How to Check for Malware

If you’re wondering how to check for malware, then you’ve come to the right place. Malware can be a pesky thing, but being able to identify whether your device is infected with malware is key to eliminating and preventing it. 

In this blog, we will explore what malware is, how you can check for malware on your device, and what iolo can do to help you. 

So, let’s jump right into the world of malware.

What is Malware?

Malware is a term that is essentially made up of two others – malicious software. This refers to any type of program or code that has been specifically designed to harm other devices, networks, or services. 

These programs can be ‘malicious’ in a number of different ways, making malware a challenging foe to deal with, especially as such malware continues to evolve and produce various strains. 

Types of Malware

Malware is an umbrella term, which means that a number of types and sub-types can be found that all come under ‘malware’. The most common types of malware can be distinguished as follows:


Adware consists of unwanted and spammy advertisements that constantly pop up on your device, potentially even affecting device performance and speed. 


This type of malware pretends to be a legitimate program or hides behind one, tricking the user into downloading it. Once executed, it begins to infect the device.


It’s not unusual to find people using ‘virus’ and ‘malware’ interchangeably, but it’s important to note that a virus is actually a type of malware. Viruses only start to infect a device once they are launched (usually when launching a program that it hides behind). As it spreads, it makes copies of itself to other programs and files on the device. 


Unlike viruses that require interaction before they can start to spread, worms can simply spread without being executed. Once (unknowingly) downloaded on the device, it spreads. 

How to Check for Malware

With all this discussion about malware, it begs the question: how do you check for malware? 

As mentioned above, some malware types like viruses require human interaction, such as launching a specific file or program, before it can actually do any damage to your device. This means that it can be difficult to tell whether your device has been compromised by malware already. 

But this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to check for malware on your Android, Apple, or Windows device. 

How to Know If Your Device is Infected

Although some malware needs to be ‘activated’ per se, others (or already activated ones) can significantly affect your device. This leads to some telltale signs that could indicate that there’s malware present on your device. 

Several symptoms of malware infection in computers include:

  • Slow and delayed performance
  • Unknown error messages
  • Consistently freezing or ‘blue screen of death’ (BSOD)
  • New and unfamiliar toolbars on browsers
  • Changing homepages 
  • Random and constant pop-ups 
  • Social media posts/emails from your account that you didn’t post/send
  • New and suspicious programs 
  • Disappearing files

How to Check for Malware on Apple Devices

Apple devices are built with malware protection in mind, making them formidable devices that are less vulnerable to malware infections. This doesn’t mean that they’re invincible, though. 

If you own an iPhone, iPad, or other Apple (programmable) device, here’s what you need to keep an eye out for:

  • Unfamiliar apps 
  • High data usage
  • Drained battery life
  • Pop-up ads
  • Overheating device
  • Crashing apps

If you suspect that you have malware on your iPhone, for instance, you should consider:

  • Updating your iOS
  • Remove any unfamiliar apps
  • Restart your phone
  • Factory reset your phone

How to Check for Malware on Android Devices

In the meantime, if you own an Android, you should be watchful of the same signs. With Android, you can easily scan for malware via the Google Play Store. This is how:

  1. Open the Google Play Store
  2. Tap on the menu
  3. Tap on Play Protect
  4. Tap Scan

If harmful apps are detected, you will be given options to remove them. Such options could include:

  • Rebooting in safe mode
  • Uninstalling suspicious or unfamiliar apps
  • Clearing browsing history, cookies, and downloads

Running a Scan with iolo’s Malware Killer

The cure is simple: run a scan to diagnose any malware and remove it. Even if your device isn’t displaying any symptoms like those mentioned previously, it’s still crucial that you perform malware scans on your devices. 

Figuring out how to scan your computer, Android or iPhone for malware is much simpler than it seems. First, you will need malware detection software like iolo’s Malware Killer, part of the System Mechanic® Ultimate Defense bundle. 

Malware Killer is an intuitive program that can effectively detect malware on your device in real-time. Should it find any existing malware, it neutralizes the threat in an instant. 

How to Use iolo’s Malware Killer

Once you have purchased and installed Malware Killer on your computer, you can configure its settings with ease. You have the option of:

  1. Enabling real-time protection, allowing the software to find and detect malware as you use your computer and/or;
  2. Running a scan on your computer for on-the-spot detection of malware 

We recommend doing both of these once you have set up Malware Killer on your device. Please take note that Malware Killer is only available for Windows® 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7. 

How to Prevent Malware

Other than knowing how to check for malware on your device, it’s also just as critical to know how to prevent it. In fact, here are our top tips when it comes to avoiding malware infections on devices:

  • Keep your operating system (OS) up-to-date
  • Avoid suspicious or unknown websites with strange domains 
  • Never click on unknown links or email attachments 
  • Regularly change your passwords
  • Frequently backup your data

Install an anti-malware software like iolo’s System Mechanic® Ultimate Defense

Protecting Your Computer with System Mechanic® Ultimate Defense

iolo’s System Mechanic® Ultimate Defense is a comprehensive security and privacy solution for computers. It offers password management, anti-virus, file control and privacy protection in a single software package.

As a result, you can expect excellent malware prevention, including the addition of Malware Killer. This means that you can reap all of the benefits of Malware Killer, plus more, when you choose System Mechanic® Ultimate Defense – available for Windows® 11, 10, 8.1, 8, and 7. 

System Mechanic® Ultimate Defense is the shield that your computer needs to not only safeguard your privacy and security, but to also boost performance for faster and more efficient computer operations. 

Plus, with a 30-day money-back guarantee, you have peace of mind that you can receive a full refund should you be unsatisfied with our product.

Identifying and Eradicating Malware with iolo

There you have it – now you should know how to check for malware in easy and simple ways. With malware becoming more commonplace as cybercriminals continue to further develop different types and strains of malware, it’s incredibly important that we are more vigilant than ever about malware detection and prevention. 

iolo’s wide collection of products and services can help you diagnose and cure any malware that is found on your devices. With Malware Killer and System Mechanic® Ultimate Defense, you can keep your computer safe and protected from new and existing strains of malware. 

Browse our full collection of products on the iolo website today or get in touch for more information about our solutions by giving us a call on (801) 523-6763. 

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What is iolo's Whole Home License?

The Whole Home License® is iolo’s licensing policy that allows you to install and keep your software running on all of your compatible devices within the same home. Previously, users were allowed to install and license their iolo software simultaneously on a maximum of three PCs. Under the Whole Home License, a single activation key allows you to use your iolo software on all of your PCs, other than any PCs you use for business purposes. What you need to know about Whole Home Licensing

  • You, your spouse, and your relatives living within the same household may use the same license on any number of PCs that you own which are not used for business.
  • For full legal terms and conditions, see

To install your iolo product on additional PCs:

  1. On the additional computer, download the latest version of your iolo product. Choose from the list of downloads offered here.
  2. Follow the steps in the installation wizard, and enter the same Activation Key that you used to install on your original computer.

You can view the Activation Key on the original computer from within System Mechanic > red menu bar > key icon > Activation Key.