Pokki Start Menu Virus - What Is It and Removal (Update Jan. 2020)
THREAT REMOVAL

Pokki Start Menu Virus – What Is It and Removal (Update Jan. 2020)

This article aims to show you how to remove the Pokki Start Menu program from your computer completely.

Pokki is a legitimate application for Windows which has been created to improve the experience of users via refreshing the start menu by allowing to install various applications to the program and providing the options to organize those apps to the preferred ones. It seems like some Windows users appear to favor the tool because it allows them to have their old start menu back. However, the same procedure can also be done by downgrading your Windows OS instead of installing third-party apps, such as Pokki. And despite the fact that many favor Pokki for being a useful program, users should consider several important facts about this program before deciding to keep using it. The app may collect different information from your computer and may even share this information in some special events and this is one of the reasons why it is not advisable to trust it entirely. If you are looking for removal of the Pokki start menu for one reason or another, we advise you to read this article.

Threat Summary

NamePokki Start Menu
TypePotentially Unwanted Program (PUP)
Short DescriptionAims to modify the settings on your computer, collect information and may display targeted ad-content.
SymptomsLaggy computer performance, various types of advertised apps, may include browser redirects, pop-ups, etc via third parties.
Distribution MethodVia malicious URLs, unwanted downloads and other.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Pokki Start Menu

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User ExperienceJoin our forum to discuss Pokki.

Pokki Start Menu – Update July 2018

Recent statistics and detections inform of a significant increase the Pokki Start Menu app installations by the numbers. This is a clear indication of the following possible developments in connection with Pokki:

  • The application may have a new version which is advertised.
  • The program may be advertised more aggressively in new software bundling campaigns or banners and other advertisements.

We at SensorsTechForum will continue to track Pokki adware and respectively Pokki Start Menu and will post new information as soon as it becomes available.

How Did I Get Pokki Start Menu

Generally, Pokki (Pokki Start Menu) can be downloaded from the official web page of the company:

However, since Pokki is not a program that is well-known, you may also encounter it to be bundled along free programs you may have downloaded from suspicious websites. Such programs are often your free web browser, media player, torrent downloader program and many others. Some websites make profit by bundling third-party applications, such as Pokki in the setups of the programs you may have downloaded from them. The bundle ad may exist in one of the installation steps of the Custom or Advanced installation option and it may be similar to the example the image below:

When you accept the installation by clicking Next without opting out of you, the result is that Pokki is automatically installed on your computer and replaces your start menu. So this is the most likely reason why Pokki is installed on your computer without you remembering to intentionally install it.

Related: Should You Remove Pokki From Your Computer?

Pokki Start Menu – Analysis

Pokki (Pokki Start Menu) is not a program that is malicious, however you should know that it is one of those apps that may be potentially unsafe, because of several different reasons. Once the program is installed on your computer, it uses different tracking technologies in order to obtain information from it. Such may be:

  • Pixels.
  • Tags.
  • LSOs (Local Shared Objects, otherwise known as flash cookies).

The usage of these technologies may result in the program obtaining different information from your computer, such as:

  • Your IP address.
  • The browsing history of your web browsers.
  • Online searches.
  • Where you have clicked online.
  • The sites you visit regularly.
  • Your location and language.
  • Your MAC address.

This data is then extracted and used by Pokki for different reasons and the company may aggregate different information, as stated in their Privacy Policy. And what is more to that, the company may share this information under different circumstances as well:

And in addition to this, since Pokki (Pokki Start Menu) mainly relies on third-party apps embedded in it, like games and useful software, the company has stated in their privacy policy that they cannot guarantee what type of information the apps you install on their start menu collect from you:

This basically means that if you have apps of Pokki installed on your Start Meny bar, they may be collecting your personal information, like passwords, financial data, names addresses and other and you may even not know it. One more reason why you should think twice before keeping Pokki on your computer.

Should You Remove Pokki Start Menu and Is It a Legitimate App?

