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Remove virus (Removal Guide) - updated Feb 2018

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Adware is a PUP that can display intrusive ads

The example of has been assigned to the potentially unwanted program (PUP) and “adware”[1] categories after computer users have started complaining about its performance. According to them, ads and drop-down boxes, which are related to this service, continue appearing on certain domains and block the entrance to them.[2]

In reality, (or and are closely related to BlueKai – the cloud-based data platform which helps companies personalize their online campaigns.[3] For this purpose, it injects an extension into default web browser, be it Safari, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, and generates advertisements each time user starts browsing the Internet. It can show its ads and errors on perfectly legitimate websites, such as eBay, Amazon, and others. It seems that the most affected OS is Mac operating system.

Questions about virus

Tags.bluekai can display advertisements in forms like pop-ups, banners, interstitials, and similar. More often than not, these ads look really fishy. Some of them may urge people to install software updates or run a virus scan online, the others can promote popular items, such as Michael Kors handbags and look rather trustworthy. However, the most annoying are these errors:

Safari can't verify the identity of the website: Tags.Bluekai

Safari can't verify the identity of the website

Safari can't verify the identity of the website

You should avoid clicking on the ads caused by Tags Bluekai as they can cause constant redirects to unsafe websites or, in rare cases, contain a malicious code the execution of which would immediately launch a virus.[4] If you happen to suffer from redirects to, check your system for adware.

The delayed removal can also lead to identity theft.[5] This adware is capable of collecting quite much information about people's browsing activities, approximate user's location, email address, full name, and similar. 

The developers of Tags.bluekai malware can further transfer compiled information to affiliate parties or sell them on the black market. Usually, PUPs of this kind are sponsored by unknown users or online advertising companies which use cheap and intrusive methods for promoting their products. What is more, they also pay little attention to the cyber security of their web pages, which means that redirects can make you visit suspicious domains. 

It's important to stress the role of a professional anti-malware program when the system is infected with virus. Although it's possible to remove manually, experts recommend eliminating it automatically to ensure a full removal of all supporting components. One of the options is to run Reimage. This application is designed to eliminate all sorts of PUPs so you can rest assured that this tool deals with the PUP efficiently.

Showing virus adware generates excessive amount of fishy ads to cause redirects to increase traffic to affiliate domains

Adware exploit free programs to infect PCs 

Unfortunately, the number of infected devices with similar adware programs is still surprisingly high. Internet is full of security experts warnings about how important it is to check the installation of free programs. 

As a quick reminder, free software, for example, download managers, unzip tools, PDF readers, etc. collaborate with PUP developers to monetize their free products. Consequently, third-party download sources are filled with software bundles, i.e. free programs that contain additional attachments. 

If your web browser started showing pop-ups unexpectedly, it mean that you have installed a freeware and carelessly hit the “Install” button. In such manner, you accelerated adware installation. If you are willing to escape similar virtual infections in the future, follow our advice.

Upon installing new software, opt for “Custom” settings. You will see all optional programs, which often happen to be browser hijackers. Remove the checkmarks from the add-ons' checkboxes and only then continue with the installation of a preferred location. If you remember our advice, you will avoid various questionable tools and malware like this one.

Get rid of virus from Safari

To speed up removal from Mac or other OS, cyber security experts recommend using a professional anti-malware application. Our recommendation would be installing one of programs that are given below this article. These programs will locate all files of the adware, including those that are hidden in system's folders or Windows registries. 

Alternatively, you can remove the usual way. You can find the instructions necessary for this elimination method below the article. However, if you think that meddling with this PUP takes too much time or is too troublesome, shift to the automatic removal option to fix errors that it displays.

If you need to fix your Safari web browser to eliminate Tags.Bluekai virus or similar versions from eBay, go to “Preferences” -> “Privacy tab”. here, closely check “Cookies and Other website data.” After clicking the Details icon, remove everything what is related to “bluekai.”

On the final note, taking a careful look at the installation of programs and attachments will prevent you from installing such bothersome tools as Tags Bluekai. Keep in mind this tip in the future.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, 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 SpyHunter 5.
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 virus, follow these steps:

Erase from Windows systems

To uninstall from Windows OS you have to open Control Panel or Programs and Features applet, depending on the OS version running on your PC:

  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'

Get rid of 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 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'

Eliminate from Internet Explorer (IE)

  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 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 removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Delete virus from Microsoft Edge

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, should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Uninstall from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  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. 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'
  4. 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

Remove from Google Chrome

The steps will help you reset the browser to the previous state and, likewise, remove all scripts injected by this hijacker.

  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. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. 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
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Erase from Safari

To get rid of Tags.Bluekai error from Safari, make sure you get rid of suspicious extensions. Then, proceed to reset of this browser.

  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. 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...'
  4. 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

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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  1. ddavid1 says:
    March 7th, 2014 at 7:18 am

    I have on my iPhone4. The only time it pops up is when I play the game “Scramble with friends”. Has anyone else experienced this on an iPhone? How do I get rid of it on an iPhone?

  2. Andra says:
    March 8th, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    I have the same problem on my iPad. With the same game. Dont know what to do…

  3. Tiffany says:
    March 12th, 2014 at 3:51 am

    Mine pops up when playing words with friends

  4. Julie says:
    March 20th, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Im having the same problem with my iPhone 4s when playing Draw Something 2. Come on, Apple! We need a fix, please!

  5. Pnwdesigns says:
    April 2nd, 2014 at 12:39 am

    Im having the same problem on my iPad. I found how to remove from a computer but havent found how to remove from an iPad.

  6. PJ says:
    April 2nd, 2014 at 4:43 am

    Also having same problem on iPad. Only when using scramble with friends. Havent found a way to remove from an iPad only computer. Help!

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