How to remove WinZip Privacy Protector (Virus Removal Guide)

WinZip Privacy Protector, also called Privacy Protector by Winzip, is advertised as a security program compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, and Windows Vista that “scans your entire PC looking for hidden traces of your private information and personal online activities that can be exposed to hackers.” WinZip Privacy Protector claims that the program “will help you safely remove these traces so you can keep your privacy secure.”

WinZip Privacy Protector

The developer insists that there are 3 versions of the program including a free version, free trial, and full version. The supposed free version is said to scan for and remove logged-user data such as usernames and passwords, personal details, browser history, IM history, tracking cookies, and local trace files that reveal recent activities. However, that is not exactly the case since the free version is a scanner only that will not remove what it detects. The free trial, on the other hand, allows the user to delete detections in a 7 day period while aggressively promoting the full version.

Like other programs by WinZip, The free version and free trial is considered to be a promotional tool for the full version. Once a scan with the free version is complete it will state that numerous items were detected, but the items cannot be removed unless the full version is purchased.

WinZip Privacy Protector virus

Furthermore, according to VirusTotal, WinZip Privacy Protector has a very high detection rate and is recognized as malware, a Trojan, adware, and potentially unwanted program (PUP) by numerous antivirus programs including AVG, Avira, Comodo, ESET-NOD32, Malwarebytes, McAfee, and more.

The listed security programs will detect, quarantine, and remove WinZip Privacy Protector in real-time and during a scan. They may also block files associated with the program from being downloaded by the user or by third-party download managers.

Deceptive marketing

WinZip programs including WinZip System Utilities Suite and others are known for utilizing deceptive marketing practices to dupe users into installing them. As previously noted, the free version is not actually free to use, it is only a scanner which makes it an ideal advertisement for the registered version and other programs by WinZip. Furthermore, Winzip does not mention that the free version is only a scanner and users typically become aware of the fact after using the program to scan their computers.

WinZip also claims that the full version of WinZip Privacy Protector can boost a PC’s performance; However, these claims are arguably disputed by Microsoft and other legitimate entities. For one, deleting files will not enhance a computer’s performance and secondly, tampering with the Windows registry may have negative effects on a computer system and is not recommended by Microsoft.

Microsoft does not support the use of registry cleaning utilities like this and cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the use of a registry cleaning utility can be solved. Microsoft also states that some programs available for free on the internet might contain spyware, adware, or viruses.

To make matters worse, the program is often advertised by malicious advertising networks alongside third-party malware, viruses, and other threats. The program may be introduced to a computer by third-party Trojan droppers and may also be promoted during the installation process as a custom program.

How to remove WinZip Privacy Protector

WinZip Privacy Protector can be uninstalled from Windows through the Control Panel or Apps and Features. However, uninstalling the program through the Control Panel will not remove malware, adware, spyware, viruses, and other potential threats from an infected computer. To remove WinZip Privacy Protector we recommend scanning your computer with reputable security software known to detect and remove WinZip Privacy Protector and to use a second anti-malware program to eradicate remaining malware, adware, spyware, and viruses. Follow the removal instructions below to remove WinZip Privacy Protector and other threats from an infected computer.

1. Download and install ESET Smart Security to remove WinZip Privacy Protector. ESET will detect files associated with the program as “A Variant Of MSIL/PrivacyEngine.A Potentially Unwanted.” *When installing ESET Smart Security, select the option to enable detection of potentially unwanted applications (if applicable).

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2. Once ESET Smart Security is installed, open the program and navigate to the Computer scan tab.

ESET Smart Security may automatically update and perform an initial scan. The ‘initial scan’ takes longer to complete than a normal computer or removable media scan. It is recommended to perform a second scan following the initial scan.

eset smart security scan your computer

3. Click Scan your computer to scan all local disks and clean threats.

4. Next, download and install Malwarebytes to perform a secondary-scan to remove remaining files, malware, adware, spyware, and potentially unwanted programs. Malwarebytes will detect files associated with the program as “PUP.Optional.WinzipPrivacyProtector.”

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malwarebytes scan now

5. Once Malwarebytes is installed, click the Scan Now button to begin scanning the computer.

6. When the scan is complete, click the Quarantine Selected button to remove all threats detected by Malwarebytes.

7. Reboot the computer.

Sean Doyle

Sean Doyle is a tech author and engineer with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and other topics. Sean's content has been featured in numerous publications.

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