QQ 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.
|Type||PUP, Browser Hijacker|
|Short Description||The 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.|
|Symptoms||The user may witness his home page changed to qq(.)com and may notice it in Programs and Features in Windows.|
|Distribution Method||Via PUPs, installed by bundling (Browser Hijackers) or by visiting a suspicious third-party site that is advertising it.|
|Detection Tool||Download Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware|
|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:
And 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 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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
- Guide 1: How to Remove Tencent QQ from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of Tencent QQ from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Tencent QQ from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase Tencent QQ from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall Tencent QQ from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove Tencent QQ from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate Tencent QQ from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove Tencent QQ from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Tencent QQ
Step 2: Uninstall Tencent QQ 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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Tencent QQ on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Tencent QQ there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of Tencent QQ from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Tencent QQ and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- 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 Tencent QQ 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:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove Tencent QQ 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.
Erase Tencent QQ 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.
Uninstall Tencent QQ 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.
Remove Tencent QQ 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".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Tencent QQ will be removed.
Eliminate Tencent QQ 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.