Essential Cleaner is a fake anti-virus application that belongs to a large group of rogue software who has infected millions of computer users worldwide. Being in the category of rogue programs, expect that Essential Cleaner will pretend as a legitimate one by promoting itself through fake alert messages. It will also convince victims that computer is infected with Trojans, viruses and malware by providing fabricated results after a local scan of the PC. Essential Cleaner will be installed on the computer with the help of a separate Trojan that will be able to drop the executable file without being detected by an installed AV program. The rogue program will be configured to run automatically when Windows is started by providing an entry on the registry.
Its presence will declare a number of threats detected but will only provide an option to remove them by having the licensed version of Essential Cleaner. It is valuable to know that Essential Cleaner was designed to provide alarming scan results regardless the computer is clean or infected with viruses. It will also issued continuous display of fake alert messages to mislead computer users even more. Some of the alerts are:
Essential Cleaner Warning
Your PC is infected with dangerous viruses. Activate antivirus protection to prevent data loss and avoid the theft of your credit card details.
Click here to activate protection.
Essential Cleaner Warning
Intercepting programs that may compromise your private and harm your system have been detected on your PC.
Click here to remove them immediately with Essential Cleaner.
Security Monitor: WARNING!
Attention: System detected a potential hazard (TrojanSPM/LX) on your computer that may infect executable files. Your private information and PC safety is at risk. To get rid of unwanted spyware and keep your computer safe you need to update your current security software.
Click Yes to download official intrusion detection system (IDS software).
Simply ignore these warnings. As stated, these are false and try to lure its victims. The only way to stop it from being displayed is to remove Essential Cleaner by scanning the computer with trusted anti-malware and anti-virus application.
What are the Symptoms of Essential Cleaner Infection?
It will modify Windows Registry and add the following entries:
The threat will drop the following malicious files:
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\(random)\
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\(random)\(random)
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\(random)\(random).exe
Procedure 1: Uninstall Essential Cleaner from Windows Control Panel
1. Begin the removal process by uninstalling the rogue program from Windows. To do this, we need to open Control Panel. Please ensure that you are logon with the Administrative privilege to access this function.
Accessing Control Panel in Windows 8 and Windows 10
- On your keyboard, Press Windows Key + X.
- Once Quick Access Menu appears on the screen, please click on Control Panel.
- Control Panel window will open. Please proceed to the next step which is uninstalling Essential Cleaner.
How to access Control Panel in Windows XP, Windows Vista / 7
- Click on Start button that can be found on bottom left corner of the screen.
- From the list, choose Control Panel to access settings of Windows and make the needed changes.
2. To uninstall Essential Cleaner, click on Uninstall a program under Programs Section. It will open a Program and Features window where-in you can uninstall, change, or repair installed software.
3. Look for Essential Cleaner title or any suspicious name that was installed recently. To do this, you need to arrange the items chronologically. Click on Installed On to display recently installed programs.
4. Select Essential Cleaner or any suspicious items and then Click on Uninstall button to remove it from Windows.
5. If it prompts for confirmation, please click OK button to proceed.
Procedure 2: Scan and remove Essential Cleaner files with MalwareFox Anti-Malware
To remove Essential Cleaner, download MalwareFox Anti-Malware. This tool is effective in getting rid of Trojans, viruses and malware.
1. After downloading, please install the program using the default settings.
2. At the end of the installation, please make sure that it will download necessary updates.
3. Once update has completed, MalwareFox will launch.
4. Click on SCAN button from the main window.
5. MalwareFox will detect all the infections in the computer system and list all the threats.
6. Click Next button to remove all the infections in one click.
Procedure 3: Scan Computer in Safe Mode Using Installed Anti-virus Program
1. When troubleshooting a PC, one common step is to boot operating system into Safe Mode with Networking. The same approach will be used in the removal of Essential Cleaner. Please execute instructions based on your Windows OS version.
Start Windows 8 / Windows 10 in Safe Mode with Networking
- Close all running programs on your computer because we will need to restart Windows on this procedure.
- Press and Hold Shift key on your keyboard while clicking on Restart.
- You will then be presented with Troubleshooting Options.
- Click on Troubleshoot icon.
- Then, Click on Advanced Options icon.
- Select Startup Settings icon and then, Click on Restart button.
