Trick Viruses By Renaming Your Antivirus Program To Explorer.exe

There are a lot of viruses out there, but many of them follow the same pattern: they lock you out of your system and only let you visit their site, pretending to be anti-virus software. Here's a trick to squash them.

There's more than one way to kill a virus, but if something's locking you out of computer, the How-To Geek has a great way to trick it into letting your Anti-Malware tool run a scan:

Since most of the fake anti-virus malware needs you to be able to slightly use your PC, the one executable that it won't ever block is "explorer.exe", since they want you to be able to get online and go to their site and pay them-not so easy if you have no Start Menu.

So just rename your favourite anti-malware application to explorer.exe, and you should be able to use it.

They recommend using the free, portable SUPERAntiSpyware to sneak in there and destroy that nasy virus. Hit the link for a few more tricks, and share your own in the comments.

Here's a super simple trick to defeating fake antivirus malware [How-To Geek]


    Both LifeHacker & Giz have told us many times that "MS Essentials" is really the only form of protection you need! I've followed this advice now for nearly two years and had no issues. Do I need to change it's exe name too? :}

    Go install the free antivirus option AVAST from Alwil Software in the Czech Republic and you will never need to de-louse your machine again ! It is a world-leader, 110% effective, trustworthy and bug-free.

    I figure that if you get to the point where you need to be renaming executables then its time to reimage...

    Most paid for Anti-virus will break if you rename its executable. If you don't break the program, it will still break all the links and some registry values, and when it comes time to patch the program, it will mess it up again.

    Renaming as far as I've seen doesn't really do anything unless you can rename the services your anti-virus uses.

    If you happen to run into a website, distributing the latest version of a new virus, it is likely no anti-virus will make a difference since it doesn't even know about it yet.

    @Snag - I use (and am a big fan of) Avast, but it's kinda short sighted to believe that because it hasn't fallen over badly to date, that it will always remain immune to solutions that compromise installed AV packages.

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