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Cursor Mania. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - -   Also known as CursorMania | Type: Adware

Cursor Mania – a toolbar that can alter browser's settings and connect your machine to a botnet

Cursor Mania adware
Cursor Mania is adware program that can connect devices to a botnet.

Cursor Mania (also known as CursorMania) is a potentially unwanted program (PUP)[1] created by Mindspark Interactive. The program operates as adware, but also has features of the browser hijacker. Moreover, it might operate as a trojan[2] on Internet Explorer and Opera browsers. The application was very active for more than a decade. However, since 2013 is no longer available to download from the official site.

Summary of the cyber threat
Name Cursor Mania
Release date 2000s
The end of official distribution 2013
Developers Mindspark Interactive
Type Adware
Affected OS Windows
Targeted browsers Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera
Symptoms Replaced homepage/search engine, installation of unknown toolbars, redirects to questionable sites, an increased amount of ads
Distribution Software bundling
To uninstall Cursor Mania, install Reimage and run a full system scan

Cursor Mania is presented as a toolbar that allows changing the icon of your mouse cursor. This might seem like a fun feature that lets changing your ordinary mouse pointer to an animal or sword. However, this application also changes some browser’s settings. However, developers described it as bonus features:

Also includes smileys, ecards, screensavers, skins, avatars, the MyWebSearch search box and Search Assistant – relevant search results in response to misspelled or incorrectly formatted browser address requests.

However, all these activities and modifications on the browser might show up out of nowhere. This might happen due to the distribution method. The app was actively distributed via software bundling that allows infiltrating the system unnoticed when uses incorrectly download freeware or shareware. However, soon after the installation, it makes some changes to the system and creates Cursormania.exe process in the Windows Task Manager.

Cursor Mania ads
Cursor Mania can display tons of ads when browsing the web.

Cursor Mania virus might hijack Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera web browsers and cause the following problems:

  • changing browser’s default homepage/default search engine to MyWebSearch;
  • installs Cursor Mania toolbar and many other additional plugins, extensions, and toolbars;
  • displays intrusive ads and pop-ups;
  • promotes questionable software, toolbars or updates.

All of these changes slow down the browser and cannot be reverted by the users. This PUP operates in a way that all user’s attempts to change default search engine or homepage are rejected. Hence, every time you open the browser after the system reboot, the unwanted search engine and toolbars might reappear again.

CursorMania adware
Curso Mania adware might change affected browser's search engine to MyWebSearch which cannot be trusted.

CursorMania is also known as a toolbar trojan that might cause different effects on the browsers installed on Windows OS. When it hijacks Internet Explorer or Opera, it can connect users to the botnet[3] called DragonDog. Then affected browser’s homepage is set to a fake website, for instance, Facebook or YouTube. These bogus pages look identical to the original ones, so unsuspecting victims might reveal their login details to cyber criminals.

Just like many other adware programs, CursorMania virus might also collect various information about users.[4] It may start tracking your browsing on the web and may collect your search terms, most visited websites, data that you enter when visiting your favorite sites, your email address, computer's IP address, its location, etc. While you may think that this information can't be used for dangerous activities, it can.

All the aggregated details might be used for displaying appealing and encouraging ads or shared with unknown third-parties. To avoid clicking on potentially dangerous Cursor Mania ads or being redirected to tech support scam[5] or malware-related website, you need to get rid of this toolbar.

Cursor Mania virus
Cursor Mania virus floods the browser with promotional content.

We highly recommend opting for the automatic Cursor Mania removal and terminate all adware-related components within a few clicks. You will need to obtain Reimage or another reputable anti-malware software for this task.

Of course, you can do the job yourself. If you are willing to remove Cursor Mania manually, you should find our elimination instructions handy. Do not forget to check all browsers installed on your PC and uninstall all related apps from your Windows machine.

Adware hijack might occur during careless freeware or shareware installation

This potentially unwanted program was available to download on the official website CursorMania.com. However, the site is shut down for a couple of years. Though, direct downloads have never been the major distribution method.

Such programs typically spread bundled with freeware and shareware. Hence, if you do not pay attention to the installation process, you can install unwanted toolbars and agree to change your default search engine. To avoid that, you should follow the security tips prepared by NoVirus.uk[4] security team:

  1. Always use reliable downloads sources for software. Do not use third-party file-sharing sites or P2P networks.
  2. Download apps only from trusted developers.
    Read Terms of Use and Privacy Policy before installing applications. If these documents are not provided, quit the
  3. procedure.
  4. Use Advanced/Custom settings instead of Quick/Standard because the latter ones do not reveal what additional downloads might be included in the same software package.
  5. Follow the installation wizard attentively and opt out all pre-selected additional downloads.

Uninstall CursorMania from your PC

To remove Cursor Mania from your Windows computer entirely, you have two options: manual and automatic elimination. The latter one is definitely easier. It requires only scanning the device with anti-malware software and resetting affected browsers.

Automatic Cursor Mania removal is recommended because PUP usually arrives in the system together with other undesired apps. Hence, you need to clean all of these entries to stop redirects, pop-ups, and other unwanted activities on the browser.

However, you can still uninstall Cursor Mania manually. As you may have figured out, you will need to search for and delete other PUP-related components from Windows and each of the browser. Please, follow our guide attentively. In case of the failure, please switch to the automatic elimination method.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes 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.

Note: Manual assistance required means that one or all of removers were unable to remove parasite without some manual intervention, please read manual removal instructions below.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
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.

Cursor Mania manual removal:

Kill processes:
cursor mania.exe

To remove Cursor Mania, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Cursor Mania from Windows systems

Follow these steps to get rid of Cursor Mania from Windows OS:

  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 Cursor Mania and related programs
    Here, look for Cursor Mania 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'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Cursor Mania 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 Cursor Mania 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'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Cursor Mania from Internet Explorer (IE)

Reset Internet Explorer to clean this ad-supported application:

  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 Cursor Mania 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 Cursor Mania removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Cursor Mania 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, Cursor Mania should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Cursor Mania from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Follow these steps to delete CursorMania from Mozilla Firefox:

  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 Cursor Mania 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 Cursor Mania removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Cursor Mania from Google Chrome

This guide will help you to locate adware-related components and remove them from Google 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 Cursor Mania 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 Cursor Mania removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Cursor Mania 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 Cursor Mania 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 Cursor Mania removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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References

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