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Search.pandaviewer.com virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Panda viewer is a browser hijacker that compromises web browser’s settings without permission

Panda viewer malware used for affiliate marketing

Panda viewer has been classified as a browser hijacker and potentially unwanted program (PUP). Although its developer, Banana Summer Technology Inc., represents the Panda Image Viewer app as a “fast, stable, easy to use image viewer for pc, laptop, tablet, and smartphone,” cybersecurity experts reported it being involved in suspicious activities. Once it enters the system, it injects an extension to Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge, and other web browsers and sets Search.pandaviewer.com as a start page and Panda Viewer as a search engine. Upon these modifications, web browser initiates redirects to Panda viewer partner’s websites. 

Name Panda viewer
Type Browser hijacker (can exhibit adware-typical behavior)
Danger level Low. Can redirect to potentially dangerous websites or promote questionable programs
Distribution Freeware bundling
Related files  Pandaviewer.exe
Other traits Is related to Search.pandaviewer.com search site
Download Reimage and run a full system scan to get rid of Panda Viewer PUP

The relationship between the Panda Viewer and Search.pandaviewer.com is not apparent from the initial inspection because the search  looks like a regular search engine [1] that promises to provide the users with “a fast and easy way to search the web.” However, using it for a while reveals that it’s mainly used to promote Panda Viewer services and its partner’s websites. 

In fact, people behind Panda viewer malware may try to sneak this program on the computers against the user’s will, by secretly bundling[2] it with freeware or shareware applications. Once on the computer, the advertisers may go through a similar process when trying to foist the users the Panda Image Viewer Secure Search extension.

While we can’t tell whether this product is safe to use or not, we should point out that reputable service providers rarely choose such questionable means of letting the world know about their work. If you are not happy with the sudden change of your default search engine and homepage, the only way to revert the changes is to remove Panda viewer virus from your computer unhesitatingly.

We recommend you to perform Panda viewer removal with reputable antivirus software like Reimage. Make sure to update definitions of your security software, and you’ll see that this program is detected as a potentially unwanted browser hijacker [3]. Most of AV engines recognize the PandaViewer.exe file to be potentially dangerous. 

If Panda viewer has already established Search.pandaviewer.com URL on your web browser, you should better be careful when browsing the net. NoVirus.uk[4] team warns that this malware is capable of:

  • Set Search.pandaviewer.com URL as default start page and search engine without permission;
  • Install Browser Helper Objects (BHO) to evade Panda viewer removal;
  • Alter search results by injecting links to partner’s websites. Beware that some of them can be potentially dangerous;
  • The app does not take responsibility for the third-party content that it might be set to promote:

This Software does not provide any representations, guarantees or warranties with respect to security, legality, compatibility and/or harmlessness regarding the installation, upgrade and/or other aspects of any third-party software involved. Any disputes arising thereof shall be settled by the third party, and Banana Summer will assume no responsibility or liability whatsoever.

  • It injects tracking cookies and collect Search Data continuously;
  • Can display an excessive amount of Panda viewer ads;
  • Increases the CPU utilization [5] to nearly 100%, making the system slower and more vulnerable;

In a nutshell, we do not recommend keeping it installed. Eliminate it without a delay by launching security tool or following manual removal guide provided down below. 

PUP travel around in a misleading way

The problem with this PUP is that it is not heavyweight enough to be noticed by automatic malware detection software, so it may travel bundled together with freeware and shareware applications and install on the computer completely unnoticed by the users.

Panda viewer EULA printscreen

This is highly determined by the fact that users fail to run the installation properly. They often choose quick installation instead of a more detailed one, this way unknowingly allowing unwanted apps to enter the computer.To prevent this from happening, always opt for Advance installation option and unmark “recommended” tools that are marked by default. 

A guide on how to remove Panda viewer virus

If Panda viewer malware stealthily entered the system and forcefully altered your web browser’s parameters, make sure to respond immediately by running your antivirus and resetting the changes. 

Since the app tends to spread bundled with freeware, it might not be the only PUP residing in the system. Thus, we would strongly recommend you to run a full system scan to remove Panda viewer virus along with its companions. After that, you’ll have to delete Search.pandaviewer.com search from your browser. This can be done by manually resetting web browser’s settings. You can find a thorough PUP elimination guidance down below. 

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes 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 Malwarebytes.
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.

To remove Search.pandaviewer.com virus, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.pandaviewer.com from Windows systems

Here you will find instructions on how to get rid of Panda viewer without the use of additional software.

  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 Search.pandaviewer.com and related programs
    Here, look for Search.pandaviewer.com 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 Search.pandaviewer.com 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 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' 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 Search.pandaviewer.com from Mac OS X system

  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 Search.pandaviewer.com 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'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Search.pandaviewer.com from Internet Explorer (IE)

In the instructions below you will find steps that will help eliminate the PUP from your browser.

  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 Search.pandaviewer.com 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 Search.pandaviewer.com 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

Eliminate Search.pandaviewer.com virus from Microsoft Edge

Your Microsoft Edge can only be liberated from Panda viewer virus by resetting the browser and cleaning up suspicious entries.

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, Search.pandaviewer.com should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Search.pandaviewer.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Fix Mozilla by following these steps:

  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 Search.pandaviewer.com 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 Search.pandaviewer.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Search.pandaviewer.com from Google Chrome

This program may refuse to leave your Google Chrome even after the virus removal. In such a case, you should follow the steps included below:

  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 Search.pandaviewer.com 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 Search.pandaviewer.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.pandaviewer.com 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 Search.pandaviewer.com 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 Search.pandaviewer.com, 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 Search.pandaviewer.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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