Remove Tencent QQ and qq(.)com Ads from Your Browser and PC - How to, Technology and PC Security Forum | SensorsTechForum.com
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Remove Tencent QQ and qq(.)com Ads from Your Browser and PC

qq-messenger-sensorstechforumQQ started out 17 years ago with the idea to have a messenger for China similar to programs like Skype or ICQ. Since then, the program was developed a lot, and it became the most widespread instant messaging engine. Currently, Tencent QQ has also developed a mobile application transferring its huge user base to mobile devices. It all sounds great until users have reported observing a variant of the program that heavily displays advertisements on the user PCs.

NameTencent QQ
TypePUP, Browser Hijacker
Short DescriptionThe software changes settings to the user’s web browser may collect user information and installs plugins without notification. Also difficult to erase from the PC.
SymptomsThe user may witness his home page changed to qq(.)com and may notice it in Programs and Features in Windows.
Distribution MethodVia PUPs, installed by bundling (Browser Hijackers) or by visiting a suspicious third-party site that is advertising it.
Detection ToolDownload Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by Tencent QQ
User Experience Join our forum to discuss Tencent QQ.

Tencent QQ – How Is It Spread

There may be several methods by which Tencent QQ may spread onto your computer. The program may be encountered as a bundled application in case you download applications from third-party websites. Such websites may be of the following character:

  • Torrent websites sharing software installers.
  • Randomly visited third-party software providing websites found online.
  • Websites that are advertised via adware on your computer.
  • Sites which are advertised on social media.
  • Programs that are shared in p2p sharing software such as DC++, for example.

Imagine the following scenario – you have cleanly reinstalled Windows, and you have to download all of the free programs you have previously used. To do this, you have to search for those programs online one by one. Here is where you may have the bad luck of downloading an app from a software provider that has Tencent QQ included(bundled) in your installer, for example:

qq-bundling

blade and soulAnd this is not the only way of distribution. Besides it, the application may be automatically downloaded without your permission by other ad-supported programs that have elevated privileges to do it or even malware. Some users have even reported on Reddit forums to get the suspicious ad-supported version of QQ via playing online games, like the Chinese Blade and Soul.

The program can also be found in an international version on websites such as download.com. However we could not manage to download it via this method:

tencent-download-failed

Tencent QQ Ads Variant in Detail

The original version of the program itself has all of the necessary features of a chat software. However, it is all good until one point – the point where it situates approximately 200 MB which is highly untypical for chat engines. To put this in perspective, Skype is ~76 MB in size.

Not only this but when the program was installed, the anti-malware tool installed on the test device immediately detected it as an unknown software:

tencentqq-unknown-object-sensorstechforum

When we checked for any bundled applications along with QQ in Programs and Features and not to our amazement, we have found that it had a QQ email plugin installed along it:

qqmail-plugin-tencent

We were surprised however when after a system restart, we opened Mozilla Firefox only to discover QQ’s plugins spread all over it and there was no notification during install that there will be any:

tencent-add-ons-sensorstechforum

Just when we thought the nightmare was over, we decided to check Internet Explorer, only to find out that Tencent QQ has modified Registry Entires to set its website qq(.)com as a home page:

qq-home-page

The cherry on the cake was when we decided to use the search engine of the software, which redirected us via a new tab to a hoax search engine, called Sogou, which is known in the malware research world as a name copied by several browser hijackers, like the Sogou Browser Hijacker:

qq-browser-hijacker

This situation is considered to be potentially harmful to the user, due to several different reasons:

  • The software may collect user information and share it with third-parties.
  • Advertisements may display web links to third-party websites that could either collect information themselves, advertise other PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs).
  • The user could be redirected to a malicious website that may or may not infects his computer with malware.

Remove Tencent QQ from Your Computer

Uninstalling Tencent may be tricky. When you attempt it, most likely you may be able to uninstall the plugin of Tencent, but you may not eventually be able to uninstall the main software. On attempt to uninstall the program, Tencent displays the following pop-up:

tencent-uninstall-failage

This is why manually removing this software may take some work because it also modifies your web browsers. For maximum effectiveness, we have created the following instructions to help you successfully get rid of it and clean your PC without having to reinstall it.

Delete Tencent QQ from Windows and Your Browser

1.Remove Tencent QQ in Windows

Remove Tencent QQ files

Since the conventional uninstall may not work for this software, you need to take a more tech savvy approach:

Step 1: Navigate to its folder in %Program Files% or %Program Files(x86)%:

program-files-sensorstechforum

Step 2: Mark it with your mouse and press Shift + Delete after which confirm with Yes To All.

Step 3: If some files cannot be deleted, the following pop-up will appear. In it opt in the “Do this for all items” option after which continue.

tencent-removal-1

At this point you have removed all the files that are not protected by the elevated permission of Tencent QQ. To remove the remaining files, you need to download file-deletion software. We advise using Delete Doctor because it is free.

Step 1: Download and Install Delete Doctor:

removal-doctor-installation

Step 2: Browse for and choose the remaining files that cannot be deleted by clicking on the Browse button:

delete-doctor-browse

Step 3: Choose between the different file deletion methods, the program offers. We advise choosing from the methods highlighted in yellow below. First attempt via DOS short name and if it does not work, choose to delete the file on System Restart. Do the same with the other files and you shall delete it:

methods-delete-doctor

After the successfull file deletion it is time to clean the registry editor that may have modified values and keys that prevented this program from Uninstalling in the first place. To do this, visit the instructive article on Fixing up Your Windows Registry Errors Caused by Malware.

2.Remove Tencent QQ from Your Browser

Remove Tencent QQ from Your Browser.

After removing this program from your computer, it is time to clean your browser by resetting your web browser and deleting browser extensions and plugins from it.

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 Tencent QQ and click “Remove

uninstall-fig6

After Tencent QQ 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 Tencent QQ and click on the garbage bin icon on the right of it.
  • uninstall-fig9

  • After Tencent QQ 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 Tencent QQ 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 Tencent QQ 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 Tencent QQ
    Click ‘Uninstall’

    uninstall-fig14

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

    Remove Tencent QQ automatically by downloading an advanced anti-malware program.

    1. Remove Tencent QQ with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

    Remove Tencent QQ with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

    Since some files may be left-over after manual removal it is advisable to user anti-malware software:

    1. Install SpyHunter to scan for and remove Tencent QQ.2. Scan with SpyHunter to Detect and Remove Tencent QQ.
    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 Tencent QQ 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 Tencent QQ 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 Tencent QQ.
    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 Tencent QQ.

    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 Tencent QQ 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 Tencent QQ should be restored.

    Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

    Remove Tencent QQ Using Other Alternative Tools

    STOPZilla Anti Malware
    1. Download and Install STOPZilla Anti-malware to Scan for And Remove Tencent QQ.
    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 Tencent QQ 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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