A new browser add-on-like app named LockPW has recently been reported as a potentially unwanted piece of software. The LockPW add-on has the ability to impose automatic changes to the users’ browser (be it Firefox, Chrome, Explorer or another one) and to enforce new homepage or search engine settings without the user’s approval.
The LockPW Malware
The sources of the LockPW malware could be numerous but typically, the annoying app is found as an additional component in free software installers, different torrents, shareware or freeware platforms, free download links, spam messages and email attachments. Due to its ability to enforce certain changes to people’s browsers, the LockPW malware is categorized as a browser hijacker. If you want to gain a better understanding of the nature of this software, we suggest you stay on this page because here we have published a step-by-step removal guide with instructions on how to uninstall the LockPW virus. We have also listed some tips on protection and prevention which are definitely worth your attention.
Now, this application is not a real virus and even if your system has been invaded by it, you are very unlikely to face some serious damage. Still, despite not being as dangerous as a Trojan horse or a Ransomware infection, a browser hijacker like LockPW could be a source of irritation and disturbance of various kinds. In the next lines, you can read more about the possible negative effects of keeping such software on your machine, as well as the most effective methods to have it removed.
The LockPW pop up
The first thing that the LockPW pop up is most likely to do once it gets installed on the computer is to insert certain ad-generating and page-redirecting scripts in your default browser. The LockPW pop up may also add a new sponsored homepage or a search engine to the browser that would replace the previous ones and will almost immediately start to generate various ads, pop-ups, banners and pay-per-click messages on your screen. This method of operation is typical for online advertising pieces of software (such as browser hijackers, adware, page-redirects, etc.), which are created to expose the web users to certain promotional content and to redirect them to certain sponsored websites like Ook.gg or iStart Search Bar.
LockPW on Chrome
In general, receiving LockPW ads on Chrome and getting prompted to click on certain links and ads is not considered as something illegal or malicious. Therefore, the activity of LockPW on Chrome and its presence on your PC is also not regarded as threatening as having a Ransomware or a Trojan-based virus. Still, most security experts, including our “How to remove” team would not advise you to keep such software on your machine because it may lead to some rather unpleasant and irritating issues. For example, whenever you try to open a new browsing session, your web surfing may start to get interrupted by sudden page-redirects, difficult-to-remove ads, intrusive pop-ups, and pop-up links.
These may not only be very annoying but may also link you to unfamiliar and potentially unsafe web locations, if you happen to click on them. Some browser hijackers may also try to monitor your online behavior and to keep tabs on your browsing. This is usually done in order for the unwanted software to analyze your preferences and to redirect you to relevant ads, offers, and websites which would supposedly be matching your searches. However, in some cases, the hijacker may actually try to modify the real search results and to make you visit some sponsored third-party web pages or offers with questionable reliability. That’s why, the next time a pop-up or a new tab link generated by LockPW appears on your screen, keep in mind that you have no control over where it may land you and you could potentially get your system exposed to security hazards. For this reason, we recommend that you stay away from the content that the browser hijacker displays and that you do not use its homepage domains or sponsored search engine components.
The LockPW Extension
The LockPW extension is most likely to be present among your browser extensions if you look at them. Still, to have this annoying LockPW extension completely removed, it may not be enough to simply uninstall it from your extensions manager. That’s why, we recommend you use professional anti-malware software such as the LockPW removal tool on this page or another trusted removal application which can safely detect and eliminate the browser hijacker from the system. Alternatively, you can use the manual instructions in the Removal Guide that our team has prepared and posted on this page. Should you need any extra help, do let us know in the comments section below and we will be more than happy to assist you.
Some threats reinstall themselves if you don't delete their core files. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to remove harmful programs for you. This may save you hours and ensure you don't harm your system by deleting the wrong files.
Remove LockPW Virus
To try and remove LockPW quickly you can try this:
- Go to your browser’s settings and select More Tools (or Add-ons, depending on your browser).
