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Remove Browser Broker (Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Malware

Browser Broker is a process use by the official Microsoft Edge browser which might be abused by cybercriminals

Browser Broker

Browser Broker is an essential part of the Microsoft Edge browser and runs in the background under the Browser_Broker.exe process. Initially, it is a mandatory component of the browser located in C:\Windows\System32 folder, so MS Edge would not even run without it. If you have no problems with the file, and it is simply running in your Task Manager, it should not be terminated or touched in any other way.

However, users do need to remove Browser Broker in case the executable is infected or replaced by a virus – especially if Microsoft Edge is not used. Nevertheless, users might also experience other difficulties with the process, such as multiple instances running, or slowly operating browser. If that is the case, please check the bottom section of the article.

Name Browser Broker
Type Malware (if does not belong to MS Edge browser)
Executable Browser_Broker.exe
Symptoms Rarely any, although users might notice increased CPU usage, crashing programs, increased amount of ads, etc.
Risks Further malware infections, money loss, identity theft, etc.
Termination Scan your computer with anti-malware software
Recovery To fix virus damage, use Reimage

Because the Browser Broker is an executable, it can be affected by malware and viruses. Quite often, hackers simply name the malicious software by well-known processes that are used by Windows operating systems, including explorer.exe and Conhost.exe.

There are several malware families that could be affecting legitimate executables, for example:

  • trojans;
  • data stealing malware;
  • keyloggers;
  • cryptocurrency miners;
  • rootkits;[1]
  • worms;
  • adware.

As evident, infections like trojans and data-steals can ultimately compromise your computer, infect it with other malware, or steal your sensitive information. Keyloggers might be recording all information that you type on your keyboard, including your banking credentials, social media login details, etc. In such a case, Browser Broker malware could result in money loss, identity theft, and further computer compromise.

If you noticed that your computer fans are continually spinning at full capacity, even if you do not perform any resource-demanding tasks, it is highly likely that Browser Broker was hijacked by a cryptocurrency miner. These parasites sneak in unnoticed and abuse computer's CPU and/or GPU in order to illegally mince digital money for cybercriminals. If you let the malicious program to stay on the system too long, it might result in hardware wear and tear and increased electricity bills.

Sadly but rootkits and worms rarely expose any symptoms, so the only way of finding out whether Browser Broker virus is related to that malware is by scanning your computer with reputable anti-malware software, such as Reimage or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. Anti-malware would be able to terminate the malicious software and all its traces automatically.

Browser Broker virus
Browser Broker is a process name for the Browser_Broker.exe process. In some cases, it can be hijacked by malware, which performs its activities without users noticing

Finally, you will notice an increased amount of browser redirects and pop-up ads on all websites that you visit if your machine is affected by adware. In such a case, you need to terminate the unwanted app that is installed on your device.

Despite all this, you should not proceed with Browser Broker removal if it a legitimate part of MS Edge, as it will not function properly.

Ways to avoid dangerous malware online 

While the internet is a much safer place thanks to ever-evolving security implementations of the malware research community as well as various improvements within browsers like Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, MS Edge, and others. Nevertheless, it does not mean that the internet is completely safe, and, in some cases, getting your PC infected does not even require you to download anything.

There are several other infection methods hackers can use to infect your machine with malware – such as exploit kits,[2] brute force attacks,  web injects, etc. All these methods do not require user interaction. Nevertheless, stopping these attacks is also possible – you need to make sure that all your installed software is updated and you are always using strong passwords, along with two-factor authentication method where possible.

Besides that, experts[3] advise:

  • Install anti-malware software with real-time protection feature and keep it updated;
  • Avoid visiting torrent, and other P2P sharing sites;
  • Do not download pirated software or cracks/keygens;
  • Enable Firewall;
  • Do not open spam email attachments or click on links inside;
  • Be aware of social media links – especially if they come from unknown individuals;
  • Beware or email and website spoofing – hackers create exact copies of websites you visit every day.

Remove Browser Broker if it is related to malware

Browser Broker removal should only be performed if you are sure that it is a component of malware. While it is certainly possible to eliminate the malicious payload and revert all the damage done by the virus manually, it is not recommended for regular users.

Instead, you should scan your device with anti-virus software and remove Browser Broker virus automatically. This will ensure that all the changes made by malware are reverted, and no traces remain. In case the parasite is interfering with the operation of your security tool, access Safe Mode with Networking as explained below.

However, if Browser Broker is not infected but you are having problems with the process (for example, too many instances running in the background), you should simply reset MS Edge and see if it helps:

  1. Go to the following folder:

    C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe

  2. Delete everything located there (make sure your browser is closed at the time) Browser Broker reset
    If you scanned your device and it turned out Browser Broker is not a virus, and you keep having problems with MS Edge, reset it as explained above
  3. Now type cmd into Cortana's search box
  4. Right-click on Command Prompt search result, and select Run as administrator
  5. In the new window, type in the following command and press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml” –Verbose}

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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 Browser Broker, follow these steps:

Remove Browser Broker using Safe Mode with Networking

To remove Browser Broker virus from your computer safely, you should Enter Safe Mode with Networking as explained below:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove Browser Broker

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete Browser Broker removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove Browser Broker using System Restore

You can use System Restore to terminate the infection:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Browser Broker. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with Reimage and make sure that Browser Broker removal is performed successfully.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Browser Broker and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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