When a security threat is detected by Windows Defender, the two of four available actions are: 取り除く and 削除. Both of these terms are translated as "remove" and it is confusing when deciding which to use. I understand that 取り除く is used in the sense of "clean the threat", but I wonder if there is a better Japanese term to express the meaning of "cleaning file from the detected threat".

  • 1
    削除 also means "delete".
    – ra1ned
    Feb 26, 2017 at 1:52

1 Answer 1


In computer contexts, 削除 is a very common word that means "to delete" something from a disk, a cell, a text box, etc. So 削除 should mean deleting the malware or the infected file forever.

取り除く is less common, and I think it's closer to "to get rid of" here. A common reaction to the detected malware is to move it to another special directory, so it probably refers to this. This action is often referred to as 隔離(する) ("to quarantine") in Japanese. Or 取り除く may refer to removing the virus from the infected file thus making the file uninfected again (although I doubt this is possible).

Anyway I agree these are confusing, and even a native speaker may feel like consulting the official documentation.

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