Best malware removal software in 2024
Without malware removal software, your device is susceptible to multiple threats. Viruses, ransomware, spyware, and other threats can compromise a device’s security and steal your personal data. Moreover, they can slow down your device, or even hold your digital valuables hostage for ransom.
Having installed malware removal protection can help you detect and remove malware. It can provide real-time protection, and simply add an extra security layer to your device.
However, some providers might come with a higher price, even though they offer a comprehensive feature set for maximum security. Hence, we tested a dozen providers and selected the best ones that work on iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows devices. More importantly, they excel in security, performance, price, and other critical aspects.
So, read further to find the best malware removal software and prevent potential disasters from happening to you.
Top 5 best malware removal tools
- Bitdefender – the best malware removal and overall protection in 2024
- Norton 360 – antivirus with 100% protection against malware
- TotalAV– excellent user-friendly malware removal
- McAfee – the best free and feature-packed anti-malware tool
- Avira – free antivirus with many options to avoid malware
How to choose the best malware removal
Choosing effective malware protection can be challenging, with many providers offering various features at different prices. To make the process easier, consider these factors before deciding:
- Match security features to your needs. The best antivirus software typically includes comprehensive security features like password managers, VPNs, or ad-blockers. If you're looking for total protection and online privacy, consider an all-in-one malware protection software.
- Consider your budget. Cheaper malware removal software usually includes essential features for protection against malware. However, you don’t necessarily have to opt for a pricier solution to get a bundle of security features, as many providers offer an excellent price and quality combination that can fit your needs for malware removal software.
- Evaluate the performance. It’s one of the most important things an anti-malware software must include. The more threats a provider detects and removes, the better protection against malicious entities you get.
- Assess the provider’s compatibility. Regardless of the device you’re using, you are susceptible to threats on mobile and computers. Therefore, choose a provider that is compatible with the major operating systems that you’re using to be protected at all times.
The best malware protection and removal in 2024
In the list below, you’ll find the best 3 premium malware removal programs. Each of them ensures strong malware protection, a great price-to-quality ratio, and apps for popular devices:
1. Bitdefender – the best malware removal tool overall
|Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux
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Bitdefender is our top-rated anti-malware program. During our tests, it demonstrated an excellent malware protection rate while detecting cybersecurity threats. In addition, it includes strong anti-malware features to ensure a full-scale protection of your device.
Malware protection: Bitdefender demonstrates a 100% malware protection rate, confirmed by independent tester AV-test.org. Our own tests have shown that Bitdefender has an exceptional ability to identify all 10 malware out of 10 in real-time, and it showcases a 100% protection rate while scanning.
Security features: this antivirus offers ransomware, microphone, and webcam protection tools. Next, you can get a VPN, a password manager, and access an anti-tracker extension to prevent malicious scripts from harvesting your data. Overall, these add-ons blend well with a firewall – a barricade that blocks malware attacks between the Internet and your device.
Compatibility: Whether you want to protect your phone or a computer from malware, Bitdefender is available on all the major operating systems, including iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. All apps have a user-friendly interface, so you’ll have a hassle-free experience.
Price: Bitdefender is one of the most budget-friendly malware protections, starting from $29.99/month. If you’re looking to upgrade and get additional online security features, such as a password manager, Bitdefender offers various plans. So you’ll definitely find one that fits your needs, especially if you use its 30-day trial before comitting.
Discover Bitdefender's key features in our review.
2. Norton 360 – feature-rich malware removal tool
|Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
|🔥Get up to 58% OFF Norton Antivirus🔥
Norton 360 is hands down one of the best malware protection and removal platforms, with an excellent malware detection rate. This notable software will free your device from all potential or actual threats.
Malware protection: Norton 360 has been independently rated as a top-performing anti-malware program, with a 100% success rate for real-time malware detection, according to AV-test.org. Our own testing confirms its excellent anti-malware detection, as it successfully detected 8 out of 10 malware samples and maintained a 100% success rate with live samples.
Security features: Besides malware detection and removal in real-time, Norton 360 has a Safe Web feature to safeguard from entering malicious websites. SafeCam feature blocks unauthorized access to your webcam, and the firewall monitors traffic to keep your device free from adware, viruses, ransomware, and other threats. Additionally, the AntiTrack feature blocks internet trackers and disguises your footprint online. So, Norton 360 covers you on all fronts.
Compatibility: This antivirus is available on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS and comes with a neat interface that’s incredibly easy to navigate. Norton Mobile Security Android app includes a few more features than iOS, but it doesn’t compromise the security against malware this provider offers.
Price: Norton 360 has flexible pricing options, with plans starting at just $29.99/month. A generous 60-day money-back guarantee lets you try the service with peace of mind.
