Exterminate It! Antimalware


Known threats:700,085 Last Update:March 01, 12:55


Hey Matt,

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Erik R.

File: windows.pif

Location of windows.pif and Associated Malware

Check whether windows.pif is present in the following locations:

Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 specific windows.pif file locations:

  • C:\Documents And Settings\USER_NAME\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\windows.pif

Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8 specific windows.pif file locations:

  • C:\Users\USER_NAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\windows.pif

If you find windows.pif file in any of these locations, your computer is very likely to be infected with the following malware:

IMPORTANT: Malware files can be camouflaged with the same file names as legitimate files. The windows.pif file is associated with malware only if found in the locations listed above.


Different Variations of windows.pif File^

File SizeFile Md5Last Seen
129024A9423FE57BCCAB95BC4D62360F971638Jul 17, 2012
9113681303DA2043B1CD499E3DD1B0BCA82E1Sep 1, 2012
189440F56A6508EBA6F0955BDF7F984DB763BCJan 29, 2013
7424074247FB7FE5293E81A0ABE5D0735FDDBJun 24, 2013
701444AE0C9C3DF2BD72AF64646D4BF689D5DJan 17, 2015
97280783C40D6D7385F0F891954A5C7CC1C62Mar 13, 2015
59392A51F6D9420CAAA88C6D39EA920F803DEMar 12, 2018

Why Is It Important to Remove Malware Files?^

It is imperative that you delete malware-associated files as soon as possible because they can be used - or are already being used - to inflict serious damage on your PC, including:

  • Disrupting the normal functioning of the operating system or rendering it completely useless.
  • Hijacking valuable private information (credit card numbers, passwords, PIN codes, etc.)
  • Directing all your Web searches to the same unwanted or malicious sites.
  • Dramatically slowing down your computer.
  • Gaining total control of your PC to spread viruses and trojans and send out spam.

How to Remove windows.pif^

  1. To enable deleting the windows.pif file, terminate the associated process in the Task Manager as follows:
    • Right-click in the Windows taskbar (a bar that appears along the bottom of the Windows screen) and select Task Manager on the menu.
    • In the Tasks Manager window, click the Processes tab.
    • On the Processes tab, select windows.pif and click End Process.
  2. Using your file explorer, browse to the file using the paths listed in Location of windows.pif and Associated Malware.
  3. Select the file and press SHIFT+Delete on the keyboard.
  4. Click Yes in the confirm deletion dialog box.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for each location listed in Location of windows.pif and Associated Malware.
  6. Notes:

    • The deletion of windows.pif will fail if it is locked; that is, it is in use by some application (Windows will display a corresponding message). For instructions on deleting locked files, see Deleting Locked Files.
    • The deletion of windows.pif will fail if your Windows uses the NT File System (NTFS) and you have no write rights for the file. Request your system administrator to grant you write rights for the file.

Deleting Locked Files^

You can delete locked files with the RemoveOnReboot utility. You can install the RemoveOnReboot utility from here.

After you delete a locked file, you need to delete all the references to the file in Windows registry.

To delete a locked file:

  1. Right-click on the file and select Send To -> Remove on Next Reboot on the menu.
  2. Restart your computer.

The file will be deleted on restart.

Note: In the case of complex viruses that can replicate themselves, malware files can reappear in the same locations even after you have deleted those files and restarted your computer. Exterminate It! Antimalware can effectively eradicate such viruses from your computer.

To remove all registry references to a windows.pif malware file:

  1. On the Windows Start menu, click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit and click OK. The Registry Editor window opens.
  3. On the Edit menu, select Find.
  4. In the Find dialog box, type windows.pif. The name of the first found registry value referencing windows.pif is highlighted in the right pane of the Registry Editor window.
  5. Right-click the registry value name and select Delete on the menu.
  6. Click Yes in the Confirm Value Delete dialog box.
  7. To delete all other references to windows.pif, repeat steps 4-6.
IMPORTANT: Malware files can masquerade as legitimate files by using the same file names. To avoid deleting a harmless file, ensure that the Value column for the registry value displays exactly one of the paths listed in Location of windows.pif and Associated Malware.