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Remove Booking.com virus (Removal Instructions) - Free Guide

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Adware

Booking.com virus is a potentially unwanted application that spreads with the help of fake Flash Player updates

Booking.com virus

Booking.com virus is an adware[1] program that recently struck macOS users. The potentially unwanted application is usually bundled with PDF readers, media players, installation managers, and fake system optimizers, although users also noticed that fake Flash Player updates could deliver this app. As soon as PUA enters Mac, it makes system changes and adds the shortcut to the dubious app, which does nothing but opens a demo-app Title window with a start page of Booking.com with limited functionality. Note that Booking.com is reputable and a well-known service that helps people to buy flights, book hotels, organize car rentals, etc., and has nothing to do with adware that we are describing here. Because Booking.com virus is adware, it will force users to view pop-up ads, flashing windows, in-text links, banners and similar disturbances directly in Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox or Opera browsers. This type of behavior brings revenue to app's developers but destroys web browsing experience for users and might put their online safety at risk.

Name Booking.com virus
Type Adware/Potentially unwanted application
OS affected MacOS
Infiltration Software bundling, unsafe websites
Symptoms Fake Booking.com icon in dock, intrusive pop-up ads in browsers, redirects, etc.
Title demo-app Title
Elimination Check our instructions below
Optimization Use repair software Reimage to clean your Mac

Booking.com virus authors are most likely affiliates of the official Booking.com, which try to benefit by spreading questionable application to Mac users. Unfortunately, this app does not help users in any way, and they should opt for official website usage instead in they want to book a hotel or a trip online. However, Booking.com virus removal might be a bit more tricky, as it requires the elimination of app's traces from the system.

Booking.com virus is dangerous because it can bring users to hacked, phishing, or other dangerous websites via redirects. When aggressive adware is present on the computer, users can get rerouted even without initiating any action. Therefore, users can get tricked into installing bogus software or paying for useless services. Additionally, users might also be affected by similar third party app like Search.hwildforscrapbooking.com which change browser settings and increase the amount of ads and redirects.

Additionally, most of the adware apps excessively track users with the help of cookies, JavaScript, web beacons,[2] and similar technologies. The information gathered by Booking.com virus might include:

  • IP address
  • System information
  • Apps installed
  • Sites visited
  • Links clicked
  • Bookmarks added. etc.

Besides anonymous information, Booking.com might retrieve your email address for marketing purposes and increase the amount of trash you receive in your inbox and/or the browser. If you want not to be disturbed by constant annoying ads, you should remove Booking.com virus from your macOS immediately.

Booking.com adware
Booking.com virus is an adware program that injects an icon into the dock of Mac and displays a startup page of Booking.com. Also, it spreads with the help of fake Flash player updates

Stay away from bundled software

Software bundling is a notorious PUP distribution technique and is widely used everywhere. Initially, the process should benefit both, the end user and the software author. Unfortunately, the greedy adware authors are trying to stuff their advertisement-generating applications into the installers of free software, and try to hide them under advanced installation mode or under the fine print (remember the “By continuing, you agree to terms of service, EULA and Privacy Policy”?).

You should be aware that even the “reputable” downloading websites like Cnet.com or Download.com are filled with bloatware that should be avoided at all costs. Thus, once you are ready to install a new app, watch your for optional components included inside the installation wizards. Avoid Recommended settings, and always opt for Advanced mode. Then, eliminate all third-party applications before finalizing the installation.

Additionally, clicking on pop-ups that promote Flash updates is not a good idea. Not only can you infect your machine with adware or other PUPs but also install malware like Locky or XMRig.[3]

Eliminate Booking.com virus from your Mac

Booking.com virus removal might be a little tricky. We explain how to uninstall the initial program via the Applications > Move to Trash. Please make sure you perform that first. Next, you will have to check the following locations on the system and look for any entries that are related to Booking.com virus. Click on Finder, pick Go > Go to Folder and then copy the following:

  • /Library/LaunchAgents
  • /Library/Application Support 

Alternatively, to remove Booking.com virus automatically, you can use security software that specializes in potentially unwanted programs. Nevertheless, you will still have to reset each of the installed browsers, as we explain below.

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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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 Booking.com virus, follow these steps:

Delete Booking.com from Mac OS X system

To eliminate Booking.com virus from Mac OS, follow these steps:

  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 Booking.com 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'

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

Eliminate Booking.com 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, Booking.com should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Get rid of Booking.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

You need to refresh Mozilla Firefox to make sure no ads are shown again:

  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 Booking.com 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. 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'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Booking.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Remove Booking.com from Google Chrome

  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 Booking.com 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. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. 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
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Booking.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Uninstall Booking.com from Safari

You should clean Safari by following these instructions:

  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 Booking.com or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. 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...'
  4. 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 Booking.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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