How to remove PCTechHotline virus (Removal Guide)

PCTechHotline is a software/call service (+1 561-948-3761) that provides via an hourly charge remote support to fix your computer issues. Once installed however, PCTechHotline attempts to upsell various software products including registry and PC optimization programs.
Picture of PCTechHotline virus
PCTechHotline is typically added when you install another free software (video recording/streaming, download-managers or PDF creators) that had bundled into their installation this program. Very often users have no idea where did it come from, so it’s not surprising at all that most of them assume that PCTechHotline is a virus.
PCTechHotline is application that displays contact information for a remote support company and suggests that you download a variety of security programs to fix the issues that this program has found on users machines.
Once installed, PCTechHotline will automatically start when you login to Windows and constantly display an icon of a support person’s head on the title bar of the active Window. If you click on this icon, you will be shown a screen that promotes their remote support services as well as PCRx Registry Cleaner, Driver Pro, and System Performance Optimizer Pro. The text of the PCTechHotline pop-up is:

PCTechHotline

Instant computer assistance
Our Microsoft Trained Technicians are standing by ready to hep you resolve all of your PC issues and more.
+1 561-948-3761
Receive instant, friendly support service for issues with your computer, network, printer, software and more.

Picture of PCTechHotline pop-up virus
PCTechHotline it’s technically not a virus, but it does exhibit plenty of malicious traits, such as rootkit capabilities to hook deep into the operating system, browser hijacking, and in general just interfering with the user experience. The industry generally refers to it as a “PUP,” or potentially unwanted program.

You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this PCTechHotline. Be very careful what you agree to install.
Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.

How to remove PCTechHotline (Virus Removal Guide)

This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove PCTechHotline pop-ups from your computer, and any other adware program that may have been installed during the the setup process.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.

STEP 1: Uninstall PCTechHotline programs from your computer
STEP 2: Remove PCTechHotline adware with AdwCleaner
STEP 3: Remove PCTechHotline malware with Junkware Removal Tool
STEP 4: Remove PCTechHotline virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
STEP 5: Double-check for the PCTechHotline infection with HitmanPro

STEP 1 : Uninstall PCTechHotline programs from your computer

  1. To uninstall the PCTechHotline program from Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, click the Start button, then click on the Control Panel menu option.
    [Image: Control Panel in Windows Start Menu]
    If you are using Windows 8, simply drag your mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen, select Search from the list and search for “control panel” .Or you can right-click on a bottom left hot corner (formerly known as the Start button) and select Control Panel from there.
    [Image: Control Panel in Windows 8]
  2. When the Control Panel window opens click on the Uninstall a program option under Programs category. This option is shown by the arrow in the image below. If you are using the Classic View of the Control Panel, then you would double-click on the Programs and Features icon instead.
    [Image: Uninstall a program]
  3. When the Programs and Features or the Uninstall a Program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and uninstall PC Tech Hotline (by Crawler, LLC), PC Fix Speed and any other recently installed or unknown programs from your computer.
    To view the most recently installed programs, you can click on the “Installed On” column to sort your program by the installation date. Scroll though the list, and uninstall any unwanted or unknown programs.
    Picture of Uninstall PCTechHotline from Windows
    Depending on what program has installed the PCTechHotline adware infection, the above program may have a different name or not be installed on your computer. If you cannot find any unwanted or unknown programs on your machine, then you can proceed with the next step.

If you are having issues while trying to uninstall the PCTechHotline program, you can use Revo Uninstaller to completely remove this unwanted program from your machine.


STEP 2: Remove PCTechHotline adware with AdwCleaner

The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer and web browser for the PCTechHotline malicious files, browser extensions and registry keys, that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge.

