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Remove Browser Assistant (Virus Removal Instructions) - Jul 2020 update

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Adware

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

Browser AssistantBrowser 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 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 Browser Assistant 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. Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego may help with damage repair

Once the shady program gets installed on the machine by other threats or during an insecure installation, Browser Assistant 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]

Browser Assistant – related 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 Browser Assistant 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 virusBrowser Assistant is the PUP that gets detected as a dangerous application loaded out of nowhere since it is installed without permission. Browser Assistant 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 Browser Assistant 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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Since Browser Assistant 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 Browser Assistant 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 bundlerBrowser Assistant is the virus 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 Browser Assistant virus

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 Browser Assistant 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 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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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 Browser Assistant, follow these steps:

Get rid of Browser Assistant from Windows systems

Try to clean the machine from any traces of Browser Assistant 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 Browser Assistant and related programs
    Here, look for Browser Assistant 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'

Uninstall Browser Assistant from Mac OS X system

  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 Browser Assistant 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'

Delete Browser Assistant 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 Browser Assistant 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 Browser Assistant removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Erase Browser Assistant from Microsoft Edge

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

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, Browser Assistant should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Remove Browser Assistant from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  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 Browser Assistant 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 Browser Assistant removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate Browser Assistant from Google Chrome

Since this threat is focused on redirects and advertising material, go through settings of your browser to clean anything suspicious off of the 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 Browser Assistant 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 Browser Assistant removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Get rid of Browser Assistant 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 Browser Assistant 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 Browser Assistant removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant a full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. 

Nevertheless, there's a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various circumstances, malware is also one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. Potentially unwanted programs may clear files that keep the application from running smoothly.

More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, or images get locked. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them. Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system.

In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 


About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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