How to kill malicious processes?

1. What are processes?

When you run an application its executable code loads into computer’s memory. The code is called a process; in simple words, the process (or several processes) represents the whole application. If you terminate the process, the program does not load.

You can check all the processes using Windows Task Manager. Most of the running processes are vital for Windows to function properly; others represent software used at the moment (i.e. Winword.exe). But some of the processes are executed without your permission and they even might be hidden from you.

2. Why do you need to terminate malicious processes?

Spyware, adware, trojans and all the other kinds of malware are computer programs just like text redactors or video players; if malwares run on a computer, they appear as certain processes. Security tools can deal with computer parasites but if the malware is running at the moment of removal, it can’t be deleted. The same thing happens when you try to delete a file or a folder that is currently in use.

Malicious programs threaten both your privacy and security of your computer. You need to terminate malicious processes in advance of deleting malwares.

3. Things to consider BEFORE killing malicious processes.

Stopping system processes is not a difficult task but it contains certain risks. If a wrong process is selected and terminated, a computer might crash. You may lose important data as a result of killing the wrong process.

Malicious processes might be named similar or even the same as the processes that are essential for Windows operating system. Please, back up important files and create a System Restore point, before killing a process, especially when you are not sure about its origins. Run reputable anti-spyware and anti-virus scans prior to using manual removal; this might save your time and efforts and it is not as risky as deleting malware manually.

4. Killing malicious processes: Killing processes using Windows Task Manager

a) Start Windows Task Manager

Use a combination of CTRL+ALT+DEL or CTRL+SHIFT+ESC to open Windows Task Manager. You can also summon the Task Manager by clicking on the “Start” button, selecting “Run” option, typing “taskmgr” and clicking the “OK” button.

b) Locate and terminate malicious processes

Select “Processes” tab on the Windows Task Manager in order to view active processes. Find a malicious process by its name, select it and click the “End process” button to terminate it. Arrange processes by name to find the needed process easily. Click “Image Name” tab to order processes by name.