How to Remove PicaPica (Chrome)

An unwanted browser extension is PicaPica. Some users mistook it for a computer virus due to its aggressive style of computer invasion. For the record, PicaPica is a member of the PUP family of potentially unwanted programs. This dubious software is mainly packed with freeware or shareware that dubious file sites are promoting as a free downloadable app. It uses a variety of deceptive installation methods. There won’t be the tiniest indication that PicaPica has infiltrated the system when the web user installs the free program. Web users therefore interpret sudden changes to the site that indicate the existence of an unwanted search engine as a virus attack.

Is PicaPica extension a virus?

As was already said, PicaPica is not classified as a virus by computer security professionals. It is not infectious and does not spread on its own. Second, this unwanted program has no intention of corrupting files or harming data, software, or the operating system. It also does not infect files. PicaPica only targets internet browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

Like other adware like ThymusVulgaris and SylvilagusFloridanus, PicaPica’s only goal is to change the settings of the browser program in order to replace the homepage and search engine. Additionally, nitpicky code is introduced to the internet application to turn on the constant display of pop-up ads and browser redirects. PicaPica was categorized as Adware or ad-supported software because it actively uses an advertising income model.

Screenshot of PicaPica

Privacy and security risks

It’s important to note that any ads that appear in the browser when PicaPica is active come from a hidden ad network. Nevertheless, viewing any kind of advertising is harmful. Additionally, it could reroute the browser’s pages to harmful websites, which are typically the origin of malware or adware infections.

Adware and PUP’s are infamous for gathering a variety of sensitive data from browsers. To record data like visited pages, favorite websites, search terms, and so forth, it can, for instance, keep track of the web user’s surfing habits. In addition, the PicaPica spy module could collect data on web users, including their usernames, passwords, and whereabouts.

In conclusion, PicaPica is a dubious browser add-on that poses a risk to users’ online security and privacy. Therefore, it is advised to remove the threat from the browser right away to reduce the risks. Please consult the next section for further instructions on how to remove PicaPica.

For Windows PC Users

PicaPica Removal Procedure for PC

Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of the potentially unwanted program (PUP) from compromised computer. In order to totally eliminate the threat, it is vital to follow the process in exact manner.

Step 1 : Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner

Combo Cleaner is a trusted PC utility application with complete antivirus and optimization features. It is useful in dealing with adware, malware, and PUP's. Moreover, it can get rid of malicious browser extension like PicaPica that is responsible for displaying unknown homepage and pop-ups.

To quickly remove PicaPica without going through the complicated process, please click on the button to download the removal tool. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.

Proceed with the rest of the removal steps if you are comfortable manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat. The following guides are also vital in deleting malicious items from the browser configuration.

Step 2 : Get Rid of PicaPica Extension from Google Chrome

The above procedures should have totally eliminated the browser hijacker. However, if you still find that there are still remnants of PicaPica on internet application, please proceed to manual removal of associated objects as outlined below.

1. Open Google Chrome browser.

2. Type or copy and paste the following in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard.

chrome://extensions/

Screenshot of Chrome Extensions in PC

3. Find PicaPica or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

If you cannot remove PicaPica because "Your Browser is Managed by your Organization", do the following:

1. Activate the Developer mode on Extensions window by using the slider.

2. Then, copy or take note of the malicious extension's ID code.

Screenshot of Chrome Developer Mode in PC

3. Open Windows or File Explorer and locate the following folder:

C:\Users\(Your Username)\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions

4. After opening the Folder, find the item that matches the Extension ID and delete it.

5. Please restart your Google Chrome browser.

Aside from this straightforward workaround, we have a separate comprehensive guide to fix the Managed by Organization issue. You can also execute that guide if the steps on this page are not enough to delete PicaPica.

Step 3 : Scan the computer with Sophos Home Antivirus

To remove PicaPica automatically, scanning the computer with this powerful antivirus tool is recommended. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware, it is also effective in discovering browser hijacker like PicaPica that slows down online browsing activities.

