Whew! I just had a heck of a time trying to get back into my Facebook account – and had been trying to get in it for about two days.

You see, what happened was…

I went to login into my Facebook account.  Sounds easy right?  Not on this particular day.

Logging in to Facebook, simple right?
Logging in to Facebook, simple right?

I received this ‘horrifying’ message: (It was awful, just awful!)

Your Computer Needs to Be Cleaned.  It looks like your computer is being affected by malware. We’ll help you fix the problem to keep your account secure and prevent malware from spreading to friends.

Malware is software that tries to steal personal information and causes problems when you use Facebook. Clicking or sharing links that contain spam can give your computer malware.

When Facebook Says, "Your Computer Needs to Be Cleaned," you may need to pay attention.
When Facebook Says, “Your Computer Needs to Be Cleaned,” you may need to pay attention.

I appreciated Facebook’s offer to help me fix “the problem,” but I decided to do some research to make sure this message was really coming from Facebook.

I spent quite some time researching this on the internet as I had not heard of this ESET Online Scanner before. It turns out Facebook has partnered with them. You can read more about that at the end of this post.

What I mostly found online were people asking if it was really Facebook or some malicious virus that was causing this, which was my concern.  I also found a lot of people who were cursing Facebook for putting them through this daunting process.

After reading through the menagerie of articles, I decided that I could trust that this message was coming directly from Facebook and it was safe to follow the instructions.  So, I clicked ‘Get Started’ and went through the following process to get back into my Facebook account.

The next screen read:

ESET Online Scanner. To clean your computer, you’ll need to download and run this free scanner, ESET Online Scanner. This will check for and try to remove malware. By clicking Download, you agree to the ESET Online Scanner Terms.

Facebook prompted me to download the ESET Online Scanner.
Facebook prompted me to download the ESET Online Scanner.

Really, not having any other choice, I clicked on the ‘Download’ button, and continued with what came next.

To run ESET Online Scanner: Run the downloaded file.  After running ESET Online Scanner the scan and clean process will begin automatically.  Please grant the permission to run when asked.

Malware Removal. The download should start in a moment. If it doesn’t start automatically, you can download the scanner manually.  Once it’s downloaded, please run the ESET Online Scanner software.  This might take a moment and involve a few steps.

Follow Facebook's instructions to download the ESET Online Scanner software.
Follow Facebook’s instructions to download the ESET Online Scanner software.

NOTE: Depending on what operating system you are using, you may receive a dialogue box from Windows (or your operating system) asking you if it is okay for Facebook ESET Scanner to make changes to your computer. If you would like to proceed, click yes.  Then you will see:

ESET Online Scanner is now checking your computer and trying to remove any malware that’s found.  You can log into Facebook and the scan will continue working.  We’ll send you a Facebook notification when the scan is finished.


Though, I did not login at that time, this is when you can say, “Oh how nice of you to let me back in!”

I continued to wait through the process – and for some reason, I got the following message. You may see this as well.

Malware Scan in Progress.  It looks like a malware scan you started about an hour ago is still in progress.  You’ll be able to securely log into your account once the scan is finished.  You can still log into Facebook on other devices, even while running the scan on this computer.


Finally, I got this message:

Malware Removal.  ESET Online Scanner is finished and didn’t find any malware. These scans help keep Facebook secure, so thanks for your patience.  Remember, to protect your computer from malware, only download and run programs from sources you trust. Learn more.

Malware Removal. ESET Online Scanner is finished and didn't find any malware.
Malware Removal. ESET Online Scanner is finished and didn’t find any malware.

After reading Facebook’s thank you to me for being patient, I remembered what my mother taught me and said, “You’re welcome!”  I then clicked ‘Complete Login’.  Then, voilà!  I was back on home base.

Facebook's news feed
Facebook’s news feed

After reading a number of articles, I discovered that this online scanning interruption was not a new thing.  Facebook entered into partnership with ESET somewhere around December of 2014.  I must have been sleeping because I sure missed this.  You can check out this article in PC World, Facebook integrates ESET Online Scanner to help find malware in problem PCs, to learn more about this partnership and integration.

I do agree with those who commented on the articles that I read, when they said this experience was no fun.  I don’t agree with them for being angry at Facebook for trying to figure out ways to keep their users safe.  They also have the right to partner with anyone they wish to partner with – as many complained about the partnership as well. I understand some may disagree, but that is okay.  I have to say, even though this took up a lot of my time, I appreciate any online platform that has a concern for my safety and works to keep my computer safe.

Please let me know if you’ve had this or a similar experience with Facebook or any other social media site. If so, how did you handle it?