Removal instructions for the PDFtoDocPro unwanted application

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

What kind of application is PDFtoDocPro?

While investigating deceptive websites, our researchers discovered the PDFtoDocPro application. It is endorsed as a tool that allows users to read, create, and edit PDF format documents.

However, upon inspection, we determined that it is a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application). Apps within this classification often have unwanted and possibly dangerous capabilities. PUAs may also infiltrate systems bundled with (alongside) other unwanted/malicious software.

PDFtoDocPro unwanted application promoted fake search engine – portal.pdftodocpro.com

PDFtoDocPro application overview

After examining PDFtoDocPro, we determined that its installation setup drops a shortcut on the desktop. Once accessed, it opens the portal.pdftodocpro.com in the default browser. This page is a fake search engine.

Sites categorized as such usually cannot provide search results, so they lead users to legitimate Internet search engines. When used, portal.pdftodocpro.com redirects to Yahoo (search.yahoo.com).

We have also observed this webpage landing on nearbyme.io – which is likewise a fraudulent search engine. Unlike most, nearbyme.io is capable of generating search results that are irrelevant and may include unreliable, sponsored, deceptive, and potentially malicious content.

Fake search engines are typically promoted by browser hijackers. This software operates by modifying browser settings (e.g., default search engine, homepage, new tab/window, etc.), thus forcing users to visit the endorsed website whenever a new browser tab/window is opened or a search query is entered into the URL bar.

However, PDFtoDocPro made no such changes to browsers, and portal.pdftodocpro.com was only opened after the shortcut was launched. It is pertinent to mention that portal.pdftodocpro.com may land elsewhere, as redirects might be influenced by factors like user geolocation.

PUAs commonly have data-tracking functionalities, which might be true of PDFtoDocPro. Collected information usually includes browsing and search engine histories, Internet cookies, account log-in credentials (usernames/passwords), personally identifiable details, credit card numbers, etc. This vulnerable data can be sold to third-parties or otherwise abused for profit.

To summarize, the presence of unwanted software on devices may lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name PDFtoDocPro potentially unwanted application
Threat Type PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program), PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application)
Supposed Functionality PDF reader and editor
Detection Names (installer) DrWeb (Adware.Linkury.145), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/MediaArena.C Potentia), Fortinet (MSIL/Agent.1CFF!tr), Malwarebytes (PUP.Optional.MediaArena), McAfee (Artemis!9097CFDA069F), Microsoft (BrowserModifier:MSIL/MediaArena), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Promoted URL portal.pdftodocpro.com
Detection Names (portal.pdftodocpro.com) Seclookup (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (portal.pdftodocpro.com)
Symptoms A program that you do not recall installing suddenly appeared on your computer. Rogue redirects. Decreased Internet browsing speed.
Distribution Methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling).
Damage Users are forced to visit the hijacker's website and search the Internet using their search engines. Potential privacy issues and monetary losses.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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Potentially unwanted application examples

WS Screenshot GeneratorMetatogger Music CollectionTaskbar system, and Dispout are just some examples of unwanted apps we have investigated recently. PUAs rarely appear illegitimate or otherwise suspicious – they tend to look ordinary and innocuous.

Users may be lured into downloading/installing these applications by promises of various "handy" functionalities. However, these functions seldom work as advertised, and in most cases – they do not work at all.

It must be stressed that even if a piece of software operates as indicated by its promotional material – that is not a guarantee of either legitimacy or safety.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

We downloaded PDFtoDocPro's installer from the "official" promotional webpage. Aside from such legitimate-looking sites, PUAs are endorsed on scam pages. Most visitors access these websites via redirects generated by intrusive ads, webpages utilizing rogue advertising networks, mistyped URLs, spam browser notifications, and installed adware.

Unwanted apps can also be bundled with regular programs. The risk of unintentionally permitting bundled content into the system is increased by downloading from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and third-party sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and by treating installations with negligence (e.g., ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using "Easy/Express" settings, etc.).

Additionally, intrusive adverts proliferate unwanted software. Some of these advertisements can be triggered (i.e., by being clicked) to execute scripts that perform stealthy downloads/installations.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is important to always research software before downloading or purchasing. Furthermore, all downloads must be performed from official and verified channels. Installation must be treated with caution by reading terms, exploring available options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting out of all supplementary apps, extensions, tools, features, etc.

We also advise vigilance when browsing, as fraudulent and malicious online content usually appears genuine and harmless. For example, intrusive advertisements may look innocuous – however, they redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., scam-promoting, gambling, adult dating, pornography, etc.).

In case of continuous encounters with ads/redirects of this kind, check the device and immediately remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. 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 portal.pdftodocpro.com redirecting to the nearbyme.io fake search engine (GIF):

PDFtoDocPro promoting portal.pdftodocpro.com that redirects to nearbyme.io (GIF)

Website promoting PDFtoDocPro application:

Website used to promote PDFtoDocPro PUA

Installation setup of PDFtoDocPro application:

PDFtoDocPro PUA installation setup

PDFtoDocPro's installation folder:

PDFtoDocPro PUA install folder

PDFtoDocPro's shortcut details (promoting portal.pdftodocpro.com):

PDFtoDocPro PUA shortcut (portal.pdftodocpro.com)

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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:
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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.

PDFtoDocPro uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for "PDFtoDocPro" 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.


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.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the purpose of an unwanted application?

Unwanted applications are designed to generate revenue for their developers. Profit can be made through content endorsement (e.g., via redirects, ads, etc.), in-app purchase promotion, collection/sale of private information, and so on.

Is PDFtoDocPro unwanted application legal?

Typically, unwanted applications are deemed legal because their End User License Agreements (EULA) inform users of the software's potential behavior.

Is having PDFtoDocPro installed on my computer dangerous?

Unwanted applications commonly have undesirable or malicious functionalities. The apps may gather sensitive information, display third-party graphical content (advertisements), generate redirects, promote fake search engines, etc. In general, the threats associated with the presence of unwanted software on devices include system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

Will Combo Cleaner help me remove PDFtoDocPro unwanted application?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan systems and eliminate installed unwanted and malicious applications. It is noteworthy that manual removal (unaided by security tools) might be ineffective. In some instances, after an app has been manually removed – various remnants (files) stay hidden within the system. The remaining components may continue to run and cause problems. Therefore, it is paramount to remove software thoroughly.

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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
PDFtoDocPro potentially unwanted application QR code
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