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Remove Cacaoweb virus (Sep 2020 update) - Free Guide

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Adware

Cacaoweb – an adware program that can rent, sell or otherwise share users' personal information

Cacaoweb virusCacaoweb virus is a computer infection that usually shows up after freeware or shareware installation

Cacaoweb virus is a rogue application developed by CACAOWEB LIMITED, located in the UK and registered in Hong Kong. Its authors claim that the app allows users to share data and communicate with friends, as well as integrate content from the internet. However, upon closer inspection, it turned out that the program is, in fact, adware[1] in disguise. Cacaoweb virus injects Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari with pop-ups, in-text links, auto-play video and audio ads, and other commercial content. Additionally, digging through Privacy Policy, we found that, by registering to the service, users agree for their personal information to be shared with third parties for marketing purposes.

Summary
Name Cacaoweb
Type Adware/PUP
Developer CACAOWEB LIMITED
Distribution Software bundling, official website
Symptoms Intrusive ads and redirects plague each of the affected browsers
Potential dangers Sensitive data loss, malware infections
Elimination Use our instructions below this article and then scan your device with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

Users can find the program on the official website, although it is not how Cacaoweb is usually injected into their computers. Instead, the app relies on software bundling – a deceptive marketing technique used all over the world by shareware and freeware authors. For that reason, it is classified as a potentially unwanted program, and many AV engines recognize it as such. 

While some adware can be pretty harmless and easily detectable/removable, Cacaoweb is not so much. Officially, it cannot be classified as malware, but it certainly posses several features of it. The program performs the following upon installation:

  • Adds an exclusion to itself on Windows Firewall;
  • Modifies Windows Registry;
  • Runs cacaoweb.exe in the background;
  • Starts installing additional components without users' permission.

These factors alone should warrant Cacaoweb virus removal. For that purpose, users should check our instructions below, and then scan the device using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to repair Windows Registry and other PC functions.

Another terrifying feature of Cacaoweb adware is the information gathering. It turns out that developers harvest a large amount of personal and non-personal data by using cookies and web beacons[2] technologies. While the non-PI collection is a common practice among PUPs, personal information sharing raises serious privacy and security concerns.

We struggled to find the Privacy policy of the Cacaoweb app immediately, as it was not listed on the main site. Only after entering Terms of Service we managed to find a link to it. It states the following:

The Personal Information that you submit to us remains your property, but by submitting such information to us you grant us the right, subject to applicable state and federal law, to use the Personal Information (other than Sensitive Information) for marketing purposes. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, we reserve the right to share, sell, rent, lease and/or otherwise distribute any and all Personal Information (other than Sensitive Information) with/to any third-party for any and all uses permitted by this Privacy Policy and applicable law

Developers then claim that your telephone number and email address can be passed on to e-mail marketers, telemarketers, SMS text-based marketers, and similar. In case your inbox is cluttered with spam – now it should be clear where all the junk is coming from.

We cannot stress enough that providing personal details for apps like Cacaoweb is not a good idea. In the best case scenario, you will end up with advert spam on all possible platforms you own. In the worst case, you could get your identity or money stolen.

Thus, if you value your online safety and do not wish to be disturbed by telemarketers constantly, make sure you remove Cacaoweb virus before it's too late. If you already installed the app and provided personal details, removing yourself from lists might be exceptionally complicated, as you would have to contact all partners of Cacaoweb and request your PII withdrawal.

Cacaoweb adwareCacaoweb is an adware-type application that collects and shares personal details with third-parties

Adware might be dangerous – here's how to avoid it

As we already mentioned, most adware applications are simply annoying to deal with, but they usually do not endanger computer safety if the user is careful enough. Nevertheless, some adware-type programs are incredibly aggressive in their operation and closely resemble malware.

Therefore, experts[3] advise users to avoid the installation of rogue programs by following these tips:

  • Do not click on suspicious links that pop-up on questionable sites;
  • Always read up online about the program that is being offered to you before proceeding with the installation;
  • Use official sites for your downloads;
  • Read through Privacy policy and ToS before installing anything. Do not risk installing software that does not provide these documents;
  • When prompted, always pick Advanced or Custom installation mode;
  • Untick any pre-selected boxes that offer add-ons, toolbars, system optimization tools, etc.

Uninstall Cacaoweb adware to protect your personal data

There is no need to risk your online safety for the supposedly useful functionality of Cacaoweb app. There are plenty of other programs that are capable of doing the same things but do not track and share your personal details for marketing purposes. Thus, if your machine is infected, you should not wait any longer and remove Cacaoweb virus.

You should first try using our manual instructions below – if you do everything correctly, there will be no problems. However, if you find the guide too confusing, we can suggest you automatic Cacaoweb removal using security software. We listed several anti-malware applications below, although you can try any other trusted sources.

Remember that you should reset each of the installed browsers as per our instructions below. Otherwise, several components of adware might be still present, and the unwanted activity might continue.

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 Cacaoweb virus, follow these steps:

Uninstall Cacaoweb from Windows systems

To remove Cacaoweb virus from Windows, follow this guide:

To remove Cacaoweb from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  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 entries related to Cacaoweb (or any other recently installed 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.

Eliminate Cacaoweb from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is affected by adware, perform the following steps:

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Cacaoweb from Applications folder:

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

Erase Cacaoweb from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Cacaoweb and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Cacaoweb removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Remove Cacaoweb virus from Microsoft Edge

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 Cacaoweb-related 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

Reset MS Edge if that 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 DeleteAdvanced 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” -VerboseAdvanced 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

Get rid of Cacaoweb from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Don't forget to refresh Mozilla Firefox after the PUP elimination:

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 plugins that are related to Cacaoweb and click Remove.Remove extensions from 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

In case Cacaoweb did not get removed after following the instructions above, 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 – this should complete Cacaoweb removal.Reset Firefox 2

Delete Cacaoweb from Google 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 Cacaoweb 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

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the Cacaoweb-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 to complete Cacaoweb removal.Reset Chrome 2

Uninstall Cacaoweb from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

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

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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