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Remove virus (Simple Removal Guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Adware

Why do ads keep showing up?

First of all, we want to point out that virus is closely related to notorious Social2Search virus, which has been bothering computer users for a quite long time now[1]. Even Microsoft has declared war for this ad-injector in 2016[2]. In fact, that vague website advertises the ad-supported potentially unwanted program (PUP). We suggest you stay away from these programs because they both have quite a poor reputation. We want to warn you about redirect issue, which typically starts bothering people who install some potentially unwanted programs on their computers unintentionally. For example, your browser might suddenly redirect you to hxxp:// or a similar shady-looking site that asks to log in using your social media account (for example, Twitter). According to this browser hijacker, it uses your Twitter data to “give you personal results based on what you search.” These ads will be integrated into results pages whenever you use any search engine, and that might annoy you, especially if you did not install this application by your choice. However, considering the list of permissions this PUP gets regarding your Twitter account, you should never provide your login details to it!

Image showing virus and its suspicious claims

What is more, that vague site also warns that Social2Search collects your IP address, URLs you visit and other information with the help of add-ons, proxies, dll, cookies, pixels and other tracking technologies[3]. According to this spyware-type pest, it needs such information to show you advertising. You should decide whether you want this vague program to display ads to you and interrupt your browsing sessions on a daily basis. Besides, we have discovered some statements by malware that do not match at all. For example, this page promises that Social2Search app never shares your browsing history or search history with anyone, while in its Privacy Policy it says that it “might disclose, share or sell to third parties this non-personally identifiable collected information.” Privacy Policy also clearly states that the program collects “browsing usage including, URLs of the pages, clickstream data, […].

Questions about virus

Such presentation of the program seems deceptive. Besides, you should beware of ads, which can take you to highly suspicious or even malicious Internet sites. These ads most likely will pop-up on your screen whenever you launch your browser and urge you to view various third-party offers and deals. Besides, please be very careful and not fall for Christmas and New Years Eve-themed scammy offers [4]. Stay away from questionable ads, because they might direct you to dangerous places on the Internet. In general, cyber security experts agree that removal is essential if you wish to keep the computer safe. Therefore, to help you remove hijacker, we provide manual removal instructions. Of course, you can delete it manually using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego and similar software.

How did I infect my browser with this virtual parasite? hijack takes place in case the computer user installs freeware in a rush and selects Default or Standard installation method. These settings almost always contain pre-marked agreements to install bundled software, which appears to be a combination of browser hijackers or adware. To keep such programs away, install new programs responsibly and develop a habit to always configure installation settings. Switch them from Basic/Default/Standard to Advanced/Custom and unselect permissions to install “recommended” third-party software[5]. This simple modification can help you to avoid browser hijackings, stealthy adware infiltration and similar problems.

How can I remove ads and clean my computer system?

The easiest way to remove virus and of course stop it from displaying ads is to uninstall it along with Social2Search virus. To do this, follow these informative guidelines we provide. Some computer users might find these instructions confusing; in such case, we suggest using user-friendly anti-spyware programs that can quickly remove unwanted spyware/malware programs from the system. To complete removal, run a full system scan with a proper anti-spyware tool.

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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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. virus snapshot
Image showing Social2Search asking the user to login to Twitter account

To remove virus, follow these steps:

Erase from Windows systems

In the Control Panel, find Programs and click on Add/Remove Programs to access the list of programs installed on your PC. Then sort these programs by installation date, and remove Social2Search and also programs that were installed on the same date. Chances are high that they are related to each other and are dangerous!

  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'

Eliminate 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'

Remove 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

Get rid of 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)

Get rid of virus by deleting suspicious extensions from your browsers. You should definitely remove Social2Search extension, too!

  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

Delete from Google Chrome

Remove Social2Search and similar extensions that you cannot remember adding.

  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

  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

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

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

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  1. earthquake says:
    December 9th, 2016 at 8:16 am

    I found 5 suspicious extensions in Chrome! So strange! I never added these to my system!

  2. Maggie says:
    December 9th, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Social2Search was in my system. Anti-spyware detected some entries titled as Technologiemounac, too. Final result – the system is clean. Thanks!

  3. Kira says:
    December 9th, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Its finally gone. Thank you so so much, guys!

  4. Mar1o says:
    December 9th, 2016 at 8:19 am

    I can see no ads. Browser functions normally, no redirections… i guess Reimage did its job.

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