Paint.exe is a dangerous and stealthy virus that can steal important data from your computer and take control of important system processes. The Paint.exe virus is a Trojan Horse threat and it is known for using different disguise techniques to trick its victims.
In most cases, a virus of this type would be disguised as a helpful program or app that is distributed for free on some illegal/pirate site. Obviously, going to such sites and downloading content from them is never a good idea because it is illegal but there’s also the added risk of landing a malicious Trojan Horse infection if you do this. The problem is that it is oftentimes very difficult if not impossible to tell when a given piece of software has a Trojan hidden in it. Of course, a reliable and up-do-date antivirus program can help you detect the hidden threat but this doesn’t always apply when talking about new viruses (also known as Zero-Day malware) that have been recently released and most antiviruses cannot yet recognize them because the details of the virus haven’t been added to the malware database of the antivirus. In such instances, the chances of your security tool spotting the threat on time are significantly lowered and so you may easily end up with a malicious threat like Paint.exe or Multispeedup in your computer without having any idea about it.
The Paint.exe Virus
The Paint.exe virus would typically not show many symptoms but there are still instances when some of its malicious activities could cause visible red flags of its presence on the computer. Some of the most common indications of Trojan Horse infections like the Paint.exe Virus are the sudden crashing of the computer and the appearance of the dreaded Blue Screen of Death.
Other similar symptoms that can be associated with a Trojan Horse infection are occurrence of different unexpected errors, slowing-down of the computer, deletion or corruption of different files, changes in the settings of certain apps and programs, and other instances of unusual computer behavior. Unfortunately, we cannot tell you any symptoms that Paint.exe is guaranteed to trigger but since you are here it’s probably safe to assume that you have, at the very least, already noticed something on your computer that has raised your suspicions that there might be a Trojan hiding in the system.
Dealing with the Trojan Horse threat
Obviously, the sooner you address the problem of the Trojan’s presence on your computer, the higher the chances of removing the threat without your computer and data sustaining any serious damage. For that reason, we will now give you a guide that will show you where you should look for data related to Paint.exe in order to delete it. Note that this Trojan has likely made different changes to important system settings so you will have to undo those changes before you could fully eradicate the infection. If the manual steps are not enough or if you don’t think you can complete all of them, you should give a try to the removal tool recommended and linked in the guide – it is a dependable anti-malware program that has been against threats like Paint.exe many times and can help you remove the infection without any risk for your system.
Uninstall Paint.exe Virus
In case you have recently installed a certain program on your PC that you think may be responsible for infecting you with Paint.exe, our first suggestion on how to remove this malicious Trojan is to uninstall that program. You can see all programs installed inside your computer from the Uninstall a Program window that you can access through the Start Menu and there, you can find and delete the program you suspect of being linked to the Trojan.
To reach the Uninstall a Program window, type “uninstall a program” under the Start Menu and click on the first shown result. Then sort the list of programs by date to see the newest/most recently installed ones at the top and then look for items installed around the time you think the Trojan Horse infection may have occurred. If you think you know which program is responsible for the presence of Paint.exe on your computer, click on that program and then on the Uninstall button at the top.
- Naturally, if there is a program named Paint.exe listed in that window, you must uninstall it.
Next, agree to the uninstallation and follow any prompts that may get shown on your screen. Remember to read everything carefully and uninstall all components of the unwanted program, including any personalized settings for it. Also, if a window like the one from the next image appears on your screen during the uninstallation process, select No or else you’d probably end up with more malware on your computer.
Restart the computer after the uninstallation finishes and use your PC for a while to see if there are any remaining signs of the Trojan. If you think the virus is still in the system or if you were unable to uninstall the program responsible for the infection with it, you should complete the next steps of this guide to fully eliminate all data linked to Paint.exe from your machine.
The first thing you ought to do when your goal is to find and eliminate a Trojan virus from your PC is to check the Task Manager of your computer and try to find the process(s) run by the virus program. You can search for the Task Manager in the search field of the Start Menu and open it from there or simply evoke it using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard combination.
