How to uninstall the PDFConverty unwanted application

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

What kind of application is PDFConverty?

Our researchers discovered the PDFConverty app during a routine investigation of untrustworthy websites. After installing this software on our test machine, we determined that it is a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application) that promotes the portal.pdfconverty.com fake search engine.

It is worth mentioning that unwanted apps commonly infiltrate systems alongside (i.e., bundled with) other undesirable and possibly dangerous software.

PDFConverty unwanted application promoted portal.pdfconverty.com fake search engine

PDFConverty application overview

Potentially unwanted applications can be disguised as legitimate and useful software. In the case of PDFConverty, it is endorsed as a tool that allows users to convert PDF format files. Usually, the functionalities promised by PUAs are fake and nonoperational since their only purpose is to lure users into downloading/installing.

Once we installed PDFConverty on our testing system, it dropped a shortcut file on the desktop. After it is launched, portal.pdfconverty.com is opened in the default browser. When a search query is entered into this fake search engine, instead of generating any results – it redirects elsewhere.

At the time of research, portal.pdfconverty.com led to the legitimate Yahoo search engine (search.yahoo.com) and nearbyme.io. The latter is illegitimate, but unlike most sites of this kind – it can provide search results. However, these results are irrelevant and can include sponsored, unreliable, deceptive, and even malicious content. Keep in mind that portal.pdfconverty.com could land on other pages, as factors like user geolocation might impact redirects.

Typically, fake search engines are endorsed by browser hijackers, which alter browser settings to generate such redirects. PDFConverty does not operate in this manner, and the only way to access portal.pdfconverty.com is to open the shortcut on the desktop.

Unwanted apps often have undesirable and harmful functionalities. Data-tracking abilities are incredibly prevalent in PUAs; hence, they might be possessed by PDFConverty.

Targeted information may include: visited URLs, viewed webpages, searched queries, browser cookies, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, credit card numbers, etc. The gathered data can be monetized via sale to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).

To summarize, the presence of unwanted software on devices can result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name PDFConverty potentially unwanted application
Threat Type PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program), PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application)
Supposed Functionality Document file format conversion
Detection Names (installer) Avast (Win32:MalwareX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Gen:Variant.Marsilia.89853), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/MediaArena.C Potentially Unw), Malwarebytes (PUP.Optional.MediaArena), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Doplik), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Promoted URL portal.pdfconverty.com
Detection Names (portal.pdfconverty.com) Combo Cleaner (Malware), CyRadar (Malicious), G-Data (Malware), Seclookup (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (portal.pdfconverty.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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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Potentially unwanted application examples

PDFtoDocProFree PDF ConvertWS Screenshot GeneratorSumatraPDF, and Metatogger Music Collection are merely some examples of PUAs we have examined recently.

Unwanted applications usually appear ordinary and innocuous. They can offer a wide variety of "useful" and "advantageous" functions, e.g., system scanning, threat elimination, junk file removal, file format conversion, media player, easy access to specific online content – among thousands of others.

It must be stressed that regardless of whether a piece of software operates as indicated by its promotional material – that alone is not proof of its legitimacy or safety.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

We downloaded PDFConverty's installer from the "official" promotional webpage. In addition to such sites, unwanted applications are endorsed on scam pages. Users primarily enter these webpages via redirects caused by intrusive ads, websites employing rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, mistyped URLs, and adware.

PUAs are also distributed using the bundling marketing technique, which involves packing regular program installation setups with unwanted/malicious additions.

The threat of inadvertently allowing bundled content into the system is increased by downloading from dubious channels (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and by treating installation processes with negligence (e.g., using "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.).

Intrusive advertisements proliferate unwanted software as well. Some of the adverts can execute scripts to perform sneaky downloads/installations upon being clicked.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

We strongly recommend researching software and downloading it only from official/trustworthy sources. When installing, we advise reading terms, inspecting possible options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting out of all supplementary apps, tools, extensions, features, etc.

Another recommendation is to be vigilant while browsing since fake and malicious online content typically appears legitimate and innocuous. For example, intrusive ads may look harmless – however, they redirect users to unreliable and questionable websites (e.g., scam-promoting, pornography, adult dating, gambling, etc.).

Check the device for suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins if you keep encountering advertisements and/or redirects of this kind. 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.pdfconverty.com redirecting to the nearbyme.io fake search engine (GIF):

PDFConverty promoting portal.pdfconverty.com that redirects to nearbyme.io (GIF)

Website promoting PDFConverty application:

Website used to promote PDFConverty PUA

Installation setup of PDFConverty application:

PDFConverty PUA installation setup

PDFConverty's shortcut details (promoting portal.pdfconverty.com):

PDFConverty PUA shortcut (portal.pdfconverty.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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

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.

PDFConverty uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for "PDFConverty" 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?

The purpose of unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers. They may profit by endorsing content (e.g., via redirects, ads, etc.), promoting in-app purchases, collecting/selling vulnerable information, and so forth.

Is PDFConverty unwanted application legal?

Unwanted applications are usually considered legal due to their End User License Agreements (EULA) providing information regarding potential behavior.

Is having PDFConverty installed on my computer dangerous?

Unwanted applications typically have undesirable/harmful capabilities, such as data-tracking, placing third-party graphical content (ads) on various interfaces, generating redirects, and so on. Generally, the presence of such software on devices is associated with the following threats – system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

Will Combo Cleaner help me remove PDFConverty unwanted application?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan devices and eliminate detected threats, including unwanted and malicious applications. It must be mentioned that manual removal (performed without the aid of security programs) might not be an ideal solution. In some cases, after the software has been manually removed – various remnants (files) stay hidden within the system. The remaining components might continue to run and cause issues. Therefore, it is paramount to eliminate unwanted 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
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