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VulkanRT. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: System tools

VulkanRT – a 3D graphics API software that is mistaken for malware

VulkanRT image

VulkanRT is a 3D graphics API (Application Programming Interface) created by Khronos Group. It is a successor to OpenGL and works similarly to DirectX. Most of Windows users can notice the program installed to C:\Program Files (x86)\VulkanRT. The main purpose of the app is to utilize CPU and GPU capabilities and give more control to users. It typically gets installed with other programs (especially video games) or drivers, and it might seem like the application appeared out of nowhere.

  Legitimate Malicious
Name VulkanRT VulkanRT/VulcanRT
Type Graphics API Malware
Danger level No hazard Extremely dangerous
Main dangers N/A Can compromise PC's security and personal data safety
Distribution Graphic drivers updates, other programs, official websites Spam emails, malicious sites, weak passwords, etc.
Symptoms N/A Slow PC performance, stuttering or crashing, frequent error messages, etc. 
Elimination N/A Download and install Reimage or Malwarebytes

Vulkan Runtime Libraries allows effective multi-threading in the CPU, as well as helps the video card to render graphics more efficiently, resulting in better and faster overall performance. It is also compatible with multiple OS systems, including Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, etc. 

Due to its mysterious appearance on the machine, many users mistakenly take it for the VulkanRT virus. Therefore, multiple questions arise on the internet, whether it is a malicious app. The answer is – most likely no. If it is genuine (i. e. installed by legitimate graphics card manufacturers or similar), this API is extremely useful, especially for those using graphics-intensive tasks, such as computer gaming or HD video editing. Therefore, there is no need to remove VulkanRT.

VulkanRT browser hijacker

In some cases, certain games even require the Vulkan Runtime Libraries to be playable – thus, it can be installed together with games. If you bought a new graphics card, it is highly likely that GPU drivers will include VulkanRT as well. Nevertheless, AMD or Nvidia drivers are the most likely cause of the app's appearance on your PC.

Some users call this application VulcanRT. There are two reasons for it: either they misspell the name or a virus using a similar name is injected into their device. Therefore, if you found an application on your computer that is called VulcanRT or vulcanrt.exe running in your task manager, perform a full system scan using reputable anti-malware software. There is a high chance that the file is malicious and is trying to hide under a legitimate-looking name.

Unfortunately, some malware[1] can mimic legitimate files, duplicate or even replace them. Therefore, there is still a chance that Vulkan Runtime Libraries might be a virus. Check if your machine is showing the following signs and symptoms:

  • Computer software randomly crashes or freezes;
  • PC crashes or freezes;
  • Frequent BSODs;[2]
  • Slow overall performance;
  • High CPU/GPU usage, even when the machine is not heavily used;
  • Error messages pop out of nowhere;
  • The Increased amount of advertisement;
  • The install directory is not C:\Program Files (x86)

In case it is malware, some or none of these symptoms might occur. The problem is that viruses like trojan horses might sit silently for months before its presence is detected, as they barely emit any signs. Therefore, we highly recommend scanning your machine with Reimage or Malwarebytes from time to time. If security software detects malware, you would have to perform VulkanRT removal ASAP.

If you mistakenly uninstalled the program, you can redownload it from official websites, such as Nvidia one. There are also many suspicious sites that offer it. However, we advise users to stay away from them, as downloaded software might be malicious, or money may be asked for it, while it is actually free software.

VulkanRT illustration
VulkanRT is categorized as a browser hijacker which can deliver potentially dangerous ads during browsing sessions.

Distribution of legitimate and malicious software

Even if the software is legitimate, it can appear on the machine without you noticing. Nevertheless, as we already explained, it is a useful application that is capable of helping your GPU rendering graphics better and utilizing its functionality in general. Therefore, manufacturers of major graphics cards inject VulkanRT directly into users' machines. Thus, if you noticed this program, do not worry – it is legitimate software.

However, if malware is hiding behind a genuine name, it is a different story. These malicious applications can sneak in in various ways, including:

  • Spam emails;
  • Unpatched software or operating system;
  • Fake updates, malicious ads, and redirects;
  • Malicious websites;
  • Poorly protected RDP, etc.

Thus, it is vital to stay wary when browsing the internet. Do not carelessly open suspicious emails, refrain yourself from visiting questionable domains, create strong passwords and install certified anti-malware program, running computer scans regularly.

VulkanRT redirect virus illustrated

VulkanRT should be removed if it is malware in disguise

If you saw the program on your machine which is operating normally without stuttering or freezing – ignore it and continue normal operation if the PC.

However, if your computer is experiencing trouble, make sure you scan your machine with security software and remove VulkanRT virus immediately. Be aware that malware can block the operation of security software. Thus, we recommend booting your computer in Safe Mode with Networking as explained below. 

Security researchers[3] do not recommend manual VulcanRT removal. Trojan horses are complicated and extremely hard to eliminate (they modify a bunch of settings on the system which are quite difficult to detect, especially for regular computer users). 

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

If you decided to select another anti-spyware, uninstall Reimage from your computer.
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To remove VulkanRT, follow these steps:

Remove VulkanRT using Safe Mode with Networking

To eliminate malicious programs from your system, enter Safe Mode with Networking and run full system scan using security software:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove VulkanRT

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete VulkanRT removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove VulkanRT using System Restore

You can also delete the virus using System Restore function:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of VulkanRT. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with Reimage and make sure that VulkanRT removal is performed successfully.

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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