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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.

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 app
Pokki 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 virus
Pokki 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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Reimage Happiness
Intego Happiness
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 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:

  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 Pokki Start Menu and related programs
    Here, look for Pokki Start Menu 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'

Erase Pokki Start Menu from Mac OS X system

  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 Pokki Start Menu 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'

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

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

  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 Pokki Start Menu 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 Pokki Start Menu removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Eliminate Pokki Start Menu 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, Pokki Start Menu should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Uninstall Pokki Start Menu from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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

  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 Pokki Start Menu 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 Pokki Start Menu removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

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:

  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 Pokki Start Menu 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 Pokki Start Menu removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Remove Pokki Start Menu 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 Pokki Start Menu 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 Pokki Start Menu removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

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 various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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