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I used to use a program for a long time, but then I found out the program (allegedly) had a virus so I went into Programs and deleted all of its files (without an antivirus).

But I really like that program so I'm wondering if I could run it safely.

One of my ideas was to download the program, run my antivirus, hopefully, quarantine the virus part of the program and keep using the good part of the program, or will the program just stop working (and if the answer to this question is, "Maybe the program will stop working, maybe it won't." is it safe to try and experiment?)

Please give me any alternative ways I could accomplish my task like rerunning the application in another program that quarantines it in a simulated desktop.

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  • Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer.
    – Community Bot
    Dec 17, 2023 at 8:52

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The business model of some programs is to provide some "good" functionality for free while at the same time making money with the "bad" functionality of the program in the background. If these functionalities are intrinsically linked together by the author, then you cannot keep the good functionality but get rid of the malicious one.

In other cases the business model is to take some existing free applications (or cracked commercial ones) but install malicious apps alongside of the good app. In this case it might be possible to get red of the bad app. But depending on how the bundling was done it might not be that easy, i.e. you might think there is nothing malicious left, but you cannot be fully sure.

Antivirus products are far from perfect and you cannot rely on these to perfectly clean your system. They are part of a broader defense strategy where one part is to not run known malicious apps in the first place. They are not designed to protect against cases where the user insists on using the malicious app even though its known malicious.

If you really want to run the app you might try to isolate it as much as possible. A virtual machine helps here, but even this is not perfect. See Is it safe to install malware in a VM for more.

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