Dear reader, if you are reading this article it’s properly because your computer has been infected with PrintOnKey Ads and you would like it removed. We’ll help you take care of that. But this article has another very important goal – to teach you how to recognize viruses like PrintOnKey Ads before they infect your computer.
Nearly all common viruses rely on the human factor – that is they prey on the user’s ignorance, who will install them thinking they are something else. Seeing them for what they are is therefore the best defense their is.
First lets look at how PrintOnKey Ads operates
PrintOnKey Ads is classified as an Adware, because generating unwanted ads in abundance is what these viruses do. Besides the usual ads you may also be seeing quite a few other unwanted messages. These may include:
- Error messages claiming that you need to install a missing plug-in.
- Offers to download free programs. Anti-Malware apps are commonly used as bait here.
- Urgent warnings to fix security vulnerabilities by downloading an update to some program you already have like Flash or Java.
- Media windows that demand some Video Player installer before showing the video.
Yes, as you have probably guessed all of these are viruses. In fact these and similar messages are one of the most common ways adware and malware use to spread. You should NEVER download and install .exe files from untrusted sources. In the off chance that you do think some program needs to be updated or you want to download some free program – simply google what you need and look for the official site. That way you can be sure the downloaded file is virus free.
Some other tricks virus creators might use to fool you
On download sites and torrent sites there are often multiple download buttons shown. Out of these only one will be the real one (if there is a real one at all). All the rest will actually download a virus. IMPORTANT! Note that the virus may carry the same name as the file you want, but the extension will always be an .exe for the virus. NEVER install .exe files you havn’t gotten from the official dealer.
Another trick is the so-called program bundles. These days it’s common practice to include one or more addition application to a program’s installer. These additional programs are there to promote other products of the company or products of partners. Unfortunately this is often abused, especially with free programs. The added extras may be adware. That’s why its wise to always use the advanced installation feature. It gives you exact control over what is getting installed. Forbid access to all extras you don’t really want or need. You will ALWAYS get the main program regardless of how the installer is worded.
How to Remove PrintOnKey Ads
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.
PrintOnKey Ads has infected ALL of your browsers. Apply the steps separately for each one.
For Internet Explorer Users:
Open IE, then click —–> Manage Add-ons.
Find PrintOnKey Ads . Disable it.
If your Home Page is different from the usual, click —–> Internet Options>edit the URL box with your preferred search engine, and click Apply.
For Mozilla Firefox Users:
Open Firefox, click on (top right) ——-> Add-ons.
Hit Extensions next.
PrintOnKey Ads should be somewhere around here – Remove it.
For Google Chrome Users:
Start Chrome, click —–>More Tools —–> Extensions.
In Extensions, find the virus and select .
Click again, and proceed to Settings —> Search (the fourth tab), select Manage Search Engines. Remove anything but the search engines you normally use.
For Safari Users:
Open Safari, and click Safari —–>Preferences —–> Extensions—–>Uninstall the malware.
(Works for Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1)
You are now in the Control Panel. Search around for PrintOnKey Ads 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
STEP 6 – Optimization
And that’s it. Well done for removing PrintOnKey Ads. We’ve prepared a short and sweet optimization guide, specifically designed for users who just removed a virus. It is completely free, you do not need to download anything, and it’s not very time consuming. If you are interested, you can check it out here.