The Best Free Malware Removal Tools of 2018

by Julie Splinters - -

Choose the best free malware removal app to protect your PC and smartphone

Protect your computer with best free malware removal tools of 2018

Cybercrime statistics are worrying. Last year we saw numerous worldwide ransomware attacks, data breaches, cryptocurrency mining cases, and phishing attempts. The situation is not expected to change in 2018 too. Actually, it is expected to get even worse. 

However, it doesn't mean that all of us will go offline and disconnect our devices from the Internet. Absolutely not! However, we have to be more careful online and add an extra layer of computer protection. The first and an essential step to prevent various types of viruses from entering and corrupting your system is opting for a powerful security software.

Naturally, professional malware removal tools might be relatively expensive. Likewise, we have prepared the list of best free malware removal tools of 2018 to make a proof that it is not necessary to make enormous investments to protect your system from cyber infections. Note that some of the anti-malware programs also have premium versions which can be purchased if want some extra security. 

However, we feel obligated to warn you that you should be cautious of potential scams on the Internet. Crooks might try to swindle money from you by offering fake antivirus tools which look precisely like legitimate software.[1] Therefore, download the below listed free malware removal tools only from official websites or authorized distributors. 

1. AVG AntiVirus Free offers real-time protection

Employ AVG Antivirus software for free

AVG is a well-known security software developer which was acquired by Avast in 2016. After joining their forces, these two antivirus vendors have accumulated an impressive number of users worldwide.

The most known products of AVG are AVG Antivirus, AVG Ultimate and AVG Internet Security. However, the company has also been offering a free version. No matter that is can be obtained without a fee, it is considered as a reliable malware remover. In fact, it has been approved to be the best free malware removal tool. 

The main feature offered by AVG free is the protection against malicious downloads that are removed before they get into the system. If they happen to find their way to the computer, you can also stay relaxed because every file is prevented from launching at first. The program analyzes every new component and wipes if it finds the file to be malicious. 

Besides, the great news is that you can get real-time security updates when opting for AVG free. With their help, you can be sure that your computer is protected against the newest malware, such as ransomware, spyware, and other cyber threats that keep emerging every single day.

Antivirus also blocks unsafe links, downloads, and malicious email attachments. Thus, this tool helps to minimize the risk of phishing attack. However, independent test results show that anti-phishing feature is not as good as other security programs'.

Finally, users are also available to try AVG Web TuneUp plug-in that they can add to their browsers to make their browsing on the Internet more secure.

An excellent choice. But don't just take my word for it. Go ahead and give the program a try. (source: PCMag)

According to program's developers, you will be more than satisfied with its new and simple design which explicitly shows how you are protected from malware attacks. Additionally, AVG Antivirus tool does not slow down your computer. If you would be interested in extending its features, you can get the full protection for $70 a year. 

AVG security program offers protection for computers, laptops, and mobile devices that run in:

  • Windows (10, 8, 7, Vista and XP SP3);
  • Mac OS X (OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion or above);
  • Android OS (2.2 or above).
 Pros Cons Conclusion
Real-time protection for malware System scan is slower compared to average antivirus scan speed

Despite a few minor disadvantages, AVG Antivirus is one of the best free tools that are available online that can provide full protection to computers, laptops, and mobile devices.


Shows great results in independent testing labs Does not provide great antiphishing protection
Blocks malicious websites quite good  
Protects computers and mobile devices  

2. BitDefender Antivirus Free offers award-winning protection that does not use lots of computer's resources

Try the free edition of BitDefender antivirus

BitDefender Antivirus employs an innovative technology called behavioral detection[2]. It closely monitors apps which are present on the computer and checks for any suspicious activity. If the free malware removal tool detects any programs acting out of ordinary, it takes immediate actions. 

The free antivirus protects computers from Trojans, worms, ransomware, spyware, rootkits, and even zero-day exploits. Thus, it definitely gives real-time protection from every possible cyber threat that is lurking on the web.

Another advanced technology it uses is machine learning which allows to protect you from fraudulent websites, false alarms, and other phishing content. Also, BitDefender free edition does not bother you with annoying notifications about the updates. Instead, it silently takes care of your computer's security in the background.

One of the biggest advantages of Bitdefender free antivirus software is a light usage of the computer's resources. After a quick installation, you won't notice any system slowdowns, lagging videos or games, or similar programs. Thus, you barely notice this software running in the background.

The labs have already made it very clear that Bitdefender is a winner. (Source: PCMag)

Bitdefender also has a paid version that offers more features and advanced level of protection. However, if you are not willing to spend any money, you should install a free version of a security program. The free antivirus is compatible with:

  • Windows 10, 8.1, 8, or 7 SP1;
  • Mac OS X;
  • Android OS.
Pros Cons Conclusions
Great results from independent testing labs Do not have scheduled scans feature The program received numerous awards and shows excellent results in independent testing labs. It provides a general computer protection. However, you might fight the lack of additional features, such as limited scan options or inability to schedule system scans.   
Excellent antiphishing protection Requires connection to the Internet
Real-time protection from malware  
Simple to use interface  

3. Panda Free Antivirus tool offers cloud cleaner solutions

Panda Free Antivirus in 2018

Panda Antivirus software is categorized as one of the best free malware removal tools since it requires no supervision — once installed, it does all the job for you. Also, it is great that it functions in the cloud[3]. Therefore, you don't need to store files or perform regular updates. 

What is more, Panda Antivirus ensures safe online browsing and shopping. Likewise, you are protected from e-shop scams and other phishing attempts. Premium version is compatible with Windows and Android devices which allows to enjoy several more features like anti-theft alarm, lock and wipe function, and real-time location for your gadgets. 

