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Amazon Assistant virus. Is it a threat? 2019 guide to remove provided

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - -   Also known as amazon assistant | Type: System tools

Amazon Assistant is a browser extension created by Amazon, although displays too many pop-up ads and tracks its users

Amazon Assistant virus image
Amazon Assistant is not technically a virus, the key dilemma lies in its security. The application causes browsing and privacy-related problems.

Questions about Amazon Assistant virus

Amazon Assistant is a browser extension created to share attractive-looking deals and offers with its users. This type of browser tool can be downloaded from Amazon's official website or found in original e-stores such as Google Play Store, App store, etc. However, this application can be bundled with other programs also and force unwanted changes on web browser apps. As a result of stealth infiltration, you might experience modifications with your homepage and search engine. Nevertheless, Amazon Assitant might start pushing intrusive ads on your screen and promoting various sales. Even though this plugin is a legitimate one, it can cause too many annoying activities and is linked to the PUP category.

Names Amazon Assistant, aa.hta, Amazon Browser Bar
Category Potentially unwanted program (PUP)
Danger level Low. Does not cause damage to the OS
Operating systems affected Windows XP, 7, 8, 10, Mac OS X
Distribution ways Software bundles, Google Play store, Firefox add-on store, etc.
Prevention guide Custom/Advanced configuration allows managing all downloads safely
Travels together Amazon Web Search, Amazon Smart Search
Infiltration symptoms Changes the homepage/default search engine, causes pop up messages
You can install Reimage to improve the operation of your machine

Initially, the program was designed as a handy tool that would make the shopping experience for users better. However, as shown by Amazon Assistant reviews,[1] the application got quite a bit of negative feedback. Users are unhappy about its functionality, as it does not fulfill what it promises – all the functionality can be simply accomplished when visiting the official Amazon site.

Probably the most concerning part of Amazon Assistant is the information tracking that it performs during its operation on users' browsers.[2] Search queries, IP address, sites visited, links clicked, and similar non-personally identifiable data is carefully gathered to compile a profile that is later targeted by pop-ups, in-text links, promotional offers, deals, and other intrusive content.

Finally, Amazon Assistant changes the homepage, search engine and the new tab address to Amazon Smart Search – this is a clear indication of browser hijacking, and this technique is used to display altered search results, filling them with sponsored links

Though it is not technically a virus, it still raises speculations for IT experts that it might be related to Amazon virus. Even though it is legitimate, the key dilemma lies in its security. The application not only causes browsing-related problems but might put the user’s privacy at risk due to suspicious data tracking activities.[3] As a result, people have already started using Amazon Assistant virus term while trying to describe their issue on the Internet.[4] 

The application is compatible with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and other browsers on both Windows and Mac operating systems. However, after the installation of the extension, browser performance deteriorates due to these reasons:

  • Ability to change the homepage or default search engine (e.g., Browser Bar, Amazon Web Search);
  • Delivery of aggressive pop-ups;
  • Displaying too many shopping offers;
  • Opening new browser’s windows;
  • Inability to uninstall it.[5]

Amazon Assistant removal

Many computer users report that they were having problems with Amazon Assistant removal. Despite the fact, they remove the extension from the browser, it still comes back after a system reboot. If it happens to you too, you should opt for the automatic elimination method with anti-malware software.

If you are looking for a quick way how to get rid of this add-on, remove Amazon Assistant faster with the assistance of Reimage or Malwarebytes. However, in some cases, browser reset is needed too. We have given the instructions on how to do it at the end of the article.

Amazon Assistant example
Amazon Assistant offers a wide choice of services but also presents security dilemmas.

According to specialists,[6] browser hijackers sometimes have the capability of redirecting to affiliate pages. So, if you did not prompt for the Amazon Assistant installation by yourself but the app somehow appeared on your computer system, do not be surprised that it is there to promote various suspicious activities.

Talking about the redirecting itself, it can be not only annoying but also dangerous. Amazon Assistant is not malware itself and it is not dangerous but its redirecting can relate to some harm. If you are frequently experiencing such activity, you have a chance of landing on an infected website and facing malware there.

Potentially dangerous activities of the browser extension

Many users ask if Amazon Assistant a virus. However, technically speaking it's not. It’s a browser extension that is categorized as a potentially unwanted program because it may negatively affect the performance of the browser. Hence, the term “virus” is not correct to describe this cyber infection. However, it’s still a popular definition among people who used this tool.

