What is WinThruster?
WinThruster is presented as a program that fixes issues by making other programs load faster and optimizing computers in one click. WinThruster's developers promote it by 'bundling' this program into other software set-ups. This increases the possibility that most people will download and install it unintentionally.
For this reason, WinThruster is categorized as a potentially unwanted application (PUA).
When WinThruster finishes scanning the system, it displays a list of 'issues'. Fixing these detected problems will supposedly improve computer performance, however, the program must first be registered (in effect, purchasing the 'full version'). Many such apps solve none of the detected problems free of charge and, in fact, the problems are fake anyway.
These rogue apps give the impression that there are many issues on the computer and can be fixed using a particular program, however, users are encouraged to purchase them first. There is no information as to whether WinThruster is one of these apps, however, apps promoted by bundling them into set-ups of other software are usually rogue.
Furthermore, developers often bundle more than one app - in many cases, these are adware-type apps, browser hijackers, and so on. PUAs of this kind usually gather information relating to users' browsing activities. For example, geolocations, entered search queries, URLs of visited websites, IP addresses, and so on.
Developers share the information with other parties, potentially cyber criminals, who misuse it to generate revenue. Another common issue with PUAs is intrusive ads. They display coupons, banners, surveys, pop-up ads, etc. If clicked, they open dubious websites. In some cases, these ads execute scripts designed to download and install unwanted apps.
PUAs should be removed immediately, since they can lead to problems relating to privacy, browsing safety, or even identity theft.
|Name||WinThruster potentially unwanted application|
|Threat Type||PUP (potentially unwanted program), PUA (potentially unwanted application).|
|Supposed Functionality||System optimization.|
|Detection Names (Setup_WinThruster_2019.exe)||ESET-NOD32 (a variant of Win32/OptimizerEliteMax.H potentially unwanted), Malwarebytes (PUP.Optional.SysTweak), TrendMicro (PUA.Win32.Solvusoft.AA), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Symptoms||A program that you do not recall installing suddenly appeared on your computer. The new application is performing computer scans and displays warning messages about found issues. Asks for payment to eliminate the supposedly found errors.|
|Distribution Methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers.|
|Damage||Monetary loss (unnecessary purchase of fake software), unwanted warning pop-ups, poor computer performance.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
The internet is full of apps similar to WinThruster. Some examples are Qbit Speedup Pro, Nero TuneItUp, and Qbit PC Speedup. Do not use apps that are downloaded and installed inadvertently. They usually provide none of the promoted features, tools, and so on.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
WinThruster has a download website, however, most users download and install it unintentionally. As we mentioned, this app is promoted by bundling it into other software set-ups, however, developers do not properly provide information about it. They hide bundled applications in "Custom, "Advanced" settings (or other sections) of software download or installation set-ups.
Many users leave these settings unchecked and unchanged, thereby allowing PUAs to be downloaded and installed together with other, regular downloaded/installed software. In some cases, unintentional downloads and installations occur when people click intrusive ads designed to run rogue scripts.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Be cautious when browsing the web and downloading and installing software (especially if it is free). Do not finish any download or installation without checking all available "Custom" or "Advanced" (or other similar) settings and dismissing offers to download/install unwanted applications. Download software from official/trustworthy websites and use direct download links.
Tools such as Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule etc.), unofficial websites and other similar sources should not be used to download software. Do not click intrusive advertisements, especially if they are displayed on pages relating to gambling, pornography, adult dating, and other dubious sites.
If unwanted redirects and ads occur regularly, check installed programs on the operating system and applications (extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons) on the browser. Remove all unwanted, unknown entries immediately. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
WinThruster installation setup:
Screenshot of notification displayed by WinThruster:
Appearance of the WinThruster application (GIF):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is WinThruster?
- STEP 1. Uninstall deceptive applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove malicious plug-ins from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove potentially unwanted plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue extensions from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Removal of potentially unwanted applications:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
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.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
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.
In the uninstall programs window, look for "WinThruster" and other suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application, 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:
At time of research, WinThruster did not install any unwanted browser extensions, however, note that some unwanted applications can be installed together with adware and browser hijackers. If you experience unwanted ads or redirects when browsing the internet, continue with the removal guide below.
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" 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".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the winthruster potentially unwanted application, 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.
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.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the 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 and remove them.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the winthruster potentially unwanted application, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the 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.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with winthruster potentially unwanted application removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the winthruster potentially unwanted application, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Commonly, 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.
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