Security experts have concluded that PC Optimizer Pro is a system optimizer. The so-called “system optimizers” intentionally use false positives in scan results to suggest computers need to buy a full version of the product before the problems can be solved.

The Windows Registry is a database of settings for all software, hardware, and the user preferences on a computer for how the operating system handles the applications and hardware. Standard Windows users are not required to access or edit the registry, though they may sometimes enter it to make modifications.

Some third-party programs—that claim to be “registry optimizers,” “registry cleaners,” so forth—may suggest the Windows registry needs cleaning; however, running these programs can lead to serious issues and may damage the Windows registry. If you run a tool that says it cleans the registry and damage occurs, it may require you to reinstall the operating system.

If the Windows registry does get damaged, it can result in various forms of system instability: longer startup and shutdown times, random crashes or hangs, and poor app functionality. Reinstalling the operating system is often the only way to solve these problems.

Many times people think their computers are too old to work properly when in fact they have run a so-called “registry cleaner” which has damaged the registry, and that is the reason for the slow operating system. Wasting time while waiting for the computer to complete tasks is a huge issue that arises from a damaged registry, but so too is the potential data loss that may occur if you are forced to reinstall the operating system due to constant computer crashes.

Tips for Avoiding Malware in the Future

If you have malware on your computer, you can always install an antimalware program and run a scan to try to remove it. But some experts suggest that even if you do that, it is not a given that all malware can be removed—once it gets access to your system, it might not ever get taken away.

So naturally, that means you should try preventing the malware from getting on your computer in the first place.

Here are some of the most common ways you can avoid getting malware on your PCs:

  • Be careful what you download. Some websites are far more likely to have malware on them than others. If you are using a reliable web browser, it should already give you decent protection by alerting you to sites that may be harmful—do not ignore those warnings. What’s more, try not to visit any websites that you think may be untrustworthy: torrenting sites can be beneficial, and the founders are not necessarily evil, but you need to remember that random people around the world are uploading those files. Torrenting sites are some of the most notorious for malware for this reason—not everyone is interested in helping you download free files without them getting something in return. Often that return comes in the form of malware tucked away within the files you download, thinking that they’re only movies.
  • Install (full paid versions of) third-party antimalware programs. If your operating system is not protecting you well enough from malware threats, you ought to look into third-party programs. They will not always protect you in real-time for free, but the paid versions often do. That means if the program detects the file you are about to download is malware, it will let you know about it with a warning. At this stage, Microsoft Windows does not automatically block potentially unwanted programs, so third-party protection for malware is still very useful.
  • Keep all data and personal information safe. Malware only becomes a problem if it gets its hands on whatever it is looking for. Simply being on your computer is not necessarily the end of the world; it is what it does from that position of power that counts. Look into ways of keeping your data safe, such as using file encryption. Windows 10 comes with EFS for encrypting individual files and also BitLocker encryption for the full disk.
  • Keep your software up to date. It does not matter what software you have; if it is outdated, then it may also be insecure. Simply being old software does not necessarily open up new doorways for vulnerabilities; rather, new updates potentially close old vulnerabilities. If you know there are no vulnerabilities, your software is fine to continue using. However, if vulnerabilities are found, updates are critical. If you do not want to follow the news every day, it is best just to keep updating and know that you are safe. That means keeping up to date with your operating systems updates as well. If using Windows, keep Windows Update installing those updates that give you fresher OS versions.
  • Keep networks secure. All your computers (desktops, laptops, smartphones), and other peripherals such as printers, when connected to WiFi, are often connected to the same network. You need to make sure that the network is secured with a password. Otherwise, your WiFi connection will be open. The best security today is with WPA or WPA2 encryption. You typically do not have much to worry about here, as it is automatically implemented by your WiFi provider. But make sure it stays that way. 
  • Do not use open WiFi. You have heard the warning: stay away from that open WiFi you get at airports, unless you need it. The idea behind this warning is because it is open, it also means people with malicious intent also have easy access to it; thus, the information on your smartphones, tablets, and laptops is not going to be safe.

The following tutorial demonstrates how to remove the PC Optimizer Pro system optimizer malware from your computer.

