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Remove virus (Removal Instructions) - Feb 2020 update

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - -   Also known as virus , virus | Type: Browser Hijackers is a domain related to a malicious extension that hijacks Google Chrome or another browser is a potentially unwanted program that usually arrives to your PC via freeware bundle installers is a web address that users may see as soon as they install a SweetIM toolbar into their Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, MS Edge, Safari, or another browser. The toolbar can be downloaded from various third-party websites, although most users get infected with virus when they install freeware apps (multiple programs are packaged into a single installer and optional components purposely hidden from the sight during the installation process).

After the infiltration, or is immediately applied as a startup page, as well as a new tab URL, accompanied by a customized search engine. Those who attempt to enter search terms will see that returned results are filled with sponsored links and various ads. Besides showing sponsored search results, browser hijacker[1] may also record information about users' web browsing sessions and expose them to scams, phishing, or even malware-laden sites.

Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program
Associated app SweetIM toolbar compatible with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and other web browsers
Developer MacroGaming LTD, SweetIM Technologies
  • SweetIM.exe process running in the background
  • New tab address and homepage set to or
  • Customized search engine displays search results filled with sponsored links
  • Intrusive advertisements are shown on all visited websites
  • Web browsers are slow to load particular websites, etc.
Distribution Software bundles, third-party sites, deceptive ads, fake updates, etc.
Removal You can get rid of potentially unwanted programs with the help  anti-malware software or follow our manual guide below
Recovery PUPs can sometimes negatively impact the operating system, which might start showing errors, crashing, lagging, etc. To fix virus damage, you can scan the computer with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

Browser hijackers are generally not considered to be extremely dangerous, as they simply change web browser settings and show sponsored content on a regular basis. While some links might lead to such sites like scam, phishing,[2] push notification scam, and similar, getting infected with dangerous malware like ransomware[3] due to hijack is highly unlikely.

However, SweetIM is a toolbar that runs its own process (SweetIM.exe) in the background, which implies that it embeds its files into the Windows system. Due to this, users may experience removal issues, as well as a slowdown of the web browser operation. Besides, the application is also recognized by several anti-malware engines as follows:

  • Adware.SweetIM.2
  • Win32:Downloader-MOM
  • BitCocktail
  • TROJ_SPNR.16AM12
  • Sweetim.4FB
  • PUP.Optional.SweetPacks.A, etc.

As soon as starts running on the system, users will see an alternative search engine that is marked as Not secure by Google Chrome or any other web browser. This means that the developers of the app did not bother to secure the site with HTTPS protocol, which prevents cyberattacks from external sources. As a result, all the information typed into the search or subsequent pages can be stolen by malicious parties.

Additionally, the homepage or is also filled with ads, and sometime these might be of dubious nature. For example, some embedded links might indicate that your security software is out of date, you got a message, or that your system might be at risk due to online threats – these are common social engineering tricks in order to make users click on potentially malicious links and make them download unwanted software, disclose personal information, or make them subscribe to useless services, losing money in the process. browser is a browser hijacker that might start disturbing your online sessions with intrusive or malicious ads

Many users try to remove virus manually via the Control Panel – just like any other regular application. However, the remnants of the hijacker remain on the system most of the time, and the unwanted advertisements, redirects, web browser changes, and other issues continue.

Of that is the case for you, we highly advise you first try getting rid of SweetIM as per instructions below, and then refresh all the installed browsers. If that does not work, you should try scanning your machine with reputable anti-malware software (make sure it is up-to-date). Note that, because modifies Windows registry and performs other unwanted changes, you might experience stability or functionality issues, even after you get rid of the hijacker. If that is the case, use Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to fix virus damage on your system.

Browser hacker infection routine

Browser hijackers like or Babylon Toolbar can infiltrate its target PC system unnoticed because it has been actively spread using software bundling. In fact, when this method is used, it tricks people into accepting the installation of a potentially unwanted application that they never wanted in the first place. This practice is extremely prevalent on a third-party website that hosts free programs, so choosing trustworthy sources like Google Web Store, Microsoft Store, Amazon, etc., is always a more wise decision to make when it comes to new software. That being said, sites that host illegal installers or software cracks should be avoided altogether.

If you insist on downloading apps from third parties, you should also acknowledge the risks, namely, the installation of potentially unwanted programs or, in some cases, malware. Therefore, you should always ensure that you don't rush the installation process; for example, clicking “Next” until you are done is a very bad practice that can result in cyber infections. Thus, follow these tips provided by security experts:

  • Never rush the installation process – read each of the instructions carefully;
  • Decline all the offers/deals on the way;
  • Watch out for pre-ticked boxes – unmark those that allow the installer to proceed with additional component installation;
  • Do not skip the fine print, as important information might be hidden there;
  • Always opt for Advanced/Custom installation settings when prompted, as sometimes it is the only way to prevent PUPs from being installed (Recommended/Quick setting will install all the nasties you don't want on your PC). offers an application that runs a background process once installed

Remove virus safely

As previously mentioned, removal might not be successful immediately if the normal program uninstallation method is followed. Nevertheless, we suggest you first check our instructions provided below and follow them closely. If the unwanted activity does not stop even after you get rid of the PUP, you should also try resetting the installed web browsers.

