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Badoo virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Badoo virus – a group of cyber threats that aim at dating platform users

Badoo virus
Badoo virus is a term that describes various scams and potentially unwanted programs promoting dating app or targeting its users.

Badoo virus is a term used to describe various cyber infections and scams related to this popular dating website. The dating site itself was launched in 2006. However, there are many concerns about its operation and security. Though it is a popular platform worldwide, so there’s no surprise that scammers are using its name to swindle person user’s information.

Summary
Name Badoo virus
Type Scam, browser hijacker
Danger level From medium to high. 
Symptoms Different versions of malware might install unwanted applications, hijack web browser or steal personal information
Distribution Freeware bundles, spam emails
To uninstall Badoo virus, install Reimage and run a full system scan

If you have never heard of Badoo, it’s a social network that allows finding the date. It is available in 190 countries and 47 different languages[1]. Therefore, it’s a perfect place for cyber criminals too. Millions of people can be reached.

However, the platform and its marketing strategies are questionable too. During the past couple of years, people reported about spam and scam emails sent from this social network. While some of the messages were used to trick users into creating an account; other emails were used to obtain various account login details.

The majority of people start looking up for the Badoo virus removal instructions after finding an unknown search engine set as the default homepage. This search tool is one of the marketing components that is supposed to promote this dating website.

Additionally, the desktop and mobile versions of the dating platform are actively being pushed using bundling technique. Therefore, apps might appear on the device when downloading various free programs. If this happened to you too, you should obtain Reimage or another anti-malware program and remove Badoo virus from the device.

Badoo.desktop.exe file appears after installing Windows app

When users install Badoo Desktop on their Windows machines, Badoo.desktop.exe file is dropped on the computer. It runs as an ordinary process and can be seen in the Windows Task Manager. This file starts running as soon as a person turns on the computer. After the installation, it adds a startup entry to run registry key.

Originally, the file should not use lots of computer’s CPU. Typically, it uses about 0.0007% of computer’s resources. However, if you see that the file eats up more CPU, you should check its location. The legitimate Badoo.desktop.exe is placed in the following directory:

C:\ProgramData\badoo\badoo desktop\1.6.55.1183\badoo.desktop.exe

If it is in the other location, you might be having problems with some Badoo.desktop.exe virus. It means that some malicious software might be using the name of this file to infiltrate your computer and silently perform tasks in the background. In this case, you should perform a full system scan in order to check computer’s status and clean malicious components.

Badoo virus might operate as a browser hijacker

Another form of the Badoo virus is a browser hijacker. The dating platform has its search engine that is being pushed quite aggressively. When you are installing the desktop app on your Windows computer or any freeware from unknown sources, you might be offered to install this search tool too. However, you might overlook this suggestion and unknowingly agree to make hxxps://badoo.com/startpage/ your default browser.

Badoo browser hijacker
Badoo search engine might appear on your browser after incorrect installation of freeware.

The appearance of Badoo browser hijacker seems legitimate and promotes dating platform’s services and users in your region. Additionally, it redirects search queries to Google results page. However, you are still browsing via hijacker browser. It means that this program might have additional hidden functionality. So, when using this tool, you might

  • get redirected to questionable sites when clicking on a link in the results page;
  • notice aggressive ads, usually promoting dating website;
  • see new browser’s tabs being suddenly opened;
  • let developers and unknown third-parties collect various information about you.

Additionally, it might alter browser’s settings and prevent from setting your preferred homepage or search engine. However, you should still remove Badoo.com/startpage in order to increase browsing experience and security. For that, you can use anti-malware software and scan the system or follow manual removal guide at the end of this article.

Badoo scam spreads via emails

Scammers use the name of the popular dating network in order to obtain Gmail logins and credentials. However, the virus continues spreading through victim’s contacts list. Thus, everyone who has ever received a message from a victim might get a phishing message.

According to the user’s reports, the subject line of the scam email includes victim’s name and informs about a message left on the social network:

John Johnson has left you a message on Badoo!

The letter includes a link that redirects to a website where people are supposed to create Badoo account in order to read a message. However, the registration is shady. Users are asked to enter logins and passwords of Gmail or other accounts:

“I clicked on an invite from another friend I had not heard from in ages and they (badoo.com) asked me to create an account, and when they asked me to supply my social networking email and password details, I did not provide it. Just before that badoo.com did ask for a Gmail account password, which I did not enter, yet emails with an email with …'left a message for you on Badoo!' was sent to everyone I ever sent an email to, not only my contacts?? How is this possible. I was logged into my gmail account at the same time?

The email was sent a few days after I registered with badoo.com, trying to check my friend's message and was never able to. On emailing him, he said he did not invite me to his network, and the same has happened to him!”[2]

However, scammers create localized phishing campaigns too. Similar hoaxes were reported spreading in German,[3] Korean and other languages. Other scams also include a picture of the person who supposedly sent the message, informs about new people in your area, asks to complete the registration, etc.

Badoo scam
Badoo scams are widely spreading via emails.

Such activities are highly suspicious. Users and security specialists assume that such spam emails might be a part of a shady Badoo’s advertising campaign. Online you can find numerous complaints about this dating network and various privacy-related issues.

The summary of Badoo virus distribution

We have already explained how particular versions of this cyber threat spreads. However, we want to put the dot distribution techniques in order to help you to avoid it:

  1. Be careful with freeware and shareware. Software bundling is a popular method to spread potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). In order to avoid installing browser hijacker or useless desktop dating app, you need to use Advanced/Custom installation settings of the freeware and opt out all “optional downloads.” Note that Quick/Standard settings do not have this feature.
  2. Do not click on suspicious links in the emails. If you received an email stating that your friend sent you a message, ask him or her directly about it. Clicking on suspicious links might lead to lost personal information and hacked account.
  3. Do not reply or click on the content provided in spam emails. If you receive a message informing about a necessity to finish registration or check new people, do not click anything. Even if you see “unsubscribe” button, stay away from it. Clicking any links/buttons or replying to these letters might increase spam in your inbox.

Removal of the Badoo virus

In order to uninstall Badoo Desktop app, you have to access Program’s list and remove it as an ordinary program. However, if this application was installed without your knowledge, you should also consider scanning the device with anti-malware software to make sure that any other suspicious components were not installed too.

If you want to remove Badoo browser hijacker, you have to investigate the system too. Moreover, you need to uninstall unknown browser extensions and plugins. Finally, reset the affected web browser.

We have provided detailed Badoo virus removal guide below. Please follow it carefully. However, if the application or browser hijacker shows up after manual elimination, you should opt for the automatic deletion with security software.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes 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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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 Malwarebytes.
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 Badoo virus, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Badoo from Windows systems

Follow these steps to clean all suspicious components that might be related to Badoo malware:

  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 Badoo and related programs
    Here, look for Badoo 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 Badoo 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 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' 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.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Badoo from Mac OS X system

These instructions will help you get rid of all components related to Badoo.com virus:

  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 Badoo 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'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Badoo from Internet Explorer (IE)

  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 Badoo 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 Badoo removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Badoo 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, Badoo should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Badoo from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Reset web browser to get rid of badoo.com/startpage/ from Mozilla Firefox:

  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 Badoo 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 Badoo removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Badoo from Google Chrome

Uninstall suspicious extensions and reset Google Chrome to clean browser hijacker:

  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 Badoo 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 Badoo removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Badoo 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 Badoo 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 Badoo, 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 Badoo removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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