Method One: How to Remove PC Optimizer Pro System Optimizer by Manually Scanning Files, Folders, and Drives with Windows Defender in Windows 10

Windows 10’s default antivirus program, Windows Defender, doubles as very good antivirus and antimalware protection. The term “antimalware” is a more modern version of the term “antivirus” because a multitude of malicious programs exist today rather than computer viruses alone. Windows Defender finds all sorts of malware and is antimalware that keeps the traditional antivirus name to avoid confusion. That said, Windows Defender still might not remove a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP) on your computer until you enable the PUP protection first. If you tried an antivirus/antimalware scan with Windows Defender and the malware was not found, you can try enabling the PUP protection and try again before installing third-party software on your computer.

Note: The terms “Potentially Unwanted Programs” (PUPs) and “Potentially Unwanted Applications” (PUAs) are interchangeable. When referring to misleading software installed as a bundle or without users’ consent, common antimalware programs use the term “PUP;” however, Microsoft prefers “PUA” in Windows 10.

Part One: How to Enable or Disable Windows Defender PUP Protection in Windows 10

When removing Potentially Unwanted Programs from your computer with the default Windows Defender antivirus, you should enable PUP protection first. Here is how to do that:

Option One: How to Enable or Disable Windows Defender PUP Protection in Windows PowerShell

1. Open an elevated Windows PowerShell.

2. If you are prompted by User Account Control, click on the Yes button.

3. Type one of the following commands into the Windows PowerShell window, depending on what you want to achieve, and then press the Enter key on your keyboard to execute it:

To Enable Windows Defender PUA Protection:

Set-MpPreference -PUAProtection 1

or

Set-MpPreference -PUAProtection Enabled

To Disable Windows Defender PUA Protection (Default):

Set-MpPreference -PUAProtection 0

or

Set-MpPreference -PUAProtection Disabled

Audit Mode – detects PUPs, but does not block them:

Set-MpPreference -PUAProtection 2

or

Set-MpPreference -PUAProtection AuditMode

4. Restart the computer before attempting to run a new Windows Defender antivirus scan that searched for extra PUPs.

You can now close the Windows PowerShell window and continue using your computer if you like.

Option Two: How to Enable or Disable Windows Defender PUP Protection in Local Group Policy Editor

Notes:

  • You can only use this option from the Local Group Policy Editor starting from Windows 10 version 1809.
  • The Local Group Policy Editor is only available in Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions of Windows 10.

1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor.

2. Using the Local Group Policy Editor’s left pane, navigate through to the following location:

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Defender Antivirus

3. With Windows Defender Antivirus selected, click on Configure detection for potentially unwanted applications from the right pane.

Windows Defender Antivirus -- Configure detection for potentially unwanted applications

4. From the Configure detection for potentially unwanted applications policy, select either Not Configured (to turn off Windows Defender PUP protection), Enabled (to turn on Windows Defender PUP protection), or Disabled (to turn off Windows Defender PUP protection).

Note: If selecting Enabled, a drop-down menu appears in the Options window that offers additional options to configure the group policy if you like. For example, from the drop-down menu, you can select Blocked which means the Configure detection for potentially unwanted applications policy will be enabled, and the potentially unwanted programs will be blocked from being downloaded onto your computer. It is suitable for most people to select Blocked from the drop-down menu in the Options window to stop PUPs getting onto your computer in future.

Configure detection for potentially unwanted applications policy settings

You can now close the Local Group Policy Editor and continue using your computer if you like.

Part Two: How to Manually Scan Files, Folders, and Drives with Windows Defender in Windows 10

Windows 10 provides the latest antivirus protection with Windows Security. Your device will be actively protected from the moment you start Windows 10. Windows Security continually scans for malware (all types of malicious software), viruses, and security threats. In addition to this real-time protection, updates are downloaded automatically to help keep your device safe and protected from threats.

Some features differ if you are running Windows 10 in S mode. Because this mode is streamlined for tighter security, the Virus & threat protection area has fewer options. However, that does not mean it is less secure—the built-in security of this mode automatically prevents viruses and other threats from running on your device, and you will receive security updates automatically.

Windows Defender automatically scans your system periodically, so it should pick up and remove any malware on your computer by itself over time. If you need a quick solution, Windows Defender also allows for manual scans so that you can scan any location on the operating system immediately.