- Then click on the Extensions tab.
- Look for the LockPW extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
- Remove LockPW by clicking on the Trash Bin icon next to its name.
- Confirm and get rid of LockPW and any other suspicious items.
If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed LockPW removal guide below.
If you have a Windows virus, continue with the guide below.
If you have a Mac virus, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.
If you have an Android virus, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.
If you have an iPhone virus, please use our iPhone Virus Removal guide.
Some of the steps may require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.
Next, Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).
Uninstall the LockPW app and kill its processes
The first thing you must try to do is look for any sketchy installs on your computer and uninstall anything you think may come from LockPW. After that, you’ll also need to get rid of any processes that may be related to the unwanted app by searching for them in the Task Manager.
Note that sometimes an app, especially a rogue one, may ask you to install something else or keep some of its data (such as settings files) on your PC – never agree to that when trying to delete a potentially rogue software. You need to make sure that everything is removed from your PC to get rid of the malware. Also, if you aren’t allowed to go through with the uninstallation, proceed with the guide, and try again after you’ve completed everything else.
- Uninstalling the rogue app
- Killing any rogue processes
Type Apps & Features in the Start Menu, open the first result, sort the list of apps by date, and look for suspicious recently installed entries.
Click on anything you think could be linked to LockPW, then select uninstall, and follow the prompts to delete the app.
Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc, click More Details (if it’s not already clicked), and look for suspicious entries that may be linked to LockPW.
If you come across a questionable process, right-click it, click Open File Location, scan the files with the free online malware scanner shown below, and then delete anything that gets flagged as a threat.
After that, if the rogue process is still visible in the Task Manager, right-click it again and select End Process.
Undo LockPW changes made to different system settings
It’s possible that LockPW has affected various parts of your system, making changes to their settings. This can enable the malware to stay on the computer or automatically reinstall itself after you’ve seemingly deleted it. Therefore, you need to check the following elements by going to the Start Menu, searching for specific system elements that may have been affected, and pressing Enter to open them and see if anything has been changed there without your approval. Then you must undo any unwanted changes made to these settings in the way shown below:
Type in Start Menu: View network connections
Right-click on your primary network, go to Properties, and do this:
Type in Start Menu: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
Type in the Start Menu: Startup apps
Type in the Start Menu: Task Scheduler
Type in the Start Menu: Services
Type in the Start Menu: Registry Editor
Press Ctrl + F to open the search window
Remove LockPW from your browsers
- Delete LockPW from Chrome
- Delete LockPW from Firefox
- Delete LockPW from Edge
- Go to the Chrome menu > More tools > Extensions, and toggle off and Remove any unwanted extensions.
- Next, in the Chrome Menu, go to Settings > Privacy and security > Clear browsing data > Advanced. Tick everything except Passwords and click OK.
- Go to Privacy & Security > Site Settings > Notifications and delete any suspicious sites that are allowed to send you notifications. Do the same in Site Settings > Pop-ups and redirects.
- Go to Appearance and if there’s a suspicious URL in the Custom web address field, delete it.
- Firefox menu, go to Add-ons and themes > Extensions, toggle off any questionable extensions, click their three-dots menu, and click Remove.
- Open Settings from the Firefox menu, go to Privacy & Security > Clear Data, and click Clear.
- Scroll down to Permissions, click Settings on each permission, and delete from it any questionable sites.
- Go to the Home tab, see if there’s a suspicious URL in the Homepage and new windows field, and delete it.
- Open the browser menu, go to Extensions, click Manage Extensions, and Disable and Remove any rogue items.
- From the browser menu, click Settings > Privacy, searches, and services > Choose what to clear, check all boxes except Passwords, and click Clear now.
- Go to the Cookies and site permissions tab, check each type of permission for permitted rogue sites, and delete them.
- Open the Start, home, and new tabs section, and if there’s a rogue URL under Home button, delete it.