In the article below we will be describing a version of a browser hijacker called “Microsoft Critical Alert” Pop-up. This kind of programs is known to cause certain trouble, but only in regards to your browsers – Mozilla, Chrome or Explorer, and to modify them in given ways. The possible modifications include a sudden change of your default search engine and /or homepage; the beginning of an annoying redirection process every time you try to load a web page; and an active production of pop-ups and other versions of online ads. Although hijackers are NOT the greatest threat you can come across on the web (they are not malicious and do not represent viruses), they could become increasingly annoying with time and that is why we have created this article – to help you understand their nature and remove the specific one that has infected your device – “Microsoft Critical Alert”.
Browser hijackers: only irritating or dangerous indeed?
This software family has not been known to cause any trouble. We have pretty much elaborated on the way they affect your browsers above. We can also say that “Microsoft Critical Alert”, for example, may have been programmed to access your browser history records and build a plan for generating ads based on your recent searches and potential interests. As a result, you will only see pop-ups and banners that are supposed to match your tastes produced on your screen while you are surfing the web. Also, sometimes the active redirection and generation of advertisements could become the reasons for a slowdown of your PC, which is highly unlikely if your computer has substantial system resources.
But what sets the hijackers and the viruses apart? The main reasons why “Microsoft Critical Alert” and its equally annoying siblings have not been identified as malicious, but only as potentially unwanted is the fact that they cannot self-replicate on your machine, self-infect your computer or damage any data in any way. Ransomware and Trojans, as typical malware, on the other hand, may greatly harm your favorite files, destroy them, corrupt them or hijack them. The real aim of browser hijacker programs in general is to promote products, services, web pages, even homepages and search engines. This is a completely legal branch of the online marketing industry and is NOT against any law. Their developers make a lot of money out of the generated ads and the rule: “The more, the better” really applies to this software. Such a program could seem to always strive to produce more and more pop-ups and to cause more and more redirections.
How and where is it possible to get infected with “Microsoft Critical Alert”?
Browser hijackers are legal and consequently, very widely spread. You can catch them from torrent and video-sharing web pages. They could be found inside websites as well. However, there is one source that could be blamed for most of the infections and it is the process called software bundling. This term means combining different sorts of apps, programs and games and spreading them together for free. In this way the potential victims of the browser hijackers possibly incorporated into such bundles could be easily tempted to download them and install them as soon as possible. Nevertheless, bundles themselves cannot be blamed for the infections. What could be blamed is the way we install them. Here we will describe how you should always install anything on your PC.
We can offer you some safe installation tips. In case you have downloaded any program or bundle from the web, you will need to install it in the proper safe way. To do that, you have to understand the importance of the suggested installation methods you will have to choose from in the wizard dialogue. From the ones you see, it is very important that you choose the Custom (sometimes Customized) or the Advanced one. Only could these options give you the chance to manually choose and deselect wanted and unwanted programs or program features and you will be able to install only the needed program, without the hijackers that may come with it.
How to deal with “Microsoft Critical Alert”
In case your PC has already caught “Microsoft Critical Alert”, we recommend that you go with the steps in the Removal Guide below. They have been designed to help you fight the infection; and end your annoyance. Hopefully, you will be satisfied and our guide will solve your problem.
Delete “Microsoft Critical Alert” Pop-up Scam
Safe Mode and Hidden files and folders
Before you begin the removal you have to enter Safe mode on your PC. If you don’t know how to that that we’ve provided our own guide for your cnvinience.
Next Reveal Hidden File and Folders. Again, check our guide if you need any help.
Uninstalling suspicious programs
This is probably one of the most important steps so make sure you are thorough with it. Open your Start Menu and in the search field type Control Panel. Open the first search result and go to Uninstall a Program. Carefully look through the resulting list for any installs that you do not recognize and/or that seem suspicious. If you find any, select them and click on Uninstall.
Disable suspicious startup programs
Next – once again go to your Start Menu and type System Configuration in the search field. Open the first result and go to the Startup section. Again, look for any suspicious programs and if anything seems out of place or is from an unknown manufacturer, disable it and click OK.
Check your DNS
For this one, you’ll have to access your Network Connections. If you are a Windows 7 user, go to your Control Panel and in the search field (top-right) type adapter. Then, under Network Sharing Center, click on Network Connections. If you are on Win 10, simply type Network Connections in the search field next to the Start Menu button and hit Enter.
Next, right click on the icon of the adapter that you are currently using and select Properties. There is a list from which you must click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP) and then select Properties. If the DNS is not set to Obtain DNS server automatically, make sure you set it that way.
After that, go to Advanced and then to the section labeled DNS. If there is anything in the DNS servers addresses field, make sure you remove and press OK.
Clean your browsers
- First, right click on your browser icon and select Properties. Go to the Shortcut section and delete anything written after .exe in the Target
- This step varies depending upon what browser you are using
- For Chrome: Open your browser and open the menu in the top-right corner. Select Settings. Then, select Extensions (top-left). Remove any questionable and suspicious-looking extensions. Also, we suggest to go back to Settings, access the Advanced Settings at the bottom of the page and us Clear browsing data to make sure nothing is left of the unwanted software.
- For Firefox: Open the browser and access its main menu (top-right corner). Go to Add-ons > Extensions and remove everything that looks shady and unwanted.
- For IE: Click on the settings icon and select Manage Add-ons. In the resulting list, eliminate anything that you think might be related to the problematic software.
Remove suspicious processes
Now, open your Task Manager (R-Ctrl+Shift+Esc) and go to the Processes tab. Look carefully through the list and find the unwanted program’s process. Right-click on it and open its directory. Delete everything in there and then go back to the process it self and end it.
That’s it! “Microsoft Critical Alert” should no longer be present on your PC. If you need any more help or have questions of any kind feel free to contact us in the comment section below!