virus (Free Guide) virus Removal Guide

What is virus? redirects are a sign of adware or even malware infection redirects point a virus infection and should be removed as soon as possible

Unexpected browser redirects can be particularly annoying and often worrisome. When in pristine condition, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, MS Edge, or any other reputable web browser would not perform any actions that are considered unusual. Thus, when redirects begin, it is obvious that there is an intruder within the system – ChromeLoader malware, to be more precise.

Many users were struggling to understand where the suspicious browser activity comes from, as they do not remember installing anything under that name. This is not surprising because the extension that is causing these redirects is installed by malware automatically – the extension is installed under the name of “Settings,” and that's just one of the components that are dropped on the system. One of the main symptoms that users notice the most is the redirects to an alternative search provider – they have reported that their searches no longer use Google but Bing instead.

The main goal of the virus is to download and install a Chrome extension that would generate traffic to various third-party websites, which, ultimately, can be unsafe. Therefore, if you see that your browser is behaving out of the ordinary, you should take your time to investigate why it is happening.

Redirects through various websites are usually not a huge cause of concern, as many browser hijackers or adware[1] programs employ these tactics by changing browser settings. However, after examination of, it became clear that there is much more to it, and that the activity it is related to is rather malicious. Please check the information below to find out more about it. We also provide a detailed guide on how to remove the virus effectively.

Type Adware, redirect virus
Distribution Software bundles, redirects from other websites, malicious ads, malicious or repacked files
Symptoms Suspicious redirects through Krestinaful or other websites; all the searches are redirected to an alternative provider; search results are filled with ads and sponsored links; more ads everywhere; cs_loader.exe is present on the device
Dangers Redirects to malicious websites can result in intrusive notifications, personal information disclosure to cybercriminals, monetary losses, installation of other potentially unwanted programs/malware
removal For the best results, you should check for unwanted browser extensions and programs that could be installed on the system level. Finally, you should scan your device with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner security software to ensure no malware is present
Tips Cleaning web browsers is one of the secondary things you should do after PUP/malware removal to secure your privacy. You can use FortectIntego to do it quickly

Infiltration explained

Most browser hijackers, adware, and similar potentially unwanted programs typically spread via methods that are considered deceptive, although not entirely malicious. Third-party distributors often bundle software, and people end up installing several apps they did not intend to in the first place just because they did not pay close attention to the installation process.

Thus, it is always recommended to choose Advanced/Custom installation settings instead of Recommended/Quick ones are decline all the offers on the way. Paying attention to the installation steps is crucial when dealing with bundlers, as some of them might even contain malware we are talking about here.

In fact, the virus is usually downloaded from unofficial sources such as torrents or warez sites that distribute pirated software and cracks. In this case, cs_loader.exe was inserted into an ISO file – a common file type used for pirated video games or other executable software.

Once the ISO file is mounted and the EXE file inside is clicked, the infection routine begins using the NET Framework[2] – a software framework developed by Microsoft mostly for Windows computers. This allows it to call up PowerShell (task automation and configuration management program), which downloads and installs a Google Chrome browser extension called “Settings” – a humble name for a virus, we must admit.

As soon as it lands on the browser, its job is now done, and users have no clue what happened behind their backs. They would only see some changes within their Chrome browser but would not realize what has caused them or how to remove the unwanted browser redirects.

Krestinaful.comMalware spreads via an ISO file which installs a Chrome extension under the name of "Settings"

The main problem with this activity is its initial installation and the way it functions. The fact that the malicious code was already executed o the system might open loopholes and result in the infection of other unwanted extensions or even malware. Likewise, those infected are more likely to encounter phishing, spoofing, ad-filled, and other types of malicious websites while browsing the web routinely.

We strongly recommend not ignoring these issues and taking care of the virus removal. In order to do that, you need to clean your browser properly and remove the malware itself.

Stop the redirects effectively

Browser hijackers, adware, and similar PUPs often come into users' systems as browser extensions. Usually, they are very easy to remove and do not require any further actions. However, the issues begin when the infection is more complex, and we recommend you follow all the steps we provide below.

Remove from the browser

In order to remove this malware properly, you should first start with the browser extension, as it is the main reason why your browser keeps redirecting you through malicious websites. Here's how to do it:

  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 the unwanted program by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Next, you should clean the web browser cache to ensure that no malicious components remain after malware removal. This step is also recommended after the removal of every potentially unwanted application, as it can stop cookie tracking by third parties. Likewise, clearing web data would prevent various errors and can stop session hijacking[3] which might occur under certain circumstances.

  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 you are unable to remove the “Settings” extension (malware might employ various persistence techniques to prevent it from being removed), you can opt to reset the browser.

  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.Reset Chrome 2

Finally, you should delete the folder of the “Settings” extension in the following location:

C:\Users\USER\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data

Note: if you are using another browser, check the instructions at the bottom of this post.

Remove Scheduled Tasks

Malware can create a scheduled task to unregister the “Settings” app, which might cause an empty window of Command Prompt to show up from time to time. Make sure you delete the task as follows:

  • Type in Task Scheduler in Windows search and hit Enter
  • Click on the Task Scheduler Library and look for a task called ChromeLoader
  • Right-click this task and select Delete.

Remove leftover files and employ anti-malware

The problem with removing unwanted and malicious software manually is that there could be many more components scattered across the system, so the removal might only be partial, and the virus might return later, or some of its elements might remain functional. Therefore, regardless if you found anything by following the aforementioned steps, you should employ SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes, or another powerful security tool and perform a full system scan with it.

Additionally, you should also do the following:

  1. Use FortectIntego to take care of cleaning your system from PUP leftover files and repair the damage done by malware.
  2. Check your Download or other folders where you downloaded the ISO file and remove it at once.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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.

Getting rid of virus. Follow these steps


Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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 unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Settings.
  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

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, 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. Reset Firefox 2

Remove 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 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

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the 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 Delete Advanced 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” -Verbose Advanced 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, search 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

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

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

How to prevent from getting adware

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.


Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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