal tools, I found the best free malware removals bundled in an antivirus suite. I tested each, ensuring they perfectly removed malware files and kept my device safe from other cyber threats. From my tests, I discovered that you could use Avira to remove nearly all malware files from your device. Other malware removal tools like Panda, TotalAV, and Bitdefender are equally effective and have extra features that offer comprehensive protection from viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, and other malware types. Remove malware with Avira

Summary — Best Overall Malware Removal Tools in 2023