Read a full Norton 360 review for more details.
3. TotalAV – affordable anti-malware software
|Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
|🔥Get TotalAV, now 84% OFF!🔥
TotalAV is all-in-one malware removal software that provides malware protection and blocks other online threats from infecting your device and damaging your data. This comprehensive provider can detect and remove threats faultlessly.
Malware protection: TotalAV, while not reaching 100% malware detection, still performs excellently with a 96.7% success rate, according to independent testers. To confirm or deny this claim, we tested TotalAV, and it successfully detected and removed 8/10 malware samples.
Security features: TotalAV offers real-time protection against malware and enhances online safety with the WebShield extension that includes a Safe Search feature. This feature directs search queries through TotalAV's secure search engine to identify and warn you of potentially malicious websites or online threats. Total Adblock feature blocks ads and provides instant removal of annoying interstitials.
Compatibility: TotalAV makes malware removal easy, as it is accessible on all major operating systems: iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows. No matter what device you want to protect, TotalAV comes with a user-friendly interface for effortless malware detection and removal.
Price: This provider offers a free plan that includes its powerful anti-malware scanner and anti-phishing protection. If you want to use the full suite of TotalAV's features, the premium plans start at just $19.00/month and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read TotalAV review and learn more about malware protection possibilities.
The best free malware removal tools in 2024
Regardless of what kind of device you’re using, free providers can often include additional features next to the protection and removal attributes. We carefully selected the best picks and compiled it in a list of the best free malware removal services:
1. McAfee – the best free malware removal service
|Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
|🔥Get McAfee, save up to 70%🔥
If you're looking for a reliable malware removal tool at no cost, McAfee offers a solid free version for you to try. You can access anti-malware features and additional tools to secure you from malicious activities.
Malware protection: Our own tests demonstrated that McAfee is able to detect and remove 10 malware bits out of 10. Independent testers also rated its malware protection capabilities at 99.8%-100%.
Security features: Premium McAfee offers not only real-time protection against malware but also includes security scans that detect wifi attacks and outdated software. It comes with a file shredder, device cleaner, and vulnerability scanner. While free McAfee plan includes antivirus, a password manager, and web protection features, providing comprehensive all-around protection.
Compatibility: McAfee is available for macOS, iOS, and Android devices, offering a user-friendly interface for quick and simple protection on your phone. If you opt for a paid plan, you can also protect ChromeOS devices.
Price: This provider offers a 30-day trial for protection against malware, and costs $39.99/month. The trial includes all the necessary features to evaluate its effectiveness. McAfee offers four different packages with enhanced features if you are looking for a more comprehensive security solution.
To learn more about the provider, read McAfee review.
2. Avira – reliable and free anti-malware provider
|Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
|🔥Get 1 year of Avira at 43% OFF!🔥
Avira has consistently been awarded as one of the most reliable anti-malware providers. It comes with a free trial that covers essential malware protection needs and includes additional privacy features for your device.
Malware protection: According to independent testing organizations, such as AV-test.org and AV-comparatives, Avira has a 100% success rate in detecting and removing malware in real time. However, our own testing showed that the tool only detected 3 malware bits out of 10 and had a success rate of 55% with live samples.
Security features: Avira's free version offers a range of security features, including virus scans and real-time protection. The free version also includes a VPN, password manager, file shredder, Safe Shopping, and device optimization. Upgrading to a paid plan adds software and driver updates, and access to customer support.
Compatibility: This malware removal tool is available on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, so you’re protected against malware on all major operating systems, even with a free version.
Price: Try the free plan at no cost at all. However, if you'd like to access more security and anti-malware protection features, there's always a possibility to upgrade your plan. Avira starts at $30.99/month .
Learn more about this provider in an Avira review.
3. Malwarebytes – free antivirus which removes malware on all devices
|Windows, Android, macOS, ChromeOS, iOS
|🔥Get Malwarebytes, now 25% OFF🔥
Malwarebytes provides a wide range of security options to ensure you get the best protection and removal tool against malware. This provider has a free option that does an excellent job in scanning and removing existing malware on your device.
Malware protection: This antivirus can thoroughly scan your device and eliminate already existing threats. It doesn't provide real-time scanning and protection, but it still does a great job of removing existing malware. The Premium version of Malwarebytes showed impressive results as it successfully blocked between 99.4% to 99.6% of threats. Keep in mind that a free version might not perform at such level.
Security features: Malwarebytes free version includes only a scan function that detects and removes any existing malware. If you upgrade to the Premium plan, it includes daily threat scans, real-time protection against malware, ransomware, and exploit threats. You can also use VPN to encrypt your privacy.
