In this article we are going to try and help you remove “Microsoft Critical Alert” Pop-up Scam. Our instructions cover all Windows versions as well as most browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer etc.
A piece of software called “Microsoft Critical Alert” may be the probable reason of you landing on this page. This program may be a source of some disturbing activity on your screen, often including page redirects and changes in your Chrome or Firefox browser’s homepage and search engine. Many users may find this activity strange and undesired, while others may even panic and think that their computer has been invaded by a nasty virus. Fortunately, “Microsoft Critical Alert” is not a virus or some other malicious piece of software, and it falls in the category of Browser hijackers. However, this doesn’t make it any less annoying, so in the next lines, we will explain to you what exactly this program can do on your computer and how to remove it if you wish to do so.
What is “Microsoft Critical Alert”?
“Microsoft Critical Alert” is a browser hijacker – a component, which is responsible for the changes and the enormous amount of aggressively popping advertisements, tabs and promotional pages in your web browser. Usually, this type of programs are commonly found on the web, since they are mostly involved in the so-called Pay-Per-Click remuneration scheme, where sponsored advertisements are displayed in users’ browsers with the idea to collect their clicks for profit. And while they are certainly not meant to do harm to your computer, once you get them, they may cause some irritation and browsing related disturbance, which may prevent you from using your browser normally. The page redirects and the changes that have taken place on your homepage and search engine usually aim to expose you to more of those sponsored advertisements with the hope of you clicking on them. However, if you don’t want your screen to be flooded with ads and promotional pages, you can remove the browser hijacker from your computer anytime and in the guide below we will show you exactly how to do that.
What may the browser hijacker do if kept on your PC?
Unlike viruses and malicious threats such as Ransomware, Trojans, and Spyware, a program like “Microsoft Critical Alert” is relatively harmless. It does not infect your computer and does not attempt to corrupt your system and files. However, it may keep you busy dealing with different ads, pop-ups, and page redirects that appear in your browser every time you open it. This hijacker may also access your browsing history and use the information from your last web searches and interests to guess your preferences and match them with its sponsored advertisements. As a side effect to the constant ad-generating background activity, your computer may face some lags, your browser may become slow and take ages to load the pages you want, your screen may freeze, etc. All this can be quite irritating, especially if you are not getting any significant benefit from having a component like “Microsoft Critical Alert” in your browser, that’s why uninstalling it may save you from the annoyance.
Apart from that, we would advise you to be cautious if you happen to interact with the randomly popping ads and the page redirects – you never know when you may unwillingly bump into some nasty virus or malware, carefully masked as a fake ad or web page. Trojans tend to do that often and camouflage themselves as appealing ads or sites, especially nowadays, when they are involved in the distribution of crypto viruses like Ransomware. Having this in mind, uninstalling the annoying hijacker may save you from the possibility of getting redirected to an insecure web location.
If you have not been “infected”, then how did the irritating browser hijacker got on your PC?
Now, the interesting thing here is that “Microsoft Critical Alert” did not get inside your PC silently the way a virus would do. In fact, as every other legitimate software, this browser hijacker got installed on your system by you. Yes, you! This usually happens, when you download some installation pack (usually of some free software) or a desirable program, which is bundled with a browser hijacker inside. Once you run the installer, the pack gets installed as it is, and if you skip reading the EULA and proceed with the standard installation option by clicking on the OK button, you get the hijacker by default. Now this is a common mistake which, usually results in a bunch of bloatware and undesired pieces of software on users’ computers. However, this could easily be prevented if you carefully read the EULA terms and when installing the software, click on the “advanced” or “custom” installation option, instead of the “standard” one. The advanced/custom menu will give you the option to manually enable or disable the bundled hijacker from the installer. Of course, ideally you should avoid getting software from insecure locations such as torrent sites, free software platforms, shareware, spam emails, etc., as this is where hijackers are found the most.
“Microsoft Critical Alert” Pop-up Scam Removal
Many types of malware will restrict your access to their core files. It is highly recommended that you reboot your PC in safe mode before attempting to use this guide.
- To enable Safe Mode reboot you PC, then hit F8 repeatedly. When the corresponding menu opens please select Safe Mode with Networking.
WARNING! If you are using Windows 8,0 or later and/or your operating system is installed on a fast SSD drive this may fail to work. In this case click here to see how to start your PC in Safe Mode.
#1: Uninstall the malicious program from your control panel
Enter control panel to look for any suspicious programs, which may have installed on your PC. To do that:
- Navigate to your Desktop
- Press simultaneously the Win button together with the R button (Win+R)
- In the Run window that just opened type appwiz.cpl
- Go through the list of programs and find “Microsoft Critical Alert” or anything else that may seem suspicious. Right-click on it and choose the uninstallation option
WARNING! Carefully read any confirmation messages that may be created in the process. Sometimes you may get offers to download more Adware applications and this can be linked to either the Yes or the No answer depending on the wording!
Go through the list of programs again and check online for any potentially unwanted programs. We have an article that covers this awesome free software that makes sure that your computer is free from bloatware and programs that you don’t need.
#2: Remove “Microsoft Critical Alert” From Chrome
Now we’ll remove the extensions that the malware has attached to your browser.
- Open your Google Chrome browser.
- Type chrome://extensions/ in the URL address bar and press Enter.
- Click on “Developer Mode” on the top right and look for the extension installed by “Microsoft Critical Alert” and anything that might be related to it. Copy their IDs (the string of letters), then remove them by clicking on the trash bin icon.
- Type Regedit in the Windows Start Menu and press Enter. Go in : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Google\Chrome\Extensions and delete the entries corresponding to the suspicious IDs you recorded.
#3: Remove “Microsoft Critical Alert” From Firefox
- Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
- Type “about:support” in the URL address bar and press Enter.
- Click on the “Refresh Firefox” button on the right and confirm.
#4 Remove “Microsoft Critical Alert” From Internet Explorer
- Open your Internet Explorer internet browser.
- Click on the Gear icon on the up right, then on manage add-ons.
- Go through the list disable any suspicious extensions.
#5 Remove any leftover parasitic processes
From the task manager:
- Use Ctrl + Shift + Esc and open the Task manager, then click on the Processes
- Go through the list of processes and look for unknown or otherwise suspicious entries.
- If you see anything suspicious right click on the process and shoes Open File Location, then terminate the process and delete any files you find in the directory.
WARNING! If the directory you open from this menu has no files inside of it it’s probably because the malware has hidden them. You need to reveal hidden files and folders in order to be able to see them. Click here if you don’t know how to do that.
From the start menu:
- Press simultaneously the Win button together with the R button (Win+R)
- In the Run window that just opened type msconfig
- Click on the Startup tab.
This menu controls which programs are loaded when windows starts after a reboot. Disable anything that seems suspicious. Optionally you can also disable any program that you don’t need and also has a high impact on your startup time.
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