WinOptimizer removal instructions
What is WinOptimizer?
As its name suggests, WinOptimizer is a software which is designed to analyze and optimize Windows computers. Like most programs of this type, it allows users to scan computers for unnecessary files, registry entries and running services, invalid shortcuts, etc. Although, it is categorized as a potentially unwanted application (PUA) because developers distribute it through setups of other programs. It is common that users download and install PUAs unknowingly.
WinOptimizer is a legitimate application, however, there is a great number of PUAs that are not. Quite often they allow users to scan systems for various issues, errors but do not fix them. To be more precise, they generate fake results so that users would think that by fixing detected issues they will improve computer performance. The main purpose of this is to trick users into activating that software (paying for its full version). Also, quite often PUAs are distributed alongside with other apps of this type. It means that users often install more than one PUA through a single setup. Usually, those other apps are various browser hijackers and/or adware-type apps. Browser hijackers are apps that promote addresses of various fake search engines by changing certain browser's settings. Also, quite often they gather information related to user's browsing activities (e.g., geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, IP addresses, and other browsing data). It is worthwhile to mention that gathered data can be sold to third parties (potentially cyber criminals) who would misuse it to generate revenue in some other ways. Also, there are browser hijackers that are capable of recording personal, sensitive details as well. Adware is a type of software that serves various advertisements (e.g., coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and other types of ads) that, when clicked, can open untrustworthy websites. In some cases those ads cause unwanted downloads and/or installations of various by executing certain scripts. Therefore, if some PUAs got installed alongside with WinOptimizer, then they should be uninstalled as soon as possible.
|Name||Ashampoo WinOptimizer FREE|
|Threat Type||PUP (potentially unwanted program), PUA (potentially unwanted application)|
|Functionality||WinOptimizer is advertised a tool which optimizes Windows computers|
|Symptoms||A program that you do not recall installing suddenly appeared on your computer. A 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, slow computer performance.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
PC Win Booster, Fast Computer and HomeGuard are the names of other programs that are categorized as PUAs too. It is common that they are designed as tools that supposed to fix errors, registry, remove unnecessary files and/or improve computer performance in some other ways. Although, it is common that they do not operate as they were advertised (do not fix any issues) and are designed only to generate revenue for their developers.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Developers often include PUAs in various download and/or installation setups of other software as additional offers. Typically, offers to download and/or install potentially unwanted apps can be declined through setup's "Advanced", "Custom" and other similar settings. Although, not all users check those settings (they leave them unchanged). If those settings are not changed before completing downloads, installations, then included apps are allowed to be downloaded and/or installed too. Additionally, PUAs can get installed through deceptive ads that are designed to run certain scripts, however, it happens only when users click those advertisements.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Programs, files should not be downloaded from unofficial websites, through Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, and so on), via third party downloaders, or installed through third party installers. It is strongly recommended to download software only from official websites and via direct links. Also, download and installation setups that contain settings like "Custom", "Advanced", etc., should be always checked for offers to download and/or install additionally included, unwanted software. It is because those settings often mention offers to download and/or install PUAs. Furthermore, intrusive ads that appear on shady pages often not just open questionable websites but also cause unwanted downloads, installations. Therefore, such ads should not be trusted, clicked. Additionally, there should be no unwanted extensions, plug-ins or add-ons installed on a browser and programs of this kind installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Appearance of WinOptimizer application (GIF):
Installation setup of WinOptimizer application:
Website promoting WinOptimizer application:
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 WinOptimizer?
- 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 "WinOptimizer" (or "Ashampoo WinOptimizer FREE") 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, WinOptimizer 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 ashampoo winoptimizer free, 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 ashampoo winoptimizer free, 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 plugins 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 ashampoo winoptimizer free 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 ashampoo winoptimizer free, 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 ashampoo winoptimizer free from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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