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PopularApp is an invasive browser hijacking component that may be introduced to the Chrome, Firefox, or Edge browser without the informed consent of the user and is meant to make modifications that the user does not want. Applications that hijack browsers, such as PopularApp, have a tendency to alter the search engine and homepage URLs, fill the screen with advertisements, and trigger automated page-redirects.
It is almost certain that you are dealing with a hijacker like PopularApp if you have recently detected some unusual behavior in your browser, such as sudden redirects to unknown pages, aggressive ad generation (even on sites that don’t normally have intrusive ads), or changes in the default startup page or the main search engine. Although this should not be a cause for alarm since hijackers are often not big security risks like ransomware cryptoviruses or Trojans, you should nevertheless absolutely take the appropriate precautions to ensure that the malicious application is removed from your computer as soon as possible.
What we suggest you do first is, check the list of programs that are presently installed on the infected device and uninstall any rogue software that you find there:
From the Start Menu, navigate to Control Panel ->>> Programs and Features ->>> Uninstall a Program.
Next, carefully search for unfamiliar programs or programs that have been installed recently and could be related to PopularApp.
If you find any of the programs suspicious then uninstall them if they turn out to be linked to PopularApp.
If a notification appears on your screen when you try to uninstall a specific questionable program prompting you to just alter it or repair it, make sure you choose NO and complete the steps from the removal wizard.
Remove PopularApp from Chrome
Click on the three dots in the right upper corner
Go to more tools
Now select extensions
Remove the PopularApp extension
Once you open Chrome, click on the three-dots icon to open the browser’s menu, go to More Tools/ More Options, and then to Extensions.
Again, find the items on that page that could be linked to the malware and/or that might be causing problems in the browser and delete them.
Afterwards, go to this folder: Computer > C: > Users > *Your User Account* > App Data > Local > Google > Chrome > User Data. In there, you will find a folder named Default – you should change its name to Backup Default and restart the PC.
Get rid of PopularApp by removing it from extensions
If using Firefox:
Select the three parallel lines menu and go to Add-ons.
Find the unwanted add-on and delete it from the browser – if there is more than one unwanted extension, remove all of them.
Go to the browser menu again, select Options, and then click on Home from the sidebar to the left.
Check the current addresses for the browser’s homepage and new-tab page and change them if they are currently set to address(es) you don’t know or trust.
If using MS Edge/IE:
Select the browser menu and go to Extensions.
Find and uninstall any Edge extensions that look undesirable and unwanted.
Select Settings from the browser menu and click on Appearance.
Check the new-tab page address of the browser and if it has been modified by the malicious program or another unwanted app, change it to an address that you’d want to be the browser’s new-tab page.
How to Delete PopularApp
Open task manager
Look for the PopularApp process
Select it and click on End task
Open the file location to delete PopularApp
Access the Task Manager by pressing together the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys and then selecting Task Manager.
Open Processes and there try to find a process with the name of the unwanted software. If you find it, select it with the right button of the mouse and click on the Open File Location option.
If you don’t see a malicious process in the Task Manager, look for another suspicious process with an unusual name. It is likely that the unwanted process would be using lots of RAM and CPU so pay attention to the number of resources each process is using.
Tip: If you think you have singled out the unwanted process but are not sure, it’s always a good idea to search for information about it on the Internet – this should give you a general idea if the process is a legitimate one from a regular program or from your OS or if it is indeed likely linked to the adware.
If you find another suspicious process, open its File Location too.
Once in the File Location folder for the suspicious process, start testing all of the files that are stored there by dragging them to our free online scanner available below.
Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users.
This file is not matched with any known malware in the database. You can either do a full real-time scan of the file or skip it to upload a new file. Doing a full scan with 64 antivirus programs can take up to 3-4 minutes per file.
Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
If the scanner finds malware in any of the files, return to the Processes tab in the Task Manager, select the suspected process, and then select the End Process option to quit it.
Go back to the folder where the files of that process are located and delete all of the files that you are allowed to delete. If all files get deleted normally, exit the folder and delete that folder too. If one or more of the files showed an error message when you tried to delete them, leave them for now and return to try to delete them again once you’ve completed the rest of the guide.
How to Uninstall PopularApp
Click on the home button
Search for Startup Apps
Look for PopularApp in there
Uninstall PopularApp from Startup Apps by turning it off
Now you need to carefully search for and uninstall any PopularApp-related entries from the Registry. The easiest way to do this is to open the Registry Editor app (type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter) and then open a Find dialog (CTRL+F key combination) where you have to type the name of the threat.
Perform a search by clicking on the Find Next button and delete any detected results. Do this as many times as needed until no more results are found.
After that, to ensure that there are no remaining entries lined to PopularApp in the Registry, go manually to the following directories and delete them:
Such applications are not only quite annoying and prone to disrupting one’s regular workflow, but they may also result in security weaknesses in the system, leaving you vulnerable to more harmful forms of software and viruses, as well as online scams. PopularApp is not capable of causing harm to your data or taking complete control of your system by itself, since this program is not intended to do any of those things. PopularApp primary focus is on monetizing via advertising. And, as this is the main objective, it is expected that PopularApp or BestSearch.ai would bombard you with advertisements and redirect the results of your searches in order to generate cash for its creators using Pay-Per-View and Pay-Per-Click models. However, the method by which it accomplishes its objectives might substantially raise the likelihood of your personal computer being exposed to a range of risks, including the Trojans and Ransomware infections that were previously mentioned.
Is PopularApp dangerous?
One of the ways in which PopularApp may put you in danger is by rerouting you to a website that is owned by a hacker and is used to spread malware in the form of a free and helpful tool that people may download onto their computers believing it is something useful. Additionally, due to the fact that many hijackers also make modifications in the system’s Registry and settings, this might make the system itself more susceptible, which would therefore increase the likelihood of it being targeted by some new malware. If you are redirected to a phishing page, which is a page that is designed to seem like a well-known and respected website but is really intended to acquire personal information from users, such as credit or debit card details, this is another potentially risky situation that might occur thanks to keeping the hijacker on the system.
Is PopularApp a virus?
PopularApp is not a particularly dangerous piece of software, but it is not something that should be allowed to remain on your computer if you want to keep the system safe. The good news is that the hijacker can be uninstalled in a short amount of time if you carefully follow the steps outlined in the guide that has been given for you below, or if you use the professional removal program that has been linked on this page. Just keep in mind that after PopularApp is uninstalled, you should make it a priority to keep your system safe while using the internet. This can be achieved by never downloading questionable software and by avoiding any kind of questionable website or content that you may come across while browsing the web.
About the author
Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.