Compatibility: You can get the app for Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS devices. This provider also offers a nice addition – it’s available on Chrome devices, so you can keep devices malware-free despite their operating system.
Price: If you choose a free version, you can easily scan and remove malware – it costs you nothing. But If you’re looking for more features, the starting price is $38.24/month and branches out to different plans if you decide to use more anti-malware and overall safe network features.
Learn more about malware removal software by reading Malwarebytes review.
How we tested and selected malware removal software
Whether you’re looking for a paid or free malware removal software version, it’s important to evaluate how safe it’ll keep you and what value you can get. To provide these insights, we followed 5 criteria to provide you with the best malware removal tools:
- Malware detection rates. A great malware removal tool must effectively detect and eliminate 98-100% of all malware on your device. To select the most reputable services, we have evaluated results from our own and other trusted testers like AV-test and AV-comparatives.
- In-house tests. We ran in-house tests in order to provide a transparent look into each software’s ability to detect and eliminate malware threats.
- Features. Free antivirus solutions sometimes offer limited security and anti-malware features compared to their paid versions. We looked into features available in both – free and paid packs of selected anti-malware software and reviewed crucial features like real-time protection, scanning, and file quarantine.
- Compatibility. Nowadays, we do way more operations on our mobile devices than computers; therefore, it was essential to identify how best malware software works on the most popular operating systems, such as iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS.
- Price. Provider list includes paid and free anti-malware software, and you could also find an approximate price or what you can get for a particular package. It’s important to test the best price-to-quality ratio, so you don’t break your bank keeping cyber villains away.
What is malware protection?
Malware protection is a cyber security solution that adds an extra layer of security to your computer. Such protection ensures your device is protected against spyware, phishing, adware, Trojans, viruses, and all the threats you can encounter online.
It regularly scans your computer to identify and remove any malware that can potentially damage your device. So, your systems are safe and secure with malicious software removal tools.
Malware protection safeguards your device from being infected by malicious software. A reliable malware removal tool circumvents the risks of data theft and keeps your device running smoothly. Therefore, it protects sensitive information and usually delivers a seamless user experience that allows easy navigation in fighting the malware.
Malware removal vs. antivirus software: what's the difference?
Malware removal tools and antivirus software are essentially the same thing with a different name.
Both tools can safeguard your devices and systems from different forms of malware on all fronts. This can include viruses, ransomware, adware, worms, Trojans, mobile malware, and much more. The security level depends on what the antivirus/malware removal tool package includes.
For instance, Bitdefender offers a microphone, webcam, and anti-tracking protection on top of malware removal. Some providers also offer a free version, which usually includes the essential – malware detection and removal.
So if you want to keep your device secure from any type of malware, the majority of antivirus software on the market will do the job faultlessly.
Ways to protect your device from malware
There are several ways how you can protect your device from malware.
Malware removal software
One of the best things you can do for your device is to use a malware removal software, like Bitdefender.
Many anti-malware software run real-time scans. It means that whenever your device encounters malware, such software detects and removes it before you even notice and prior the damage is done.
It's an essential feature your should look for in an anti-malware provider.
Consequently, enabling a firewall or choosing an anti-malware software that includes such a feature is also a crucial step against malware.
Firewall is a crucial feature that monitors incoming and outcoming traffic in and out of your device. The purpose of such a feature is to protect your device against threats coming from external sources.
As you already know, malware has many forms. Keeping your password strong is another essential step in avoiding malicious infections on your device. A reputable password manager with advanced security features can help you prevent unauthorized access to your device and avoid infecting it with malicious software.
Secure browsing and downloading
Finally, practice secure browsing and downloading. For example, only download apps from authorized platforms, such as Google Stores and App store. And of course – keep your device up to date to ensure strong security without any vulnerabilities.
New threats and malware arise daily. Therefore it’s vital to guarantee your safety and security by protecting your device with the best malware removal tool.
Paid malware removal software, such as Bitdefender, come with a broader range of protection features and also adds benefits, such as a VPN. However, free malware removal tools usually include crucial anti-malware elements to ensure your device can detect and remove malware at least at the most basic level.
Whether you use the paid or free anti-malware provider, it'll do the job by detecting and removing real-time or existing malware. Picking a free option doesn't mean a weaker protection – often, providers include all-around protection. Therefore, you just need to identify needs for the malware removal software and choose wisely.
What tool is best to eliminate the malware?
Is anti-malware better than antivirus?
Anti-malware software is essentially the same as an antivirus software. Both tools protect you from malware, such as adware, spyware, viruses, Trojans, worms, and other dangerous threats that currently exist.