- When Windows restarts, it will prompt to choose number from the list of options. Press the number on your keyboard that corresponds to Safe Mode with Networking, commonly number 5.
- Once in Safe Mode, please proceed to the next step which is running a virus scan on the computer.
Start in Safe Mode with Networking (Windows XP / Vista / 7 Instruction)
- Please restart the computer and just before Windows start, press F8 on your keyboard repeatedly. You will be presented with Advanced Options Menu.
- From the selections, choose Safe Mode with Networking. Please use keyboard's arrow up/down to navigate between selections and press Enter to proceed.
2. Once your Windows is running in Safe Mode, open your installed anti-virus programs and update it to the most recent version by automatically downloading necessary updates.
3. Thoroughly scan the computer and remove all identified threats. Do not restart or turn off the computer after the scan process. You still need to run another scan. Please follow the next procedure.
Procedure 4: Run TrendMicro's Anti-Threat Toolkit (ATTK) to check and delete any remnants of Essential Cleaner.
As an added help to remove Essential Cleaner, you can scan the computer with Anti-Threat Toolkit. This software is provided and distributed by TrendMicro. Follow this procedure to run a scan with this tool.
1. Download the package by clicking on the button below. This will launch a new browser window that contains further details about the tool.
2. Save the file to a location on your hard drive.
3. Browse for the location of the file and double-click to run. If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, right-click on extracted file supportcustomizedpackage and click on Run as Administrator.
4. When program launch, it will run a command prompt to initialize, prepare components, and update the program.
5. Next it will open the graphical user interface (GUI) of Anti-Threat Toolkit.
6. Click on Scan Now. This operation will scan all Essential Cleaner files and processes in your computer and display a list of result for possible Fake Antivirus program and malware that needs to be removed.
7. Tick all items that are detected by the program, and then click Clean. The tool will start removing Essential Cleaner components from the computer.
8. If it asked you to restart Windows, please do so.
Protect your PC from Essential Cleaner or Similar Attack
Turn On Safe Browsing Features
Google Chrome's Protection from Dangerous Sites
With Google Chrome's Dangerous Site Protection feature, you will have lesser risks browsing the web. It will display a warning when the site you are trying to visit is suspicious, thus, you can prevent Essential Cleaner infection. To enable protection from dangerous sites, please do these steps:
1. Open Google Chrome.
2. In the address bar, type this: chrome://settings/ and then, Press Enter.
3. Once on the settings page, click on Show advanced settings... at the bottom of the page to see the rest of the Chrome setup.
4. Locate Privacy section and mark 'Protect you and your device from dangerous sites'.
5. Please restart Google Chrome. New settings keep your browser safe while surfing the web.
Internet Explorer - Activate SmartScreen Filter
Internet Explorer versions 8 and 9 has this feature called SmartScreen Filter. It helps detect phishing web sites and protect you from downloading malicious programs including Essential Cleaner. To turn on SmartScreen Filter, follow these steps:
1. Please open Internet Explorer.
2. On top menu, select Tools (IE 9). For IE 8, please look for Safety menu.
3. Select SmartScreen Filter from the drop-down list and click on Turn on SmartScreen Filter.
4. Please restart Internet Explorer.
Mozilla Firefox - Block Attack Sites and Web Forgeries
Phishing and Malware Protection is a built-in feature on Firefox version 3 or later. It warns you when a page you are trying to visit contains phishing content or an attack site designed to drop threats such as Essential Cleaner. To help you keep safe while browsing the Internet using Firefox, please follow this guide:
1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
2. On top menu, click on Open Menu. Then select Options from the list.
3. Select Security and put a check mark on the following items:
- Warn me when sites try to install add-ons
- Block reported attack sites
- Block reported web forgeries
Edge Browser - SmartScreen Filter
SmartScreen filter is a built-in feature in Microsoft Edge browser that can help you deter malicious programs such as Essential Cleaner. It can block malicious web sites and downloads.
1. Open Microsoft Edge browser.
2. Click on More Actions button located at top right corner of the screen.
3. Select Settings from the drop-down list.
4. Under Settings menu, go to Advanced Settings section and click on View Advanced Settings.
5. Scroll down to "help protect my PC from malicious sites and downloads with SmartScreen Filter". Turn it to ON.
6.You may now restart Microsoft Edge browser.