Talking about negative features of this suspicious extension,[7] Amazon Assistant virus Windows 10 version seems to be very annoying and aggressive. Many users report that this application opens new browser’s tabs or windows:[8]

Each time I start up my laptop PC Amazon assistant opens all by itself new windows (one after the other filling the whole screen) indicating “C:\Program Files(x86)\Amazon\Amazon Assisitant\aa.hta”.

However, older Windows OS, as well as Mac OS X, users report about having problems with Amazon Assistant pop up virus. Soon after this application is installed on the browser, it starts displaying various commercial offers suggesting to buy goods on Amazon.

Amazon Assistant installation
Amazon Assistant can be downloaded directly, but it’s not the only possible distribution method.

According to the reports, the extension displays tons of pop-ups, banners, in-text, and other types of ads soon after the installation. Typically, these advertisements are based on user’s search keywords and browsing history. This activity raises another important issue related to the extension's data tracking activities. The add-on might collect the following information about the user:

  • visited websites and pages;
  • clicked ads;
  • search queries;
  • IP address;
  • location;
  • etc.

There’s no doubt that aggregated information is used for advertising purposes. However, security specialists warn that this data might be shared or sold to third-parties, including advertising networks.[9] The problem is that such advertising networks often gets compromised and can display malicious ads. After clicking on such commercial offer, you may be redirected to the domain of suspicious origin, for instance, a phishing website that is used for stealing personal information, including credit card information. 

Browser extension can be downloaded directly, but it’s not the only possible distribution method

The shopping assistant is available to download on website, Google Play store, as well as Mozilla Firefox add-on store. In addition, you may spot this browser add-on being promoted on certain affiliated domains or even via other freeware. Specifically, you should be careful not to install unwanted and irrelevant applications while managing the installation process.

Amazon Assistant for Chrome
Amazon Assistant for Chrome app

Note that often users accidentally install new applications by overlooking attached add-ons. Thus, it is recommended to choose “Custom” settings. Only when you are sure that no additional tools are installed, proceed further one. If you can find an offer to change your browser settings, make sure you untick it. Now let us proceed to the removal section. For that, you should always opt for Custom or Advanced installation methods.

Detailed explanation on how to remove Amazon Assistant virus 

To remove Amazon Assistant virus from your browser, you need to get rid of every, even the smallest component related to this add-on. While it is easier to entrust the process to malware removal tool, you can also get rid of this app by refreshing each of your web browsers.

In case of automatic removal, you should select one of the tools that are given below and let them do their work after updating them to their full versions. These programs will not take long to eradicate the extension fully. However, keeping in mind that it is not a serious computer threat, you can also think about manual elimination.

To perform manual Amazon Assistant removal on your computer, you may check instructions designed by our experts. Technically, you should run thru your recently-installed programs on Control Panel and get rid of the ones that seem suspicious. Then, you need to reset your web browser if you suspect any of the files to be remaining. Upon choosing a new search engine or browser extension, check its reviews on independent user forums.

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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Reimage (remover) 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, 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 Amazon Assistant virus, follow these steps:

Erase Amazon Assistant from Windows systems

To remove Amazon Assistant from Windows, you need to remove this extension. You can do that with the help of these instructions:

  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 Amazon Assistant and related programs
    Here, look for Amazon Assistant 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'
  5. Remove Amazon Assistant from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete '' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

Remove Amazon Assistant 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 Amazon Assistant 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'

Uninstall Amazon Assistant from Internet Explorer (IE)

To fix IE, you should reset your web browser. This is the easiest way to get rid of search engine.

  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 Amazon Assistant 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 Amazon Assistant removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Eliminate Amazon Assistant virus from Microsoft Edge

You can clean Microsoft Edge web browser application with the help of the below-given guiding steps. Eliminate all “helper objects”:

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, Amazon Assistant should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Delete Amazon Assistant from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To fix Mozilla Firefox and banish Amazon Assistant from the browser completely, you should opt for these steps. A quick solution could be a full browser reset.

  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 Amazon Assistant 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. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. 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'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Amazon Assistant removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Get rid of Amazon Assistant from Google Chrome

To remove this shopping assistant from Chrome, follow these steps. You should change your start page and the default search engine from Amazon Web Search to your preferred one.

  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 Amazon Assistant 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. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. 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
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Amazon Assistant removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Erase Amazon Assistant from Safari

To uninstall  questionable add-on from the Safari, follow these steps:

  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 Amazon Assistant or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Amazon Assistant, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. 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...'
  6. 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 Amazon Assistant removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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