How to Remove “Windows Cleaner Update Required” Pop-up Scam

The “Windows Cleaner Update Required” pop-ups are a social engineering attack that tries to trick you into subscribing to push notifications from different sites so that they can send unwanted advertisements directly to your desktop.

Windows Cleaner Update Required Pop-up Scam Virus
Image: Fake Windows Cleaner Update pop-up

These “Windows Cleaner Update Required” pop-ups are caused either by malicious advertisements on the sites you visit or adware. This guide was written to help Windows users remove malware from their devices, if your just looking for a way to block the “Windows Cleaner Update Required” pop-ups on a specific site, then you can use a free browser extension like Adblock.
When it comes to adware, these malicious programs are bundled with other free software that you download off of the Internet. Unfortunately, some free downloads do not adequately disclose that other software will also be installed and you may find that you have installed adware without your knowledge.

Once an adware program is installed, whenever you will browse the Internet, unwanted advertisements from different sites with the Windows Cleaner Update Required message. These “Windows Cleaner Update Required” pop-ups will display an “It is necessary to run the Cleaner download procedure immediately, please click “Allow” in the upper left corner of your browser.” message, asking you to subscribe to notifications from different sites. If you click on the “Allow” button, then you will start seeing unwanted pop-up ads from these sites on your desktop even when your browser is closed.

Windows Cleaner Update Required Redirect Virus

To trick people into clicking on the “Allow” button, then “Windows Cleaner Update Required” will copy the design of the official Microsoft site. This is the message that you will encounter on the “Windows Cleaner Update Required” sites:

Windows Cleaner Update Required

Due to latest report hacking event targeting Windows, we released a сleaner update, and it is recommended for every Windows computer.

If you do not upgrade, your Windows will be locked within 1 day (4 minutes and 52 seconds). Please click “Allow” in the upper left corner of your browser to update.

Attention!
You must update your computer cleaner now or your Windows will be locked within 1 day.

It is necessary to run the Cleaner download procedure immediately, please click “Allow” in the upper left corner of your browser.

OK

Here are a few typical signs that you have adware on your system:

  • Advertisements appear in places they shouldn’t be.
  • Your web browser’s homepage has mysteriously changed without your permission.
  • Web pages that you typically visit are not displaying properly.
  • Website links redirect to sites different from what you expected.
  • Browser popups appear which recommend fake updates or other software.
  • Other unwanted programs might get installed without your knowledge.
You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs. 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.
The below instructions are for Windows users, however we also have an Android Guide and a macOS Guide which should help clean up your device.

How To Remove “Windows Cleaner Update Required” Pop-ups (Virus Removal Guide)

To remove Windows Cleaner Update Required pop-up ads, follow these steps:


STEP 1 : Uninstall the malicious programs from Windows

In this first step, we will try to identify and uninstall any malicious program that might be installed on your device.

  1. Go to “Programs and Features”.

    Windows 10

    1. On the Start Windows Start button menu, type Control Panel in the search box and select “Control Panel” from the results.
      Go to the Control Panel
    2. When the “Control Panel” window opens click on the “Uninstall a program” option under “Programs” category.
      Click on Uninstall a Program option - Windows 10

    Windows 8


    Right-click on the Start Windows Start button button in the lower-left corner and select “Programs and Features”. This will take you directly to your list of installed programs.

    Right click on Start and select Programs and Features - Windows 8.1 Help

    • If you can’t find the Programs and Features in the Start menu, type “programs and features” into the search bar at the bottom of the Start window, then click the “Programs and Features” result.
    • If you don’t have a Start button, you are likely running Windows 8 instead of Windows 8.1. Press the Windows key + X to open the menu instead and select “Programs and Features”.

    Windows 7

    1. Click on Start, then select “Control Panel”.Start by clicking on the Start Windows Start button button, then click on “Control Panel”.
      Click on the Windows Start button and select Control Panel - Windows 7 Help

      If you don’t see “Control Panel” here, type control panel into the search bar at the bottom of the Start window, then click the “Control Panel” result.
    2. When the “Control Panel” appears, click on “Uninstall a Program” from the Programs category.
      Select Uninstall a program from Control Panel menu Windows 7 Help

  2. Find the malicious program and uninstall it.

    The “Programs and Features” screen will be displayed with a list of all the programs installed on your PC. Scroll through the list until you find the malicious program, then click to highlight it, then click the “Uninstall” button that appears on the top toolbar.

    Known malicious programs: Juliaetta version 1.5, Wajam, 1.0.0.1, DNS Unlocker, Cinema Plus, Price Minus, SalesPlus, New Player, MediaVideosPlayers, Browsers_Apps_Pro, PriceLEess, Pic Enhance, Sm23mS, Salus, Network System Driver, SS8, Save Daily Deals, Word Proser, Desktop Temperature Monitor, CloudScout Parental Control, Savefier, Savepass, HostSecurePlugin, CheckMeUp or HD-V2.2.

