Pointcaptchaspot is a type of rogue app that researchers refer to as a browser hijacker that takes over Windows browsers. Pointcaptchaspot is aimed at replacing the default search engine tool of the browser and using it to promote certain sites via automatic page redirects.
Once a browser hijacker gets installed on a computer, it directly gets integrated into the main browser in the system. Once in the browser, the invasive app begins to tamper with some of its settings. As mentioned above, it changes the search engine but it might also do the same with the homepage address and some of the buttons in the toolbar. Such changes could be observed in Chrome, Edge, Safari, Opera, or almost any other Windows-compatible browsing program. In many cases, apps like Pointcaptchaspot or Fast2captcha may also go as far as to tinker with the Registry of the computer in order to provide themselves with certain privileges that they wouldn’t have otherwise and/or to make themselves more difficult to uninstall.
The Pointcaptchaspot Virus
All of these unauthorized and unwelcome browser modifications have the same goal – to allow the Pointcaptchaspot virus to advertise the sites that sponsor it (and their products) as effectively as possible. The Pointcaptchaspot virus is similar to adware but the main difference is that it tend to be more aggressive and invasive with the changes that they make in the browser.
If a browser hijacker is attached to the main browser of your system, you will likely not have control over any of the elements that it has changed and so you won’t be able to reverse the alterations unless, of course, you manage to remove the intrusive app.
The Point Captcha Spot Virus
Understandably, if you currently have the Point Captcha Spot virus on your PC, you may be worried about the safety of your system. Now, there’s certainly no need for panic, but know that it is indeed advisable to uninstall the Point Captcha Spot virus as soon as you can.
The reason for this, however, isn’t because Pointcaptchaspot will cause any direct harm to your machine. The safety hazard when talking about browser hijackers stems from the unreliability of the advertising content it generates on your screen. You simply cannot trust the various clickbait ads, download offers, and promotional banners that get displayed on your screen and neither is it advisable to interact with any of the sites that Pointcaptchaspot may page-redirect you to. The risk of landing on a web address that’s not safe for your system, albeit not particularly high, is always there, and it is a risk that is not worth taking (especially considering the fact that most hijackers don’t benefit the end user in any significant way).
All things considered, if you want to lower the chances of landing on illegal sites that spread pirated software or dangerous viruses (such as Trojans, Spyware, or Ransomware), we urge you to try the following removal guide. Not only will doing so help you keep your computer safe from harmful Ransomware cryptoviruses and stealthy Trojan horse threats, but it will also allow you to restore control over the settings of your computer’s main browser.
Remove Pointcaptchaspot Virus
If you are in a hurry, try to remove Pointcaptchaspot with the following five steps:
- First, launch the hijacked browser (it could be Chrome, Firefox, IE, or another one), open it, and go to its Settings.
- Next, select More Tools/Add-ons, and immediately after that, click on the Extensions tab that you should find on the left.
- Then, try to find Pointcaptchaspot or entries that seem to be related to it and remove them from the list of extensions.
- Look for other questionable extensions and remove them as well. Browser add-ons, in general, aren’t necessary for the operation of your system and won’t affect it in a serious way if you uninstall them.
- If you get a prompt, confirm your actions and remove all suspicious entries from the Extensions list.
Check if the problem is resolved after you complete these actions and if it is not, then, use the more-detailed removal guide below to get rid of Pointcaptchaspot once and for all.
For the smooth and flawless completion of the guide, it is recommended that you Bookmark this page and reboot your computer in Safe Mode. This will help you quickly get back to the removal instructions in case you have to close down your browser during some of the steps, as well as to quickly find Pointcaptchaspot and its entries and remove them from the system.
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Now, after you have booted in Safe Mode, your first job is to open the Windows Task Manager (go to your keyboard and press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC keys together). Once the Task Manager opens, go to the Processes Tab (also names as “Details” Tab if you are using windows 8 or 10) and look at the list of processes there.