Note: The Windows Defender antivirus application shown below comes out of the box on all versions of Windows 10, the latest version of Windows operating system. If you are running an older version of Windows, such as Windows 7, then you can skip to one of the next parts that shows you how to install a third-party antimalware application instead.

Option One: How to Scan with Windows Defender Using Context Menu

Here is how you can run an antivirus scan with the built-in Windows Defender antivirus program from the context menu of a file or folder:

1. From File Explorer, select the drivefolder, or file that you suspect may contain the potential malicious program.

2. Right-click on Scan with Windows Defender from the context menu.

Downloads folder -- Scan with Windows Defender
You can right-click on any file, folder or drive in File Explorer. Click on This PC in File Explorer’s navigation pane to view your most commonly used folders, as well as the available drives.

3. When the scan completes, Windows Defender Security Center will open and show you the results. The total time for the scan to complete will vary. Scanning drives will take the longest, while scanning individual files the quickest.

Note: The Windows Defender Security Center has been renamed to Windows Security in newer versions of Windows 10. All the settings within the app remain the same.

Windows Defender Security Center -- threats found, files scanned
When the antivirus scan is complete, you get the scan results—threats found and files scanned—on the same page of the Windows Defender Security Center.

4. If the scan did find threats, you can Start actions or See threat details.

Note: Clicking on Start actions will result in Windows Defender removing the threat immediately whereas choosing See threat details allows you to see the threat and also choose what you want to do with it more specifically.

Windows Defender Security Center -- Start Actions
The Start Actions buttons appears if the antivirus has found any threats.
Windows Defender Security Center -- Action options
Removing the file completely removes the file from the computer while quarantining it moves the file to a safe location on your computer. You can select Remove when you know you don’t need the file that contains the virus.
Virus test file
The malware we have used in these screenshots is test malware, designed to imitate how real malware works so it will show up in Windows Defender scan results. We do not ever recommend downloading actual malware onto your computers.

You can now close the Windows Security app and continue using your computer if you like.

Option Two: Scan with Windows Defender in Windows Security

Here is how you can run an antivirus scan with the built-in Windows Defender antivirus program from the Windows Security app:

1. Open Windows Security.

Windows Defender icon -- notification area

2. Click on the Virus & threat protection icon in Windows Security’s Security at a glance page.

Security at a glance -- Virus and threat protection

3. To Run a Quick Scan with Windows Defender

a. Click on the Scan now button.

Virus and threat protection -- scan now

4. To Run a Full Scan with Windows Defender

a. Select Full scan and then click on the Scan now button.

Windows Defender Full scan

5. To Run a Custom Scan with Windows Defender

a. Select Custom scan and then click on the Scan now button.

Windows Defender Custom scan

6. Select the filefolder, or drive that you want to scan and then click Select Folder.

File Explorer Downloads folder -- Select Folder

7. Windows Defender starts scanning the option that you chose.

Windows Defender -- Full scan running

8. When the scan completes, you get the results in numbers.

Windows Defender -- Full scan results

9. If Windows Defender did find threats during the scan, you can Start actions or See threat details.

Note: Clicking on Start actions will result in Windows Defender removing the threat immediately whereas choosing See threat details allows you to see the threat and also choose what you want to do with it more specifically.

Windows Defender Security Center -- Start actions
The Start Actions buttons appears if the antivirus has found any threats.
Windows Defender Security Center -- Action options
Removing the file completely removes the file from the computer while quarantining it moves the file to a safe location on your computer. You can select Remove when you know you don’t need the file that contains the virus.
Virus Alert level: Severe
The malware we have used in these screenshots is test malware, designed to imitate how real malware works so it will show up in Windows Defender scan results. We do not ever recommend downloading actual malware onto your computers.

You can now close the Windows Security app and continue using your computer if you like.

Option Three: How to Scan with Windows Defender from Windows PowerShell

Here is how you can run an antivirus scan with Windows Defender from the Windows PowerShell:

1. Open the Windows PowerShell.

2. Type the command below that best suits your needs and then press the Enter key on your keyboard to execute it.

Update and Quick scan:

Update-MpSignature; Start-MpScan -ScanType QuickScan

Quick scan:

Start-MpScan -ScanType QuickScan

Full scan:

Start-MpScan -ScanType FullScan

PowerShell Scan type Quick scan

You can now close the Windows PowerShell window and continue using your computer if you like.