    The malicious program may have a different name on your computer. If you cannot find any malicious programs on your PC, you can skip to the next step

    Uninstall malicious programs from Windows

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to uninstall the program.

    In the next message box, confirm the uninstall process by clicking on Yes, then follow the prompts to uninstall the program.

    Make sure to read all of the prompts carefully, because some malicious programs try to sneak things in hoping that you won’t read closely.

If you are having issues while trying to uninstall a program, you can use Revo Uninstaller Free to completely remove an unwanted program from your PC.

STEP 2: Use Malwarebytes to remove Windows Cleaner Update Required malware

Malwarebytes is one of the most popular and most used anti-malware software for Windows, and for good reasons. It is able to destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss, without costing you absolutely nothing. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.

The first time you install Malwarebytes, you’re given a free 14-day trial of the premium edition, which includes preventative tools like real-time scanning and specific protection from ransomware. After two weeks, it automatically reverts to the basic free version that will detect and clean up malware infections only when you run a scan. It is important to note that Malwarebytes will run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.

  1. Download Malwarebytes.

    You can download Malwarebytes by clicking the link below.

    MALWAREBYTES DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes)
  2. Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.

    When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the mb3-setup-consumer-x.x.x.xxxx.exe file to install Malwarebytes on your PC. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.

    Double-click on mb3-setup to install Malwarebytes Help
    You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow Malwarebytes to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
    Windows asking for permission to run the Malwarebytes installer - Help Guide

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.

    When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process. To install Malwarebytes on your PC, click on the “Agree and Install” button.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen - Help Guide
    Malwarebytes is installed on your PC - Help Guide

  4. Click on “Scan Now”.

    Once installed, Malwarebytes will automatically start and update the antivirus database. To perform a system scan, click on the “Scan Now” button.
    Start a scan with Malwarebytes

  5. Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.

    Malwarebytes will now start scanning your computer for adware and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
    Malwarebytes scanning PC for malware - Help Guide

  6. Click on “Quarantine Selected”.

    When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine Selected” button.
    Click on the Quarantine Selected button to remove Windows Cleaner Update Required malware

  7. Reboot your computer.

    Malwarebytes will now remove all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.
    Malwarebytes requesting to restart computer to complete malware removal process - Help Guide
    When the malware removal process is complete, you can close Malwarebytes and continue with the rest of the instructions.


STEP 3: Use HitmanPro to scan for malware and unwanted programs

HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner that takes a unique cloud-based approach to malware scanning. HitmanPro scans the behavior of active files and also files in locations where malware normally resides for suspicious activity. If it finds a suspicious file that’s not already known, HitmanPro sends it to the their clouds to be scanned by two of the best antivirus engines today, which are Bitdefender and Kaspersky.

Although HitmanPro is shareware and costs $24.95 for 1 year on 1 PC, there is actually no limit in scanning. The limitation only kicks in when there is a need to remove or quarantine detected malware by HitmanPro on your system and by then, you can activate the one time 30 day trial to enable the clean up.

  1. Download HitmanPro.

    You can download HitmanPro by clicking the link below.

    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
  2. Install HitmanPro.

    When HitmanPro has finished downloading, double-click on “hitmanpro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “hitmanpro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows) to install this program on your PC. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
    Double-click on the HitmanPro setup file - Help Guide
    You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow HitmanPro to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.Windows asking for permissions to run the HitmanPro setup file - Help Guide

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts.

    When HitmanPro starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below. Click on the “Next” button to perform a system scan.
    Click Next to install HitmanProHitmanPro final installer screen

  4. Wait for the HitmanPro scan to complete.

    HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malicious programs. This process will take a few minutes.
    HitmanPro while scanning for malware - Help Guide

  5. Click on “Next”.

    When HitmanPro has finished the scan, it will display a list of all the malware that the program has found. Click on the “Next” button to remove the malicious programs.
    HitmanPro scan summary. Click Next to remove Windows Cleaner Update Required virus

  6. Click on “Activate free license”.

    Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your PC.
    Activate the free HitmanPro license keyEnter your email to complete the HitmanPro activation - Help Guide
    When the process is complete, you can close HitmanPro and continue with the rest of the instructions.


STEP 4: Double-check for malicious programs with AdwCleaner

AdwCleaner is a free popular on-demand scanner which can detect and remove malware that even the most well-known anti-virus and anti-malware applications fail to find.
While the Malwarebytes and HitmanPro scans are more than enough, we’re recommending AdwCleaner to users who still have malware related issues or just want make sure their PC is 100% clean.

  1. Download AdwCleaner.

    You can download AdwCleaner by clicking the link below.

    ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new web page from where you can download AdwCleaner)
  2. Double-click on the setup file.

