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Maxthon Browser virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Maxthon browser is criticised for the shady distribution method

The picture of Maxthon browser

Maxthon is a browser that is widely discussed in the online community. The program is presented as “the most secure browser on the web without viruses and malware.” However, cyber-security experts do not agree with such saying. The browser is added to the category of the potentially unwanted programs (PUPs)[1] and classified as a browser hijacker.[2]

Starting from Maxthon cloud browser’s day of release, security experts and PC users have been discussing its trustworthiness. According to the researchers from SemVirus[3], the most questionable feature of this browser is data tracking. Of course, legitimate browsers (Google, Firefox, etc.) can also be used for collecting various information about their users. However, there is no risk that they could overstep the acceptable level.

Maxthon virus, on the other hand, collects all sorts of hardware and software information. The collected data includes the current version of the OS, CPU type, and speed, screen resolution, browsing history, the status of your ad blocker and many other details that are non-personally identifiable, but useful if the malicious parties decide to involve you in online marketing.

Also, there is no guarantee that the gathered information will not be used for identifying system vulnerabilities and drawing additional malware[4] to the computer. Needless to say, legitimate and acknowledged browsers would not involve in such data gathering and exploitation. So, before this virus exposes you to even greater data leaks or identity theft, remove Maxthon from your computer using trustworthy antivirus utilities such as Reimage.

The problem with Maxthon Cloud Browser malware

When conducting the analysis, experts also found that the virus creates a file on the infected computer which regularly sends the collected data to China, where the Maxthon’s servers are located. The ZIP file itself contains another document called dat.txt, which requires a passcode to view it since the file is encrypted.

The computer analyst managed to bypass this AES-128-ECB encryption[5] by extracting the passcode from the Maxthon browser's binary. It was found that this is exactly where all the aforementioned data is stored. In the meanwhile, the representatives of the company blame it all on the users and claim that the data gathering can be opted out in the browser’s settings.

Questions about Maxthon Browser virus

Unfortunately, it is not what actually happens. Even after these settings are disabled the browser does not cease to send the information to predetermined services. Thus, the users who value their privacy are left with one option only, and that is Maxthon removal.

The problem with Maxthon Update Tool

Maxthon Update Tool is a component of the third version of Maxthon. However, it’s a browser’s vulnerability which might be exploited by cyber-criminals. The issue might be solved with the current, 5th version, of the browser. However, as we have mentioned earlier, this cloud browser is not as secure as it is advertised.

Attackers might use Maxthon tool for various purposes. For instance, this vulnerability might allow installation of various tracking technologies to steal sensitive information. The browser might also display malware-laden ads or redirect to potentially dangerous websites. Therefore, this computer infection should not be left on the system.

So-called Maxthon Update Tool virus does not create tray icon and does not appear in the system tray. However, it runs under the parent process C:\Program Files\Maxthon3\Bin\MxUp.exe and takes 77.3 Kb of the disk space. Therefore, to detect the virus might not be easy.

However, Maxthon tool virus is associated with the browser itself. Therefore, to avoid potential threats or browsing-related problems, you should get rid of this program ASAP. We highly recommend relying on “traditional” and well-known web browsers, such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

The browser might be installed without user’s knowledge

You can obtain Maxthon browser directly from its official website, file download sites or through peer-to-peer file sharing platforms. Since it is promoted as an innovative and useful application, it does not lack direct downloads, but still uses shady software distribution techniques such as “bundling.”

This method allows the program to be delivered on the users’ computers along with other free applications. And the users do not even have to know the hijack has even occurred. Using the “Quick” or “Recommended” installation settings of the initially downloaded program, they automatically allow the potentially unwanted app to enter the computer.

After that, the shortcut to this browser simply appears on the desktop, and the user can start using it. To prevent such involuntary installs, you should always opt for the “Advanced” or “Custom” setup and opt out undesirable programs, such as Maxthon.

Uninstall Maxthon from Windows or Mac OS X

There is nothing more simple than clicking a few buttons on your antivirus suite and instantly receiving a professional service. You do not have to look for the virus hiding spots or risk accidentally deleting important system files. The only maintenance such utilities call for are regular updates and virus database renewals. Otherwise, it is the quickest and the most guaranteed Maxthon removal method.

However, some users may argue that it is much more satisfying to defeat the virus themselves. If you are one of those people, make sure you uninstall every element of this browser from your computer. You can remove Maxthon from the system with the help of the steps below.

You can remove Maxthon Browser automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove Maxthon Browser virus you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Maxthon Browser virus. 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.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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To remove Maxthon Browser virus, follow these steps:

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Delete Maxthon Browser from Windows systems

Go to Control Panel. Access installed programs and look up for Maxthon browser. Once you find it, uninstall without consideration.

  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 Maxthon Browser and related programs
    Here, look for Maxthon Browser 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 Maxthon Browser 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.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Maxthon Browser from Mac OS X system

These instructions will help you to remove Maxthon cloud browser from Mac OS X:

  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 Maxthon Browser 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'
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Eliminate Maxthon Browser 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 Maxthon Browser 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 Maxthon Browser 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

Get rid of Maxthon Browser 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, Maxthon Browser should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

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Remove Maxthon Browser 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 Maxthon Browser 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 Maxthon Browser removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
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Uninstall Maxthon Browser 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 Maxthon Browser 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 Maxthon Browser removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Maxthon Browser 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 Maxthon Browser 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 Maxthon Browser, 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 Maxthon Browser removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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