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Remove virus (Removal Instructions) - Dec 2016 update

removal by Olivia Morelli - -   Also known as Tavanero Search | Type: Browser hijacker

Why do you need to uninstall virus? virus was spotted on the Internet in September 2016. Since then, it has changed its looks and domain’s ending so that it could trick more inexperienced PC users. According to the latest news, instead of redirecting users to .info domain, it redirects them to webpage. Besides, the page is now filled with various news and banner ads that are supposed to promote affiliate websites. However, searching on it is also possible. Unfortunately, but scammers who are hiding behind this threat have also made it to be compatible with both, Windows OS and Mac OS X. We have already noticed an increase in questions asking us “how to get rid of on Mac.” If you have been suffering from this virus, you should know that the main danger hides in its redirects. Beware that it is a browser hijacking malware [1] that can redirect to malware-filled sites right after hijacking a browser and modifying its settings. Besides, various ads may fill your screen that can become an irritating phenomenon as well. To prevent this hijacker from filling your Google search results with sponsored URLs, you need to remove from your computer.

Apart from changing browser settings, adding extensions and tracking cookies, this browsing tool also modifies Windows shortcuts by adding tavanero(.)info/tavanero/tavanero.php value to Target Field into Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and other popular web browsers. It affects shortcuts on Windows desktop as well as ones located in the Start menu, and, whenever a user attempts to open them, this malicious site loads again. To stop these bothersome occurrences, you have to take care of removal. You can do that using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or similar security software. Automatic removal method is highly recommended, but, in case you do not want to use such program, you can try to delete it manually. However, please note that such removal method requires certain knowledge about computer system. [2] redirect search engine can display misleading advertisements in its search results.

Initially, it seems to be a normal search engine; however, the line “Google Custom Search” shows that it is NOT the original Google Search, but an altered one. This means that part of its search results are going to be sponsored by third-parties, and such results might not be reliable. Please, think twice before clicking them because they can take you to potentially dangerous web pages. Browser hijackers [3] are disliked for two main reasons: excessive advertising and forceful redirects to other domains. Specifically, redirect becomes active when you intend to cancel the add or click on a search result. In the worst case scenario, such tendency may bring you to malicious websites filled with sponsored content, malicious downloads, and similar content. It goes without saying that you should stay away from such sites if you wish to keep your computer fast, clean, and protected. Furthermore, the hijacker may cause some removal problems as it inserts specific registry keys. As a result, these values are responsible for fortifying the PUP’s position on the system. In short, simply eliminating it manually might not work. Due to them, additional plug-ins might be attached to the browser without your direct approval. Therefore, we highly suggest you to delete as soon as you notice this URL automatically loading in the address bar.

When can I get infected?

Questions about virus

Just as we have mentioned, hijack can happen when the user installs another free program without paying attention to some essential details. Remember – no matter what program you plan to install, do not do it in a rush. When you launch its installer, read all information it provides, without skipping Terms of Use or Privacy Policy documents. Later on, choose proper setup settings. Rather than leaving pre-selected ones on, choose either Custom or Advanced settings and then remove checkmarks from agreements to install all suggested additional programs, search tools, extensions, and the like. Proceed with the installation and finish it just like you usually do. Also, remember these tips the next time you download a free program to prevent browser hijacking on your computer [4].

Complete elimination guide

It is highly recommended to remove virus automatically since it is not a regular browser redirect virus. It is not enough to remove questionable browser extensions and programs from the system to get rid of this search engine. You might be continuously redirected to even after cleaning browser shortcuts; it is so because this hijacker adds alters the following registry keys, which will launch that intrusive site on Chrome immediately after you double click on Chrome’s shortcut:


To fix your hijacked web browser [5], you can use basic browser hijacker removal instructions provided below and delete this hijacker manually, but do not forget to check each shortcut in the Start menu and Desktop and clean them by accessing their Properties, Shortcut tab and cleaning URL from Target section. A complete removal procedure can be carried out with the help of anti-spyware software. If you do not have one, you can install one of those we recommend.

You may also complete the following steps:

  1. Type Network Connections in File explorer or type it Network and Sharing Center after clicking Windows button.
  2. Right-click on the Network Adapter, which you are using at the moment. The select Properties, Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), and choose Properties.
  3. Change the settings to Obtain DNS server automatically.
  4. Click on Advanced and navigate to the DNS tab. Delete everything under the tab and click OK.


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. virus snapshot redirect virus on virus on Firefox hijack on Google ChromeAnother picture showing hijacked Safari browser redirect virus on Safari

To remove virus, follow these steps:

Erase from Windows systems

If you want to fix your computer manually, you need to look through instructions provided below and uninstall all suspicious programs from your Windows operating system. Keep in mind that you should look for entries related to Tavanero or

  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.

Uninstall from Mac OS X system

If you are wondering how to remove from Mac and you want to do that manually, you should go thru your apps and get rid of all suspicious ones. However, the primary task is to get rid of this browser hijacker by selecting each of its entries and uninstalling it. Instructions on how to get rid of Tavanero and similar entries are provided below.

  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'

Get rid of from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To fix your Mozilla after Tavanero hijack you need to remove all add-ons that could be related to this browser hijacker. For that you should provide steps that are given below. To fix Firefox shortcuts, go to Properties -> Shortcut tab. Here, delete from Target box and Apply to save these changes. virus on Firefox 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 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 Safari

If Safari was infected with virus, you should remove extensions and other components related to this hijacker at first. Then, make sure you fix Safari shortcut by going to Properties -> Shortcut section. Here you need to remove Tavanero URL from the Target box.

 Another picture showing hijacked Safari 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. 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

Delete from Internet Explorer (IE)

Using instructions provided here will help you fix your IE browser. However, before you remove malicious add-ons, you should fix your IE shortcuts by going to Properties and Shortcut tab. Here, delete Tavanero URL from the Target field. Save changes by clicking Apply, then OK. Finally, make sure you reset your browser.

  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

Remove virus from Microsoft Edge

If your Microsoft Edge was hijacked by this PUP you need to follow instructions provided below. We also recommend resetting web browser to complete removal.

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.

Eliminate from Google Chrome

To fix Google Chrome browser after Tavanero hijack you should follow a guide given below. Make sure you remove tavanero(.)info/tavanero/tavanero.php URL from the target field of your browser and reset it to complete the removal procedure. hijack on 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

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 various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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  1. A says:
    September 6th, 2016 at 9:50 am

    I still cannot remove from chrome. I am sick of this search engine already…

  2. mandi says:
    September 6th, 2016 at 9:50 am

    thanks – it wasnt hard to remove this hijacker at all.

  3. Henric1990 says:
    September 6th, 2016 at 9:52 am

    I am installing Reimage right now, did you remove this browser hijacker with a help of this program?

  4. marx says:
    September 6th, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Finally i can browse the internet without encountering this stupid URL every single time!!

  5. anonymous says:
    September 21st, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    OH YES ! its finally removed

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