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Remove Virus (Removal Guide) - updated May 2018

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

Netfind – a browser-hijacking app capable of compromising systems without authorization Virus
Netfind is a browser-hijacking app which modifies various browser settings to perform its intrusive actions.

Questions about Virus

Netfind is a browser hijacker that was developed and maintained by AOL Inc.[1] From the initial inspection, it looks like a legitimate search site named with a search bar and some customization settings included on the startup page. However, reputable security vendors recognize it as a browser hijacker and potentially unwanted program (PUP). It is capable of installing on target PCs via freeware stacks and substituting the default startup page and search engine with URL. Remember, the fake search engine does not bring any true value as it usually provides misleading search results.

Type of malware Browser hijacker
Main dangers Can redirect to malicious web domains, track personally non-identifiable data, generate intrusive ads
Main symptoms

Corrupted web browser's settings, an excessive amount of pop-up ads, redirects to irrelevant websites

Danger level Low
Browsers affected Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.
Elimination Download Reimage and run a scan to get rid of PUPs. browser hijacker has been included in PUP database[2] since 2017 soon after cybersecurity experts found it spreading as an attachment of various free programs. Consequently, thousands of people installed it without even being aware of that. Upon installation, the Netfind virus seeks to take control over Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge, Firefox or another web browser present on the system. Thus, it does the following changes:

  • Disables confronting extensions;
  • Replaces startup page and search provider;
  • Changes a default URL address;
  • Drops tracking cookies and monitors user's web browsing activities;
  • Installs BHO (Browser Helper Objects) to evade removal;
  • Displays excessive amounts of ads that belong to the affiliate parties;
  • Provides altered search results that contain links to sponsored websites.

Although the PUP cannot harm the system on its own, it should not be used as equally as Google or Bing. Its purpose is to drive traffic to the websites of its partners and generate advertising revenue. You need to remove Netfind virus from your computer system before it causes any other unwanted consequences. For this case, download and install an anti-malware program such as Reimage. Feel free to use any other trusted tool if wanted.

The problem is that no one ensures the security of the partner's content. By using the provided fake search engine, you risk clicking on a link that is connected to a malicious or potentially malicious web domain that contains infected ads, fake updates, survey scams, and similar content. To avoid such possibilities, perform the Netfind removal as soon as you spot the browser modifications.

Netfind PUP
Netfind is a potentially unwanted program which might provide misleading search query results.

Netfind is a potentially unwanted program which might provide misleading search query results.

According to[3] analysis, this kind of potentially unwanted programs can also use cookies[4] and other tracking software without authorization. has an ability to collect data that is related to the user's browsing experience. Such details involve your IP address, saved bookmarks, pages and sites visited, photos viewed, and other similar components.

By the way, we would also like to mention that the virus is related to the infamous Yahoo search, which was discontinued a couple of years ago due to data leakage and other illicit activities. As pointed out, following Yahoo ban, AOL and Yahoo have been joined and become Oath.

In June 2017, we announced that Yahoo and AOL had joined to become Oath, a digital and mobile media company and part of Verizon. We’re now bringing Oath and Yahoo together under these Terms of Service. browser hijacker is a browser hijacker that can disrupt web browsing activities and redirect your PC to potentially dangerous websites.

Browser hijackers arrive in freeware bundles

To maximize the number of downloads, PUP developers append their products (add-ons, toolbars, extensions, etc.) to freeware and shareware as “optional components.” The whole freeware stack is installed without unfurling if the PC's user opts for Quick or Recommended installation option. Therefore, if you want to crack the bundle before installing it, you should choose Advanced installation option and check what the installation setup claims. If there's a point stating that clicking the Next button is treated as your consent to install all freeware components, unmark each additional component before hitting the Next.

Moreover, be careful while surfing the Internet as various PUPs and other serious infections might occur anywhere. Stay away from sites that are provided by secondary sources e.g. P2P networks[5]. Always be concentrated while proceeding various actions on the web. Furthermore, install an antivirus program that will detect various threats that your eye did not capture along the way.

Netfind PUP
Netfind is a potentially unwanted program which might provide misleading search query results.

Netfind is a potentially unwanted program which might provide misleading search query results.

Learn how to remove Netfind virus easily

Do not ignore abnormal activity of this browser hijacker. It's not only intrusive but can also expose your PC to various cyber threats and lead to malware infiltration. To restore your web browser's, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, settings as they were before the Net Find attack, you'll have to remove Netfind virus first.

Although manual removal possibility exists, we would not recommend doing that. It's not clear how the program responsible for the hijack means, so you may need to initiate research on most of the apps installed on your PC to find out if it's malicious or not. However, you will be able to find manual elimination instructions below the article.

Instead of that, get rid of Netfind hijack with the help of a reputable anti-virus tool. Run a full system scan, and it will eliminate all PUPs in no time. Browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, and others, will be able to function properly again as there will be no more active components that might have got thru the system during the infection.

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. Virus snapshot
Netfind hijack

To remove virus, follow these steps:

Eliminate from Windows systems

Delete the browser hijacker from Windows by using these instructions:

  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 and related programs
    Here, look for 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 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.

Delete from Mac OS X system

Mac users should eliminate the infection by following these steps:

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

Erase virus from Microsoft Edge

As soon as all PUPs are gone, you can restore the settings of your web browser that were set before the attack. For that, you should:

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, should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Get rid of 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 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 removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Uninstall from Google Chrome

People whose Chrome has been hijacked by virus should follow this below-given tutorial to fix the current situation:

  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 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 removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Eliminate 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 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, 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 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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