In case you can't remove virus in a regular way, we highly advise you employ anti-malware software that has a PUP detection feature or specializes in PUP detection. However, please do not forget to bring the security application to the most recent version, and only then perform a full system scan.

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
Intego Happiness
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:

Eliminate from Windows systems

To get rid of SweetIm browser hijacker, try to uninstall it via the Control Panel as explained 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 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.

Delete 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

Get rid of virus from Microsoft Edge

In case MS Edge is still showing signs of browser hijacking, you should reset it as follows:

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

Uninstall from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To reset Mozilla Firefox and ensure no ads or redirect return, perform the following 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 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

Erase from Google Chrome

  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

Eliminate 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 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
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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Contact Ugnius Kiguolis
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  1. Jeff Wells says:
    September 13th, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Last night, I downloaded a program from Free RAR Extract Frog. Upon installing it, I was given the opportunity to install three additional items that included SweetIM. I didnt choose any of these add-ons, and unclicked all three boxes. The installation of the program took forever; in fact, I had to manually shut the computer down, but before I did, I saw three new icon shortcuts on my desktop; SweetIM and two others. I deleted the icons, yet SweetIM “had its way” with my system.

    I have Windows XP; Firefox 15.0.1; Internet Explorer 8.

    SweetIM became my preferred homepage whether I used Firefox or Internet Explorer. I went to Add or Remove Programs through my Control panel, but I couldnt find SweetIM, under any name.

    I went to both browsers and changed my homepage back to google, but no matter how many times I did this, SweetIM always hijacked the homepage.

    I went to both browsers in order to disable SweetIM as an add-on. I did this successfully in Firefox (but to no avail; it didnt seem to help); I couldnt find SweetIM as an add-on in IE.

    When I used Firefox, and when I clicked on the little “house” icon which normally takes me to my homepage, seven new tabs tried to open all at once, pages that were convinced that they were all my homepage.

    Luckily, Spybot informed me that SweetIM is a bad program. I did find SweetIM in my program files, but when I clicked on SweetIMs uninstall file, nothing happened. When I clicked on Start and then All Programs, SweetIM did not appear in my program list.

    I wrote to SweetIM, telling them that they ought to be ashamed of themselves for unleashing this malicious program. I asked them to help me; SweetIMs technical support sent me an automatically generated reply and suggested that I read their FAQ page; I even tried to use SweetIMs online uninstall, but to no avail. By the way, that reply did not have word wrap, and the e-mail was just one really long sentence that bled off into Outlooks right margin.

    This morning (remember, SweetIM attached itself to my system late last night), I ran Spybot which detected 118 SweetIM entries (mostly in my computers Registry). Spybot was able to clean 114 of those items, and suggested that I restart my computer, and allow Spybot to run as it restarted. When the computer restarted, Spybot ran for about 90 minutes.

    When Spybot finished, I found SweetIM still in the Program directory, yet there were only four files left (perhaps these were the four that Spybot couldnt fix of the 118 it found the first time through). I deleted those items. I opened Firefox and IE where I found SweetIM as my homepage; I changed the homepages on both, restarted both browsers, and SweetIM is gone.

    Ive reported this problem to cnet. SweetIM is nasty; thank goodness for spyware programs such as Spybot. Thank you for this website because SweetIM is dastardly evil in more ways than one.

  2. Not working says:
    November 10th, 2012 at 9:44 am

    what can i do ?

  3. This isn really helpful says:
    December 24th, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    It seems uninstalling what you think is the problem then scanning would be the first thing to do. I already did that and 10 minutes later, SweetIM started showing up in my processes again. It didnt work, so Im looking up solutions. Obviously this tutorial doesnt work, so what would be the next step in getting rid of this?

  4. keenan says:
    January 30th, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    you can remove sweetim from your system using c-cleaner. I dont know why but on a lot of systems that I have had seen with crap like sweetim uninstalling using traditional methods doesnt work. so just install c-cleaner if you have not already, then just go to tools uninstall and the rest is simple 🙂

  5. davtos says:
    April 8th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    the damn SweetIM comes up anyhow when a new page in Firefox is opened (not when the first page opens) – even if all the possible links to the program. It places an add right in the middle and invites to seach with a line looking like Google.
    You have the the feeling they check all the sites visited and passwords typed.
    How do I get rid of this nuisance??

    thanks in advance

  6. Michael says:
    June 11th, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Even after it is removed, there are folders it leaves on your hard drive. They are in use so you can not just delete them. THIS is the true virus, just uninstalling will not remove the problem. This program is loaded with viruses.

  7. 1000by1000 says:
    June 16th, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Yeah,It even takes you to the site of sweetim search (even when you are trying to get drivers from dell)

  8. Marilynn says:
    August 16th, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    An “easy” fix for a number of these nuisances is to:
    -Press ctrl+alt+del
    -Start Task Manager
    -Select the “Processes” tab
    -Right-click the sweetim process
    -Select “End Process Tree”

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