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Remove Auto Refresh Malware (Virus Removal Guide) - Easy Removal Guide

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Adware

Auto Refresh Malware is a deceptive Google Chrome addon that is underrated for causing redirects and displaying pornographic ads

Auto Refresh Chrome extension

Auto Refresh Malware (a.k.a. Auto Refresh Premium or Auto Refresh Plus) is a web browser's extension that has been launched in 2016 by a team of young and ambitious developers with an intention to ensure an on-time refresh and reload of visited websites. According to the community reports[1], this browser-based plug-in was quite popular up until now. However, experts included it in the malware and potentially unwanted programs (PUP) databases after its update in 2019 October when the 1.3.14 version has been released. 

According to experts, the Auto Refresh extension has received the crucial Privacy Policy changes, as well as some advertising policies. It seems to be injecting potentially dangerous scripts from static.trckingbyte.com, static/js/background.js, cwpx.armeriaalbenganese.it, static.privacytrck.com, Eaes.2track.info, and similar third-party domains. As a consequence, the affected web browser starts redirecting to affiliate third-party websites and generating new tab windows without permission. Based on people's reports, some of the Auto Refresh ads may contain pornographic content or redirect people to infamous dating websites. 

Name Auto Refresh or Auto Refresh Premium
Classification Malware, potentially unwanted program (PUP), adware
Distribution The extension is usually installed purposely for increasing the website's load time and ensure a regular reload/refresh functions. However, it can also sometimes be promoted via freeware bundles and infiltrate machines without being noticed
The problematic version Upon the release of the updated Auto Refresh version (1.3.14) users started reporting the extension for displaying intrusive ads and redirecting people to x-rated adult websites
 Symptoms The most prominent symptom – the presence of a new extension on the default web browser. However, the extension can start causing redirects to irrelevant websites, generate intrusive ads among search results, deliver altered search results, etc. 
Related The extension can regularly initiate redirects via the following: 
-static.trckingbyte.com
-static/js/background.js
-cwpx.armeriaalbenganese.it
-static.privacytrck.com
 Elimination Since this extension is accused of installing malicious scripts and trojan JS/Chromex.Agent.AP, it's advisable to remove Auto Refresh malware using a professional AV engine
 Fix & Repair  Every time when malware affects the machine, it's recommended to repair Windows registry entries. For this purpose, you can try using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego tool

Auto Refresh Malware has been a quite popular extension of web browsers until its developers decided to fill it with potentially dangerous, highly obfuscated scripts. Although it's not dangerous, experts and users agree that the extension became a crapware and malware, the affiliated of which may be redirecting web browser's pages to porno sites. 

The first Auto Refresh Premium was created in 2016 with limited functionalities and since then we have added some useful features that have been requested from you – e.g. several auto refresh timers for the different websites.

Unfortunately, the features that its developers claim[2] to be useful are not useful at all. The scrips are not the only problem that provoked the negative reaction of the users. It seems that the Auto Refresh virus may be closely related to the js/background.js file, which may try to download a malicious payload of the JS/Chromex.Agent.AP trojan. 

The latter trojan-related Auto Refresh Malware may not reroute web browser to misleading third-party sites that contain porno or dating offers. Based on the latest reports, the app most frequently redirects to the Eaes.2track.info, dirtyflirt9.com, and similar domains. However, it can also track some pieces of personal information and perform other highly questionable browser-based performances:

  • extract search engine queries;
  • redirect the web browser to sponsored Yahoo-based search results instead of Google;
  • record information stored on the browser's cookies;
  • read page URLs and replace referrer codes if needed;
  • identify interaction with the e-commerce domains (register what products the user was interested in, the location of the service, the amount paid, etc.). However, there are no traces that the Auto Refresh Chrome extension would be capable of gathering PII (Personally Identifiable Information), such as banking information or names. 

To generalize, the Auto Refresh Plus and Premium Chrome extension is non-malicious on its own. However, it has been reported by many users on Reddit and other forums for potentially dangerous advertising schemes that may be used by third parties not only to promote dubious content but can also expose people to malware download sites. 

Auto Refresh virusAuto Refresh extension is often dubbed as virus or malware due to the usage of malicious scripts that trigger redirects to x-rated sites

In some rare cases, this extension may directly affect web browsers by changing default settings, including start page, search engine, new tab, etc. by altered Yahoo search or other browser hijackers. The whole tandem of malware on the system may be difficult to remove. Therefore, we recommend you remove Auto Refresh virus from the extensions and programs list with the help of a professional anti-malware tool. 

