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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 engineAstromenda - 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 Reimage Cleaner Intego 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 hijackerAstromenda 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 Reimage Cleaner Intego.

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. virusAstromenda 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 PUPAstromenda - 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 may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Reimage Happiness
Intego 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 Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running 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:

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

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:

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example,
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete virus from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

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

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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