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Pokki Start Menu. Is it really dangerous?

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Adware

Pokki Start Menu — a potentially unwanted application that enters Windows machines via software bundling

Pokki Start Menu PUP

Pokki Start Menu is a legitimate application that was created by Sweet Labs Inc. for Windows 8 and 10 operating systems. This program usually comes pre-installed with bundled software,[1] as computer manufacturers often employ this technique to gain revenue from third parties.[2] The app replaces the default start menu to what closely reminds of Windows 7 – that is one of the main reasons why users like it. They also enjoy customization options – the icon size and place can be adjusted, as well as similar parameters. Nevertheless, some users are quite critical of its functionality and call it Pokki virus, as it is known to collect various information about users and display intrusive advertisements.

SUMMARY
Name Pokki Start Menu
Type Potentially unwanted program (adware)
Version of Pokki virus
Compatible OS Windows 10, Windows 8
Developer Sweet Labs Inc.
Symptoms Modified default start menu, increased amount of ads, etc.
Distribution Software bundling, suspicious websites, advertisement banners, etc.
Elimination Automatic – use Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or manual – check the guide below

The application is considered to be adware by security experts.[3] Technically, it is not a virus because it does not damage system or personal files directly. Nevertheless, it is not surprising that users are quick to look for Pokki Start Menu removal methods. Fortunately, the elimination is not that complicated, although additionally installed software may be difficult to detect manually.

Since Pokki Start Menu is a potentially unwanted program, it can initiate the installation of other unwanted apps, namely browser extensions, bloatware, scareware,[4] toolbars, media players, PDF converters, and similar. That is why it is vital to keep adware away – it infects the system with various junk which can even make the device to perform slowly after a while.

Users can also notice an increased amount of adverts in the form of pop-ups, deals, offers, in-text links, auto-play videos, etc. Pokki Start Menu ads can pop out of nowhere, regardless if you are using Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Mozilla Firefox browser. The worst part is that these ads may be unsafe and lead to questionable websites. Thus, security experts recommend to refrain yourself from clicking on any of these ads and close them down immediately.

Probably one of the worst traits Pokki Start Menu virus is its information tracking. For that, developers may use various tracking technologies, including:

  • Tracking cookies[5]
  • Beacons
  • Pixels
  • JavaScripts, etc.

The collected data (search queries, sites visited, IP address, clicks on links, etc.) is vital for any marketing firm, as it can use it for targeted advertising. 

Pokki Start Menu appPokki Start Menu is considered to be an ad-supported program that can infect popular web browsers and start loading advertising content

All in all, we recommend you to remove Pokki Start Menu virus from your computer. This application may put your privacy at risk and show adverts whether you want it or not. To make sure that all the components are eliminated, we suggest scanning your machine with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. Besides, if you want to have an old-type start menu, we recommend you downgrade your OS to previous versions.

Pokki Start Menu uninstall is necessary if you want to have a clean and well-optimized computer system. You need to know that adware applications place annoying advertisements that eat up various computer resources for their display. This includes CPU overuse which can relate in system and software slowdowns/crash downs.

The main goal of ad-supported applications is to gather revenue from advertising. Pokki Start Menu might start promoting various attractive deals and offers that convince users to click on them. Once the click is made, monetary benefits fall straight into the developers' pockets. Such a method is known as cost-per-click.

Pokki Start Menu virusPokki Start Menu is an adware program that may collect various information about users and use it for marketing purposes

PUPs thrive via software bundling

Although the app can be downloaded from the official website – it is not the way it gets into targeted machines. It is not surprising that potentially unwanted applications are usually not installed purposely – they are injected with other software obtained online or are pre-installed into laptops or other devices.

Users often fail to pay attention when they download freeware or shareware, as they want to be done with the process as soon as possible. That is one of the biggest mistakes people make, as it eventually leads to installation of unwanted apps, which may change the homepage of the browser, display adverts and disrupt daily browsing sessions.

To avoid adware and other unwanted apps, we suggest you always pick Advanced or Custom installation mode instead of a recommended one. Otherwise, if you select Recommended settings, you may be not be shown the full list of programs that will be installed together with the desired application.

Eliminate Pokki Start Menu in just a few minutes

Even if just bought a new laptop or computer and noticed that some questionable software is present, we suggest you research it online. Do not let adware pollute your machine with unwanted advertisements and secret information tracking, or additional unwanted program installation. Thus, we suggest you remove Pokki Start Menu as soon as possible.

There are two ways you can achieve that: by either downloading and installing security software or eliminate Pokki Start Menu virus by using our step-by-step instructions below. If you want a quick solution, we advise using anti-virus software. Besides, it can check for other possible infections – perform a full system scan.

Alternatively, you can also perform manual Pokki Start Menu removal without installing additional software. In that case, you will have to eliminate all the components manually and reset each of the browsers. We explain how to do that below.

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 Pokki Start Menu, follow these steps:

Remove Pokki Start Menu from Windows systems

Eliminate Pokki Start Menu from Windows this way:

To remove Pokki Start Menu from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find entries related to Pokki Start Menu (or any other recently installed suspicious program).
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Erase Pokki Start Menu from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Pokki Start Menu from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Pokki Start Menu-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove Pokki Start Menu, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to Pokki Start Menu and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Pokki Start Menu-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Get rid of Pokki Start Menu from Internet Explorer (IE)

To make sure that Internet Explorer is clear of adware, perform the following steps:

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Pokki Start Menu and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Pokki Start Menu removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Eliminate Pokki Start Menu from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the Pokki Start Menu-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Uninstall Pokki Start Menu from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

You can easily clean Firefox with the help of this guide:

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select plugins that are related to Pokki Start Menu and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear.Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

In case Pokki Start Menu did not get removed after following the instructions above, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information.Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox – this should complete Pokki Start Menu removal.Reset Firefox 2

Delete Pokki Start Menu from Google Chrome

Check your Google Chrome web browser for any possible adware signs and get rid of them with the help of these instructing steps:

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to Pokki Start Menu by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the Pokki Start Menu-components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings to complete Pokki Start Menu removal.Reset Chrome 2

Remove Pokki Start Menu from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to Pokki Start Menu and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.Reset Safari

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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