PUA InstallCore Virus

PUA InstallCore

PUA InstallCore is a potentially unwanted application that can fill the screen of any browser with dozens of aggressive ads, pop-ups, banners and intrusive page-redirects every time you start a new browsing session. The most probable source of these adverts is an adware application PUA InstallCore.

PUA InstallCore Virus

You can found PUA InstallCore after running an .exe file

The Internet is full of those applications (Prozipper) and new ones get made every day with the purpose of promoting certain products, services and websites directly on the users’ screen during their web browsing. That’s why, on this page, we will focus on one of the latest representatives of this software category, an app called PUA InstallCore. Recently, many web users have reported that ads generated by PUA InstallCore have been popping up all over the screen and have been prompting them to click on various offers, redirect links and promotions. Some of them have reached our “How to remove” team with a request to help them remove these ads and uninstall their source which is why we have created the removal guide below.

The Installcore Malware

The Installcore malware, is not among the nastiest computer viruses and have nothing in common with the malicious infections that we often talk about on our website. However, despite lacking the harmfulness of a Trojan Horse or a Ransomware, adware tends to be quite irritating and obstructive once it latches onto popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Explorer or Safari and start spamming the screen with hundreds of sponsored ads.

PUA InstallCore Virus

For this reason, many people refer to this software as potentially unwanted and seek methods to uninstall it from the system. Such applications can constantly deliver third-party ads, pop-ups, banners and offers and cover the pages that you visit with them so as to make you click on some of the messages. The purpose of all this is, of course, financial profit for the adware creators that gets generated through the pay-per-click model. Obviously, this can lead to browsing disturbance, unwanted interruptions and general irritation for the end users. The instructions included in the removal guide down below, however, can effectively help you eliminate the PUA InstallCore and forget about its disturbance once and for all.


PUA.Installcore is not software that can directly threaten the safety of your computer. The same cannot be said about the ads that it can generate, though. The reason is the creators of the PUA.Installcore adware rarely impose any direct control over the sponsored messages that their application displays.

Most of the offers, pop-ups and promotional links are generated on a random basis, which means that nobody checks their origin and legitimacy and while you may find some intriguing and good offers, there is also a high chance of accidentally clicking on something misleading or hazardous. It is, therefore, a good idea to limit your interaction with the content that PUA InstallCore displays and try to stick to reputed sites, well-known sales platforms and trusted sellers. Otherwise, you may unknowingly put your computer at risk or get attacked by a real malware such as a Ransomware, a Trojan Horse or some other nasty virus, especially if you happen to get redirected to unfamiliar web locations.


Name PUA InstallCore
Type  Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms  This program may prompt you to click on various sponsored ads, pop-ups and banners.
Distribution Method Such programs are typically found inside free software bundles, torrents, ads, free download links and spam.
Detection Tool

Remove PUA InstallCore

To try and remove PUA InstallCore quickly you can try this:

  1. Go to your browser’s settings and select More Tools (or Add-ons, depending on your browser).
  2. Then click on the Extensions tab.
  3. Look for the PUA InstallCore extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
  4. Remove PUA InstallCore by clicking on the Trash Bin icon next to its name.
  5. Confirm and get rid of PUA InstallCore and any other suspicious items.

If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed PUA InstallCore 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

PUA InstallCore Virus

Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).

PUA InstallCore Virus


Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab (the “Details” Tab on Win 8 and 10). Try to determine which processes are dangerous. 

PUA InstallCore Virus

Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

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.
PUA InstallCore Virus
Drag and Drop File Here To Scan
PUA InstallCore Virus
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Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
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    After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders. 

    Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections. 

    PUA InstallCore Virus

    Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.

    PUA InstallCore Virus

    You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them.

    Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:

    PUA InstallCore Virus

    Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.

    PUA InstallCore Virus

    Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

    notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

    A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

    PUA InstallCore Virus

    If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.

    Open the start menu and search for Network Connections (On Windows 10 you just write it after clicking the Windows button), press enter.

    1. Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click  Properties.
    2. The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
    3. Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.

    PUA InstallCore Virus

    PUA InstallCore Virus

    • After you complete this step, the threat will be gone from your browsers. Finish the next step as well or it may reappear on a system reboot.

    Right click on the browser’s shortcut —> Properties.

    NOTE: We are showing Google Chrome, but you can do this for Firefox and IE (or Edge).

    PUA InstallCore Virus

    Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.

    PUA InstallCore Virus

    PUA InstallCore Virus  Remove PUA InstallCore from Internet Explorer:

    Open IE, click  PUA InstallCore Virus —–> Manage Add-ons.

    PUA InstallCore Virus

    Find the threat —> Disable. Go to PUA InstallCore Virus —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.

    PUA InstallCore Virus Remove PUA InstallCore from Firefox:

    Open Firefoxclick  PUA InstallCore Virus  ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.

    PUA InstallCore Virus

    PUA InstallCore VirusRemove PUA InstallCore from Chrome:

    Close Chrome. Navigate to:

     C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:

    PUA InstallCore Virus

    Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.

    PUA InstallCore Virus

    Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.

    Inside, press CTRL and F together and type the threat’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show up this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

    If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!


    About the author


    Lidia Howler

    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.

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