The IDP.Generic Virus: What It Is and How to Remove It

Windows users, beware of this Trojan!

A conceptual illustration of the IDP.Generic virus destroying a laptop computer.

 Lifewire / Theresa Chiechi

Were you running an antivirus or gaming program on your Windows device and suddenly received a warning that a threat called IDP.Generic was detected? The good news is that this could be a simple 'false positive' that really isn't a threat at all. The bad news, however, if that your computer might be infected by a Trojan virus.

It's rare but this virus can sometimes impact Android users, too.

The IDP.Generic warning is most often a byproduct of an outdated version of AVG or Avast antivirus software and can be easily removed just by updating that software. In some cases, though, it's a true virus that should be removed from your system. This contradiction means you should take thoughtful steps before assuming the warning is indeed a false positive.

What Is the IDP.Generic Virus?

The IDP in this virus stands for Identity Detection Protection. It references the fact that the virus attempts to steal information related to your identity, such as banking or other sensitive details. This threat can be one of two things:

  1. It can be a simple false positive, meaning that your antivirus software couldn't recognize the file so it categorized it as a virus when it really isn't one.
  2. It can be a true computer virus called a Trojan, which is a malicious program designed to extort or steal money from you or even take control of your computer.

In situations where your system is experiencing a false positive, it just means that there is a generic file on your hard drive that the antivirus software or another program doesn't recognize. This typically occurs when your software hasn't been recently updated. Outdated software won't recognize newer types of files, which can lead it to erroneously see a perfectly acceptable file as a threat because it might be displaying a pattern of code or behavior that appears similar to a virus.

How Does The IDP.Generic Virus Work?

If the warning is not a false positive, however, your computer system has acquired a Trojan virus. Trojans works in the background of your system by intercepting your internet traffic and emails or by corrupting your system files or both. The IDP.Generic virus will be stealthily running in the background on your computer, stealing banking information, passwords, and more.

How Do I Know I Have The IDP.Generic Virus?

The problem with all Trojan viruses is that they are designed to be silent and sneaky. The only evidence you might have is from the antivirus program that first alerted you to the potential problem although some gaming sites might also show you a warning as well. More often, you will likely not ever see evidence of a Trojan virus but It's important for you take steps to remove this threat if you cannot confirm it is just a false positive.

Occasionally, someone might tell you that you sent them an email with the virus in an attachment.

How Did I Get The IDP.Generic Virus?

Trojan viruses like IDP.Generic can enter your system in different ways. You might have downloaded software that holds the virus, clicked a link in an email that silently downloaded an infected application onto your system, or clicked a pop-up ad on a website that triggered the virus to launch on your computer.

Once a Trojan virus is opened, it acts like a chain reaction by downloading other malicious programs and exploiting weaknesses in normal programs, like hijacking your perfectly normal email program.

If you use peer-to-peer networks (torrents, eMule, or similar tools), free file hosting sites, freeware sites to obtain downloads, etc. you are at high risk for this or other Trojans infiltrating your system.

Pop-up ads can seem harmless but, too often, clicking a button on one even accidentally can unleash a virus, spyware, or other malware onto your system. Learn how to safely close pop-up ads so you can avoid problems later on.

How Do I Get Rid Of This Virus?

The best way to remove sneaky software on a computer is to use a strong antivirus software program that can tackle all kinds of threats. This can take several hours to do but these programs do provide the most effective ways to remove malicious files. There are other options, too.

  1. Because of the high possibility that the IDP.Generic virus is simply a false positive from an outdated antivirus or another program, update the antivirus program that alerted you to the most current version available. Then run the scan or program again. If you receive the warning again, you should assume it is not a false positive result and take additional steps to clear your system of the actual virus.

    IDP.Generic warnings can sometimes be triggered by an out-of-date version of Java on your computer. If you're not sure whether or not this is the root of your problem, it's worth removing Java from your system and installing a completely new version to see if that resolves the warning.

  2. It might be possible to manually remove the IDP.Generic virus simply by uninstalling specific apps relating to it. Both Windows and MacOS have clear ways to uninstall apps you no longer want to use.

    Once the suspected program is removed, run your antivirus software again to see if the warning still appears. This step is not always easy to perform since you might not know exactly which program triggered the warning. Trojans can infect multiple programs, too, so the removal of a single program might not eliminate the problem.

  3. If you're still receiving the warning, you may have a persistent malware infection that causes the virus to keep coming back repeatedly. To deal with that, you can try removing the virus without using an antivirus application. Most of the time, however, both antivirus and anti-malware will be needed to remove these types of infections.

    If the problem is on a mobile device, you may need to try different techniques to remove the virus from Android.

  4. If none of those steps solve the problem, you can use System Restore to return to an earlier point on your computer before you picked up the IDP.Generic virus. Be sure to select a period of time where you know you definitely didn't already have the virus on your computer. 

How Can I Avoid Getting The IDP.Generic Virus Again?

There are a few key ways in which you can lower your chances of being re-infected with IDP.Generic or other malicious programs.

  • Regularly update your antivirus software and malware protection. New viruses are released regularly and a strong, up-to-date antivirus program can look for the newest virus and malware-based threats. 
  • Don't open unexpected email attachments. Unless you are expecting an attachment from someone via email, never open one until you can confirm with the sender that they did indeed knowingly send you the file.
  • Be careful when you download new programs. Always confirm the legitimacy of the source of the programs and apps you download.
  • Stick to well-known websites. IDP.generic and other malware can infect your computer through the suspicious websites you might accidentally enter.
  • Don't click on banner ads. When a pop-up banner appears as you browse a website, resist the urge to click on it. If a site inundates you with pop-up advertisements, leave the site immediately.