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Remove Search.pandaviewer.com virus (Removal Guide) - Dec 2020 update

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

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 ReimageIntego 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 ReimageIntego. 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. 

Snapshots of the Search.pandaviewer.com official websiteSearch.pandaviewer.com is a search engine designed to promote third party software rather than provide a reputable search service. Be careful with it!

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 may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. 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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What to do if failed?
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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 Search.pandaviewer.com virus, follow these steps:

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.

Erase Search.pandaviewer.com from Mac OS X system

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

Remove Search.pandaviewer.com virus from Applications folder:

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

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.

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 Search.pandaviewer.com virus 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, Google.com).
  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 Search.pandaviewer.com virus removal.Reset Internet Explorer

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.

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 Search.pandaviewer.com virus-related 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

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

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

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

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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