It is a very controversial topic to discuss the legitimacy of Pokki and Pokki Start Menu, but you should be advised that we have received reports of the application possibly slowing down the computer performance and it may even display targeted advertisements that may lead to third-party websites. This is why security experts recommend that you to remove this program from your computer by following the removal instructions below. They are created to help you remove Pokki from your computer. Since manual removal and simple uninstall of the program may not remove it entirely, it is also advisable to remove it automatically, using an advanced anti-malware program which will make sure the program is gone permanently and your PC is protected against intrusive apps in the future.

Manually delete Pokki Start Menu from Windows and your browser

Note! Substantial notification about the Pokki Start Menu threat: Manual removal of Pokki Start Menu requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.

1.Remove or Uninstall Pokki Start Menu in Windows

Remove or Uninstall Pokki Start Menu in Windows.

Step 1: Remove/Uninstall Pokki Start Menu in Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps to remove that program. No matter if you are using Windows 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program get left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, mistakes with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:

  • Hold the Windows Logo Button and “R” on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear (fig.1).
  • uninstall-virus-fig1

  • In the field type in “appwiz.cpl” and press ENTER (fig.2).
  • uninstall-virus-fig2

  • This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC.
    Select the program that you want to remove, and press “Uninstall” (fig.3).
  • uninstall-virus-fig3

    Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall Pokki Start Menu.

    2.Remove Pokki Start Menu from Your Browser

    Remove Pokki Start Menu from Your Browser.

    Remove a toolbar from Mozilla FirefoxRemove a toolbar from Google Chrome Remove a toolbar from Internet Explorer Remove a toolbar from Safari
    Start Mozilla Firefox Open the menu window

    uninstall-fig4

    Select the “Add-ons” icon from the menu

    uninstall-fig5

    Select Pokki Start Menu and click “Remove

    uninstall-fig6

    After Pokki Start Menu is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.

    Start Google Chrome and Open the drop menu

    uninstall-fig7

  • Move the cursor over “Tools” and then from the extended menu choose “Extensions
  • uninstall-fig8

  • From the opened “Extensions” menu locate Pokki Start Menu and click on the garbage bin icon on the right of it.
  • uninstall-fig9

  • After Pokki Start Menu is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.
  • Start Internet Explorer:

  • Click “‘Tools’ to open the drop menu and select ‘Manage Add-ons’
  • uninstall-fig10

  • In the ‘Manage Add-ons’ window, make sure that in the first window ‘Add-on Types’, the drop menu ‘Show’ is on ‘All add-ons’
  • uninstall-fig11

    Select Pokki Start Menu to remove, and then click ‘Disable’. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected toolbar, and some additional toolbars might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click ‘Disable’.

    uninstall-fig12

    After Pokki Start Menu has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red ‘X’ in the top right corner and start it again.

    Start Safari

    Open the drop menu by clicking on the sprocket icon in the top right corner.
    uninstall-fig13

    From the drop menu select ‘Preferences’
    In the new window select ‘Extensions’
    Click once on Pokki Start Menu
    Click ‘Uninstall’

    uninstall-fig14

    A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall Pokki Start Menu. Select ‘Uninstall’ again, and the Pokki Start Menu will be removed.

    3.Fix registry entries created by Pokki Start Menu on your PC

    Fix registry entries created by Pokki Start Menu on your PC.

    Some malicious scripts may modify the registry entries of your computer to change different settings. This is why manual clean up of your Windows Registry Database is strongly recommended. Since the tutorial on how to do this is a bit lenghty, we recommend following our instructive article about fixing registry entries.

