How to uninstall Registry Cleaner potentially unwanted application?

Also Known As: Registry Cleaner potentially unwanted application
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Registry Cleaner removal instructions

What is the Registry Cleaner PUA?

Registry Cleaner is a piece of untrustworthy software, endorsed as a tool for cleaning, repairing and optimizing the operating system - by managing registry files. However, due to the questionable methods used to distribute Registry Cleaner, it is classified as a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application). It is noteworthy that PUAs are often unable to operate as advertised and they may even have unmentioned, harmful abilities.

Registry Cleaner unwanted application

Dubious distribution techniques can be used to promote legitimate software, yet such tactics are more commonly employed to proliferate unwanted and even malicious programs. PUAs typically appear ordinary and innocuous. These applications can also offer a wide variety of "useful" and "advantageous" functionalities. However, the features rarely work as promised and in most cases they do not work at all. This software may require to be activated (i.e. purchased) to perform its functions, yet even after activation - it remains nonoperational. Fake anti-virus tools are a prime example of PUAs that generate profit in this deceptive manner. As mentioned in the introduction, unwanted apps can have heinous abilities, which may cause serious problems. Some PUAs can force-open various unreliable and malicious websites. Adware-types run intrusive advertisement campaigns (i.e. deliver pop-ups, banners, coupons and other ads). The delivered adverts diminish the browsing quality and when they are clicked on - redirect to dangerous sites and can even stealthily download/install software. Another type of PUAs called browser hijackers - make modifications to browser settings and restrict access to them in order to promote illegitimate search engines. The promoted search engines are usually unable to provide search results, so they tend to redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing and other genuine ones. What is more, most PUAs (regardless of type) can track data. They can monitor browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories) and collect sensitive information inferred from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The gathered data is highly likely to contain personally identifiable information. PUA developers monetize this information by sharing it with and/or selling it to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, presence of unwanted software on devices can lead to system infections, financial losses, severe privacy issues and identity theft. To ensure device and user safety, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Registry Cleaner potentially unwanted application
Threat Type PUP (potentially unwanted program), PUA (potentially unwanted application)
Supposed Functionality Registry file management
Detection Names DrWeb (Program.Unwanted.2420), BitDefenderTheta (Gen:NN.ZelphiF.34242.xC1@aWp6xubi), Ikarus (PUA.SystemCleaner), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Pointstone.A Potentially Unw), 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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Registry LifeScanUtilities and System Care Pro are a few examples of other PUAs akin to Registry Cleaner. Despite how legitimate and handy this software may look - it is usually nonfunctional and can have harmful abilities. Functionality and user safety are irrelevant, since the only purpose of unwanted applications is the generate revenue for the developers. Therefore, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs can cause redirects, run intrusive advert campaigns, hijack browsers and collect private data.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some PUAs (e.g. Registry Cleaner) have "official" promotional webpages, from which they can be downloaded. These apps can also be downloaded/installed together with other programs. This false marketing technique of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling". By rushing through download/installation processes (e.g. by ignoring terms, skipping steps, using "Easy/Express" setting, etc.) - users risk unintentionally allowing bundled content into their devices. Intrusive advertisements proliferate such applications as well. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without user consent.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is highly recommended to research software products to verify their legitimacy, prior to download/installation and/or purchase. All downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Since untrustworthy download channels, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - often offer deceptive and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features and other additions. It is just as important to exercise caution when browsing. Intrusive adverts appear legitimate, however they redirect to questionable sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.). In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this kind, users must inspect their devices and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of Registry Cleaner application (GIF):

Appearance of Registry Cleaner PUA (GIF)

Installation setup of Registry Cleaner application:

Registry Cleaner PUA installation setup

Website promoting Registry Cleaner application:

Website used to promote Registry Cleaner 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.

Registry Cleaner adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for "Registry Cleaner" 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, Registry Cleaner 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:

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 registry cleaner 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 registry cleaner 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 registry cleaner 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.

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 registry cleaner 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

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 registry cleaner potentially unwanted application from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on registry cleaner 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
Registry Cleaner potentially unwanted application QR code
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