1. Please click on the link below to download the program.

2. After downloading, locate the file SophosInstall.exe in the Downloads folder.

3. Install by double-clicking on the file.

4. If it prompts "Do you want to allow this app to make changes on your device?" please click Yes.

5. Next, it will display the Terms and Conditions page. Click the Install button to begin.

Screenshot of Terms by Sophos Home

6. Run the installation with the default settings. Please note that an internet connection is required in order to download important updates.

7. After finishing the installation, you must login to the dashboard. If you already have a Sophos account, please login. Otherwise, please enter your details and click on the Create Account button.

8. Once you are in the Sophos Home console, click the Scan button to start checking the computer for PicaPica components.

Screenshot of Sophos Home

9. Scanning may take a while; please wait for this process to finish.

10. After scanning the computer, Sophos Home will start cleaning or deleting files infected with PicaPica.

11. You may now close Sophos Home. The computer is now free from PicaPica, as well as associated malware and viruses.

The above procedures should have totally eliminated PicaPica browser hijacker. However, if you find that there are still remnants of the virus, please proceed to the next steps below.

Step 4 : Scan with AdwCleaner and Reset Chrome Policies

In addition to the procedure, we suggest scanning the computer with AdwCleaner tool. Possibly, there are some traces of PicaPica on the browser that was not deleted during the preceding steps. This tool will scan the computer and check for presence of malicious applications.

1. Follow the link below to download the tool called AdwCleaner.

2. When the download has completed, please close all running programs on the computer, especially browsers affected by PicaPica.

3. Browse the location of the downloaded file and double-click on adwcleaner.exe to start running the tool.

4. If Windows displays a prompt saying, "Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?" click Yes to proceed.

5. On the AdwCleaner dashboard, click on Settings.

Screenshot of AdwCleaner Policies

6. While in the Settings window, please turn On the Reset Chrome Policies and Reset IE Policies.

Screenshot of AdwCleaner Scanner

7. Go back to the Dashboard and click the Scan Now button.

8. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated with PicaPica.

9. Clean or Remove all suspicious and harmful items identified after the thorough scan.

10. After the cleanup procedure, rebooting the computer is required to finalize the removal of detected threats.

For Mac OS Users

Procedures to Remove PicaPica from Mac

This section contains comprehensive guide for Mac users. It will help you remove malicious browser hijacker from Google Chrome browser. Procedures on this page are written in a manner that can be easily understand and execute by Mac users.

Step 1 : Scan the Mac Computer with Combo Cleaner

Combo Cleaner is a trusted Mac utility application with complete antivirus and optimization features. It is useful in dealing with adware, malware, and PUP's. Moreover, it can get rid of malicious browser hijacker like PicaPica.

1. Download the tool from the following page:

2. Double-click the downloaded file and proceed with the installation.

3. In the opened window, drag and drop the Combo Cleaner icon onto your Applications folder icon.

4. Open your Launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon.

5. Wait until antivirus downloads its latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing PicaPica.

Screenshot of Combo Cleaner Dashboard

Mac users may need to upgrade to the premium version in order to fully utilize the functions of anti-virus and privacy scanners.

If you are comfortable eliminating the threat and any harmful things associated with it manually, please proceed with the following removal instructions.

Step 2 : Delete Suspicious Google Chrome Extension on Mac

Most adware and unwanted programs use a program called a browser extension to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend checking and removing the extension that is closely related to PicaPica.

1. Open the Google Chrome browser.

2. Type or copy and paste the following in the address bar. Next, press Enter on the keyboard:

chrome://extensions

Screenshot of Chrome Address Bar

3. Find PicaPica or a relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

If unable to remove PicaPica because browser is "Managed by your Organization", follow these steps:

1. Activate the Developer mode on Extensions window by using the slider.

2. Then, copy or take note of the browser Extension ID.

Screenshot of Malware Extension

3. Open Finder on your Mac and on top menu, click Go > Go to Folder and go the following directory:

~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Extensions

Screenshot of Finder

4. Once you opened the directory, find the folder that matches the Extension ID and delete it.

5. Please restart your Google Chrome browser.

Aside from this straightforward workaround, we have a separate comprehensive guide to fix the Managed by Organization issue. You can also execute that guide if the steps on this page are not enough to delete PicaPica.

