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Remove Similar Photo Cleaner (Removal Instructions) - updated Feb 2019

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Mac viruses

Similar Photo Cleaner is a Mac virus that promises to increase computer's memory by deleting dublicate content

Similar Photo Cleaner toolSimilar Photo Cleaner is a Mac optimization tool that allows users to find similar images and get rid of them for increasing the space on their device. Unfortunately, after finding duplicate content, this tool asks you to pay around $20 for the service which can hardly increase the speed of your device or improve its functionality. The company behind this PUP is a well-known developer called PCVARK that has presented tens of PUPs,[1] e.g., Mac Auto Fixer, Advanced Mac Cleaner, Mac Tonic, etc. Just like its previous versions, Similar Photo Cleaner belongs to scareware[2] category as it causes numerous warning messages just to trick people into buying its license. 

Name Similar Photo Cleaner
Developer PCVARK
Type Rogue tool/adware
Promoted as Duplicate photo finder and removal tool
Affects Different MacOS versions
Symptoms Delivers fake system scanners suggesting buying its full version to increase computer's space
Distribution Official website, promotional ads, bundling
Elimination Download and use Reimage. Remove Similar Photo Cleaner and clean the system further

If you have been wondering what is Similar Photo Cleaner virus, you should know that the term has been actively used by users who got tricked into installing this questionable application and now are struggling with its removal. The main way how people are convinced into downloading this optimization tool is promotional advertisements that are displayed on well-known sites. However, you should avoid ads offering you to “check your computer's space” because it needs only clicking on these ads to install the main file of this PUP on the system.

The app is developed by PCVARK which can be associated with similar products promising improved PC's functionality. Unfortunately, there numerous users who have been dealing with such PUPs as Mac Auto Fixer and other programs that fail to leave the computer when the user decides to delete them. However, if you are wondering how to remove Similar Photo Cleaner from Mac and Windows, you should know that you need to take appropriate steps. We added them in the end of this post.

We should also add that Similar Photo Cleaner can infiltrate your computer without your approval because it has been actively relying on bundling. If you think that this PUP has already affected your Mac, pay attention to the most common symptoms showing that you are dealing with the rogue tool:

  • the PUP launches its scan right after the system is rebooted;
  • the program displays numerous pop-up ads with promotional content;
  • messages and alerts mostly report about exaggerated system issues;
  • the PUP uses numerous techniques to push its victim into purchasing its license.

In addition to questionable messages reporting about system's optimization, Similar Photo Cleaner Mac tool displays warnings and alerts about problems with your device. The application has alternatively been categorized as adware which delivers commercial content as well. If you have this tool on the system, you can receive the following pop-up messages:

The last site you visited might have infected
your Desktop with virus
Current risk: 93%

Click on the button below to install the latest Mac
security to remove all the viruses

Your Mac would have critical errors, if you do not
remove the viruses within
[5 minute counter] Install Security Update

The main purpose of such Similar Photo Cleaner ads is to generate revenue from redirected online traffic. The program is seeking to initiate visits to the affiliated sites and then generate pay-per-click revenue. However, while people, because of their curiosity, tend to ignore such redirects, various experts[3] note that purchasing tools like this can lead them into malware's infiltration.

If you got tricked by this potentially unwanted program, remove Similar Photo Cleaner from the device by eliminating all related programs and files instead of paying for the useless version. Unfortunately, there might be additional programs or browser extensions that PCVARK packed together, so we highly recommend running a scan with up-to-date anti-spyware to get rid of this intruder automatically.

Use Reimage for general system cleaning after Similar Photo Cleaner removal. This program will help you determine what system changes have been made by the PUP on your system. Beware that its developers are offering their own uninstaller to get rid of this PUP, but we do NOT recommend installing it because it can turn out that it is yet another PUP seeking to disrupt your time online.

Similar Photo Cleaner virus
Similar Photo Cleaner is a rogue tool that delivers questionable scan results and suggests installing additional apps.

Program's EULA and Privacy Policy reveal its ability to track victims

We all seek to install apps without spending lots of time on their official sites. However, checking specific parts of the site is highly recommended if you want to prevent identity theft and other crimes. Keep in mind that by letting the app to the system and, most important, opting for buying the program's full version, you let its developers see your credit card details, full name, and similar data which is considered personal. 

Before falling for Similar Photo Cleaner free download, we want to encourage you to read EULA and Privacy Policy before taking this offer. We have to warn you that this section contains lots of information about data tracking, information sharing with third-party companies and disclaimers about risk and promotional content. 

Similar Photo Cleaner developers state the following in their Privacy Policy:

If you share Similar Photo Cleaner’s content with friends through social media like Facebook, Twitter or other social networks, you may send cookies from these social media websites/applications. We do not have any control over the settings of these cookies, therefore please check these social media websites for detailed information about their cookies and how to manage them. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

To prevent tracking and similar issues, make sure you uninstall Similar Photo Cleaner from your computer. To get rid of the unwanted content related to the PUP, you need to employ anti-malware. Finally, make sure you do not deal with potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) in the future. 

The app has mostly been distributed with the help of bundling

Even though there are tons of developers who release system optimizers on the internet via their websites and promotional advertisements the primary distribution method for PUAs is software bundles. This technique is widely used by freeware providers when they pack potentially unwanted program with software and spreads them around in packages.

When you install updates or applications from questionable websites, p2p networks or similar sources you get additional apps installed without consent. Other components are not disclosed properly, in most cases, but you can avoid this by choosing Advanced or Custom installations.

If you opt for Default or Quick process, you get everything at once, and Advanced install allows you to de-select the software you do not want to get. The only thing you need to do is pay more attention and un-mark the check from the box when the opportunity is suggested for you. 

Eliminate Similar Photo Cleaner once and for all. Do NOT buy its license!

There are numerous components traveling together with this program, e.g. Similar Photo Cleaner.log. To get rid of all of them, we recommend using the anti-malware program. It will not only take care of Similar Photo Cleaner removal but will also terminate all additional processes and files added to your device without your notice. Keep in mind that the PUP is spreading around in one bundle with other PUPs capable of running in the system's background without any sign.

To remove Similar Photo Cleaner malware, you can also use the guide below. However, make sure you follow every step in exact order just to be sure that all suspicious components are eliminated and you are not going to get rid of useful ones. Finally, note that infected browsers should be reset to their primary state.

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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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 Similar Photo Cleaner, follow these steps:

Remove Similar Photo Cleaner from Mac OS X system

To delete Similar Photo Cleaner from Mac fully, perform the following guide:

  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 Similar Photo Cleaner 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'

Delete Similar Photo Cleaner 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 Similar Photo Cleaner 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 Similar Photo Cleaner removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase Similar Photo Cleaner from Google Chrome

Follow this guide to make sure your Chrome is not affected by Similar Photo Cleaner or additional extensions and tools:

  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 Similar Photo Cleaner 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 Similar Photo Cleaner removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Eliminate Similar Photo Cleaner from Safari

Clean the browser after Similar Photo Cleaner uninstall:

  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 Similar Photo Cleaner 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 Similar Photo Cleaner removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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