PCActivator removal instructions
What is PCActivator?
Developers promote PCActivator (or PC Activator) as a program that enhances computer performance by fixing errors, faulty registry entries, issues relating to system crashes, and so on. In fact, PCActivator is categorized as a potentially unwanted application (PUA), since developers distribute it using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" (it is included in the set-ups of other software). Typically, people do not download and install apps of this type intentionally.
PCActivator allows users to scan their computers for various issues and then to review them. To fix them, however, users are encouraged to register the program (i.e., to purchase a 'full version'). Note that many PUAs deliver fake results. They list non-existent 'issues' and encourage users to fix them by registering and purchasing the program. In this way, they trick people into believing that there are many issues on their computers and that the tool that detected these problems can also fix them. It is unknown for certain whether PCActivator is one of these rogue apps, however, many apps that are promoted using deceptive methods have this behavior. Developers often bundle more than one app. Thus, PCActivator could be installed with a browser hijacker and/or adware-type app, or other PUAs. Most PUAs collect user-system information relating to browsing habits and deliver various ads. They gather data such as IP addresses, geolocations, URLs of visited websites, entered search queries, and other similar data. Some might be designed to gather this data and also personal, sensitive information. Developers share this with third parties (potentially cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Additionally, these PUAs display ads that conceal underlying content of visited websites. This could be various coupons, banners, surveys, pop-up ads, and so on. By clicking these ads, users risk being redirected to untrustworthy websites or causing unwanted downloads/installations. If any PUAs are installed, they should be removed immediately. In some cases, people who use PUAs experience problems with privacy, browsing safety, or even identity theft.
|Name||PCActivator potentially unwanted application|
|Threat Type||PUP (potentially unwanted program), PUA (potentially unwanted application)|
|Supposed Functionality||System optimization, performance increase.|
|Detection Names (PC-Activator-Setup-1_1106.exe)||Avast (Other:PUP-gen [PUP]), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of MSIL/SafeBytes.C potentially unwanted), Kaspersky (Hoax.Win32.DeceptPCClean.aco), McAfee (Artemis!36958597BD66), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Symptoms||A program that you do not recall installing suddenly appeared on your computer. New application is performing computer scans and displaying warning messages about 'found issues'. Asks for payment to eliminate the supposedly detected 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, slow computer performance.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
PCActivator is just one of many apps that are promoted using bundling. Other examples are Dr. Wolf Internet Security, DriverAgent, and Qbit PC Speedup. Apps categorized as 'potentially unwanted' tend to be useless. They provide none of the features/tools that developers offer when promoting them. Furthermore, in many cases, they are installed with other unwanted apps.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Some potentially unwanted programs can be downloaded from their websites, however, in most cases, people download/install them through clicked intrusive ads or with other software. To trick people into downloading and installing PUAs, developers use a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" - they hide them in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar parts of other software download/installation set-ups. Generally, information about these additionally-included (bundled) PUAs is not properly disclosed. Furthermore, many users do not check the settings and leave them unchanged. In doing so, they grant permission for PUAs to be downloaded and installed with regular programs.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
To avoid download and installation of PUAs, download, install software, and browse the web with care. Download all programs from official and trustworthy websites. Other sources such as third party downloaders, torrent clients, eMule or other Peer-to-Peer networks are often used to promote unwanted apps. Therefore, these sources should not be trusted. Check all available "Advanced", "Custom" and other similar settings of any download or installation setup and deselect additionally-included (unwanted) apps. Avoid clicking intrusive ads, since they might cause redirects to untrustworthy websites such as gambling, pornography, adult dating, and other dubious pages. If intrusive ads are a common problem or redirects to dubious pages happen often, check the default browser for any unwanted/suspicious extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins installed. Also check the list installed programs on your computer and uninstall all unwanted or suspicious apps/programs immediately. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
PCActivator installation setup:
Screenshot of PCActivator application:
Appearance of PCActivator (GIF):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is PCActivator?
- 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 7 users:
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:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.
Mac 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 "PCActivator" 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, PCActivator did not install any unwanted browser extensions, however, 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 pcactivator 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 pcactivator 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 pcactivator 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 pcactivator 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.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove pcactivator potentially unwanted application from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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