Step 3 : Delete PicaPica from Mac Applications

1. Go to Finder.

2. On the menu, click Go and then, select Applications from the list to open Applications Folder.

3. Find PicaPica or any unwanted program.

Screenshot of Deleting App

4. Drag PicaPica to Trash Bin to delete the application from Mac.

5. Next, go to the Dock, Right-click on Trash icon and click on Empty Trash.

Step 4 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed PicaPica

1. Go to your Finder. From the menu bar please select Go > Go to Folder....

2. Input the following string and press Enter on the keyboard

~/Library/LaunchAgents

Screenshot of Go To Folder

3. You will now see a hidden folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:

  • com.PicaPica.plist
  • unknown.service.plist
  • unknown.system.plist
  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.update.plist

4. The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. Attackers may use the following file names:

- PicaPica, (random characters).plist

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing PicaPica to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the most latest ones may also help you identify recently installed unfamiliar files.

5. Please click on Show items as...

Screenshot of LaunhAgents Folder

6. To arrange the items in chronological order, click the Date Modified.

7. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.

Important: Take note of all the suspicious files as you may also delete the same item on another folder as we go on.

8. Please restart the Mac computer.

9. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and Paste the following string to easily locate the folder.

~/Library/Application Support

Screenshot of Go to Folder

10. Select any suspicious items that you have noted previously. Drag them to the Trash.

11. Repeat the process on the following non-hidden folders (without ~):

/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons
/Library/Application Support

12. Lastly, go to your Finder > Go and open the Applications folder. Look for subfolders with the following names and drag them to Trash.

- PicaPica

Optional : For locked files that cannot be removed, do the following:

1. Go to Launchpad > Other folder, open the Activity Monitor.

2. Select the process you want to quit.

3. In the upper part of the window, click the Stop button.

Screenshot of Force Quit

4. Click on Force Quit button.

5. You may now delete or remove the locked file that belongs to PicaPica homepage hijacker.

Step 5 : Double-check with Malwarebytes for Mac

1. Download Malwarebytes for Mac from the link below.

2. Locate the downloaded Malwarebytes-Mac.pkg and install it with the default settings.

3. Run Malwarebytes for Mac. It will check for updates and download the most recent version if one is available. This is necessary for finding recent malware threats, including PicaPica.

4. Once you are on the Malwarebytes dashboard, please click on the Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.

Screenshot of Malwarebytes Dashboard

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes for Mac will display a list of identified threats, and PicaPica is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click the Remove button to clean the computer.

Never forget: Remove PicaPica from Homepage and Search of Chrome

1. In the address bar of Google Chrome, type or copy and paste the following. Then, press Enter on the keyboard:

chrome://settings

Screenshot of Chrome Settings

2. Go to the left sidebar and click On Startup.

3. Select Open a specific page or set of pages in the right panel.

Screenshot of Chrome Startup

4. Locate the unwanted Homepage URL, click on More Actions icon (3-dot), and select Edit.

5. Enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing PicaPica. Click Save.

6. To set the default search engine, go to the sidebar and, this time, select Search Engine.

Screenshot of Default Search

7. Click on the Manage search engines and site search button in the right panel.

8. Find the unwanted Search Engine in the list. Click on More Actions icon (3-dot) and click Delete.

9. Go back to the left-side bar and click Search Engine.

Screenshot of Search Engine Address Bar

10. In the right panel, choose a valid entry from the Search engine used in the address bar.

You can now restart the Google Chrome browser to see if the unwanted homepage and search engine related to PicaPica are gone.

PicaPica and "Managed by your organization" on Google Chrome

If PicaPica has set a policy and it was able to restrict making modifications on Google Chrome, we recommend to execute additional procedures to remove "Browser is managed by organization" policy.

 

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