  1. You can download AdwCleaner utility from the below link.
    ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download AdwCleaner on your computer)
  2. Before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.
    Picture of AdwCleaner Icon
    If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
  3. When the AdwCleaner program will open, click on the Scan button as shown below.
    Picture of AdwCleaner Scan button
    AdwCleaner will now start to search for the PCTechHotline malicious files that may be installed on your computer.
  4. To remove the PCTechHotline malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the Clean button.
    Picture of AdwCleaner Clean button
  5. AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or data as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the OK button. AdwCleaner will now delete all detected adware from your computer. When it is done it will display an alert that explains what PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and Adware are. Please read through this information and then press the OK button. You will now be presented with an alert that states AdwCleaner needs to reboot your computer.
    Please click on the OK button to allow AdwCleaner reboot your computer.

STEP 3: Remove PCTechHotline malware Junkware Removal Tool

Junkware Removal Tool is a powerful utility which will remove any browser hijacker or potentially unwanted program that was installed with PCTechHotline.

  1. You can download the Junkware Removal Tool utility from the below link:
    JUNKWARE REMOVAL TOOL DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download the Junkware Removal Tool utility on your computer)
  2. Once Junkware Removal Tool has finished downloading, please double-click on the JRT.exe icon as seen below.
    [Image: Junkware Removal Tool]
    If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run Junkware Removal Tool, please allow it to run.
  3. Junkware Removal Tool will now start, and at the Command Prompt, you’ll need to press any key to perform a scan for the PCTechHotline virus.
    [Image: Junkware Removal Tool scanning for PCTechHotline virus]
    Please be patient as this can take a while to complete (up to 10 minutes) depending on your system’s specifications.
  4. When the scan Junkware Removal Tool will be completed, this utility will display a log with the malicious files and registry keys that were removed from your computer.
    [Image: Junkware Removal Tool final log]

STEP 4: Remove PCTechHotline virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free uses industry-leading technology to detect and remove all traces of malware, including worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware, and more.
It is important to note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware works well and should run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.

  1. You can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free from the below link, then double click on it to install this program.
    MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free)
  2. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the setup process.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware final installation screen]
  3. On the Scanner tab,select Perform quick scan and then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Quick Scan]
  4. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for PCTechHotline malicious files as shown below.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scanning for PCTechHotline virus
  5. When the Malwarebytes scan will be completed,click on Show Result.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan results]
  6. You will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has detected.Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.Make sure that everything is Checked (ticked) and click on the Remove Selected button.
    [Image:Malwarebytes removing virus]

STEP 5: Double-check for the PCTechHotline infection with HitmanPro

HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner, designed to rescue your computer from malware (viruses, trojans, rootkits, etc.) that have infected your computer despite all the security measures you have taken (such as anti virus software, firewalls, etc.). HitmanPro is designed to work alongside existing security programs without any conflicts. It scans the computer quickly (less than 5 minutes) and does not slow down the computer.

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link, then double-click on it to start this program.
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
  2. HitmanPro will start and you’ll need to follow the prompts (by clicking on the Next button) to start a system scan with this program.
    HitmanPro scanner
    HitmanPro installation
  3. HitmanPro will start scanning your computer for PCTechHotline malicious files as seen in the image below.
    HitmanPro scan PCTechHotline virus
  4. Once the scan is complete,you’ll see a screen which will display all the infected files that this utility has detected, and you’ll need to click on Next to remove this malicious files.
    HitmanPro scan results
  5. Click Activate free license to start the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    HitmanPro 30 days activation button

Your computer should now be free of the PCTechHotline adware infection. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future, and perform regular computer scans with HitmanPro.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove PCTechHotline adware from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

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ABOUT STELIAN PILICI

I am the creator and owner of MalwareTips.com.
My area of expertise includes malware removal and computer forensics. I'm active in the various online anti-malware communities where I do researches for new malware threats as they are released.
I live in Bucharest (Romania), where I run my own local computer repair shop.
I repair both hardware and other operating systems related issues, however most of my business is malware related problems.

You can follow me on Google+ and I will keep you up-to-date with the latest computer infections and malware threats.