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.

Pokki Start Menu Summary

Name Pokki Start Menu
Type Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP)
Short Description Aims to modify the settings on your computer, collect information and may display targeted ad-content.
Symptoms Laggy computer performance, various types of advertised apps, may include browser redirects, pop-ups, etc via third parties.
Distribution Method Via malicious URLs, unwanted downloads and other.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join 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.

    Avatar

    Ventsislav Krastev

    Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

    How to Remove Pokki Start Menu from Windows.


    Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Pokki Start Menu

    OFFER

    Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
    We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

    Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

    1. Hold Windows key() + R


    2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


    3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
    Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


    4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


    5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


    Step 2: Uninstall Pokki Start Menu and related software from Windows

    Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 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 are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors 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:


    1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


    2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


    3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
    Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


    Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Pokki Start Menu on your computer.

    The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

    You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Pokki Start Menu there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

    1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


    2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


    3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
    Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

    IMPORTANT!
    Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
    This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

    Step 4: Scan for Pokki Start Menu with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

    1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


    It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


    2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

    SpyHunter5-update-2018


    3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

    SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


    4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

    SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

    If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

    Get rid of Pokki Start Menu from Mac OS X.


    Step 1: Uninstall Pokki Start Menu and remove related files and objects

    OFFER
    Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
    We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
    Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


    1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


    2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


    3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Pokki Start Menu:

    Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


    4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


    5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Pokki Start Menu. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


    6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Pokki Start Menu. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


    7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

    • Go to Finder.
    • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
    • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
    • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

    In case you cannot remove Pokki Start Menu via Step 1 above:

    In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

    Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

    1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

    2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

    3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Pokki Start Menu. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

    You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

    → ~/Library/LaunchAgents
    /Library/LaunchDaemons

    Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


    Step 2: Scan for and remove Pokki Start Menu files from your Mac

    When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Pokki Start Menu, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.


    Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for Pokki Start Menu:


    Download

    SpyHunter for Mac



    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


    Remove Pokki Start Menu from Google Chrome.


    Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


    Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


    Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


    Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


    Erase Pokki Start Menu from Mozilla Firefox.

    Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


    Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


    Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


    Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


    Uninstall Pokki Start Menu from Microsoft Edge.


    Step 1: Start Edge browser.


    Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


    Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


    Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


    Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


    Remove Pokki Start Menu from Safari.


    Step 1: Start the Safari app.


    Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


    Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

    stf-safari preferences


    Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

    stf-safari-extensions


    Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


    Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

    stf-safari uninstall

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


    How to Reset Safari
    IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

    Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

    Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


    Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


    Eliminate Pokki Start Menu from Internet Explorer.


    Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


    Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


    Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


    Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


    Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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