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Fake Windows Cleaner malware

How to remove Windows Cleaner (Vtools) malware – Removal Instructions (Uninstall Guide)

Windows Cleaner (Windows Cleaner PRO)

Windows Cleaner by Vtools (Windows Cleaner virus) is malware categorized as scareware used to scaremonger victims into purchasing the full version of the non-beneficial Microsoft Windows program titled Windows Cleaner PRO (Professional) and cause other issues for computer and internet users. Windows Cleaner is essentially considered a rogue optimization program that performs fake registry and system scans resulting in fraudulent results that claim a numerical amount of issues are “slowing down your computer” and need to be fixed by registering the software.

Fake Windows Cleaner malware

Windows Cleaner may also install first and third-party software including Vtools Toolbar, Spigot Toolbar, and other titles. These items are often attached to internet browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer as a browser add-on, browser helper object (BHO), and extension and are used to change existing internet browser settings. In turn this causes affected internet browsers to start up on and redirect to unwanted websites.

Windows Cleaner, related third-party software, and similar forms of scareware raise privacy concerns. Some reports indicate that Windows Cleaner and related parties may include users to marketing and mailing lists without consent or knowledge. Users have reported unwanted email spam, junk mail, and even telephone calls from telemarketers. In more severe scenarios, victims of similar malware infections have fallen victim to credit theft, extortion, and identity theft.

Windows Cleaner upgrade scam

Some may refer to this software as the Windows Cleaner virus due to the deceptive marketing tactics used by the developer and distribution locations, though this program is not technically a computer virus. Windows Cleaner will claim that “Your current PC health status is: Dangerous” in attempt to persuade victims to Upgrade and Fix their Windows PC by purchasing Windows Cleaner PRO. DO NOT PURCHASE Windows Cleaner PRO as this software adds no benefits to computer users and may entrap victims to unethical terms.

How does Windows Cleaner get onto a computer?

Windows Cleaner and Windows Cleaner PRO can be manually and voluntarily downloaded from a variety of locations including pcerrorfix.net. Windows Cleaner by Vtools is also known to install to a computer system without user consent often bundled with third-party downloadable content such as freeware, shareware, codecs, and torrents.

Windows Cleaner virus

Windows Cleaner may also download to a computer without user knowledge via advertisements, email spam, and compromised social media content.

   Green Arrow Bullet   How to remove Windows Cleaner

  1. Automatically remove Windows Cleaner – Scan for and automatically remove Windows Cleaner associated malware
  2. Manually remove Windows Cleaner – Remove/Uninstall Windows Cleaner and third-party malware if allowed

1. Automatic Windows Cleaner removal

Use the instructions below to automatically remove Windows Cleaner scareware and third-party malware.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

1. Install the free or paid version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

Purchase   Download

2. Once Malwarebytes is installed, run the program. If you are using the free version of Malwarebytes you will be prompted to update the database, make sure to do so.

3. On the first tab labeled “Scanner” select the Perform full scan option and click the Scan button to perform a full system scan. Malwarebytes will automatically detect malware infecting the computer system.

Malwarebytes Perform Full Scan

4. Once the malware scan is complete, Malwarebytes may prompt a notice stating malicious objects were detected. Select the malicious objects and click the Remove Selected button to completely remove the malicious files from your computer (the image below shows a file that is NOT selected) or click the Delete button to remove quarantined files.

Malwarebytes Gadgetbox


CCleaner can be used to automatically repair internet browser settings startup up settings, and uninstall stubborn Windows Cleaner software.

1. Install the free or paid version of CCleaner by Piriform.

CCleaner Analyze Cleaner

2. Once installed, open the program and navigate to Cleaner > Windows/Applications and click the Analyze button. Afterwards, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.

CCleaner Startup

3. Next, navigate to Tools > Startup and search through each tab starting from windows, internet explorer, etc., all the way to Content Menu, for additional suspicious entries and click Disable and Delete once anything is found. Something to look for might include the title “Windows Cleaner or Vtools.”

4. To automatically uninstall Windows Cleaner and unwanted programs, navigate to the Uninstall tab and located Windows Cleaner software in the list of installed programs. Uninstall the programs as selected.

2. Manual Windows Cleaner removal

Use the instructions below to manually uninstall Windows Cleaner using generic removal procedures, as well as third-party malware that may have installed alongside rogue Windows Cleaner software.

How to uninstall Windows Cleaner

1. Access Windows Start Menu and navigate to the Control Panel.

Uninstall a program

2. Click Uninstall a program or Add and remove a program.

3. In the list of installed programs, search for Windows Cleaner (Vtools) and other potentially unwanted software including Vtools Toolbar by Spigot. Once located, double click the unwanted programs or highlight them in the list and click the Uninstall button.

* If a pop-up appears in attempt to persuade victims to keep the software or even upgrade the free version of the illegitimate software click “No please uninstall” or attempt to X out of the window prompt. If Windows Cleaner ignores the request simply try again or use the automatic removal instructions above.

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Lead Editor

Jared Harrison is an accomplished tech author and entrepreneur, bringing forth over 20 years of extensive expertise in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and various other tech domains. He has made significant contributions to the industry and has been featured in multiple esteemed publications. Jared is widely recognized for his keen intellect and innovative insights, earning him a reputation as a respected figure in the tech community.

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