PCMate Free Driver Backup removal instructions
What is the PCMate Free Driver Backup unwanted application?
PCMate Free Driver Backup is an untrustworthy application, endorsed as a tool for creating backups for various device drivers. This app is supposedly capable of creating backups for audio, video, network, keyboard, mouse and other drivers. The purpose of these backups is to secure the drivers in case of operating system crashes, re-installation and upgrading. This product also claims to be able to store browser cookie backups, Internet Explorer favorites and registry data, etc. However, due to the dubious techniques used to distribute PCMate Free Driver Backup, it is classified as a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application). Software within this classification tends to appear legitimate and offer a wide variety of functionalities, which are rarely operational. Furthermore, PUAs can have unmentioned and harmful abilities.
As mentioned in the introduction, PUAs can appear to be genuine and useful products. They offer functions ranging from system optimization/cleaning to easy access tools to online content. However, despite how good the features may sound - they rarely work as advertised and in most cases - they do not work at all. Some PUAs (e.g. fake anti-virus products) require activation (i.e. purchase) to perform the promised functionalities, yet following activation - they remain nonoperational. What is more, PUAs can have unmentioned/hidden abilities that pose a threat to device and user safety. Adware-types run intrusive advertisement campaigns, i.e. deliver pop-ups, banners, coupons and other ads. The delivered adverts overlay webpage content and slow down the browsing speed. Once clicked on, intrusive advertisements redirect to unreliable/malicious sites and some can even stealthily download/install software. Browser hijacker type PUAs 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 promoted address. Illegitimate search engines are seldom capable of providing search results, so they redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Google, Bing, Yahoo and other legitimate ones. Browser hijackers can also restrict/deny access to the browser's settings and/or undo any permitted changes made. Most PUAs (regardless of type) can track data. They can monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather sensitive information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The collected data often contains 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 apps on devices can lead to system infections, financial losses, serious privacy issues and even identity theft. Therefore, to ensure device integrity and user privacy - all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated immediately upon detection.
|Name||PCMate Free Driver Backup potentially unwanted application|
|Threat Type||PUP (potentially unwanted program), PUA (potentially unwanted application)|
|Supposed Functionality||Creation of device driver backups|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:Adware-gen [Adw]), Fortinet (Riskware/BundleLoader), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/FusionCore.BL Potentially Unwanted), McAfee (Artemis!08275774E3EC), 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)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
DriverMax, Driver Tuneup, Carambis Driver Updater, DriverFixer and Advanced Driver Booster are a few examples of other PUAs similar to PCMate Free Driver Backup. Unwanted software can look legitimate and promise nonfunctional features. Common PUA types include - fake anti-viruses (e.g. Total Antivirus 2020, Live Protection Suite, PC Analyzer Tool, etc.), adware (e.g. Shop Together, MessengerNow, CraniumCapacity Ads, etc.) and browser hijackers (e.g. MyConverterSearch, Link Default, EveryGameSearch, etc.). Functionality, user convenience and safety are irrelevant, since the only purpose of these applications is to generate profit for the developers. Therefore, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs can run intrusive advert campaigns, modify browsers, cause redirects, collect sensitive and personally identifiable information.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Select PUAs (e.g. PCMate Free Driver Backup) have "official" promotional webpages, from which they can be downloaded. These applications are also distributed via download/installation setups of other programs. This deceptive marketing method of packing ordinary software with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignored terms, skipped steps and sections, used "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) increase the risk of unintentionally allowing dubious and/or bundled content into the system. Intrusive advertisements proliferate PUAs as well. Upon being clicked, the ads can execute scripts to download/install this software without user permission.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is strongly recommended to research software products to verify their legitimacy, before 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 - commonly offer harmful and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, study all possible 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 highly questionable sites (e.g. gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.). In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be inspected and all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Appearance of PCMate Free Driver Backup application (GIF):
Installation setup of PCMate Free Driver Backup application:
Website promoting PCMate Free Driver Backup 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 PCMate Free Driver Backup?
- STEP 1. Uninstall deceptive applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove potentially unwanted plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove rogue extensions from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove malicious plug-ins from Internet Explorer.
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 "PCMate Free Driver Backup" 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, PCMate Free Driver Backup 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 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 pcmate free driver backup 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 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 pcmate free driver backup 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 pcmate free driver backup 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.
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 pcmate free driver backup 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.
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 pcmate free driver backup potentially unwanted application from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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