Command Prompt Virus

Also Known As: Command Prompt pop-up virus
Type: Adware
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

Random Command Prompt Pop-Ups removal instructions

What is Random Command Prompt Pop-Ups?

Some users continually encounter Command Prompt randomly popping-up and disappearing without any apparent reason. This is very frustrating and inconvenient when gaming, working, and performing intensive tasks on the computer. Furthermore, these pop-ups typically indicate a computer infection - in most cases, Command Prompt is opened by various adware-type programs and, sometimes, by ransomware.

Random Command Prompt Pop-Ups adware

During computer operation, users continually encounter the Command Prompt window, which automatically appears and disappears. Many people do not realize that this is performed by applications (typically, malware) that run in the background. These programs open the Command Prompt, immediately run a number of commands, and then close the window before the user is aware of what happened or can take any action. This is typically done with the intention of modifying various system settings without users' consent, or to update certain data/malware. Note that there are situations where random Command Prompt pop-ups are displayed by legitimate software (e.g., Microsoft Office installer, which resides in Task Scheduler's library). Mostly, however, these pop-ups are caused by computer infections. If who you encounter these windows, immediately eliminate all suspicious applications/browser plug-ins and scan the entire system with a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite. We also recommend that you disable the "Get Office" tool (which installs automatically) in the Task Scheduler.

To disable "Get Office", follow these steps:

  • Click "Start", type "Task Scheduler", and click on this result
  • On the left side of the opened window, click the small 'arrows', and follow this path: Task Scheduler Library -> Microsoft -> Office
  • After selecting the Office folder, find the "OfficeBackgroundTaskHandlerRegistration" task and disable it (in some cases it is also necessary to disable the "OfficeBackgroundTaskHandlerLogon" task)

If the pop-ups were displayed by MS Office installer, they should no longer appear.

You should be aware of the behavior of adware and ransomware. Adware is a form of unwanted software that delivers various intrusive advertisements (coupons, banners, pop-ups, etc.) These apps deliver intrusive ads using various tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, displayed ads often conceal underlying website content, thereby significantly diminishing the browsing experience. Furthermore, they might lead to malicious websites or even run scripts that download and install malware. Therefore, even a single click can result in high-risk computer infections. Adware-type apps also gather sensitive information that developers later sell to third parties. The information can include IP addresses, geo-locations, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, keystrokes, etc. The data typically includes personal details that cyber criminals misuse to generate revenue, thus causing serious privacy issues or even identity theft. Ransomware is much more complicated. It typically corrupts stored most files on the computer system. To achieve this, ransomware-type viruses employ various symmetric/asymmetric encryption algorithms (e.g., RSA, AES). These algorithms generate unique encryption/decryption keys, and thus restoring files without them is impossible. Ransomware developers hide these keys on remote servers and make ransom demands for their release. Victims must pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for decryption. Even if victims agree to pay, however, they typically receive no benefit - cyber criminals simply ignore victims, once ransoms paid.

Adware-type apps often claim to provide various "useful features", however, since their only purpose is to generate revenue for the developers, they deliver no value for regular users. These potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.

How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?

Malware is distributed in various ways. Adware-type viruses are typically distributed using intrusive ads, together with a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" (stealth installation of third party applications together with regular software). "Bundled" apps are hidden within various sections (e.g., "Custom/Advanced" settings) of the download/installation processes. By clicking intrusive ads and skipping download/installation steps, many users open doors for adware to enter the system, whilst ransomware-type viruses are often distributed using spam emails (infectious attachments), third party software download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, peer-to-peer networks, etc.), fake software updaters, and trojans. Once opened, malicious attachments stealthily download and install malware. Unofficial download sources proliferate malware by presenting it as legitimate software - users are often tricked into downloading and installing viruses. Fake updaters infect the system by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws. Trojans are the simplest ones - they open "backdoors" for malware to infiltrate the system. Essentially, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet (especially, when download/installing software). Most intrusive ads look legitimate. Once clicked, however, they redirecting to dubious sites (gambling, pornography, etc.) If you encounter these redirects, immediately eliminate all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. Furthermore, download your applications from official sources only and, preferably, using a direct download link (third party downloaders/installers often promote rogue software). When downloading/installing, carefully observe each step and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. We also recommend that you do not read any emails received from suspicious email addresses and, especially, not to open any attached files. Keep installed applications updated and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite, however, note that criminals proliferate malware via fake updaters. Therefore, your software should be updated using implemented functionality or tools provided by the official developer.

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Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted programs:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

Random Command Prompt Pop-Ups adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing Random Command Prompt Pop-Ups ads from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing Random Command Prompt Pop-Ups ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the command prompt pop-up virus, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing Random Command Prompt Pop-Ups  ads from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Removing Random Command Prompt Pop-Ups ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the command prompt pop-up virus, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing Random Command Prompt Pop-Ups ads from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing Random Command Prompt Pop-Ups ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with command prompt pop-up virus removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge logoRemove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 1

In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 2

Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 3

  • If this didn't help, please follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove command prompt pop-up virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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