When Microsoft Defender Antivirus pops up a warning about the detection of PUA:Win32/Gamehack, it means that the computer is infected with a potentially unwanted program (PUP). Normally, this is a detection of suspicious software that may be dangerous to the computer. However, the security application may also send an alert about the PUA:Win32/Gamehack infection if it identifies a legit program that has similar characteristics.

Image of PUA:Win32/Gamehack


PUA:Win32/Gamehack normally arrives on the computer uninvited. It is usually embedded in malicious freeware or shareware. Once active on the computer, this virus can perform different actions that could annoy the user. Most of the time, it displays pop-up ads and redirects when it senses that the web user is browsing the internet.

How does it infect the computer?

PUA:Win32/Gamehack sneaks onto the computer via misleading techniques. Most of the infection cases involve the user’s initiative, and installation is voluntary after they were tricked by pop-up ads. In order to deceive users, malicious ads normally pop up on the computer masquerading as system alerts that detect numerous issues. Then, it advises downloading the tool, and this gives way for the rogue application to penetrate the computer. In other instances, the pop-up is purporting to be an online scanner. As usual, it identifies a non-existent threat to persuade users to download counterfeit software, leading to the infection of PUA:Win32/Gamehack.

Files identified as PUA:Win32/Gamehack are also embedded in different freeware, shareware, cracked programs, and serial key generators. Executing any of these virus carriers commonly yields to PUA:Win32/Gamehack contamination. Therefore, staying away from these malicious sites and programs is one effective way to prevent rogue tools.

How does this malware operate?

Once the PUA:Win32/Gamehack program is installed on the computer, it keeps producing alerts and warnings showing various issues and troubles detected during the scan. The recommendation to fix it with full urgency persistently appears on the screen. Obviously, PUA:Win32/Gamehack is influencing computer users to obtain the full version, which requires payment.

As you can see, the motive of any program that is detected as PUA:Win32/Gamehack is solely to swindle money from victims. Most of the identified troubles on the computer are non-existent, and these scare tactics are meant to compel computer users into purchasing the rogue application.


Upon the execution of the threat, users may immediately get an alert about the hazards of running the file. Once operational on the computer, PUA:Win32/Gamehack causes instability in system performance that may lead to software crashes.

PUA:Win32/Gamehack is also detected as:
Avast FileRepMalware (PUP)
Comodo TrojWare.Win32.GameHack.DC@5qhv2d
DrWeb Trojan.Siggen2.29926
ESET-NOD32 A Variant Of Win32/GameHack.F PUA
Fortinet Riskware/GameHack.F
Kaspersky UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic
Malwarebytes Riskware.GameHack
McAfee Artemis!442933A8FE4B
Panda Trj/CI.A
Sophos Cheathappens (PUA)
TrendMicro PUA.Win32.CheatHappn.A

For more help

PUA:Win32/Gamehack is included in the family of unwanted programs. To see more threats that belong to this group, you may visit the PUA list of malware.

How to remove PUA:Win32/Gamehack?

To totally remove PUA:Win32/Gamehack 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 PUA:Win32/Gamehack 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 PUA:Win32/Gamehack, 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 PUA:Win32/Gamehack 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

Windows 10 / 11 Guide

1. Click on the Windows logo and select the Power icon when options pop up.
2. Select Restart from the options while pressing the Shift key on the keyboard.
3. Choose an Option window will appear. Select the Troubleshoot button.
4. In next window, please choose the Advanced Option.
5. On the Advanced Option window, click on Startup Settings, and then, click the Restart button to reboot the computer.
6. When Windows boots in Startup Settings, press the function key F5 or number 5 on the keyboard.

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

Windows 8 Guide

1. Click the Windows Start icon in the lower left section of the screen.
2. Open the Search window and type Advanced in the field. It will open General PC Settings.
3. Click on Advanced Startup, and then click on the Restart Now button.
4. Once the computer starts in the Advanced Startup option menu, select Troubleshoot.
5. Next, click on Advanced Options to reveal the next section.
6. Click Startup settings, and then click the Restart button to boot the PC in Startup Settings.
7. Use function key F5 or number key 5 to Enable Safe Mode with Networking.

Step 2 : Run a virus scanner

To remove PUA:Win32/Gamehack, 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 PUA:Win32/Gamehack 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 PUA:Win32/Gamehack.

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 PUA:Win32/Gamehack and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.

Screenshot of Sophos Virus Scan

After executing the above instructions, PUA:Win32/Gamehack 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.

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 PUA:Win32/Gamehack. For Windows 8 and 10/11 users, please run Windows Security. Users of Windows Vista and older versions can utilize Microsoft Security Essentials to remove the PUA:Win32/Gamehack virus.

Windows 8 / 10 / 11 Instructions:

Windows Security is a free tool that was built to help you remove PUA:Win32/Gamehack, viruses, and other malicious items from Windows 8 or 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 PUA:Win32/Gamehack. The process may take a while to complete.

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

How to protect the computer from PUA:Win32/Gamehack?

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 PUA:Win32/Gamehack 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 PUA:Win32/Gamehack. 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 PUA:Win32/Gamehack infection.

Be Careful When Downloading Files

Cracked software, serial key generators, and several freeware are seen as another method that spreads the PUA:Win32/Gamehack 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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