AdwCleaner is a popular PC cleaning tool that genuinely cleans unwanted data from your computer. It works in a very similar way to PC Cleaner Pro.
Unfortunately, AdwCleaner has come under attack in recent weeks – and through no fault of its own. AdwCleaner has fallen victim to its own popularity. Someone has created a malicious version of AdwCleaner and released it online.
That malicious version looks almost identical to the original AdwCleaner, which is a freeware tool with a good reputation.
The only difference is that after “cleaning” your system, the fake AdwCleaner then demands a payment in order to complete the cleaning. If you don’t pay, then your PC won’t be cleaned.
Installed Through Adware Infections
The malicious AdwCleaner is reportedly installed through an adware infection. If your computer is already infected with adware or spyware, then the fake AdwCleaner may pop up encouraging you to clean your system.
You might Google “AdwCleaner” to see if it’s a legitimate software program. After discovering that it’s legitimate and well-respected, you’d be naturally inclined to let it scan your system.
The fake AdwCleaner uses this reputation to trick you into running the software and scanning your system. Then, once the scan is complete, you’ll be asked to upgrade to the full version for a whopping price of $59.99. The pop-up message says:
“Upgrade to the full version now! This is the trial version of AdwCleaner, it can only scan threats but cannot remove them. To remove the found malware and clean your system, please buy the full version.”
The software accepts payments via PayPal. The software was reportedly created by a company called Mardel Innovations, or at least that’s the account that pops up when you try to pay via PayPal.
How to Remove the Fake AdwCleaner
Want to remove the fake AdwCleaner from your PC? It’s surprisingly easy.
First, right click on the icon in your Windows task bar and click Close Window. Don’t forget to notice that the program is still officially called “AdwareBooC”, which I guess means that the creators forget to change the name.
Next, go delete the downloaded file from whatever folder you saved it to. When you install AdwCleaner through an adware infection, you’ll still have to manually download it, and it will probably go to your default download folder.
Finally, prevent the software from starting up when you start up your computer. Press Windows Key + R to open a Run dialog, then type in msconfig and hit the Enter key. Click to the Startup tab and uncheck the AdwareBooC process.
Finally, open Windows Explorer and type %localappdata% into your address bar and press Enter. That’s where you’ll find the final remnants of AdwCleaner on your system. It’s an exe file called 6AdwCleaner.
Of course, you’ve just removed one part of the virus from your system – since the infection started as an adware or spyware problem, you probably still have that virus installed on your system. Use your favorite antivirus software – like PC Cleaner Pro – to complete the removal process.