Microsoft Cleaner virus removal guide
What is Microsoft Cleaner?
Microsoft Cleaner is promoted as a program that cleans junk files, boosts memory, cleans and fixes registry, optimized browsers and so on. Simply said, its developers present it as system optimization tool. Nevertheless, the problem with it is that it also operates as a Trojan.Clicker, a malicious program that is used to perform a click fraud. This application has nothing to do with the actual Microsoft company.
Microsoft Cleaner can be downloaded from its website, however, it does not mean that it is a legitimate software. People who downloaded and installed it should be able to find its process running in Task Manager as "MicrosoftCleanup". It is very likely that Microsoft Cleaner as a system optimization tool is completely useless. It either does not fix any problems or provides its users with fabricated lists of detected issues. One way or another, its main purpose is to run as a Trojan.Clicker and to perform the aforementioned click fraud. In some cases Trojan.Clicker could be used to trick its users into downloading various malicious programs. However, usually it is used to increase ad revenue by inflating website's visit counters or to generate revenue by faking ad clicks. It helps to generates revenue either by connecting to various websites and increasing their traffic (popularity) or/and clicking ads displayed on various pages. Clicking ads either helps hosts of those websites to generate revenue or it drains revenue from the advertisers. One way or another, click fraud is an illegal activity that occurs in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. To sum up, Microsoft Cleaner is actually a malicious program that is also known/operates as Trojan.Clicker. If there is any reason to believe that it is installed on the operating system, it should be uninstalled/removed immediately.
|Name||Microsoft Cleaner Trojan.Clicker|
|Threat Type||Trojan.Clicker, fake system optimizer.|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of MSIL/TrojanClicker.Agent.NTL), McAfee (Artemis!1CF1C0FCE124), Microsoft (PUA:Win32/Presenoker), Full List (VirusTotal)|
|Malicious Process Name(s)||MicrosoftCleanup (the process name may vary).|
|Symptoms||Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate victim's computer and remain silent thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.|
|Distribution methods||Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software cracks.|
|Damage||Diminished computer performance, decreased Internet speed, potential installation of additional malware.|
To eliminate Microsoft Cleaner Trojan.Clicker our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
Microsoft Cleaner is very similar to Registry Doctor, both of them are disguised as system optimization tools that actually are designed to perform click fraud and generate revenue for their developers. It is possible that trojans of this type could lead to other infections too. Questionable programs distributed through questionable websites (or other channels) should never be trusted.
How did Microsoft Cleaner infiltrate my computer?
As we already mentioned above, Microsoft Cleaner can be downloaded from a supposedly official website. However, cyber criminals use other ways to distribute malicious programs too. For example, they could use spam campaigns for that. They send emails with files attached to them that are designed to download and/or install malware. Simply said, this method works when people open the presented attachments or web links that lead to them. Another common way to proliferate malware is though trojans. Programs of this type are designed to cause chain infections, however, to be able to do it they must be installed first. Fake updaters, if used, often are designed to download and install various malicious software instead of updates or fixes. They might be used to exploit bugs, flaws of outdated software too. One more popular way to distribute malicious software is through tools that supposed to allow their users to activate installed software for free. These tools are known as 'cracking' tools. Cyber criminals often employ them to spread malware, in other words, instead of performing activations tools of this type often download/install malicious programs.
How to avoid installation of malware?
Download software using only official, trustworthy websites and direct download links. Avoid using various Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), freeware or free file hosting websites, unofficial pages, third party downloaders and so on. Furthermore, do not open attachments presented in questionable or irrelevant emails that are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. Update software using tools or implemented functions that are provided by official software developers. Activate installed software properly, do not use various 'cracking' tools for that, they are illegal and often cause damage (install viruses). One more important thing is to have a reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed and to keep it always enabled. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Screenshot of the website promoting Microsoft Cleaner:
Microsoft Cleaner's installer:
Microsoft Cleaner program:
Microsoft Cleaner on the list of installed programs:
Appearance of Microsoft Cleaner:
Instant automatic removal of Microsoft Cleaner Trojan.Clicker:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Microsoft Cleaner Trojan.Clicker. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Microsoft Cleaner?
- STEP 1. Manual removal of Microsoft Cleaner malware.
- STEP 2. Check if your computer is clean.
How to remove malware manually?
Manual malware removal is a complicated task, usually it's better to let antivirus or anti-malware programs do it automatically. To remove this malware we recommend using Spyhunter for Windows. If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here's an example of a suspicious program running on user's computer:
If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example using task manager and identified a program that looks suspicious you should continue with these steps:
Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry and file system locations:
Restart your computer into Safe Mode:
Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.
Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Extract the downloaded archive and run Autoruns.exe file.
In the Autoruns application click "Options" at the top and uncheck "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure click the "Refresh" icon.
Check the list provided by Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.
You should write down it full path and name. Note that some malware hides their process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage it's very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate he suspicious program you want to remove right click your mouse over it's name and choose "Delete"
After removing the malware through Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware won't run automatically on the next system startup) you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the file of the malware be sure to remove it.
Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should help remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills, it's recommended to leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it's better to avoid getting infected that try to remove malware afterwards. To keep your computer safe be sure to install latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.
To be sure your computer is free of malware infections we recommend scanning it with Spyhunter for Windows.