Search for processes that are unfamiliar, or seem to be related to Pointcaptchaspot and, when you find such a process, right-click on each one of them and choose Open File Location from the pop-up menu that appears on the screen. After that, scan the files in that location with the free online virus scanner that is available here to check if they really are related to the threat:
Wait for the scan results and then follow the suggested actions. If the files of the highlighted process end up being flagged as malicious, end the processes in the Processes tab by right-clicking on in and selecting End Process and then go to its file location to delete the related folders.
After you are sure that there are no other questionable processes related to Pointcaptchaspot that are causing you trouble, close the Windows Task Manager, and go to your keyboard. Press the Start and R keys and this should open a Run window. Type appwiz.cpl in that window and press OK.
This will lead you to the Control Panel when you have to carefully look for entries added by Pointcaptchaspot. If you detect any, Uninstall it/them and then, type msconfig in the Windows search field followed by a hit on the Enter keyboard key. A new window named System Configuration should appear on your screen immediately:
Pointcaptchaspot may have added some entries in the Startup tab, that’s why your job is to click on it, carefully check all the entries there, and remove the checkmark for the ones that have “Unknown” Manufacturer or seem to be related to the unwanted program.
Next, head to the Hosts file on your computer. This file is an operating system file that maps hostnames to IP addresses. Programs like Pointcaptchaspot may introduce some changes to the IP and with the next instructions, you will be able to check if this is the situation in your case. Hold the Start and R keyboard keys and copy the following command in the Run box that appears on your screen:
After you paste the command, click Ok to run it. This will open the Hosts file. Once it launches, scroll to Localhost and check if there are some questionable IP addresses under it. See the image below for more explanations:
If you find suspicious IPs below “Localhost” please leave us a comment, as this might be an indication that your computer is hacked.
Next, click on the Windows start menu and search for Network Connections. If you are using Windows 10, simply write it in the search field and press enter. Then, go to the Network Adapter you are currently using and right-click on it. Click on Properties in the pop-up menu, then highlight Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), and click on Properties as it is shown on image 2. In the Properties window, make sure that the DNS line is set to Obtain DNS server automatically. Next, click on Advanced, select the DNS tab. and then remove any rogue DNS that is found there (image 4). Click OK to confirm your changes.
After you complete the steps above, head to the hijacked browser and right-click on its shortcut icon. Select Properties.
In the Properties window tap on Shortcut and head to where it is written Target. Remove everything that has been added as text after .exe just as it is shown on the image below:
If Pointcaptchaspot has hijacked your other browsers, here is how to remove it from them:
Remove Pointcaptchaspot from Firefox:
If you are using Firefox and you have detected that it is hijacked, open it and click the main menu icon on the top right corner . Select Add-ons from the menu and then click on the Extensions tab from the left panel.
Then, remove any unwanted extensions that have been added by Pointcaptchaspot and close the browser.
Remove Pointcaptchaspot from Internet Explorer:
Open Internet Explorer by clicking on its shortcut and then, click on . Select Manage Add-ons from the menu that falls down:
Once you see the add-ons list, look for add-ons that have been added by Pointcaptchaspot and Disable them. After that, go back to the gear icon , click it, and select Internet Options. In the window that appears, check the homepage field and change the homepage URL to an address that you trust in case that it has been replaced. Click on Apply for the changes to take place.
Remove Pointcaptchaspot from Chrome:
Close GoogleChrome and manually navigate to C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data.
Find the “Default” folder in this directory and highlight it:
Right-click on the folder and change its name to Backup Default. Then, restart Chrome.
In the final step, open the Registry Editor by typing Regedit in the windows search field and pressing the Enter key. Once the Editor opens, open a Find window (press CTRL and F keyboard keys together) and write the name of the threat in the text field. Perform a search and Right-click to delete any entries that are found with that name in the Registry. After that, to ensure that you have successfully removed all traces of Pointcaptchaspot from your computer, go manually to these directories and remove their content:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER-Software-Random Directory.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER-Software-Microsoft-Internet Explorer-Main-Random
Alternatively, if the instructions in this guide can’t help you get rid of Pointcaptchaspot completely, scan your computer with the professional removal program that we recommend and follow its suggested actions. Also, feel free to ask us any questions that you may have in the comments below!