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“High Priority Message” virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Malware
12

“High Priority Message” scam wants to trick unsuspecting computer users into calling fraudsters and wasting money on their services

“High Priority Message” alert is a deceptive pop-up that appears on the screen after visiting a phishing website. Such visits might occur due to adware existence on the computer but can also occur after clicking on a malicious online ad[1]. These scam pop-ups say “Do not ignore this high priority message” and repeatedly urge the victim to call a provided “toll-free” number.

It has been noticed that the deceptive tech support scam message comes from Criticalwarningerrortgfn.xyz domain; however, pop-ups displaying similar fake security warnings can be opened by a variety of different scam pages available today.[2] If you noticed a similar warning on your screen, close the browser and check your computer for adware/spyware installed on it. You can use Reimage software to scan the computer if you want.

The website behind the “High Priority Message” pop-up says:

A problem has been detected and windows has been shutdown.
DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESSOR_EQUAL
If this is first time you’ve seen this screen, contact windows technician: 1-800158-029
Beginning dump of physical memory.
Immediately contact technical support to prevent further damage
A problem has been detected, and Windows has been crash

The rest of the message says that “the problem seems to be caused by the following file: SPCMDCON.SYS” and informs about “PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA” issue. However, these issues are invented and do not even exist on your PC. Therefore, you must find and remove “High Priority Message” malware that is trying to convince you to contact tech support scammers.

It is hard to identify which program is causing these deceptive pop-ups, so we recommend using anti-malware software for identification and “High Priority Message” removal. If you haven’t decided what security program you want to use, consider relying on software suggested by our and Zondervirus.nl[3] teams: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

Deceptive software and their distribution methods

There are thousands of deceptive programs that users install unknowingly. However, there is a way to prevent their installation. You just need to remember the list of things listed below:

  • Potentially unwanted programs tend to travel alongside freeware or shareware, so keep that in mind when installing free software downloaded from the Internet. Make sure you choose Custom/Advanced installation settings to see all additional items added to your download and deselect them;
  • Software cracks and other illegal software tends to contain malicious files or malware downloaders, so better stay away from them not only to avoid involvement in illegal distribution and use of pirated software but also for your safety;
  • Avoid opening questionable email attachments or links sent to you by unknown people.
    Keeping the system secured with an anti-malware software is also a very good idea. It helps to automatically ward off suspicious attempts to compromise your system.

Remove “High Priority Message” fake alerts using proper software or manually

You can try to remove “High Priority Message” virus in two ways – manually or automatically. However, we have noticed that many people experience problems when trying to delete the deceptive adware manually, so we assume that tech support scammers continuously change the name of the program and files related to it to avoid detection.

Automatic “High Priority Message” removal option is probably the best choice when trying to delete the described virus from the computer. It also helps to wipe all other dangerous files and programs away at once. If you haven’t decided what program to use for elimination of computer threats, consider checking the list of programs provided below.

You can remove “High Priority Message” automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove “High Priority Message” virus you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall “High Priority Message” virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual “High Priority Message” virus Removal Guide:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove “High Priority Message” from Windows systems

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Eliminate the virus displaying High Priority Message warnings to you by uninstalling suspicious software off your computer immediately.

  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 “High Priority Message” and related programs
    Here, look for “High Priority Message” 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'
  5. Remove “High Priority Message” from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove “High Priority Message” from Mac OS X system

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for “High Priority Message” or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash.Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove “High Priority Message” from Internet Explorer (IE)

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

  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 “High Priority Message” 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 “High Priority Message” removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove “High Priority Message” virus from Microsoft Edge

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

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, “High Priority Message” should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove “High Priority Message” from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

  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 “High Priority Message” 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. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. 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'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete “High Priority Message” removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove “High Priority Message” from Google Chrome

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

In Chrome, enter chrome://extensions page and delete unwanted extensions that could be displaying the fake pop-ups to you. In addition, reset Chrome to eliminate all suspicious changes to browser settings.

  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 “High Priority Message” 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. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. 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
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete “High Priority Message” removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove “High Priority Message” from Safari

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

  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 “High Priority Message” or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by “High Priority Message”, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. 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...'
  6. 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 “High Priority Message” removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button
After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of “High Priority Message” registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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