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Remove Superfish (Removal Instructions) - Aug 2017 update

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - -   Also known as WindowShopper | Type: Adware

Superfish adware forces people to see annoying third-party ads

Superfish ads that appear on shopping website

Superfish (also known as WindowShopper) is a widely known adware[1], which hijacks computers and starts displaying pop-up ads and banners without user's approval. Also, this potentially unwanted program can collect information related to people's search sessions, cause browser redirects and initiate other activities behind their back.

After collecting a required amount of data (it includes search terms, information about mostly visited websites, email addresses, login names, etc.), Superfish virus sends it to its developers. Beware that this information may be sold to unknown parties that may try to use it for illegal aims!

That's why we do NOT recommend you to deal with this program. In fact, we would like to recommend you avoiding all shopping helpers and assistants because such programs can hardly help you to save the money during your shopping sessions.

Their aim is to cause “Similar Products Powered by Superfish” ads and similar content that could redirect people to predetermined websites and generate pay-per-click income.

Fortunately, to remove Superfish malware is just as easy as to prevent its filtration to your computer. For that, make sure that you avoid its official website and also monitor installation of the freeware, which is usually involved in the distribution of such “helpers”.

Programs that you should install with an extreme carefulness are various download managers, PDF creators, video streaming software and similar apps. To know more about recommended steps that are required during the installation of the freeware, you should check the next paragraph. Do not forget to remove Superfish from your computer! For that you can use Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or other reliable anti-spyware.

Superfish Inc VisualDiscovery was pre-installed on some Lenovo computers

Superfish is also a term associated with malware detected on some Lenovo computers[2]. This software was actively distributed in 2010, and then Lenovo decided to bundle this adware program with some of its computers in 2014.

A little later, in 2015, the US Department of Homeland Security recommended removing Superfish Inc VisualDiscovery from computers, stating that it creates security vulnerabilities in computers that could be exploited during cyber attacks. At the time, the suspicious software had over 80 million users worldwide.

Lenovo Superfish virus is known for an ability to inject ads into search results despite the type of web search engine used. On top of that, the software was analyzed, and it turned out that it intercepts encrypted SSL/TLS connections. Lenovo has released official instructions on how to uninstall Super Fish adware.

Please use the instructions provided below the article to identify and delete this adware if you suspect that you have it on your computer system.

Questions about Superfish

Superfish adwareSuperfish adware is an annoying program that displays ads in a form of banners or pop-ups during victim's browsing sessions. The adware is closely associated with Lenovo, which used to bundle SuperFish Inc. VisualDiscovery with some of its computers.

Adware typically sneaks into computer systems alongside other freeware

Just like a hijack of WindowShopper and Yontoo, Superfish hijack issue interrupts you unexpectedly. LesVirus.fr says that there are many users in France who were affected by this particular adware[3]. In most of the cases, it appears right after installing free software. Unfortunately, people are still failing to monitor installation of programs that they need. That's how they get tricked into agreeing to install optional components that are capable of altering system settings and causing unwanted activities on each of web browsers.

To avoid such unexpected downloads, you should start checking what programs you download to your computer. For that, you should read the Privacy Policy, End User's License Agreement and similar information that is given about freeware.

Also, you should start choosing only Custom or Advanced installation option when downloading programs from the Internet. This will help you to see all 'additional' components that are typically offered for free in a bundle with free software. If you have already noticed annoying ads during your search sessions, you should follow the guide we added to this post and fix your computer.

Superfish removal guidelines

All the tools that you can use for Superfish removal are listed below. By using them, you can remove this adware and EACH of its components automatically. To get the best result, make sure that you update your anti-spyware to its latest version and run a full system scan. As soon as it finishes its scan, remove detected files from your computer.

The other method that you can rely on when trying to remove Superfish virus is called manual removal method. In this case, you should try to find every component that is related to this adware manually. When using this option, check your Task manager to disable any active adware processes and then inspect each of web browsers.

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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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 Superfish, follow these steps:

Get rid of Superfish from Windows systems

Below, we present Superfish virus removal guide. Look for entries with such phrases as “Superfish Inc. VisualDiscovery,” “Superfish,” “Windows Shopper,” “Deal,” “Search Protect” etc. and remove each of them.

How to remove Superfish certificate?

After removing the adware, you need to find its certificate and delete it. Here's what you need to do:

1. Use Windows search and type “certificate” without commas. Choose Manage computer certificates result.

2. The computer will ask you whether you want to allow the program to make changes to your PC. Click Yes.

3. On the left side of the Certificate Manager, select Trusted Root Certificate Authorities (the folder should expand) and then choose Certificates.

4. Now look on your right and find Superfish, Inc. folder. Right-click it and select Delete. Confirm your choice by choosing Yes in the prompt that appears.

4. Reboot your computer.

To remove Superfish from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find entries related to Superfish (or any other recently installed suspicious program).
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Erase Superfish from Mac OS X system

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

Remove Superfish from Applications folder:

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

Eliminate Superfish 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 Superfish 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 Superfish removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Remove Superfish 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 Superfish-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

Uninstall Superfish from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

1. To remove SuperFish from Firefox, open the browser and go to Settings > Options. 

2. Here, go to Advanced tab and then to Certificates. Click View Certificates.

3. Now, go to Authorities tab and find Superfish, Inc. Select it and choose Delete or Distrust…

4. Once the Delete or Distrust CA Certificates pop-up appears, select the program again and click OK.

5. Restart the computer.

Additionally, you can perform this step:

1. Go to Firefox and enter about:config into the address bar. Hit Enter.

2. Click the “I'll be careful, I promise!” button to proceed.

3. Now, use the search provided at the top of the page to look for superfish. Three or more entries should be found. Right-click on each of them and choose Reset.

In addition, complete these instructions to remove unwanted Firefox add-ons:

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select plugins that are related to Superfish and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear.Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

In case Superfish did not get removed after following the instructions above, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information.Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox – this should complete Superfish removal.Reset Firefox 2

Delete Superfish from Google Chrome

Wondering how to remove Superfish from Google Chrome? Delete suspicious Chrome add-ons that might be serving Superfish ads to you.

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to Superfish by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the Superfish-components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings to complete Superfish removal.Reset Chrome 2

Get rid of Superfish from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to Superfish and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.Reset Safari

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

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
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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Contact Gabriel E. Hall
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References
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  1. LCarter says:
    May 12th, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    I have run the uninstall program from Lenovo and Ive also (first) tried to remove it manually. I show NONE of the certificates or programs on my computer, and really I have only seen the pop-up ads a few times, but my computer makes a call to superfish.com about every 20-40 minutes at least that my filter sees. I also ran a wireshark for about 10 minutes and I see lots of hits to 3 different IPs that are in the same domain as what superfish resolves to. Not sure what to do.

  2. JeremyLopez says:
    January 29th, 2016 at 6:46 am

    I HATE this virus!

  3. TomTomTom says:
    January 29th, 2016 at 6:47 am

    SpyHunter is the only tool that worked for me.. Scanned the system with Malwarebytes but they failed to detect this virus. I will keep spyhunter for protecting my computer in the future. Thank you.

  4. LucyLu says:
    January 29th, 2016 at 6:48 am

    I have been trusting Superfish ads for months! thank you for giving me a right guide to remove it from the system

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