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Remove virus (Removal Guide) - updated Feb 2020

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Browser Hijackers is a shady search tool that mostly appears on macOS systems virus virus may seem like an ordinary search tool but it truly falls in the browser hijacker category. Even though the home page of the tool is presented in English, the news section seems to be oriented toward Jewish speakers. However, most likely English speaking-users, American, UK[1]netizens are likely to notice this product. Friendlysocket aims to modify the web browser's default search engine, homepage, and new tab URL to its own. Afterward, the users are forced to complete search queries via the new search provider that gathers search results from another legitimate search engine -Yahoo. As you can see, there is no purpose for using the services provided by as you can just employ the original search provider instead.

Furthermore, seems identical to other questionable browser engines recently spotted online: Pogypon, Bitmotion, etc. These apps try to convince the user about their useful functionality. For example, they provide quick access to various web sources, social platforms, and e-shopping pages. However, note that browser hijackers often have a questionable reputation as they come secretly bundled with various free programs from the Internet.

Type/category Browser hijacker/potentially unwanted program
Similar apps Pogypon, Bitmotion
Activities The browser hijacker aims to change major browser settings such as the default search engine, new tab URL, and the homepage to its own. Continuously, the PUP is likely to produce intrusive advertisements, redirect the user to sponsored sources, and collect non-personal information
Distribution These types of products often come through bogus freeware and shareware that can be downloaded from questionable sources such as,, and Also, you can install browser hijackers from infectious advertisements and hyperlinks that you find on unsecured websites
Elimination You can get rid of the browser-hijacking application with the help of reliable antimalware software or by using the manual step-by-step guidelines that have been added to the end of this article
Fix tip If you have discovered some alterings on your Mac or Windows computer system, you can try repairing the device with the help of software such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

Friendly socket Mac can appear in the Applications section of your Mac device. However, if it is a Windows computer that you are running, the browser hijacker might appear in the Programs & Features section and also fill the Task Manager with suspicious processes. Web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, or Safari are also likely to get hijacked and their major settings modified. can also include questionable-looking browser extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons into your web browser that can serve for various purposes such as pay-per-click advertising[2] and redirecting. The browser hijacker might start spamming you with suspicious offers and deals during your browsing sessions in order to collect income from your clicks on the provided adverts. is a potentially unwanted program that mostly appears on Mac computers but can target Windows devices too

Furthermore, can trick you into buying useless products or subscribing to unneeded services. So, be careful not to lose your money for stuff that you truly do not need. Also, the provided advertisements can aim to redirect you to sponsored sources where you can be loaded with even more suggestions. Nevertheless, you can get redirected to a potentially dangerous website that is filled with malicious pieces of software.

To continue, might install flash cookies or pixels[3] into the hijacked web browser that allow tracking non-personal information. The PUP can spy on data such as your browser type, IP address, commonly visited websites, hyperlinks clicked, saved bookmarks, and similar details. According to the Privacy Policy, this type of information can be shared with other parties if it is found as beneficial:

We may share non-personally identifiable information with third parties, when this is required in order to provide, maintain or improve the Friendlysocket operation and services. We may NOT share personally identifiable information with any third party, except in an aggregated and/or statistical form.

If initiates multiple activities per one session (advertising, redirecting, etc.), your web browser might start struggling to perform even simple actions as it will be overloaded with unnecessary work. The same can happen to your computer system and you might see changes in your CPU power level. If the energy rises over 60% and more, you can start receiving serious system slowdowns and even crashes.

However, avoiding such trouble is possible by performing the removal process once you see that your browser settings such as the search engine, homepage, and new tab URL have been hijacked. Perform a full malware scan to identify the browser hijacker and all the additional components that it might have brought to your computer system. Also, if you have discovered any altered areas, you can try repairing them with a tool such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

There are many reasons to remove from your operating system and web browsers. You should know that you can always use an alternative and legitimate search engine instead of employing this program's services. Using Google, Bing, or Yahoo will be much safer and you can create the same shortcuts to popular web pages by adding bookmarks to the upper bar of your browser window. browser - a browser hijacker that can include flash cookies and pixels for tracking non-personal information about the user's browsing sessions

Ways to detect PUPs before they settle on your PC

This sort of hijacker is likely to be promoted through sponsored domains in the form of web scripts. You might have likely been redirected to this website after you clicked on a link in site overcrowded with fake “download” buttons.

There is also another common method for distributing PUP-like programs. They are pinned down to free applications, for instance, free file converters or media players. Thus, in order to spot them on time, it is recommended to opt for “Custom” settings instead of the “Recommended” settings and deselect all unwanted add-ons. Furthermore, you should avoid downloading software from untrustable sources such as,, or

In addition, browser hijackers can get downloaded from infectious advertisements that are distributed on third-party sources all over the Internet. If you are ever encouraged to proceed to a website that you consider not to be safe – do not do that. Also, always think twice before pressing on a particular ad as it might seak to plant a PUP on your computer system. Last but not least, employ reliable antimalware software and always check the program's virus-related alerts.

Delete Friendlysocket components from the OS and browsers

Since it is not an elaborate virus[4], you do not need to go through the troublesome elimination. You can remove web scripts with the assistance of an anti-spyware program. This type of software can help you to get rid of the browser hijacker within a few minutes of time and delete all the additional products that it has brought to the computer system together with itself.

Alternatively, the below-provided instructions will come in handy as well if you are likely to get rid of the potentially unwanted program on your own. Full browser reset function facilitates removal. Check whether it did not append any additional browser add-ons. You should search and refresh all of the possibly-infected web browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Safari.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Reimage Happiness
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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove 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.

To remove virus, follow these steps:

Remove from Windows systems

  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.

Eliminate from Mac OS X system

To terminate the browser hijacker and all the suspicious products that it has included in your macOS device, you should apply the following steps.

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for 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, 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 related to and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Get rid of from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example,
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete virus 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

Reset MS Edge if that 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 DeleteAdvanced 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” -VerboseAdvanced 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 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

Erase 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

To eliminate all of the suspicious extensions and other additional components from your Google Chrome web browser, use the below-provided guiding instructions.

  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

Remove from Safari

To bring the Safari web browser back to its previous state and get rid of the browser hijacker, you should take a look at the following guidelines.

  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

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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