One of the most significant features is Panda's USB drive vaccination. Thus, it scans drives for malware and does not let malicious programs to the computer. Indeed, it's a unique feature that might give an extra layer of protection if you frequently plug in external drives to your computer.

However, the antivirus does not provide good protection as other free security programs. The program did not give great results in independent testing and our tests. 

Pros Cons Conclusions
Vaccinates USB drives Average or below the average computer protection from malware. Despite a unique USB drive vaccination, this program is a regular free antivirus that does not provide maximum possible protection. Compared to previously described programs, Panda Free Antivirus does not provide the best protection.   
Protects online activities  
Blocks phishing websites  
Cloud cleaning solutions after malware attack  

4. Free Malwarebytes Anti-Malware cleans various cyber threats from affected machines

Get Malwarebytes Anti-malware software for free

Malwarebytes is considered one of the best malware and spyware removers. While you can become the user of its Premium version offers an efficient anti-malware program for free. The products of this company detect and eliminate more than 15 million threats every day. This virus removal tool provides real-time protection and automatically identifies new and old computer hazards to protect your system before malware infects your PC[4].

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software offers anti-exploit function alongside the common anti-ransomware. The combination of these features guarantees that ransomware attack will be stopped before corrupting your data and vulnerable systems will be shielded from the exploit strike. However, this feature is available only for paid version's users.

Fortunately, there are free versions for both Mac and Windows users. Likewise, you can enjoy safe computer despite the operating system you use. Additionally, there is a variant for Android fans to protect their devices and privacy as well. The free version of anti-malware offers these features:

  • Anti-malware and anti-spyware. It detects and removes cyber threats from the affected device;
  • Anti-rootkit. It locates and deletes rootkits and repairs files that were damaged.

Thus, this free tool is great for cleaning the affected machine. However, if you want to keep antivirus features for a longer time than 14 days, you will need to pay for the license. Note that the premium version of Malwarebytes Anti-malware tool costs only £19.95 a year, so it's not that expensive.

Pros Cons Conclusion
Anti-malware/anti-spyware detection and removal Free Malwarebytes Anti-Malware works as a cleaning tool. Free Malwarebytes Anti-Malware works as a cleaning tool.Free anti-malware tool works as malware removal. Hence, in order to take advantage of all great functionalities, including ransomware protection, you will need to obtain a license after a free trial.     
Rootkit removal and system repair after damage  
Ransomware prevention  
Malware prevention  
Blocks malicious websites  
Protects from zero-day exploits  

5. Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool is suitable for Windows computers only

Download Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool

Microsoft malware removal software is designed for Windows operating systems. It is automatically installed on computers together with Windows updates which arrive on second Tuesday of every month. However, you can also download it as a stand-alone application any time from the official website. It allows to detect and eliminate various computer threats as well as reverse the changes they have made.

Microsoft Malicious Software Removal tool is compatible with these versions of the operating system:

  • Windows 10,
  • Windows 8.1,
  • Windows Server 2012 R2,
  • Windows 8,
  • Windows Server 2012,
  • Windows 7,
  • Windows Server 2008.

Microsoft Malicious Software Removal tool is completely free of charge and simple to use. Once you run the full system scan, it delivers the window informing about the outcome — whether the malware was detected and terminated. Likewise, even people who do not have IT knowledge will be able to enjoy Microsoft protection services.

This Windows security program should be used together with another antivirus because it can only detect and remove a small amount of cyber threats. Thus, in order to avoid cleaning your device from malware, you should also obtain a program that provides real-time protection too. The combination of two tools will offer maximum security for your Windows computer.

Pros Cons Conclusion
Built-in Windows security tool Detects only small amount of malware Microsoft Malicious Software Removal tool is a great tool for cleaning infected Windows machines. However, it does not provide real-time protection which is a must for cybersecurity. Thus, it's recommended to use as an additional tool.   
Monthly updates Does not provide real-time protection
Easy to use  
Quick malware elimination  

6. BONUS: Free Reimage Antivirus software. Clean and repair your computer!

Use Reimage to protect your computer

In spite of all the above mentioned free malware removal tools of 2018, we would highly recommend trying Reimage as well[5]. It is a great software designed to not only protect your privacy but also significantly increase your computer's performance. You will no longer be disrupted by system crashes or freezes and will be able to enjoy your browsing experience. 

It is easy to use and ensures that your computer is malware-free. Various tests results show that Reimage is capable of detecting worms, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and other malicious applications better than other antivirus programs. It is capable of identifying these cyber threats:

  • adware,
  • trojan horses,
  • crimeware,
  • rootkits,
  • spyware,
  • worms.

Reimage also makes sure that the files which have been damaged would be repaired and you would receive full technical support for your system. The program has a huge database of 25,000,000 system files and can fix corrupted entries immediately. Thus, after the malware attack, you won't need to worry about fixing your computer and dealing with various error messages that might appear due to the virus damage.

If you enjoy this anti-malware tool, you can get one for your smartphone as well. Reimage is developed for both, Mac and Windows operating systems that every user would be satisfied. However, to take advantage of all its features, you can purchase the full version for only €59.95. 

Pros Cons Conclusion
Great malware detection rate Do not provide real-time protection from malware Reimage is a great tool for cleaning infected machine and making the system stable after the malware attack. However, it does not protect from cyber threats. Thus, it's recommended to use together with anti-virus or anti-malware program.   
Quick computer clean  
Fix corrupted or damaged files  
Provides stability for the computer  

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

Julie Splinters is the News Editor of 2-spyware. Her bachelor was English Philology.

Contact Julie Splinters
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