Once the Task Manager is in front of you on your screen, go to its Processes section – there you will see listed all the processes that are running on your computer at any given moment. If any of those processes look unfamiliar, consume large amounts of virtual memory (RAM) or processing power (CPU), and/or are not run by programs that are presently open on the computer, then those processes may be related to the Trojan and you may need to close them.
Before you do that, however, first Google the names of those processes on the Internet and see what information you can find. In some instances, it may turn out that a process you deem suspicious is actually an important OS processes, in which case you should definitely not close it.
Next, right-click on the suspicious process(s) and select the Open File Location option and scan the files you find in the file location for malware.
If you have an antivirus or an anti-malware program on your computer, you can use that for scanning the files, but we also suggest you try out the next free malware scanner that we have prepared for our readers:
If during the scanning process any of the files you test is flagged as malware, then go back to the Activity Monitor window, click on the process you suspect of being related to Paint.exe and then select the End Process button to end it.
Afterwards, you must delete the whole folder (file location) where the files of the process are stored. If any of the files there cannot be deleted for whatever reason, delete the others and move on to Step 2. Once all other steps from this guide have been completed, you must remember to come back here and try again to delete the remaining files. By that moment, you should have no problem deleting them.
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
In this step, you must reboot the computer into Safe Mode – a mode in which the Trojan’s processes shouldn’t be allowed to run which would hopefully make the removal of the virus easier. You can learn how to start the computer into Safe Mode for different Windows versions from this guide.
Open the Start Menu, type System Configuration, press Enter, and select Startup in the newly-opened window. If any of the listed startup items seem like they could be related to Paint.exe or are from programs you do not recognize and/or from programs with “Unknown” in the Manufacturer column, uncheck those items and then select OK.
Copy this line: notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts, and paste it under the Start Menu. Open the file that shows up in the results (if there are more than one, click on the first result) and then look at the bottom part of the text in the notepad document that opens. There should be a line where it says “Localhost” – if there are any lines/IP addresses written below this, copy them and send them to us as a comment on this page. After we take a look at them and determine if they are likely to be coming from the Trojan, we will reply to your comment and you will know what to do next.
If we tell you the IPs listed in your Hosts file are not supposed to be there and are probably from Paint.exe, you will have to go back to that file and manually delete those IP addresses, saving the file afterwards.
In this last step, you must access the computer’s Registry, find all items linked to Paint.exe stored in it, and delete them. In some cases, it may be difficult to tell if a given Registry item needs to be deleted and if you delete the wrong thing, your computer may become unstable and there could also be other unforeseen consequences for your system. Because of this, when in doubt, write us a comment first explaining your situation, so we can tell you what to do next.
Now, a quick way to open the Registry Editor is to press the Winkey and the R keys from your keyboard, type regedit, and hit the Enter button. You will be asked by your PC to give your Administrator permission to start the Editor so click on Yes to do that. In the Registry Editor, select the Edit menu and then the Find option. Type the name of the Trojan Horse and select the Find Next button to search for items with that name. If anything with the Paint.exe name is found, select that item, press Del from the keyboard, and then click on Yes to confirm the deletion. Repeat the search for Paint.exe in the Registry and delete the next found item, rinse and repeat until there’s nothing left in the Registry that is named Paint.exe.
Lastly, you must manually check the next Registry locations for suspicious folders. By “suspicious folders” we mean ones that have unusual and suspicious-looking names – names that are very long and consist of letters and/or numbers that seem randomly arranged. If you find folders that you think match this description or any other ones that, too, look questionable, you will need to delete them. However, it might be better if you first told us what you have found in these Registry locations so that we can confirm that you must indeed delete those items.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Run
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Internet Explorer > Main
Once you have completed this final step from the guide, remember to go back to Step 1, open the File Location of the Trojan’s process, and delete the files that you weren’t allowed to remove before (if there are any such files left).
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