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Microsoft Secure

What is a botnet?

Botnets are networks of compromised computers that criminals use to commit fraud, such as:

  • Secretly spreading malware
  • Stealing personal information
  • Hijacking Internet search results to take you to websites that are potentially dangerous

How do I know if my computer is part of a botnet?

Your computer might be part of a botnet if it crashes or stops responding often or you experience other malware symptoms. You might also be directed to this page:


How can I clean my computer if I’ve been infected?

Botnets infect your computer with malware. To clean your computer, run the Microsoft Safety Scanner, and then run a scan with your antivirus software.

Get more guidance on how to remove malware

How can I help keep my computer out of botnets?

Make sure your computer has antivirus software, such as Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials, and keep it updated.

To learn more about botnets, see How to better protect your PC from botnets and malware.