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Remove Joke Vault virus (Virus Removal Guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Things you need to know about Joke Vault New Tab

Have you faced a never-seen website once you opened your web browser today? If this web page provides a web search engine named The Joke Vault, it means you have lately installed a potentially unwanted program (PUP) on your computer. This PUP falls into browser hijackers category, which means it is created just for one purpose – affect your web browsers and aggravate your browsing experience. Once installed, Joke Vault browser hijacker places some files on the computer system, and one of them is definitely called rms_theme_installer.exe. It also adds browser extension to each web browser, and this browser extension is called “The Joke Vault.” This extension claims that it can read and change all your data on the web pages you visit and that it also can communicate with cooperating websites. Be careful, because these statements give a hint to you that Joke Vault hijacker might provide you with links to third-party websites it cooperates with. Joke Vault virus

After the installation, Joke Vault PUP changes some settings in the web browser. It replaces the homepage and default new tab page. Just as we have mentioned earlier, Joke Vault hijacker changes the homepage to a site that provides a web search engine, and the Joke Vault New Tab page is no different. However, there are some reasons why we advise you to stay clear of this search engine or even remove Joke Vault from your PC. Let us introduce you to risks and problems related to search results it provides:

  • The Joke Vault search engine provides search results that are ostensibly provided by Google Search. That is not exactly true because this PUP alters them and injects third-party links into them.
  • Clicking on these dubious search results can redirect you to possibly dangerous Internet sites, for example, ones that provide infectious downloads or ask to provide personal information. If you do not want to contaminate your computer with suspicious software, do not download any files from sites that The Joke Vault redirect virus leads you to. Also, do not provide any personal information on doubtfully reliable websites, too!
  • Since this search engine seeks to redirect you to particular third-party websites, it would be naive to expect it to provide relevant search results. That is another reason why you should waive to use this search engine and consider using Google, Yahoo, Bing, or other reliable web search engine.

How did Joke Vault hijack your PC?

Questions about Joke Vault virus

It is not surprising if you cannot remember installing Joke Vault virus on your computer or adding its shady extension to your web browser. Commonly, programs like this one spread silently. The developers of such software tend to bundle them with other programs and not disclose their presence clearly. You can install such programs without realizing it if you usually select Default or Standard installation settings when installing new programs. Take note that these options include your agreements to install all software that is bundled with your preferred program. To reject these additions, you need to switch installation settings to Custom or Advanced option and unmark the agreements to install them. If you have missed this important step and now you are experiencing The Joke Vault redirects, we recommend you to uninstall this untrustworthy software from your PC. You can remove it from your computer automatically with anti-spyware software like Reimage, or manually. The 2-Spyware team has prepared Joke Vault removal guide for you – you can find it on page 2.

How to remove Joke Vault browser hijacker?

If you do not want to encounter issues that Joke Vault virus causes, you should remove it from your computer ASAP. Otherwise, you will continue experiencing Joke Vault redirects, system slowdowns, and other inconveniences. Besides, you might be forced to visit precarious web pages that may pose a threat to your computer system.

There are two different options how you can remove Joke Vault redirect virus from your computer. You can remove it automatically with an anti-spyware software, or you can uninstall it manually. We have written The Joke Vault removal guide to help you to remove this infection by yourself. The guide is given below.

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 Joke Vault virus, follow these steps:

Delete Joke Vault from Windows systems

  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 Joke Vault and related programs
    Here, look for Joke Vault 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 Joke Vault 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.

Get rid of Joke Vault 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 Joke Vault 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'

Eliminate Joke Vault 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 Joke Vault 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 Joke Vault removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Remove Joke Vault virus 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, Joke Vault should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Erase Joke Vault 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 Joke Vault 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 Joke Vault removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Uninstall Joke Vault 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 Joke Vault 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 Joke Vault removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Delete Joke Vault 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 Joke Vault 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 Joke Vault, 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 Joke Vault removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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  1. Wayne says:
    May 6th, 2016 at 3:58 am

    This virus was installed without my permission!

  2. Trevi29 says:
    May 6th, 2016 at 4:02 am

    same happened for me!!

  3. Vladimir says:
    May 6th, 2016 at 4:00 am

    I absolutely hate joker vault. What jokes it provides? NONE. It only provides corrupted search engine, thats it! such a crappy app, i cannot believe I have installed it

  4. 0sca4 says:
    May 6th, 2016 at 4:02 am

    program that promotes affiliate links, and thats all, but it also advertises dangerous websites, so i do not recommend relying on joke vault search engine

Your opinion regarding Joke Vault virus