Severity scale:  
  (9/100)

Remove DriverMax (Removal Instructions) - updated May 2020

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: System tools

DriverMax is an unreliable PC's optimization tool that intrusively pushes its paid full version

DriverMax malware

DriverMax introduces itself as a PC optimization utility capable of boosting PC's performance by regularly updating drivers. The tool is owned and managed by Innovative Solutions Inc., the company famous for VPN PRO, Advanced Uninstaller PRO, Orange Defender, and NeoSetup programs. However, the DriverMax has been included in the database of Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) and rogue system tools[1]since 2014 due to the stealthy distribution technique, the rogue system scans, and the complicated removal process.

Although the developers of this program claim that it is able to increase PC's performance, they do not explicitly explain that nothing will be done as long as the user won't pay for the license key. After a successful installation via freeware, the DriverMax virus starts launching its scanners and returns exaggerated results to trick people that the system's drivers are out-of-date. Regardless of the subscription price of this updater, do not pay for a tool that, instead of boosting performance, can compromise your device and charge your credit card automatically until you cancel the subscription. 

Name DriverMax
Classification Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP), rogue system tool
Distribution This application has an official website and can be downloaded directly if users will. However, most of the downloads are implemented with the help of freeware/shareware, or adware-triggered redirects to phishing websites
Danger Medium danger level. The application is not malicious in its nature, though many users complain that it downloaded outdated or incompatible drivers, which caused the system's problems. Besides, it may require for payment regularly tricking people to give away their money for a useless app
Symptoms Upon infiltration, the DriverMax creates a scheduled task to scan the system. The scanner is launched automatically and delivers exaggerated search results. Users may notice the system's slowdowns, high CPU consumption, or error messages at the same time
Related process Drivermax.exe
Location C:\Program Files\Innovative Solutions
Removal People complain about the absence of the DriverMax uninstaller, which is why the program cannot be removed successfully. In this case, it is advisable to eliminate this rogue software with a professional anti-malware program
System damage Rogue PC optimizers can access Windows registries, corrupt files, replace drivers with the incompatible versions, and initiate other activities that trigger crashes or BSODs. To prevent this, scan your PC with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego tool after DriverMax elimination

The DriverMax utility has been launched in 2014. Since 2016 it has been actively distributed via freeware and, therefore, frequently scolded by PC users. According to dieviren.de researchers, the program has been suspended for some time and reappeared in 2018.  

If it manages to infiltrate the system as a companion of another free application, it grants the user's permission to start its first system scan. If it gets permission, it initiates this procedure and then provides a list of outdated programs. Typically, it reports multiple system errors and offers to purchase its license to fix problems and update drivers. 

Before you enter credit card details and pay for DriverMax license, you should know that its alerts may be exaggerated and displayed only for tricking you. If, after all, you decide to pay for a licensed version, prepared for the redirection to the specific website that will ask you to create an account, and don't forget to cancel the subscription before it expires. Otherwise, the fee for subscription's continuation will be automatically charged. We recommend ignoring such propositions because they may be a cause of identity theft and similar problems.

By the way, if you enter your name, email, address, and other sensitive information, the DriverMax virus may start constantly sending you annoying emails offering you to download other suspicious programs. We highly recommend you ignoring emails sent by DriverMax and uninstalling this questionable application from the system.

The question of how to remove DriverMax is predominant when trying to research this tool on Chrome. People share their experience on Reddit and other forums when they were not able to find an uninstaller of this tool and how it uses tricksters under permissions settings to evade uninstall. 

People are not allowed to remove DriverMax since its Properties are set to Read-Only option and the user is not given the admin rights to initiate changes. Although the user may slide a toggle to off next to Read-only, the settings are automatically restored once the Properties window is closed. 

DriverMax updater
DriverMax is a rogue driver update software that displays exaggerated scan results to trick users into purchasing the license

The easiest way to get rid of DriverMax driver updater is to initiate a thorough system scan with Malwarebytes, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, or another AV engine. In case the removal process triggers a pop-up saying that the program is currently in use and cannot be deleted, disable drivermax.exe file via the Task Manager. 

Note that the drivermax.exe file[2] itself is considered to be 54% dangerous due to the ability to connect to the Internet, record keystrokes, mouse inputs, and monitor the performance of apps. Thus, running it on the system is not recommended under any circumstances. 

Those users who opt for manual DriverMax removal may also need to remove the C:\Program Files\Innovative Solutions folder or eliminate it completely. Finally, since this program tends to infiltrate PC bundled with freeware, there is a high-risk of adware or hijacker coming alongside. 

Driver update software is not recommended using, especially when it comes with freeware

This particular software utility can be found on its official site where it is promoted as a “handy Windows Update utility which makes keeping your system drivers up-to-date an extremely easy task”. It is compatible with Windows OS (Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP). Users can download a free trial version or purchase a full license for a month, half of the year, or yearly subscription. 

However, this PUP is more frequently downloaded via freeware or fake software update popups. You may expect to see this suspicious program on your system after installation of Download Managers, Video Converters, fake java/flash/player updates, and similar adware-type programs.

Do not trust notifications suggesting you free updates for Java or Flash Player[3] under any circumstances as these are condemned for malware distribution. Bundling, as such, is a legitimate way of disseminating the package of programs via one installer. The idea of this method is potentially dangerous has become prominent when users started complaining about ad-supported browser extension and browser hijackers being the main freeware attachments. 

Therefore, you should try to pay more attention to the installation process of the freeware. Usually, the installation process provides a setup window manifesting what additional components are being distributed in one pack. However, if you choose the Quick/Basic/Recommended installation option, setup windows with pre-selected additional programs are skipped. 

DriverMax program
DriverMax virus is typically distributed via freeware and start initiating scans without user's permission

That's why security experts from NoVirus.uk[4] advise people to choose the Advanced/Custom installation option, which allows users to trace the whole installation process and decline such propositions. If you have already installed this rogue driver update tool, ignore the email messages that it generates, do not pay attention to the alerting scan results, and other activities. Instead, implement its full removal. 

Uninstall DriverMax to prevent damage to the system's drivers

DriverMax is not a malicious program itself. However, it may pose harm to your computer's performance. It is not recommended to fix drivers just for the idea since a “wrong fix” may cause incompatibility errors, BSOD errors, and software crash.

If you decided to remove DriverMax, follow the guide submitted below and remove this application.

For manual removal of DriverMax, we recommend you using these steps:

  • Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  • Here, look for DriverMax or Innovative Solutions entry. 
  • Uninstall it and other questionable programs.
  • Click OK to save these changes.

If you are Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower-left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program.

Nevertheless, we strongly recommend users remove DriverMax virus automatically using a tool like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. That's because this PUP may be distributed alongside adware or another malware-type program may be promoted via this driver updater. A full system scan is the only way to ensure the full system's restore. 

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove DriverMax, follow these steps:

Eliminate DriverMax from Windows systems

If you cannot find the answer on how to uninstall DriverMax, the following steps should save your day. Implement each step as explained and the malware removal should be successful.

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall DriverMax and related programs
    Here, look for DriverMax or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'

Uninstall DriverMax from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for DriverMax and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete DriverMax removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Erase DriverMax from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, DriverMax should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Remove DriverMax from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select DriverMax and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete DriverMax removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Get rid of DriverMax from Google Chrome

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select DriverMax and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete DriverMax removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Eliminate DriverMax from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for DriverMax or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  4. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete DriverMax removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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