How to uninstall ScanUtilities unwanted application from your system?

Also Known As: ScanUtilities potentially unwanted application
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

ScanUtilities removal instructions

What is ScanUtilities?

ScanUtilities is a piece of software, promoted as a tool capable of speeding up and improving system performance. However, due the dubious methods used to distribute this application, it is classified as a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application). Usually, software within this classification is nonoperational (i.e. unable to perform the advertised functionalities). Additionally, it is not uncommon for PUAs to have various unmentioned and heinous abilities.

ScanUtilities unwanted application

While legitimate products may be distributed using questionable techniques, they are typically employed to spread untrustworthy and possibly harmful software. PUAs appear legitimate and offer a wide variety of useful features - ranging from system maintenance to easy access enablement. However, despite how good the promised functions may sound - they are rarely operational. Some PUA types (e.g. fake system optimizers/cleaners) require activation to perform their functionalities, yet following purchase of the activation keys - they remain nonoperational. Furthermore, unwanted apps can have additional abilities, which are not mentioned in the promotional material. PUAs classified as adware - run intrusive advertisement campaigns. This type delivers various pop-ups, banners, coupons and other intrusive ads. They overlay webpage content and diminish the browsing speed. Upon being clicked intrusive adverts redirect to unreliable/malicious sites and some can even stealthily download/install software. Another type of PUAs called browser hijackers - modify browser settings in order to promote fake search engines. With such a piece of software installed: every new browser tab/window opened and search query typed into the URL bar - redirect to the address of the promoted web searchers. Illegitimate search engines are seldom capable of providing search results, so they redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing and other genuine ones. Browser hijackers can also reset any changes users attempt to make, if access to the browser's settings is permitted at all. What is more, most PUAs (regardless of type) can track data. They monitor users' browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect personal information extracted form it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The gathered data is often shared with and/or sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, presence of unwanted software on devices can lead to systems infections, financial losses, serious privacy issues and even identity theft. To ensure device and user safety, all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name ScanUtilities potentially unwanted application
Threat Type PUP (potentially unwanted program), PUA (potentially unwanted application)
Supposed Functionality System performance and speed improvement
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Adware-gen [Adw]), BitDefender (Application.Deceptor.ALD), ESET-NOD32 (MSIL/NextGenCleaner.C Potentially Unwa), McAfee (Artemis!028FCFEEFBBE), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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)

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Perfect OptimizerSystem Care Pro and WinOptimizer are some example of other PUAs similar to ScanUtilities. As previously mentioned, this software does not look suspicious at first glance. However, the advertised functionalities of PUAs typically do not work and even if they do - then, not as promised. The sole purpose of unwanted applications is to generate revenue for the developers; to users - they have no real value and can instead cause severe issues. PUAs are designed to trick users into purchasing them, run intrusive advertisement campaigns, hijack browsers, cause redirects and collect private data.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Select PUAs (e.g. ScanUtilities) have "official" promotional sites, from which they can be downloaded. These apps are also distributed via download/installation setups of other products. This false marketing technique of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. skipped steps and sections, etc.) - increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive adverts proliferate such applications as well. Once clicked on, they can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without user permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

All products should be researched before download/installation and/or purchase. It is recommended to only download from official and verified sources. Unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - are deemed to be untrustworthy, due to commonly offer deceptive and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is important to read terms, study all possible options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features, and so on. Intrusive ads usually appear legitimate, however they redirect to various questionable (e.g. gambling, adult-dating, pornography, and so on). Should users experience advertisements and/or redirects of this kind, they must inspect their devices and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ons from them. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of ScanUtilities application (GIF):

Appearance of ScanUtilities PUA (GIF)

Installation setup of ScanUtilities application:

ScanUtilities PUA installation setup

Website promoting ScanUtilities application:

Website used to promote ScanUtilities PUA

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Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted applications:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

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:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

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:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

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.

ScanUtilities adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for "ScanUtilities" 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, ScanUtilities 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:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options 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".

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the scanutilities 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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the scanutilities potentially unwanted application, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (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.

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with scanutilities 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, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the scanutilities potentially unwanted application, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, 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.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove scanutilities potentially unwanted application from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on scanutilities potentially unwanted application or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
ScanUtilities potentially unwanted application QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of ScanUtilities potentially unwanted application on your mobile device.
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