What is PotPlayer?
PotPlayer is a rogue application endorsed as a multimedia player compatible with Windows Vista, XP, 7 and 8 operating systems. It is classified as adware. Following successful infiltration, PotPlayer begins running intrusive advertisement campaigns, delivering various unwanted and even harmful ads.
Due to the dubious methods used to promote this app, it is also classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA). Additionally, most PUAs have data tracking capabilities, which are employed to monitor users' browsing activity, and this is likely to be the case with PotPlayer.
Software classified as adware operates by delivering pop-ups, surveys, coupons, banners and other intrusive ads. These advertisements significantly diminish the browsing experience, since they limit browsing speed and website visibility (by overlaying page content). Once clicked, intrusive ads can redirect to sale-based, promotional, untrusted, rogue, deceptive/scam, compromised and malicious web pages.
Furthermore, they can be triggered (when clicked) to execute scripts designed to download/install software without users' permission. PUAs are a prime example of software infiltrated into systems in this manner. As well as running intrusive ad campaigns, PUAs can force-open similarly dangerous websites. Other PUAs called browser hijackers modify browser settings to promote fake search engines.
With a browser hijacker installed, each search query typed into the URL bar and each new browser tab/window opened redirects to the address of a bogus search engine. The promoted search engines are usually unable to provide unique results, and so they tend to redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing and other legitimate sites. Furthermore, browser hijackers can reset any changes users try to make to their browsers and restrict/deny access to the settings outright.
Most PUAs (including adware) can track data. They can monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect personal information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The gathered data is often monetized by sharing with and/or selling to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
Therefore, the presence of unwanted apps on devices can lead to system infections, financial loss, serious privacy issues and even identity theft. To protect device integrity and user safety, you are strongly advised to eliminate all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Name||Ads by PotPlayer|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus.|
|Supposed Functionality||Multimedia player|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:AdwareSig [Adw]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.34055019), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Adware.TekhNetvork.A), DrWeb (Trojan.DownLoad4.13619), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Symptoms||Seeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.|
|Distribution Methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers.|
|Damage||Decreased computer performance, browser tracking - privacy issues, possible additional malware infections.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
MusiCalm, MessengerHub, Access+, and Best Media Converter are some examples of other adware-type applications. They may seem legitimate and harmless and this software also typically offers various "useful" functionalities, however, the features promised are rarely operational, and this applies to most PUAs.
The sole purpose of these unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers, whilst regular users receive no real value and can instead experience serious issues. PUAs deliver intrusive ad campaigns, cause redirects to untrusted and malicious sites, hijack browsers and track private information.
How did PotPlayer install on my computer?
Some PUAs (including PotPlayer) have "official" promotional web pages from which they can be downloaded. PUAs are also distributed via the download/installation set-ups of other products. This deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling".
By rushing through download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using pre-set options, etc.), users risk unintentionally allowing bundled content onto their devices. Intrusive ads proliferate these applications as well.
When clicked, they can execute scripts to stealthily download/install PUAs without users' consent.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are advised to research all software prior to download/installation or purchase. All downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Unofficial and free-file hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders are untrusted and can offer deceptive and bundled content.
When downloading/installing, it is important to read the terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, features, and so on. Intrusive advertisements may seem legitimate and harmless, however, they can redirect to dubious sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and others).
If you encounter these ads/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with PotPlayer, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshot of the deceptive installation setup:
Screenshot of the website used to promote PotPlayer adware:
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 PotPlayer?
- STEP 1. Uninstall PotPlayer application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove PotPlayer adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove PotPlayer ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove 'Ads by PotPlayer' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove PotPlayer extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
PotPlayer adware removal:
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 "PotPlayer", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application that causes PotPlayer ads, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove PotPlayer adware from Internet browsers:
At time of research, PotPlayer did not install its browser plug-ins on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, however, it was bundled with other adware. Therefore, you are advised to remove all potentially unwanted browser add-ons from your Internet browsers.
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 ads by potplayer, 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 ads by potplayer, 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 ads by potplayer 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 ads by potplayer, 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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