PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore is a detection for malicious programs that operate on the computer with the objective of controlling the internet browser application as well as the system. This detection by Microsoft Defender Antivirus covers stand-alone programs and browser extensions that ordinarily get installed on the computer without the permission of users.

PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore often logs in to the computer by accident. Usually, harmful shareware or freeware contains it embedded. This virus can carry out a variety of tasks that could irritate the user once it is operational on the computer. Most of the time, when it detects that the user is browsing the internet, it shows pop-up advertisements and redirects.

Illustration of PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore

How does it infect the computer?

An application with the name PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore may be downloaded by computer users from dubious sources such as infected websites, torrent portals, and pirated websites. Usually, it is given by software piracy sites under the pretext of shareware or freeware. Additionally, this threat has the ability to compromise a computer by masquerading as a legitimate software update for common applications like Adobe PDF Reader, Google Chrome, and others.

When PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore is run on a computer, it downloads an additional program or a browser extension that modifies the internet application needlessly. Both the default search engine settings and the homepage can be replaced by it. Additionally, the internet browser program can be integrated by PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore to collect important information like search phrases, location, and login.

How does this malware operate?

Without the consent of other users, PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore can enter the computer. It is capable of a variety of malevolent deeds while it is in existence, such as the following:

  • Install unwanted search tools, browser hijackers, and adware.
  • From the internet browser program, collect private data.
  • Make changes to the internet software’s homepage and search configuration.
  • Show a variety of obnoxious advertisements, such as pop-ups and redirections.


When a computer is infected with PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore, there are several noticeable symptoms that users may observe. Initially, there might be a sudden influx of intrusive and unwanted advertisements appearing on the screen, often in the form of pop-ups or banners, disrupting the user’s browsing experience. Next, web users may notice that their web browser settings have been altered without their consent, such as the homepage or default search engine being changed to promote certain ads or websites. Additionally, there could be a decrease in system performance or responsiveness due to the adware consuming system resources to deliver advertisements.

Computer users may encounter redirections to unfamiliar websites or pages when browsing the internet, as the adware attempts to generate revenue through ad clicks or affiliate marketing schemes. It’s important to note that while PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore may not pose a direct threat to the security of the computer system, it can still be highly annoying and intrusive, impacting the user’s online experience.

PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore is also detected as:
Avast Win32:Malware-gen
ESET-NOD32 A Variant Of Win32/Adware.VeryFast.G
Fortinet Adware/PCAppStore
Kaspersky Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.Win32.PCAppStore
Malwarebytes PUP.Optional.VeryFast
Sophos Generic Reputation PUA
Tencent Win32.AdWare.Pcappstore.Wdkl
TrendMicro PUA.Win32.PCAppStore.C
VBA32 Adware.PCAppStore

For more help

The family of unwanted programs includes PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore. Check out the PUA list of malware to see additional threats that are part of this group.

How to remove PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore?

To totally remove PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore from the computer and get rid of relevant viruses and trojans, please execute the procedures as stated on this page. Make sure that you have completely scanned the system with the suggested malware removal tools and virus scanners.

Quick Fix - Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner for Windows

Combo Cleaner is a trusted PC security and optimization tool equipped with a powerful virus and malware detection engine. This program can get rid of hazardous viruses like PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore through this procedure.

1. Download the application from the following page:

2. Save the file to your preferred location.

3. Double-click the downloaded file CCSetup.exe and install with the default settings.

CC for Windows Installation

4. At the end of the setup process, click Finish to run Combo Cleaner.

5. The tool will update the signature file, please wait for this process to complete.

6. To begin checking for threats like PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore, click on the Start Scan button. Wait for this scan to finish.

CC for Windows Start Scan

7. At the end of the scan process, click on Remove all threats to delete the PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore virus, including all malicious objects from the computer.

Free features of Combo Cleaner for Windows include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus, privacy scanner, and to delete identified threats, users have to upgrade to a premium version.

Please continue with the succeeding removal procedures if you are comfortable manually getting rid of the virus and malicious items linked to it.

Step 1 : Start Windows in Safe Mode With Networking

The method of running Windows in Safe Mode before running a virus scan is effective in getting rid of PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore. This process can prevent most viruses and malware from loading, making it easier to detect and remove them.