If Auto Refresh Malware removal is disrupted some malicious processes, you should restart your machine into Safe Mode with Networking to disable all malicious malware-run processes. After that, launch a thorough system scan with a robust antivirus.

Finally, the users of the AutoRefresh extension should not forget to reset the web browser's settings to default and repair the system's performance. Windows registries and core OS components can be repaired with the help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego tool. 

Shady third-party websites and misleading links can make people download malware

Most of the cyber threats are distributed in a misleading manner. Even though most of the potentially unwanted programs, malware, adware, browser hijackers, etc. have their official websites. However, that stand-alone fact does not make them reliable. The official website may be treated as a camouflage allowing to disguise stealthy distribution methods. 

According to LosVirus.es[3], malware and potentially unwanted programs are usually distributed by bundling (attached to freeware apps as optional downloads). Nevertheless, this method, despite being misleading, is legitimate as it allows potential victims to deselect additional components. However, it's a must to select the Advanced or Custom installation technique to see all setup windows. 

In addition to that, people can download malware-laced files via spam emails, dangerous third-party ads displayed on hacked websites, hyperlinks injected into random texts, pirated software, software cracks, keygens, etc. In general, all content that is accessible online should be inspected with carefulness. 

You should immediately leave the pages that you are forced to visit. Browser's redirects are usually triggered by third-party extensions that seek to promote affiliate parties, their services, products, or simply boost traffic. However, in practice, the browser's redirects can cause redirects to malware download sites, offensive or adult content where less experienced users can be tricked into giving away personal information or even money. 

Auto Refresh official websiteAuto Refresh may be promoted as a legitimate extension, though it's a PUP and adware in reality

Auto Refresh Malware elimination guide 

You may think that Auto Refresh extension is useful for your browsing activities until you start seeing intrusive redirects to websites full of pornographic scenes or ads promoting some dubious services. The extension must have been popular some time ago, however, its latest update seems to contain some potentially dangerous script that are programmed to reroute websites to pre-selected domains, as well as harvest some browser-based data.  

The app is under investigation right now, though there are some references for the Auto Refresh Premium Chrome extension to the js/background.js or JS/Chromex.Agent.AP trojan. Therefore, it's advisable to scan the machine as soon as Auto Refresh ads emerge on the web browser. 

If you are using a professional anti-malware tool already, Auto Refresh Malware removal should not be a difficult task for you to perform. All you have to do is launch the AV scanner or, at best, restart the machine into Safe Mode before launching the scanner. 

If, however, you are not using an anti-malware tool, try installing Malwarebytes or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner tools to remove Auto Refresh Malware once and for all. As a final point, perform Windows repair with the help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego utility, which may address Windows Registry entries, system files, and cache. 

 

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 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.
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Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
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Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Auto Refresh Malware, follow these steps:

Remove Auto Refresh Malware from Windows systems

To get rid of intrusive Auto Refresh ads and popups from Windows, eliminate malware from your machine and then reset your web browser's settings as explained below.

To remove Auto Refresh Malware from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find entries related to Auto Refresh Malware (or any other recently installed suspicious program).
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Delete Auto Refresh Malware from Mac OS X system

Mac users can be negatively surprised after disclosing an unwanted Auto Refresh Plus extension installed on every web browser. In this case, you should perform the below-given steps to disable Auto Refresh Chrome extension completely.

  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 Auto Refresh Malware 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 Auto Refresh Malware from Internet Explorer (IE)

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 Auto Refresh Malware 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, Google.com).
  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 Auto Refresh Malware removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase Auto Refresh Malware 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 Auto Refresh Malware-related 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

Get rid of Auto Refresh Malware from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select plugins that are related to Auto Refresh Malware and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear.Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

In case Auto Refresh Malware did not get removed after following the instructions above, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information.Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox – this should complete Auto Refresh Malware removal.Reset Firefox 2

Eliminate Auto Refresh Malware from Google Chrome

The Auto Refresh virus attacks the Google Chrome web browser in particular. It can be downloaded from Chrome Web Store intentionally or slither onto the system via freeware. If it has started displaying intrusive ads while your browser or trigger redirects, run a scan with anti-malware and then disable the extension by following this tutorial:

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to Auto Refresh Malware by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the Auto Refresh Malware-components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings to complete Auto Refresh Malware removal.Reset Chrome 2

Remove Auto Refresh Malware from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to Auto Refresh Malware and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.Reset Safari

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 various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

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

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