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Remove PDFConverterHQ (Removal Instructions) - Free Guide

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

PDFConverterHQ is a browser hijacking browser plugin that sets homepage and new tab to MyWay

PDFConverterHQ

PDFConverterHQ is a browser plugin that is advertised as a tool that helps with PDF file conversion. However, the app is considered to be a browser hijacker[1] which changes the settings of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, or another browser and sets the homepage, new tab address and search engine to hxxps://hp.myway.com.

Designed by Ask Apps, or MindSpark Interactive, a notorious PUP producer, PDFConverterHQ can be downloaded on the official sources, such as the official site or Chrome web store. However, users mostly find their web browsers' settings altered after the installation of freeware, as the hijacker is usually distributed in software bundles.

Just as many other potentially unwanted programs of such kind, PDFConverterHQ tries to convince users about its usefulness by providing some specific functionality, i.e., PDF file conversion. However, this is a mere disguise by the program authors, as their main goal is to display affiliated content to users with the help of pop-ups, redirects, and sponsored search results.

Name PDFConverterHQ
Also known as PUP.Optional.Mindspark
Type Browser hijacker
Category Potentially unwanted program
Homepage change hxxps://hp.myway.com
Developer MindSpark Interactive or Ask Apps
Risks Installation of other potentially unwanted software, loss of money, slow browser operation, etc.
Symptoms  Changed web browser settings, ads, sponsored links, redirects, etc.
Removal To delete PDFConverterHQ, either use our instructions below or employ security software
Optimization To ensure the system runs well after the infection, scan it with Reimage

Browser hijackers are not considered to be malicious programs, and many security tools recognize such apps as “not malware,” so calling it ” PDFConverterHQ virus” would not be entirely correct. However, the principles of the browser hijacker remain: users are usually unaware of the following:

  • they are presented alternative search results;
  • ads that appear on various visited domains come from the hijacker, and not the original site;
  • their browsing data is being tracked, harvested and compiled into aggregated information for targeted marketing purposes.

Therefore, while PDFConverterHQ hijack is not a significant threat to online security, it is still worth mentioning that the impact on the web browsing activities is there, and users should know what they are dealing with.

The alternative search results, sponsored links, and ads on all sites is the massive network of marketing firms, compiling the information about your web browsing and using it to earn money. However, you should ask yourself whether the functionality of PDF converting is really worth it?

PDFConverterHQ hijack
PDFConverterHQ is a browser hijacker that was developed by the notorious Mindspark Interactive

We believe that there are much better tools available online, such as that do not hijack the search engine and show ads on all sites that you visit. Therefore, we advise you to remove PDFConverterHQ from your computer and rather use legitimate search engines, such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. If you are concerned about privacy – DuckDuckGo is a good choice.

You can perform PDFConverterHQ removal with the help of our guidelines below, although you can also employ security software with an enabled PUP scanner. It will delete all the components of the hijacker in just a few seconds. Finally, you should also reset all the installed browsers and scan your device with Reimage for best results.

Browser hijackers are often bundled with freeware – here are tips to avoid them 

Browser hijackers typically would not cause any problems for experienced computer users, as they are relatively easy to delete. However, the problems start when users do not realize that their browsers have been hijacked and they are viewing alternative search results which are filled with sponsored links. Such activity can later bring users to potentially dangerous domains, where other PUPs or even malware can get installed automatically.

Therefore, it is best staying away from potentially unwanted programs in the first place. The best way to do that is by being attentive during the installation process of new programs, as most of the PUPs are distributed within bundled software installers. The biggest mistake users make is rushing, as they skip through steps and do not read the installation instructions carefully.

PDFConverterHQ distribution
While PDFConverterHQ can be downloaded from the official sources, most users install it unintentionally, when the app is hidden inside freeware installers

Thus, take your time when establishing a new program, and always make sure you decline all the offers or deals, and pick Advanced or Custom settings so that you would be able to remove PDF converters, download managers, system optimizers, and other bloatware. Additionally, experts[2] recommend installing anti-malware software and keeping it updated for the overall security of the computer.

Uninstall PDFConverterHQ plugin and all the other PUPs

As we already mentioned, browser hijackers are usually not that dangerous, although some other potentially unwanted programs might be much more intrusive and evasive. Thus, you should try to remove PDFConverterHQ manually first, and then reset all the installed browsers on your device.

If not successful and your browsers are still experiencing suspicious behavior (pop-up ads, redirects, bookmarks added, etc.), there is a chance that you have many PUPs installed on your system. Therefore, we suggest you perform PDFConverterHQ removal with the help of anti-malware software that specializes in PUPs or at least has a feature which enables PUP scanner.

Adware, browser hijackers and other PUPs have been a cause of rising concerns in the past few years, as lengthy lawsuit battles prevented such-like apps being labeled as spyware.[3] Nevertheless, it is best to be safe than sorry and delete all the applications that tamper with your browser settings and record information about you, including PDFConverterHQ.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. 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.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove PDFConverterHQ, follow these steps:

Get rid of PDFConverterHQ from Windows systems

To terminate PDFConverterHQ form Windows, please follow these steps:

  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 PDFConverterHQ and related programs
    Here, look for PDFConverterHQ 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 PDFConverterHQ 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.

Remove PDFConverterHQ from Mac OS X system

If you accidentally installed a potentially unwanted program on your Mac, delete it as follows:

  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 PDFConverterHQ 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'

Erase PDFConverterHQ 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 PDFConverterHQ 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 PDFConverterHQ removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Delete PDFConverterHQ 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, PDFConverterHQ should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Eliminate PDFConverterHQ from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

It is highly likely that the installed PUPs changed the settings of Mozilla Firefox. Thus, unless the browser is reset, the intrusive advertisement and other behavior might continue:

  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 PDFConverterHQ 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 PDFConverterHQ removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Uninstall PDFConverterHQ from Google Chrome

While PDFConverterHQ can be found on the official Chrome store, it is best to terminate the unwanted application and reset the browser to remove all its components:

  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 PDFConverterHQ 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 PDFConverterHQ removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Get rid of PDFConverterHQ 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 PDFConverterHQ 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 PDFConverterHQ, 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 PDFConverterHQ removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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