    Double-click on the file named “adwcleaner_7.x.x.exe” to start AdwCleaner. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
    AdwCleaner Setup File
    You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
    AdwCleaner and Windows User Account Control Pop-up

  3. Click on “Scan Now”.

    When AdwCleaner will start, click on the “Scan Now” button to perform a system scan.
    AdwCleaner Scan Now button

  4. Wait for the AdwCleaner scan to complete.

    AdwCleaner will now scan your PC for malicious files. This process can take a few minutes.
    AdwCleaner Scanning For Windows Cleaner Update Required Malware

  5. Click on “Clean & Repair”.

    When AdwCleaner has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found. Click on the “Clean & Repair” button to remove the malicious files from your device.
    AdwCleaner Clean & Restart

  6. Click on “Clean & Restart Now”

    When the malware removal process is complete, AdwCleaner may need to restart your device. Click on the “Clean & Restart Now” button to finish the removal process.
    AdwCleaner Clean & Restart Now


(OPTIONAL) STEP 5: Reset the browser settings to their original defaults

If your PC is being redirected to the Windows Cleaner Update Required site, we will need to reset the web browser settings to their original defaults. This step should be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.

Google Chrome


Google Chrome has an option that will reset itself to its default settings. Resetting your browser settings will reset the unwanted changes caused by installing other programs. However, your saved bookmarks and passwords will not be cleared or changed.

  1. Open Chrome’s “Settings” menu.

    Click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled “Settings“.
    Google Chrome Settings Menu

  2. At the bottom, click “Advanced”.

    Chrome’s “Settings” should now be displayed in a new tab or window, depending on your configuration. Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Advanced” link (as seen in the below example).
    Click on the Advanced button - Google Chrome Help

  3. Under the section “Reset,” click “Reset”.

    Chrome’s advanced settings should now be displayed. Scroll down until the “Reset and clean up” section is visible, as shown in the example below. Next, click on the “Reset settings to their original defaults” button.
    Google Chrome Reset button

  4. Confirm by clicking “Reset”.

    A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the “Reset Settings” button.
    Click on Reset to restore Google Chrome to its default settings

Mozilla Firefox


If you’re having problems with Firefox, resetting it can help. The reset feature fixes many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information like bookmarks, passwords, web form auto-fill information, browsing history and open tabs.

  1. Go to the “Help” menu.

    Click on Firefox’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled “Help“.
    Click on the Firefox Menu button then select Help - Firefox Guide

  2. Click “Troubleshooting Information”.

    From the Help menu, click on “Troubleshooting Information“.

    If you’re unable to access the “Help” menu, type about:support in your address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting information page.

    Troubleshooting Information option in Firefox

  3. Click on “Refresh Firefox”

    Click the “Refresh Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
    Refresh Firefox button

  4. Confirm.

    To continue, click on the “Refresh Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
    Confirm Reset Firefox

  5. Click on “Finish”.

    Firefox will close itself and will revert to its default settings. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click on the “Finish“.

Your old Firefox profile will be placed on your desktop in a folder named “Old Firefox Data“. If the reset didn’t fix your problem you can restore some of the information not saved by copying files to the new profile that was created. If you don’t need this folder any longer, you should delete it as it contains sensitive information.

Internet Explorer


You can reset Internet Explorer settings to return them to the state they were in when Internet Explorer was first installed on your PC.

  1. Go to “Internet Options”.

    Open Internet Explorer, click on the gear icon in the upper right part of your browser, then select “Internet Options“.
    Click on the Gear Icon then select Internet Options - Help Guide

  2. Select the “Advanced” tab, then click “Reset”

    In the “Internet Options” dialog box, select the “Advanced” tab, then click on the “Reset” button.
    In the Advanced tab click on the Reset button - Help Guide

  3. Click on “Reset”.

    In the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” section, select the “Delete personal settings” check box, then click on “Reset” button.
    Click on the Reset button to revert IE to its default settings - Help Guide

  4. Click on “Close”.

    When Internet Explorer has completed its task, click on the “Close” button in the confirmation dialogue box.
    You will now  need to close your browser, and then you can open Internet Explorer again.
    Click on the Close button - Help Guide

Microsoft Edge


Starting with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709), users can repair or reset the Microsoft Edge settings.

  1. Go to “Apps and Features”.

    Right-click on the Start Windows Start button button in the lower-left corner and select “Apps and Features“. This will take you directly to your list of installed programs.
    Go to Apps and Features in Windows 10

  2. Find Microsoft Edge, then select “Advanced Options”.

    The “App and Features” screen will be displayed with a list of all the programs installed on your PC. Scroll through the list until you find “Microsoft Edge”, click it, and then click on the “Advanced options” link.
    Microsoft Edge Advanced Options

  3. Click on “Reset”.

    The “Advanced Options” screen will now be displayed. Scroll down until the “Reset” section is visible, as shown in the example below. Next, click on the “Reset” button.
    Microsoft Edge Reset Settings


Your PC should now be malware free, and there should not be any Windows Cleaner Update Required pop-ups. If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove Windows Cleaner Update Required adware from your device, please do one of the following:

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I am the creator and owner of the MalwareTips Community. I've started this site in 2010 to help people solve their computer problems.
I live in Bucharest, where I run my own local computer repair shop. 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.