Pick Dark browser hijacker (fake) - Free Instructions

Pick Dark browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is Pick Dark browser hijacker?

Pick Dark cannot actually provide dark mode while you are browsing the web

Pick DarkPick Dark can generate revenue from clicks and your browsing

Pick Dark is a browser hijacker that may change the main settings, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. It takes over the user experience by forcing people to use only selected channels for browsing. This introduces many user privacy and security concerns. The extension is promoted as a useful tool:

pick dark provides dark mode for simple web page

In reality, it does not have such functions. Fraudsters try to make the add-on look desirable as much as possible to make more people download it. Once users install such plugins, they can start experiencing an increased amount of commercial content, pop-up ads, banners, and redirects.

Crooks behind such applications only care about financial gain so they may use rogue advertising networks that display ads leading to dangerous websites. Users can get tricked into providing personal information, downloading PUPs (potentially unwanted programs),[1] and malware.

NAME Pick Dark
TYPE Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program
SYMPTOMS The app changes the main settings of the browser, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine
DISTRIBUTION Unsafe websites, deceptive ads, freeware installations
DANGERS The application may be collecting data about users' browsing activities; users might get redirected to dangerous websites that can trick them into providing personal information or downloading PUPs and malware
ELIMINATION Remove the extension via browser settings; performing a scan with professional security tools is recommended
FURTHER STEPS Use ReimageIntego to clear your browsers from cookies and cache

Distribution methods

Pick Dark was found to be listed on the Chrome web store. Even though it is rare, some browser hijackers slip through an extensive review process. It is important to do your research, read the reviews, look at the ratings, and the number of users. For example, this plugin is not the first one of its kind. We previously wrote about Plus Darker, Page Darker, Point Dark, and Color Darker which seem to be created by the same people.

It is always best to choose applications that have plenty of feedback. You can also enter the name of the plugin into the search. If you enter the name of the hijacker, usually not many related results come up. Hijackers can also be distributed through shady sites that use social engineering methods.

You can come across messages like “Recommended by Chrome.” Crooks can also threaten and make people believe that if they do not install the add-on, their Internet will be blocked, or the PC will be damaged by viruses. Fraudsters use scare tactics to make people act on instinct so you should always think twice before taking action.

Another way that browser hijackers can enter the system is through freeware installations. Freeware[2] distribution platforms use software bundling[3] to make a profit. They include additional programs in the installers that monetize user activity. That is why free is not always the best option. It is better to pay for software and get it from legitimate sources, knowing your system will be safe.

Pick Dark browser extensionPick Dark could have appeared in your browser through a couple of channels

Remove the unwanted extension

You can remove browser add-ons by going to your settings. Find the list of extensions installed in your browser and remove Pick Dark. Learn how to do that in the guide below:

Google Chrome

  • Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  • 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

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

MS Edge (Chromium)

  • Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  • Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Mozilla Firefox

  • Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  • Select Add-ons.
  • In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Safari

  • Click Safari > Preferences…
  • In the new window, pick Extensions.
  • Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Ensure you are free of adware

Sometimes removing only the extension is ineffective, and users still continue to experience unwanted symptoms. In that case, you will probably have to scan your machine for adware which is a program that hides in the background of the machine and generates commercial content. If you have it, simply removing the add-on will not be enough, and the settings will keep changing until you completely eliminate the intruder from your machine.

If you want to avoid PUPs sneaking into your system, you can apply simple rules during the installation process:

  • Always choose “Custom” or “Advanced” installation methods
  • Read the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use to find out what information will be collected and what the application will be allowed to do in your system
  • The most important part is to check the file list and untick the boxes next to any items that you think are suspicious or unrelated

PUAs are often disguised as “handy” tools to make it more difficult for average users to identify them. The program that is causing the erratic behavior could have any name or icon, so if you are not sure what to do and you do not want to risk deleting the wrong files, we suggest using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes anti-malware tools that will scan your machine, eliminate it, and prevent such infections in the future by giving you a warning before a PUP can make any changes. If manual removal is what you still prefer, we have instructions for Windows and Mac machines:

Windows 10/8:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

Windows 7/XP:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Mac:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove an unwanted app, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files.Uninstall from Mac 2

Clear your browsers from trackers

One of the most important things you should do after a successful removal is to take care of your browsers. Websites and web-based applications can use cookies to gather data like your IP address, geolocation, pages you visit, links you click on, and things you purchase online.

Cookies can be used to personalize the user experience – show relevant results. But for crooks, it is just another way to make a profit. They can be sold to advertising networks and other third parties. Cookies can also be hijacked and used for malicious purposes so it is very important to delete them regularly.

We love maintenance tools like ReimageIntego because they can do this with a click of a button. This powerful software can also fix various system errors, corrupted files, and registry issues which is especially helpful after a virus infection.

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

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

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References