    Automatically remove Pokki Start Menu by downloading an advanced anti-malware program

    1. Remove Pokki Start Menu with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

    Remove Pokki Start Menu with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

    1. Install SpyHunter to scan for and remove Pokki Start Menu.2. Scan with SpyHunter to Detect and Remove Pokki Start Menu.
    Step 1: Click here to go to SpyHunter’s download instruction page.
    Step 2: Guide yourself by the download instructions provided for each browser.
    Step 3: After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to automatically update.

    pets-by-myway-ads-virus

    Step1: After the update process has finished, click on the ‘Scan Computer Now’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step2: After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any Pokki Start Menu files, click on the ‘Fix Threats’ button to remove them automatically and permanently.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step3: Once the intrusions on your PC have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart it.

    2. Back up your data to secure it against attacks related to Pokki Start Menu in the future

    Back up your data to secure it against attacks in the future

    IMPORTANT! Before reading the Windows backup instructions, we highly recommend to back up your data automatically with cloud backup and insure it against any type of data loss on your device, even the most severe. We recommend reading more about and downloading SOS Online Backup .

    1. For Windows 7 and earlier 1. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 1. Enabling the Windows Defense Feature (Previous Versions)

    1-Click on Windows Start Menu
    backup-1
    2-Type Backup And Restore
    3-Open it and click on Set Up Backup
    w7-backup3
    4-A window will appear asking you where to set up backup. You should have a flash drive or an external hard drive. Mark it by clicking on it with your mouse then click on Next.
    backup-3
    5-On the next window, the system will ask you what do you want to backup. Choose the ‘Let Me Choose’ option and then click on Next.
    backup-4
    6-Click on ‘Save settings and run backup’ on the next window in order to protect your files from possible attacks by Pokki Start Menu.
    backup-5

    1-Press Windows button + R
    filehistory-1
    2-In the window type ‘filehistory’ and press Enter
    filehistory-2
    3-A File History window will appear. Click on ‘Configure file history settings’
    filehistory-3
    4-The configuration menu for File History will appear. Click on ‘Turn On’. After its on, click on Select Drive in order to select the backup drive. It is recommended to choose an external HDD, SSD or a USB stick whose memory capacity is corresponding to the size of the files you want to backup.
    filehistory-4
    5-Select the drive then click on ‘Ok’ in order to set up file backup and protect yourself from Pokki Start Menu.

    1- Press Windows button + R keys.
    sysdm
    2- A run windows should appear. In it type ‘sysdm.cpl’ and then click on Run.
    windows-defense2
    3- A System Properties windows should appear. In it choose System Protection.
    windows-defense3
    5- Click on Turn on system protection and select the size on the hard disk you want to utilize for system protection.
    6- Click on Ok and you should see an indication in Protection settings that the protection from Pokki Start Menu is on.
    windows-defense1
    Restoring a file via Windows Defense feature:
    1-Right-click on the encrypted file, then choose Properties.
    file-restore1
    2-Click on the Previous Versions tab and then mark the last version of the file.
    file-restore2
    3-Click on Apply and Ok and the file encrypted by Pokki Start Menu should be restored.

    Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

    Remove Pokki Start Menu Using Other Alternative Tools

    STOPZilla Anti Malware
    1. Download and Install STOPZilla Anti-malware to Scan for And Remove Pokki Start Menu.
    Step 1: Download STOPZilla by clicking here.
    Step 2: A pop-up window will appear. Click on the ‘Save File’ button. If it does not, click on the Download button and save it afterwards.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 3: After you have downloaded the setup, simply open it.
    Step 4: The installer should appear. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 5: Check the ‘I accept the agreement’ check circle if not checked if you accept it and click the ‘Next’ button once again.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 6: Review and click on the ‘Install’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button.

    2. Scan your PC with STOPZilla Anti Malware to remove all Pokki Start Menu associated files completely.
    Step 1: Launch STOPZilla if you haven’t launched it after install.
    Step 2: Wait for the software to automatically scan and then click on the ‘Repair Now’ button. If it does not scan automatically, click on the ‘Scan Now’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 3: After the removal of all threats and associated objects, you should Restart your PC.

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    Ventsislav Krastev

    Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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