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Remove Softonic (Virus Removal Guide) - Nov 2020 update

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Softonic is a questionable application that alters web browser settings without permission

Softonic Web Search

Questions about Softonic

Softonic – a well-known download website that offers a large variety of free applications. While the site is notorious for distributing bundled software, it has its own browser hijacker that takes over Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari or another browser. Softonic Web Search engine can trick users into installing other potentially unwanted apps. Additionally, it alters the search engine so that users are forced to browse via hxxp://, and searches made through it displays an excessive amount of sponsored links. Furthermore, browser hijackers like Softonic often engage in information gathering that relates to users' web browsing activities.

Name Softonic
Type Browser hijacker/Potentially unwanted program
Infiltration Software bundling, third-party websites
Symptoms Altered homepage and search engine, suspicious redirects, increased amount of ads on all websites, etc.
Risk factors Infiltration of other PUPs, money loss, getting scammed online, malware infections, etc.
Termination Make use of manual instructions below or take advantage of security software
Optimization Use ReimageIntego to recover from the damage caused by infection

Softonic Web Search is a browser add-on[1] has been actively spread with the help of bundling,[2] so there is no surprise that some of its victims cannot remember downloading it. Right after infiltration, it hijacks each of your web browsers and drops a new search provider. Typically, it's or websites that have been promoted with the help of this technique.

As a result, Softonic virus gets a chance to start causing sponsored notifications on victim's desktop. Their aim is to redirect users to predetermined websites and earn the money by tricking them into installing required software. If you have never dealt with a similar browser hijacker before, we suggest you to follow the instructions provided in the end of this article to get rid of this PUP. 

The main danger related to popups and redirects is that they can end up on malicious websites. The most of developers, who use pay-per-click scheme[3] to earn the money, fail to double check third parties before adding links to them. As a result, you can be redirected to malware-infested website without knowing. 

No matter how reliable and trustworthy this app looks, you should be extremely careful with it. We highly recommend you to remove Softonic from your computer, especially if it infiltrated it without your approval. If you can't do that manually, you can choose an easier way to do that – scan your computer with updated anti-virus and remove everything what was reported as unsafe. You can also check if there are no system issues caused by the virus left. For that, use ReimageIntego.

Softonic ToolbarSoftonic Toolbar is a potentially unwanted program that sets site as default homepage and search provider without user's knowledge.

Softonic is one of the latest examples of aggressive marketing used to promote questionable software. After falling for its popup notifications, you can fall for installing useless search engines, questionable browser add ons and other PUPs. If you have been dealing with this program for a while or if you clicked on one of its ads without realizing that it is fake, you should waste no time and scan your computer with the reputable anti-spyware.

As we have already mentioned, Softonic removal is not a complicated process because it is a potentially unwanted program, not a serious virus. You can let this task for updated anti-spyware or use a step-by-step guide given in the end of this article. 

Ways to install PUP like Softonic without knowing

Softonic Toolbar is distributed using unfair marketing techniques or with a help of its official website. Let us remind you that part of the programs promoted via site are useful, but you have to be careful when installing them. Otherwise, you might infect your computer with one or a couple unwanted applications.

There is no wonder why so many computer users install PUPs from that site – it belongs to the top 200 of most popular sites in the world and it is extremely popular in US and China[4].

In addition, you can install the described toolbar consciously from the sites that promote it or in a bundle with other applications. When it comes to shady marketing, it usually relies on freeware and shareware and gets on its target PC as an extra ‘component’.

As soon as it is installed, it drops its own add-on and extensions and shows up on all Internet browsers. Please, avoid Softonic Web Search app because it is not created for improving your web search activities! Instead of that, it will cause altered search results and will redirect you to malicious websites.

Be aware that you may also be forced to enter a hacked site that promotes various malware. If you want to avoid this application, you should select only Custom or Advanced installation of the freeware because these two methods are the only ones that can help you to see what optional components are hiding in a program that you want to install.

If you haven’t installed the described program on your computer and now you are seeing it on each of websites you visit, you should uninstall it without any delay. Use this guide for that.

Softonic  hijackerMost of people associate Softonic with freeware distribution. However, users also noticed the annoying hijacker under the same name that takes over the web browsers and engages in intrusive behavior, disturbing web browsing sessions

Frequently asked questions about Softonic:

Question: Hello, I've been using Softonic for years but recently I installed some spyware type programs from this site so I no longer feel safe using it. In fact, I decided to be more careful when choosing software download sources. For this reason, I am looking for a guide on how to delete or uninstall Softonic account. Could you provide it for me?

Answer: Dear visitor, if you are willing to say goodbye for Softonic account, please follow the provided instructions:

  1. Open site and make sure you're logged in. Click on your username and then choose Edit my Details (in the left panel).
  2. Click on Delete my account option. Confirm your choice by clicking Delete again. Selecting the reason why you want to leave is optional!

Question: How to get rid of Softonic Downloader? I am trying to uninstall this program via Control Panel, but nothing seems to work. Is there some kind of bug or error that I need to solve first? Please help!

Answer: Some users reported problems regarding Softonic Downloader removal. The problem seems to be associated with program's components that prevent uninstalling the software from the system. The first thing that you want to do is to end all processes related to the downloader. You should open Windows Task Manager for that (click Control + Alt + Delete) and then check Processes list for any processes related to the described downloader. Select them and end them.

Finally, we suggest you follow the guide provided below. It explains how to remove Softonic for Windows. If you get the “access denied” error when trying to uninstall it, kill all processes associated with the software and then clear your browsers from suspicious extensions.

Question: I accidentally installed Softonic Assistant, and it autoruns each time I start Windows. Is there a way to disable this program? Is it a virus or something? I can't stand the annoying messages that it shows for me. Everything was okay before I decided to install it!

Answer: If you are tired of the software that suggests you alternative software to open files with unknown file extensions, you can remove it by uninstalling its components. This program is not malicious and can be removed easily. Please follow the instructions given down below.

Remove Softonic applications from your computer

If you haven't installed the described application, you probably are looking for ways to remove Softonic virus. The first thing that you should know is that this application isn't a malicious program, thus it cannot be assigned to malware category and cannot be called a virus. It is recommended to remove it from the system because it usually slips into it unnoticed and many computer users complain about it.

You absolutely do not need to experience repetitious redirects to,, and similar websites that are considered potentially dangerous. For a quick Softonic removal, follow these steps to fix your browsers.

The tutorial explains how to uninstall Softonic from Chrome and other web browsers in no time. Therefore, no matter which of your browsers were compromised, you can fix them by yourself.

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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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 Softonic, follow these steps:

Remove Softonic from Windows systems

  1. Kill all Softonic processes via Windows Task Manager. To launch this panel, press Control + Alt + Delete at the same time.
  2. Now, go to Processes tab and select process related to the unwanted software. Click End Task. Repeat with every other process related to Softonic.
  3. Uninstall unwanted programs using the guidelines presented below.

  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 Softonic and related programs
    Here, look for Softonic 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 Softonic 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.

Get rid of Softonic from Mac OS X system

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

Remove Softonic from Applications folder:

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

Delete Softonic 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 Softonic 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 Softonic removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase Softonic 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 Softonic-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

Eliminate Softonic from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

The defined toolbar often bothers Firefox users. The tutorial given below explains how to remove unwanted additions from this browser.

  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 Softonic 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 Softonic removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Uninstall Softonic from Google Chrome

In order to remove Softonic from Chrome, you should follow the steps provided 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 Softonic 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 Softonic removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Remove Softonic 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 Softonic 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 Softonic, 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 Softonic removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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