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Remove virus (Virus Removal Guide) - updated Aug 2019

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Astromenda is a dubious search engine which reroutes users to unknown domains

Astromenda fake search engine
Astromenda - a rogue search engine that might provide misleading search results

Astromenda, also known as PUP.Optional.Astromenda,[1] falls into the browser hijacker[2] category, namely because it invades users' machines without permission and makes unsolicited changes to victims' browsers. Users might be surprised that their search engine has been turned into Astromenda Search, and new tab URL and homepage is set to hxxp:// According to research, a big number of users has run into virus on Google Chrome and other commonly used web browser apps. One person has even reported that the browser redirect virus appeared while updating the iTunes application on his/her Mac computer/laptop.[3]

Name Astromenda
Detected as PUP.Optional.Astromenda
Type Browser Hijacker
Sub-type PUP/PUA
Engine Andromeda Search
Danger Level Medium
Distribution Bundling, unsafe websites
Symptoms  Hijacked front page, modified engine, an excessive amounts of ads and redirects
Elimination Reimage can be used for automatic deletion; alternatively, manual method available

Astromenda Search, released by IronSource Ltd., is not an app you can trust nevermind the beneficial-looking features it might offer you. Browser hijackers often suggest using their created shortcuts to various news sources, weather-related pages, and popular networks, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, and similar.

As we have already mentioned, modifies your entire web browser from its roots. These signs will supposedly show up on your homepage, search engine, etc. Afterward, you will be forced to complete search queries via the new engine. These changes can be eliminated only by removing all strings that are coming from the browser hijacker.

According to developers, Astromenda “helps you to stay one step closer to better searching.” It also promises, that all your bookmarks and favorites will remain embedded into the freshly installed browser extension. However, you should not be deceived by these commitments, as they are genuinely far-fetched.

In reality, Astromenda authors are merely trying to manipulate your search results, insert intrusive ads into your browser, redirect you to unknown realms and record a chunk of your non-personally identifiable information. This way, developers lead you to sponsors' content that generates them revenue (pay-per-click is an often-used tactic by browser hijacker authors). 

Astromenda browser hijacker
Astromenda is a questionable application and a browser extension which compromises users browsers

Sometimes, no matter how much users try to remove from Chrome or other browsers and restore previous settings, these tasks appear to be unsuccessful (this suspicious app is known to have rootkit[4] capabilities). The only way to get rid of this pesky intruder is by either eliminating the extension manually or by employing a powerful security tool, such as Reimage.

As soon as you enter a search query into the search engine that has been hijacked by, you will notice a bunch of links which typically would not be there, if a legitimate search engine like is used. Even more, official websites that you visit might be covered in affiliated content and diminish web browsing experience on a regular basis. Because of the excessive amount of ads, the web browser might become sluggish and take a long time to respond.

We agree that ads and pop-ups might be annoying to deal with. However, it should not be the primary concern of users who possess as their startup page. One of the most dangerous properties of this questionable application is its rerouting capabilities. New tabs might open randomly and direct users to fake software/updates, phishing, and malware-infested websites. Thus, do not trust this search engine and do not question if you need to perform Astromenda removal. 

Astromenda Unwanted Program

Additionally, if you like to keep your search queries and websites visited private, Astromenda is not for you. The hijack allows software authors to collect a variety of browsing-related information, which is then shared with third-parties to increase the profit from clicks, downloads, and purchases. Sometimes, the data might even include the name of the user:

As part of the Software you will be able to use features that provide you with the ability to conduct web searches. When you use these features we will collect information such as URL of the page containing the results of your search queries (“Search Generated Information”). The Search Generated Information may include your personal information such as your name, should you choose to search for results pertaining to it.

Due to its secret infiltration techniques, and intrusive advertising and redirecting tendencies, this browser hijacker refers to the name of Astromenda virus. Besides, this browser-hijacker uses unfair infiltration techniques such as “bundling”. If you want to know how to prevent the appearance of such unwanted content, you should take a look at the following paragraphs.

The risk of potential dangers that carries can be described as low or medium as this potentially unwanted program does not intend to corrupt the affected system or destroy software. However, redirects from this domain can truly be dangerous as they might easily force you to land on third-party sources that include infectious content. virus
Astromenda is a browser hijacker that has the features of a rootkit

Unwanted applications intrude victims' machines without giving a clear notice

Security experts[5] warn that the virus is mostly spread as an extra attachment of various freeware and shareware, so you should be very careful when downloading them to your computer. Usually, you should opt for Custom or Advanced installation method and then use your opportunity to unmark check marks that allow installation of this unwanted intruder.

However, for that, you should dedicate some of your precious time and follow the entire installation process carefully. Please, make sure you decline various propositions to modify your browser along the way. Unfortunately, you may also agree to change your homepage/search engine to the one that belongs to the hijacker unintentionally. If that has already happened, you should get rid of this site because leaving it may lead you to redirects, pop-up ads, and similar inconveniences.

We are entirely sure that you do not want that to happen. That is why you need to choose what programs to install. Furthermore, avoid clicking the “Next” button without looking when installing unfamiliar freeware because you may easily allow installation of suspicious toolbars, add-ons, and extensions. If this potentially unwanted program has already infiltrated your system, you should follow our removal instructions down below.

Astromenda PUP
Astromenda - a browser hijacker that modifies the browser's homepage, search engine, and new tab URL

The easiest way to remove Astromenda is by installing security software

Astromenda redirects may make your browsing experience unbearable because they may start reappearing on each of your web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and others. To get rid of these annoying activities, you should remove Astromenda from your computer entirely. You can accomplish that by using an automatic or manual method.

We do not recommend manual Astromenda removal, as it has the capability of hiding deep within system files and might be too complicated to eliminate that way. Nevertheless, you can attempt it by following our step-by-step guide below. Remember, you are doing at its own risk!

We highly recommend downloading and installing robust anti-virus software (you can pick from the programs' list mentioned below). Simply download, bring it to the latest version and perform a full system scan.

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
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 virus, follow these steps:

Get rid of from Windows systems

  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 and related programs
    Here, look for 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 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.

Eliminate from Mac OS X system

To eliminate Astromenda from your Mac OS, follow this 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 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 from Internet Explorer (IE)

If you have discovered some rogue add-ons on Explorer, you can terminate them with the help of the following guidelines:

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

Delete virus from Microsoft Edge

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, should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Clean Mozilla Firefox from suspicious content by completing the following:

  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 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 removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase from Google Chrome

Immediately reset Google Chrome settings to default after deletion of the extension.

  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 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 removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Get rid of from Safari

  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 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, 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 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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