Computer viruses can take up a significant amount of memory on an infected computer.
Viruses negatively affect computer systems in a variety of ways. They can steal personal information, slow down computer performance and shut down a computer entirely. One common symptom of a virus infection is the appearance of numerous pop-up ads while you are surfing online. These ads can accumulate along with additional virus files to take up a substantial amount of memory in your hard drive. Removing a virus that is taking up a lot of hard drive space takes some time.
1. Install an antivirus program if you do not already have one. Avira Anti-virus, AVG and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware are all free protection programs that delete viruses and other malware from your hard drive (see Resources).
2. Update the software once it is installed by clicking the “Update” link on the program’s start page. Some programs update automatically but each will have a manual update option as well.
3. Disconnect your computer from the Internet once the update is completed. One reason you’re losing hard drive space is the virus is downloading more content to your computer through your modem. Cutting off its access eliminates this temporarily while you delete the virus.
4. Scan your computer with the antivirus software and delete all files flagged as hazardous.
5. Restart your computer and hold down the “F8” key during the reboot process to enter Safe Mode. Rescan your computer again in Safe Mode since this may reveal other components to the virus that are hidden during normal operation.
6. Restart your computer normally and reconnect to the Internet once the scans are showing no further trace of the virus.