Browser Assistant (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge) - 2021 update

Browser Assistant Removal Guide

What is Browser Assistant?

Browser Assistant – adware bundler published by Realistic Media that promotes, downloads, and installs potentially unwanted programs

Browser AssistantApplication that targets Windows systems and installs shady programs without users' permission. Browser Assistant is the program related to a particular heuristic detection name Trojan.BrowserAssistant.PS that functions as a vessel to PUPs. It can be considered an installer designed to infect machines without users' knowledge and spread adware, fake installers, or even malware. It gets recognized by AV tools, and such software can remove it, but this is a silent intruder that causes redirects and can come with different programs. It is possible to encounter privacy issues since PUPs like that can track and collect data about your online preferences and habits.

This potentially unwanted program can be considered a virus because it allows various threat actors to access devices and install their products in those adware bundles. There is no guarantee that pre-packed bundles have only PUPs and nothing malicious. The installer itself adds applications in Programs and Features folder, windows registry, startup folder. The intruder can affect more parts of the system than a typical PUP, so you should consider this program dangerous and take action as soon as possible.

Name Browser Assistant
Type Adware/ PUP bundler
Symptoms Advertising content appears on the screen in various forms, from pop-ups, banners to redirects, and direct promotional content. Additional programs or in-browser applications get installed without permission or knowledge. All these symptoms significantly affect the speed and performance of the infected machine
Danger Tracking techniques get used by all the third-party advertisers, so every pop-up and redirect exposes users' details to malicious threat actors
Related Trojan.BrowserAssistant.PS is the detection name of the malware that triggers installations of adware programs and other files associated with the questionable file BrowserAssistant.exe that is detected as malicious
Distribution The bundler gets delivered with the help of a trojan with the same name, other PUPs. Generally, adware-type intruders spread during insecure downloads and from deceptive pages or services like torrents and file sharing
Additional function Program injects malicious JavaScript code[1] on browsers to show content from sponsored sites and allows advertisers directly access the system to push their products and expose users to dangerous material
Elimination There are a few possible types of files and malware that can be associated with the particular detection name and the intruder, so to remove Browser Assistant, you need a professional anti-malware tool that can find and delete different types of malicious programs
Optimization Due to different changes this intruder can make, the performance of the device suffers significantly. Rely on a PC repair tool that can indicate issues with system files or settings and fix them for you. ReimageIntego may help with damage repair

Once the shady program gets installed on the machine by other threats or during an insecure installation, adware can easily load other programs, including browser hijackers and adware. The bundler itself is introduced to the infected machine by a trojan, according to analysis and detections. It may end up installed on the system alongside other programs like spyware, malware, or PUPs initially.

However, the main purpose of the Browser Assistant is to be a tool that spreads other infections and collects personal data for marketing, or in other words, malvertising purposes. Such data tracking functions come with many PUPs, so the infection itself and all the material loaded after that can access, track, and record data about users browsing habits, preferences, and even personal details.[2]

Advertisers use such details to make personalized advertisements that later on appear on victims' screens or sell the collected data to third-party companies. Such behavior leads to junk email messages, telephone calls, scammers, and telemarketing campaigns targeting you.

Additional adware symptoms may include:

  • pop-ups, banners, and other types of advertisements;
  • browser redirects;
  • push notifications or browser pop-ups with suspicious system messages;
  • speed and performance issues;
  • crashes or freezes of the browser or device.

However, Trojan.BrowserAssistant.PS is associated with BrowserAssistant.exe file that is considered malicious in the first place. It is common that trojans and other more serious malware get hidden on common type files, including executables that often appear running in the background.

Due to the common .exe type, people tend to ignore the file. This is how the program can do whatever it is designed to do. So make sure to remove Browser Assistant as soon as you can and rely on an anti-malware program that can detect, quarantine and delete the potentially unwanted program or even a trojan that distributes this shady bundler. Browser Assistant virusPUP that gets detected as a dangerous application loaded out of nowhere since it is installed without permission. Removal might get difficult due to files planted in Startup folders, Windows registry, and programs installed on the machine. This program may install media players, audio codecs, converters, other software with questionable purposes.

To fight the malware completely, you need to get rid of all the associated files, applications, and terminate processes considered to be malicious. Rely on professional AV tools and try to fix virus damage in the system with repair software like ReimageIntego.

Since adware can install any ad-supported PUP and expose you to advertising material, malicious pages, your data is at risk. Redirects-based threats focus on techniques that generate money, so data tracking and personalized commercial content are some of the methods.

However, this means that when Browser Assistant is present on the machine, tags, cookies, pixels, and other tools designed to collect web surfing data get employed. Since you get exposed to other sites where ad-tracking techniques are present and malicious codes may get triggered. Also, experts[3] note that the computer can get damaged by more serious malware than adware or browser hijacker due to content online that is not controlled and can be unsafe.

Try to ignore all the redirects to phishing pages and promotional ads because clicking on such content gets to you malicious pages and makes adware more persistent since it has more time on the device. Run a full system scan with anti-malware tools, so all the threats and malicious programs get terminated entirely. Browser Assistant bundlerVirus that injects javascript code in targeted browsers and allows third-party advertisers to show their content or push products directly on the affected web browser.

The internet is filled with questionable PUPs and malware

Typically, potentially unwanted programs are downloaded from sites that promote and distribute other applications with questionable purposes. In most cases, these pages also include additional freeware in the bundles, and during the shady installation, software gets installed unnoticed.

Insecure installations load useless applications and make certain downloads when the user is in a hurry and skips through important steps by choosing recommended or Quick options instead of Advanced/Custom installations. If you do this, you can prevent problems by unselecting attachments, media player,s suspicious optimizers, and other files.

Unfortunately, when altered or maliciously infected executable files and trojans end up on the machine, there is little you can do. Such malware mainly spreads via malicious sites and email notifications containing payload droppers. Paying attention to any content online is a crucial thing because when you avoid opening suspicious emails or visiting misleading sites, you can also avoid cyber infections.

Get rid of all the traces and possible functionalities of malware

Remember that the BrowserAssistant virus can be set to run on the machine as different processes and affect separate parts of the computer. When it is installed it behaves silently and makes all the changes to interfere with persistence and virus removal, file recovery functions.

To remove adware once and for all, choose a reliable anti-malware tool and run the application on your machine. A full system scan that such software performs reveals all the issues and indicates possibly malicious files, applications, so you can eliminate potential threats and improve the performance.

Browser Assistant removal requires such professional programs because of the many functionalities this trojan/ PUP bundler has. The name is associated with a heuristic name indicating Trojan and malicious software, so run the system check to remove the virus with all the related files. Then repair the damage with PC optimizer that can help with corrupted Windows registry and startup entries.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. 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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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix 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.

Getting rid of Browser Assistant. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

Try to clean the machine from any traces of malware

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  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 the entry of the 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 from macOS

Remove items from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all related 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 an unwanted app, 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 and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files. Uninstall from Mac 2

Remove from Microsoft Edge

This browser can get affected by malicious JavaScript codes that injects, so make sure to terminate any add-ons and extensions manually

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

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the 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 Delete Advanced 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” -Verbose Advanced 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)

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 unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla 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

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, 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. Reset Firefox 2

Remove from Google Chrome

Since this threat is focused on redirects and advertising material, go through the settings of your browser to clean anything suspicious off of the Chrome

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 the unwanted program 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

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted 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. Reset Chrome 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension 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

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of Browser Assistant registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting adware

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

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References
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