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PC App Store adware: what is it and how to remove it?


Although the PC App Store is a legitimate software, sometimes it’s bundled with more nefarious malware, like adware or browser hijackers. If it appears on your PC out of the blue, the chances are good it brings viruses alongside.

The PC App Store adware displays ads that could inject more threats into your device. Possible risks include personal data gathering or even identity theft, so removing the app immediately is best.

In this article, we'll explain how to remove PC App Store unwanted applications manually or with a reliable antivirus.

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What is a PC App Store adware?

The PC App Store adware is malicious software that poses as a legitimate program to lure you into infecting your device with threats. The PC App Store itself is a legitimate sales platform helping software developers distribute their apps. However, this platform is often exploited by third-party malware like trojans, spyware, and adware. These dangerous programs collect user data, install other malicious applications, and display tons of unwelcome ads.

PC App Store malware

The PC App Store has its official distribution page but also uses bundled installations to get more users. Unfortunately, cybercriminals exploit bundled installations, adding clandestine programs that the victims unsuspectingly install. You may think you're getting a legit e-shop app, but in reality, it’s a browser hijacker in disguise.

PC App Store-related malware is also spread via scam websites or faulty browser redirects. A single mistype could land a user in a fraudulent mirror site that downloads the PC App Store version coupled with more nefarious programs. Although sticking to the official download source should ensure safety, it's highly advisable to use the PC App Store platform cautiously with a reliable antivirus program.

Threat namePC App Store related Adware, Spyware, Browser hijackers
TypeAdware, potentially unwanted application (PUA)
DevicesWindows PCs
SymptomsIntrusive ads, malicious pop-ups, unintentional browser redirects, altered browser default settings, decrease in overall device performance, new browser extensions and toolbars
DamagePersonal data leak, increased chance of future infections, decreased device performance, identity theft

How do I know if I have app store adware on PC?

Identifying that your device has contracted PC App Store-related viruses is relatively easy. Below are the symptoms on how to know if there’s app store adware on your PC:

  • PC App Store program. Your device is likely infected if you notice the PC App Store software installed on it without permission.
  • A surge of ads. Most PC App Store viruses will display tons of frustrating ads on the platform, but it could also extend to your browser environment.
  • Other unwanted apps. You will notice more unwanted applications on your device if you caught the infection via a fraudulent software bundle.
  • Altered browser settings. Such malware can alter your default browser settings to use an alternative search engine or a landing page that's filled with more unwanted ads and malicious programs.
  • Slower device performance. Adware uses a lot of system resources to display pop-ups and redirect users to shady third-party websites slowing down the device.

How to remove PC App Store adware?

You can effortlessly remove the PC App Store adware using an antivirus that will scan the device for infected files. However, you can also do it manually without the need for any third-party cybersecurity software – the choice is yours!

Step 1: Remove a virus automatically with antivirus software

The easiest way to get the PC App Store adware out of your device is to use an antivirus. Here’s how to remove virus automatically with an antivirus:

  1. Subscribe to a trustworthy PC antivirus. We recommend TotalAV, now 80% OFF!
  2. Download and install it on your Windows device
  3. Launch the app and perform a full system scan TotalAV scanning
  4. Follow the antivirus instructions to remove the infection

Step 2: Remove the suspicious application manually

If you don’t want to instantly remove all viruses with an antivirus, you can do it manually by deleting suspicious apps. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select Task Manager
  2. Identify the unwanted application–often the one with huge resource consumption
  3. Right-click on the process and choose Open file location Windows task manager 2
  4. Right-click on the process again and select End task
  5. In the file location, delete the file from its root source
  6. Right-click on the Windows icon and go to Uninstall a program Uninstall programs in Windows control panel
  7. Locate the unwanted application, select it, and click Uninstall uninstall a program 2 windows 10
  8. Confirm it by clicking Uninstall again

Step 3: Reset your browser's settings

With PC App Store adware, it’s highly likely that your browser is going to get filled with malicious ads. Here are the steps for different browsers to reset the settings to default ones:

Reset Google Chrome settings

  1. Click the three dots in the upper right corner and go to Settings
  2. Locate Reset settings on the left-side menu reset Chrome browser settings
  3. Select Restore settings to their original defaults
  4. Confirm it by clicking on Reset settings again

Reset Mozilla Firefox settings

  1. Click the three horizontal lines in the upper right corner
  2. In the drop-down menu, choose Help and then More troubleshooting information Firefox more troubleshooting information
  3. Click on the Refresh Firefox option refresh-mozilla-firefox-browser
  4. Confirm it by clicking on Refresh Firefox again

Reset Microsoft Edge settings

  1. Click the three horizontal dots on the upper right and go to Settings
  2. Select the Reset settings option on the left menu bar
  3. Click on Restore settings to their default values Restore settings to their default values on Microsoft Edge
  4. Confirm it by clicking Reset

What are the examples of PC App Store adware

Because the PC App Store is not exactly a virus but a software distribution platform, you can download any malware that exploits it.

Settings adware is an example of a virus that could come hidden in the PC App Store installation bundle. It will display many unwanted ads, promoting online web games or adult content sites or lead to websites ridden with more damaging infections.

Another example is the Shopping Lovers browser extension that promises to enhance user shopping experience and even block irrelevant pop-ups. Instead, it bombards the user's browser with even more ads and fake redirects to dangerous websites.

How to protect PC against app store adware?

Removing the infection is only one part. You must also prevent future contaminations. Here are 5 useful tips to protect your PC against app store adware:

  • Use an antivirus. The best way to keep your PC virus-free is by using a reliable antivirus software like TotalAV. Its WebShield feature safeguards your online activities looking for viruses, while real-time protection ensures no threats get the chance to infiltrate into your device.
  • Avoid software bundles. Be particularly mindful when rushing to install free third-party software from bundles. Cybercriminals often hide malicious programs under a legitimate one, like in the PC App Store case.
  • Browse cautiously. You can easily catch a virus on illegal torrenting or online casino websites. Never click a backlink shared over dubious social forums or download attachments from unverified emails.
  • Update your software. Keeping all software updated is paramount because only the latest version protects from known cyber threats. Update your antivirus, operating system, and all other essential programs as soon as possible.
  • Read online reviews. If you're not sure about the legitimacy of a particular app, visit trustworthy online forums or social network groups to see what people are talking about it. If it's a scam, they'll let you know.

Conclusion

The PC App Store adware is a tricky malware case because it’s disguised as a legitimate piece of software. Simultaneously, it’s an excellent example of why it's important to stay vigilant because you never know where the next virus comes from.

The best way to remove PC App Store adware is by using an antivirus. TotalAV provides real-time online protection by scanning web traffic for malicious elements before they reach the device. Simultaneously, its full system scan identifies and neutralizes any viruses already on your device, so it's a win-win situation.

Lastly, it's best to avoid online corners where dubious viruses gather. You will significantly improve your online safety if you don't visit shady websites, refrain from clicking on suspicious backlinks, or download unverified email attachments!

FAQ

Comments

Maria Jose Anaya
prefix 3 months ago
That was amazing, it helped me a lot. Thank you so much
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