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How to uninstall the DriverToolkit potentially unwanted application?

Also Known As: DriverToolkit potentially unwanted application
Damage level: Medium

What is DriverToolkit?

DriverToolkit is a piece of untrustworthy software endorsed as a device driver managing tool. It supports various Windows versions and has an extensive database of drivers obtained from official sources. This application can supposedly detect outdated and missing drivers and update/install them accordingly.

Additionally, it can create backups for the drivers, restore and uninstall them. However, due to the questionable techniques employed to distribute DriverToolkit, it is categorized as a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application). Typically, software within this category is nonoperational and may even have unmentioned undesirable functionalities.

DriverToolkit unwanted application

Dubious distribution methods are primarily employed to spread unreliable and harmful content, though they may be used to promote legitimate products as well. PUAs usually appear ordinary and innocuous, and they also offer a wide variety of "useful" and "advantageous" functions.

However, these features are rarely operational. Fake anti-viruses are an example of this PUA type; they require activation (i.e., purchase) to perform the promised functionalities, yet following activation - remain nonoperational.

PUAs often have heinous abilities, which can be in different combinations. Some of these apps can force-open deceptive, scam, and malicious websites. Adware-types run intrusive advertisement campaigns.

The delivered ads severely diminish the browsing experience, promote untrustworthy/dangerous sites, and may be able to stealthily download/install software (when they are clicked on). Another type of PUAs called browser hijackers promote fake search engines by modifying browser settings and restricting/denying access to them.

The promoted web searchers are seldom able to provide search results, so they redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other legitimate search engines. Furthermore, most PUAs can track data. Targeted information includes: URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, geolocations, and even personally identifiable details.

The collected data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals). To summarize, unwanted software can cause system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and lead to identity theft. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name DriverToolkit potentially unwanted application
Threat Type PUP (potentially unwanted program), PUA (potentially unwanted application)
Supposed Functionality Device driver managing tool (detection, updating, installation, backup creation, recovery, and removal)
Detection Names (installer) Avast (FileRepMalware [PUP]), BitDefender (Application.Sobrab.BYF), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/UwS.DriverToolkit.A), Kaspersky (Hoax.Win32.DriverToolKit.b), Microsoft (Misleading:Win32/Lodi), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Detection Names (application) DrWeb (Program.Unwanted.681), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/UwS.DriverToolkit.A), Fortinet (Riskware/Generic_PUA_ON), Kaspersky (Hoax.Win32.DriverToolKit.b), Malwarebytes (PUP.Optional.DriverToolkit), 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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PUAs do not appear suspect, and they offer a broad range of "handy" functionalities. However, despite how good the features sound, they rarely work as advertised, and in most cases - they do not work at all. DriverScapeSecure Driver Updater, and Driver Tuneup are a few examples of PUAs similar to DriverToolkit.

The only purpose of unwanted apps is to generate revenue at user expense; hence, functionality and device safety are irrelevant. PUAs operate by causing redirects, running intrusive advertisement campaigns, hijacking browsers, and gathering sensitive and private information.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some PUAs (e.g., DriverToolkit) have "official" promotional/download webpages. These applications can also be downloaded/installed together with other programs. This false marketing tactic of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling".

Rushed downloads/installations (e.g., ignored terms, skipped steps and sections, etc.) increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive adverts proliferate PUAs as well. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is important to always research software products before download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be done from official and verified sources.

Since untrustworthy channels, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (Torrent clients, eMule, Gnutella, etc.), and other third-party downloaders - commonly offer deceptive 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 additional apps, tools, functions, and so forth. Intrusive advertisements appear legitimate and ordinary; however, they redirect to various unreliable and questionable websites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.).

In case of encounters with such ads and/or redirects, the system must be checked and all dubious 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of DriverToolkit application (GIF):

Appearance of DriverToolkit PUA (GIF)

Installation setup of DriverToolkit application:

DriverToolkit PUA installation setup

Website promoting DriverToolkit application:

Website used to promote DriverToolkit PUA

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Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted applications:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

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:

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.

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.

macOS (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.

DriverToolkit adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for "DriverToolkit" 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, DriverToolkit 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 drivertoolkit 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 drivertoolkit 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 drivertoolkit 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 drivertoolkit 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 drivertoolkit potentially unwanted application from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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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
DriverToolkit potentially unwanted application QR code
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