PC Optimizer Pro
If you are reading these sentences, you must have identified that there is something very wrong with PC Optimizer Pro’s scan results. Said results typically find a variety of things wrong with your system, but ask for a $50 payment to fix them. The program supposedly cleans registries and improves PC performance (“Nothing Optimizes Your PC Better,” the tagline reads). At least that’s how it’s marketed. In reality it’s an elaborate scam that’s been plaguing users since 2007, and most of the time people don’t even install it outright. Rather it sneaks in by being bundled together with another program. Later on, we’ll talk more about how you can avoid such tricks in the future, but for now there’s something else that warrants attention:
If I haven’t been clear enough, DO NOT pay the money it asks for. This virus’s type is called “scareware,” meaning that it attempts to scare you into thinking unreasonably and paying. Chances are none of the things it determined to be in need of a fix are real. Instead remove PC Optimizer Pro immediately. Not only it tries to take money from you, but it is also responsible for infecting systems with adware on a regular basis. The longer it remains, the more it will slow down your PC, contrary to its claim that it will improve performance.
Also, it’s very important to note that after you remove PC Optimizer Pro, some advertisements will appear on web pages, offering you to install it back.
I’m sure none of you will make the mistake of doing it, but this needs to be said:
- If you download something following these ads, you can end up with this virus, as well as another one. There is a separate version called Koox System Optimizer that is basically a reskined version of this “optimizer” so very carefully check out your programs list for Koox too.
How Did PC Optimizer Pro Get In?
PC Optimizer Pro always comes in with another program. That’s a fact we uncovered. This is through a process called “bundling.” If you are unfamiliar with the term, a software bundle is basically a package of programs labeled around one main one. It’s a way for companies to lance their other products by trying to give you a trial period on them when you buy another software. Over time, this practice has been perverted by free software creators who take bribes to include adware and other potentially unwanted programs in their bundles. And that’s how you ended up with this virus. Fortunately for you, there IS a good way to spot such threats. As the law requires, you need to be aware that you will receive advertisements, or whoever created the thing is liable to legal prosecution. For that reason, there is always some sort of disclaimer when users install an infected program. If you monitor the setup carefully, you should always see something like this:
How to Remove PC Optimizer Pro
Our first step here is a reboot in Windows Safe Mode. If you already know how to do it, just skip this and proceed to Step 2. If you do not know how to do it, continue reading:
For Windows 98, XP, Millenium and 7 Users:
Restart your computer. To be sure you don’t miss the window of time when you need to press it, just spam F8 as soon as the PC starts booting. In the new menu, choose Safe Mode With Networking.
Proceed to Step 2.
For Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Users:
Press the Windows Key and R at the same time. Select the Boot tab in the new window that appears.
Then check the Safe Boot option and click OK. Click Restart in the new pop-up.
Proceed to Step 2.
For OS X Users:
When you Mac is turned off, press the Power Button. After you hear the Startup Sound, immediately press and hold the Shift key until the Apple logo appears.
Proceed to Step 2.
(Works for Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1)
You are now in the Control Panel. Search around for PC Optimizer Pro and anything else suspicious-looking. Uninstall it/them. Also, be extremely careful. Viruses often spend one last ditch effort to trick you into installing more of their kind. If you see a screen like this when you click Uninstall, choose NO:
This is perhaps the most important and difficult step, so be extremely careful. Open the Task Manager by right clicking on the Taskbar and choosing Start Task Manager.
Once it opens, choose the Processes Tab. Look at all of the processes in front of you and try to determine which ones are a virus. Google them or ask us in the comments and we will provide the best assistance we can. If the virus returns later on, the reason is that you missed something here.
Right click on each of the virus processes separately and select Open File Location. Also, End the process after you open the folder. Just to make sure we don’t delete any programs you mistakenly took for a virus, copy the folders somewhere, then delete the directories you were sent to.
We’ve had reports that this virus can come back after you uninstall it. This usually takes place on system boot. If this happens, do the following:
Type Regedit in the windows search field, and press Enter.
Once inside, press CTRL and F together and type the virus’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. Alternatively, if you can’t find any this way, look in these directories, and delete the registries manually:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random numbers
HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random