Option Four: How to Scan with Windows Defender from Command Prompt

Here is how you can run an antivirus scan with Windows Defender from the command line:

1. Open the Command Prompt.

2. Type the command below that best suits your needs and then press the Enter key on your keyboard to execute it.

Update and Quick scan:

"%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe" -SignatureUpdate & "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe" -Scan -ScanType 1

Quick scan:

"%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe" -Scan -ScanType 1

Full scan:

"%ProgramFiles%\Windows Defender\MpCmdRun.exe" -Scan -ScanType 2

CMD Windows Defender Scan type 1

You can now close the Command Prompt window and continue using your computer if you like.

Method Two: How to Remove PC Optimizer Pro System Optimizer Using Malwarebytes

If scanning with the Windows Security antimalware protection doesn’t remove the PC Optimizer Pro system optimizer, you can try installing third-party antimalware tools, such as Malwarebytes, and see if that removes the fake system optimizer instead. You can also use an antimalware program such as Malwarebytes to remove the extensions and all other related files remaining on your computer, so you don’t have to do any of it manually.

Note: Malwarebytes also has an application for smartphones that run on Android and iOS. Here is a tutorial for how to install Malwarebytes on Android; the iOS version will be very similar apart from needing to use the Apple App Store in place of the Google Play Store. You will not have any problems finding it because your iOS software only comes with the Apple App Store.

1. Download the Malwarebytes for Windows from the Malwarebytes website.

2. If prompted by your web browser with a message that says “This type of file can harm your computer. Do you want to keep the executable (.exe) file anyway?,” click on the Keep button.

3. If you are prompted by User Account Control asking “Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device,” click on the Yes button.

4. Click on the Scan Now button to begin scanning the computer for malware and other potentially unwanted programs. (click to enlarge screenshot below)

5. Wait for the scan to complete. (click to enlarge screenshot below)

6. Select all of the malware and potentially unwanted programs that you want to be removed from the computer and then click on the Quarantine Selected button. (click to enlarge screenshot below)

7. You may get a message from Malwarebytes letting you know that all selected items have been removed successfully, but the computer must be restarted before the removal process can be completed. Select the Yes button to reboot your computer now. (click to enlarge screenshot below)

8. Upon signing back in to your computer, the Malwarebytes interface will open and let you know that the scan and quarantine are complete. (click to enlarge screenshot below)

Note: You can also export the scan results by clicking on Export summary from the main Malwarebytes results page and then clicking on the Export button from the scan report. (click to enlarge screenshot below)

You can now close the Malwarebytes interface and continue using your computer if you like.

That’s all.

FAQ

Do I Have to Complete All the Methods Before the Malware Is Removed?

No, you do not—unless otherwise stipulated. Your computer will often be removed from all malware by using one of the methods available. It’s when you try one method, and the malware remains that you should try another method in the tutorial.

Are the Methods Listed in Order of What Should Work Better?

Not necessarily. We often put the Windows Security before third-party applications because if you use Windows, you might prefer solving the problem without having installed another program on the computer. Windows Security is also free to use for your duration of using the operating system, which could mean more convenience to you.

Nevertheless, if you prefer using third-party programs, or your computer is not running Windows, then you can skip the Windows Security method and try using the third-party program recommendations instead.

Do I Have to Complete All Parts of the Windows Security Tutorial?

No, you do not. We have listed all the different ways you can run an antimalware scan with Windows Security for your convenience, but you only need to choose one of the methods to remove the malware.

Sometimes you may need to be able to get access to all options of running an antimalware scan—especially if your computer is currently being affected by the malware—which is why we have listed all the ways you can run scans with Windows Security.

Why Do You Have a Tutorial for Android but Not for iOS?

Both apps should be very similar, so we chose one app for the tutorial at this time. We may update it in the future if and when the tutorials differ enough to require separate tutorials for both platforms.

Since Android is currently the more open operating system of the two—and therefore potentially more susceptible to malware—it makes sense that in theory, more people will potentially get malware on Android than iOS at this time. What’s more, you also get far more applications to choose from on the Google Play Store than with Apple’s App Store because Android has more users.

That said, the only reason Android is more open is that people choose to open it—it does not automatically come that way out of the box. So we are not necessarily suggesting that iOS is naturally more secure than Android.