Remain Dark browser hijacker Removal Guide
What is Remain Dark browser hijacker?
Remain Dark is a browser-hijacking application that shows ads in search results and tracks user data
Remain Dark is a browser-hijacking app that changes your browser settings to show ads
Remain Dark is a browser extension that its developer presents as an app capable of providing the dark theme for every visited website. While this functionality might seem helpful, users have reported their less than positive experiences with it; This does not come as a surprise, as the extension is categorized as a browser hijacker due to its deceptive distribution and operation techniques, as well as changes made to the default browser.
Just like many other potentially unwanted applications, Remain Dark is mainly spread in software bundlers or via misleading advertisements that one can encounter after clicking a malicious link somewhere. This way, users typically install the app without knowing much about how it operates or what are the consequences of this action.
Once installed, the hijacker begins to change the browser immediately. First of all, users would notice that their homepage does not look the same, and google.com is seemingly absent. This is because the app assigns its own homepage and new tab function. When the search box is used, the search queries are redirected through a rogue web address 87nzaa.com, only to direct users to insecure search provider websearches.club.
With the help of these changes, Remain Dark browser hijacker can insert all types of ads into users' searches, which are typically shown at the top or to the right of the genuine results. These might not always be accurate or even secure, so we strongly recommend avoiding them.
We have previously seen a lot of extensions that are an exact copy of this one, and they all promise to enable dark mode – Pure Dark, Color Darker, and Point Dark are a few examples. In reality, this functionality is already available via any browser's web settings, hence making it rather useless. Considering that the app also changes browser settings and inserts ads, it becomes clear why so many people want to remove it.
|Distribution||Software bundles, ads, third-party websites|
|Symptoms||Homepage and new tab changes; redirects through 87nzaa.com and shows results via an alternative provider websearches.club; inserts ads|
|Risks||Installation of other potentially unwanted programs/malware, personal data disclosure to unknown parties, monetary loss|
|Removal||To remove the unwanted browser extension, you should access your browser's settings section. You should also check for other PUPs or malware with an SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner anti-malware|
|Optional steps||After you eliminate all browser hijackers and other PUPs from your system, make sure you clean your web browsers and repair system files. You can also do that automatically with ReimageIntego|
How browser hijackers spread
It goes without saying that the elimination of unwanted software from the infected device is really important. Malware authors usually use more advanced distribution such as software vulnerabilities, malicious macro documents, brute-force attacks, and more. However, potentially unwanted programs do not spread that way, although the main difference is that users themselves install them unintentionally.
When the targets are regular PC users, crooks employ tactics that require minimal effort to be successful. For more serious infections, they use torrents, warez, online scams, and similar ways to make users install it on their systems. This can be avoided by employing a powerful security application and never ignoring its warnings.
However, the most popular way of getting infected with potentially unwanted software is through bundling. This technique is used by almost all third-party websites that spread freeware, as it is one of the primary monetization methods along with embedded ads. Thus, whenever you venture to such a website, keep in mind that you might end up with additional programs installed if you don't pay close attention to the installation steps.
Here are a few tips that could help you to avoid PUPs and even malware in some cases:
- When installing new applications from freeware distribution sites, always expect another app to be offered to you in one way or another;
- During the installation, always pick Advanced/Custom mode instead of Quick/Recommended one, as it will grant you more control over the process;
- Watch out for pre-ticked boxes, misleading button placements, and fine print, as all of these components could hide additional applications within the installer;
- Install powerful security software with a PUP detection feature.
The search provider is swapped to websearches.club
Remain Dark removal steps
As evident, in order to eliminate all the unwanted side effects of a browser hijacker, is to remove the correlating extension. Initially, most potentially unwanted programs were installed on the system level, which allowed them to take over all the installed browsers and even show pop-up ads outside of browser operation.
Since security researchers and service providers like Google started to implement more measures to prevent such intrusive functionality, browser hijackers had to stop employing malicious tactics to show ads to users. Thus, most such apps are relatively harmless, although they can still be annoying when it comes to changing browser settings and displaying ads.
That being said, elimination of Remain Dark is relatively simple, although we do recommend performing a full system scan with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes, or another powerful security tool in order to ensure that the system is not infected with other PUPs or even malware. Note that you should also be able to uninstall the app by clicking the “Extensions” button located at the right of the web address bar of your browser.
- 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.
- Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the window's top-right).
- Select Add-ons.
- In here, select the unwanted plugin and click Remove.
MS Edge (Chromium)
- Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
- Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.
MS Edge (legacy)
- Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
- From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
- Click on Uninstall at the bottom.
- Click Safari > Preferences…
- In the new window, pick Extensions.
- Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.
Protect your privacy
Browser hijackers and other potentially unwanted applications such as adware get their revenue from ads. In order to show ads effectively, those affected are constantly being tracked about everything related to web browsing activities as well as browser preferences, technical details, and much more. This way, data tracking became a mandatory feature that almost every PUP employs, and Remain Dark is no exception.
In this case, the app gathers the IP address, technical device data, ISP, links clicked, websites visited, search words typed, and much more. Thus, in order to protect your privacy, it is time to stop third parties from tracking you – you will have to remove caches, such as cookies and other web data, from your browser.
Cookie hijacking is a dangerous cyberattack where criminals can take over your session, meaning they can steal user ID and masquerade as an authorized party, accessing all the related accounts. The possibility of this happening can be drastically reduced by using robust security tools and cleaning web caches on a regular basis.
In order to do that effectively and easily, we recommend employing ReimageIntego – a PC repair tool that can clean your device automatically for you and also fix virus damage at once. Alternatively, you could also perform this manually as follows:
- Click on Menu and pick Settings.
- Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
- Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
- Click Clear data.
- Click Menu and pick Options.
- Go to Privacy & Security section.
- Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
- Click on Clear Data…
- Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content, and press Clear.
MS Edge (Chromium)
- Click on Menu and go to Settings.
- Select Privacy and services.
- Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
- Under Time range, pick All time.
- Select Clear now.
MS Edge (legacy)
- Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
- Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
- Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.
- Click Safari > Clear History…
- From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
- Confirm with Clear History.
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.