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Remove Contenko (Free Guide) - updated Oct 2019

removal by Lucia Danes - -   Also known as | Type: Browser Hijackers

Contenko is the search engine that changes settings on internet browsers and the search provider to promote related material

Contenko is the website that causes interference with your online browsing because it alters search results by injecting them with commercial redirects.
Contenko is a browser hijacker that displays advertisements and sponsored links in search results on the browser. This program affects your online searches, so the hijacker can boost advertising revenue for the publisher and sponsor of this PUP. This potentially unwanted program relies on blackhat SEO[1] and other deceptive, shady techniques to affect the ranking of certain commercial pages, generate views and visits that can be monetized later on.

All those redirects caused by Contenko virus are designed to achieve the goal of rerouting online traffic and exposing the user to needed commercial material. This is technically not a virus, only a potentially unwanted program or a browser threat, but intrusive behavior makes people frustrated and annoyed so they call the PUP a virus. This browser hijacker interferes with users' experience and shows tons of ad-supported sites instead of providing proper results, so there is nothing valuable that this hijack provides and you can remove it from the machine.

Name Contenko/
Type Browser hijacker 
Symptoms After the infiltration, this hijacker changes settings on the browser and sets the default search engine to, alters new tab and homepage preferences. This search engine shows results injected with sponsored content and redirects you to various commercial pages this way 
Distribution Freeware installations, other PUPs, deceptive pages, and promotional content 
Potential danger Potentially unwanted programs can track and collect users browsing habits and information regarding the time online. This is the behavior that may result in privacy issues. The content that you get unwillingly exposed to also can lead to malware infiltrations
Elimination You need an automatic tool for Contenko removal. Reimage can help with the process of cleaning the device

Contenko browser hijacker is nothing put a redirects based program that focuses on monetization. The PUP exhibits malicious traits and can interfere with the performance, even more, when it installs other PUPs without permission or alters system settings. Experts[2] note that you need to take this into consideration and get rid of the hijacker as soon as possible because it can change registry and startup preferences.

Contenko is not providing any useful in-browser search results once it alters the default settings and even installs toolbars or extensions on Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or any other browsers. It modifies custom settings and affects the load time threshold, places lock files on Firefox and prevents other software from altering those settings. can even disable some features and functions to allow different installations. All the deceptive sites that you get exposed to can be set to promote ofter software and trigger automatic downloads of plugins, browser extensions, toolbars. 

To remove completely and forget about the redirects, pop-ups, you need a thorough system scan. Since this is the program that came via freeware installations, you cannot be sure that other PUPs haven't got installed during the same infiltration. So anti-malware tools can detect and remove them all during an automatic scan on the computer.
Contenko is a browser hijacker that redirects to ad-supported sites and shows promotional content to push useless tools.
Users that encounter the browser hijacker on the machine complain about the difficult Contenko removal that is affected by all the associated programs scattered throughout the system and folders. Also, this PUP can easily alter startup preferences, Windows registry entries and make the hijack more persistent, so you need to get automatic tools and terminate all background processes completely.

Contenko is a potentially unwanted program, which may cause various issues for PC users. In most of the cases, they report about unwanted discovery of this website instead of their homepage and default search engine or commercial pop-up ads that show up every time they start their browsing.

While it may seem that your homepage was replaced by a normal search site, we can't guarantee that you will receive trustworthy search results. In most of the cases, this returns altered search results that promote related websites or shows paid ads in the first place.

That's why we always recommend relying only on such reputable search engines as Google, Yahoo or Bing. Besides, you should remove Contenko from your machine if you want to stop previously mentioned activities. Get the anti-malware tool like Reimage for that and clean the system fully. Contenko PUP
Contenko browser hijacker is the potentially unwanted program that triggers dangerous infections.

Browser hijackers and adware infiltrate the system via other PUPs and deceptive sites

You may discover suspicious search engines or different browser programs on your computer after installing freeware or shareware, such as various PDF creators, download managers, video converters and similar software. In order to avoid that, you have to monitor the installation process of such programs every time you download anything from the internet.

If you fail to do that, you may also discover this unfair search engine on your PC one day. Once it enters a computer, the rogue program occupies all Internet browsers and starts its annoying routine. Once again, we can't call this program a virus because it doesn't harm computers. However, you shouldn't trust this search results because it seeks the only thing – collect sales.[3]

You can avoid the infiltration of PUP by choosing professional anti-malware tools that can run on the machine and block potential threats, go for official software providers for your programs and tools. Also, the best solution is to go for Advanced or Custom installation options every time you get freeware, so you can deselect extra offers and see all the additional programs included on the setup. 

Elimination process involves manual and automatic Contenko removal steps

If you noticed redirections to, it means that the Contenko virus is inside your computer. When the intruder runs on the machine it exposes you to possibly dangerous content and can lead to installations of other PUPs or even more dangerous malware.

You need to get rid of all the potential threats, files associated with this browser hijacker or any other potentially unwanted program. Contenko removal requires additional steps for terminating intruders on each browser directly, so rely on the guide below.

To completely remove Contenko from the system, you should rely on scanning the machine using a professional anti-malware tool that is capable of detecting, indicating and removing all the potential threats, corrupted files or even malicious programs. Such a program cleans the machine further and helps to eliminate all virus damage bu repairing certain system files.

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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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 Contenko, follow these steps:

Get rid of Contenko from Windows systems

Clean the system from any  Contenko traces left behind

  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 Contenko and related programs
    Here, look for Contenko 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'
  5. Remove Contenko from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete '' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

Eliminate Contenko 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 Contenko 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'

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

Uninstall Contenko 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, Contenko should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Erase Contenko from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

When Contenko installs other programs or in-browser applications, you need to eliminate all of them to get rid of the PUP entirely

  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 Contenko 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. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. 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'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Contenko removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Delete Contenko from Google Chrome

You should reset the browser fully to default, so all the changes get to be reversed

  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 Contenko 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. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. 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
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Contenko removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Get rid of Contenko 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 Contenko or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Contenko, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. 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...'
  6. 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 Contenko removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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