1. On the Windows Search bar, please type msconfig.

Screenshot of MSConfig Command

2. Select and open System Configutation on the list of found results.

3. Once you are in the System Configuration window, go to the Boot tab.

Screenshot of SafeBoot

4. Under the Boot Options area, please check Safe Boot and select Network. This will allow Windows to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

5. Lastly, click on Apply and OK to save the changes.

6. Please restart Windows.

Do not forget to restore the normal boot process of Windows after running the virus scan. Simply repeat the method above, and this time, uncheck the Safe Boot option to run Windows normally.

Step 2 : Run a virus scanner

To remove PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore, we suggest that you scan the infected computer with this powerful virus removal tool. It can detect and get rid of Trojans, viruses, malware, and adware from the infected computer. To fully protect the computer against PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore or similar attacks, you can activate Sophos to have real-time scanning and complete defense against all forms of threats.

1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.

2. Once the download completes, browse the location of the file. Double-click to run the program and begin the install process.

3. On the first window of installation wizard, click Next to continue. Then, it will display the program’s License Agreement. You need to Accept the terms in order to proceed. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes to proceed.

Screenshot of Sophos EULA Page

4. On succeeding windows, click Next or Continue to carry on with the installation. After completing the installation process, Launch Sophos Virus Removal Tool.

5. An internet connection is required when running this scanner in order to download important updates. Make sure that everything is up-to-date to effectively remove viruses like PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore.

6. Click the Start Scanning button to  carry out the Scan. This will check the system for the presence of malicious objects, malware, and viruses. The tool reveals items that were found linked to PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.

Screenshot of Sophos Virus Scan

After executing the above instructions, PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore should have been completely removed from the computer. If there are still signs of infection or the computer is displaying unusual behaviors, please continue with the remaining procedures.

Another alternative for Windows 10/11 users is to scan the computer with Microsoft Defender Offline. This will run a virus scan in the recovery environment.

Step 3 : Double Check with Windows Security Apps

Microsoft Windows has a built-in security application that you can use to double-check if your computer is still infected with PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore. For Windows 10/11 users, please run Windows Security.

Windows 10 / 11 Instructions:

Windows Security is a free tool that was built to help you remove PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore, viruses, and other malicious items from Windows 10/11 systems. Follow these procedures to scan your computer with the tool:

1. Tap or click the Search charm, search for Windows Security, and then open the application.

Image of Windows Security Search

2. On the Home tab, click Virus and threat protection from the sidebar.

3. On the main window, click on Scan Options. Then, click on Full Scan button.

Image of Scan Options

4. Lastly, click on the Scan now button to start scanning for the presence of PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore. The process may take a while to complete.

5. After the scan, Delete/Quarantine identified threats, whether they were relevant to PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore or not. You may now restart Windows to complete the virus removal process.

For older versions of Windows, you can scan the computer for free with the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT 64-Bit). It is a stand-alone virus scanner tool that targets prevalent malware groups.

How to protect the computer from PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore?

The initial defense that comes to mind for any computer user is to install an anti-virus or anti-malware program. This move is sensible and probably the most practical way to protect the computer against a PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore attack. Hence, keep in mind that having security software does not guarantee full protection. The majority of the prevention still lies in being cautious of users, and therefore, we are providing the following information as guidelines to protect the computer from virus infection.

Avoid Malicious Websites

There are enormous numbers of websites that were made for the primary purpose of spreading PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore. Normally, these sites are involved in integrating malicious pop-up and browser hijacker, that will eventually cause further virus infections. Avoid such websites.

Ignore and Delete Phishing Emails

The mass-mailing of computer viruses gives the attackers the luxury of spreading their malicious code in just one send-off. This will arrive in the inbox as an email that appears to be from a legitimate organization. So, if you receive an unexpected email with a link or an attached file, better delete it immediately.

Do Not Click a Suspicious Link

Links from social media, forums, and blog sites are sometimes being utilized by attackers to drive web users to a malicious page that contains malicious code. Therefore, do not just click on any link, especially if it looks suspicious. Accidental access to the destination site may lead to a PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore infection.

Be Careful When Downloading Files

Cracked software, serial key generators, and several freeware are seen as another method that spreads the PUAAdvertising:Win32/PCAppStore virus. Avoid acquiring these types of applications, and if there is a need to download freeware or shareware, be sure to obtain it from the official website or trusted providers.

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