Twitch Explorer browser extension Removal Guide
What is Twitch Explorer browser extension?
Twitch Explorer can change the settings of the browser and redirect users' queries
Twitch Explorer can redirect users to dangerous pages
Twitch Explorer is a browser hijacker that can change the main settings, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. It can also inject commercial content in the research results and websites, like pop-ups, banners, and cause redirects. Such apps take over the browsing experience completely, by forcing people to use only selected channels.
Browser hijackers introduce many user privacy and security concerns. They can track users' activities and monetize them with the help of cookies. You should always do your research before adding any new browser extensions or you can have a hard time removing a hijacker.
This particular plugin was marketed to gamers and those who use a popular video live streaming service “Twitch.” On their promotional website fraudsters write:
Get to see the most famous Twitch streamers and learn how to become one of them
We assume that the add-on is catered to a younger audience as there are no actual functionalities of the plugin discussed, just empty promises that sound too good to be true. This is something you should always look out for before downloading browser extensions.
|TYPE||Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program|
|SYMPTOMS||The settings of the browser get changed, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine; redirects to suspicious pages and commercials injected in websites|
|DISTRIBUTION||Shady websites, deceptive ads, redirects, freeware installations|
|DANGERS||The application can change all data on its pages and read users' browsing history|
|ELIMINATION||Go to your browser settings to remove the extension responsible for unwanted behavior|
|FURTHER STEPS||Use a repair tool ReimageIntego to fix any damage left after the intruder and to optimize the machine|
Distribution of hijackers
As we mentioned before, Twitch Explorer had its own promotional website that was spread across the Internet. You might have come across it by surfing through shady websites that use social engineering techniques to trick people into providing personal information, downloading PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), and malware.
Often people cannot distinguish legitimate pages from the ones that are created by crooks. It is because fraudsters have learned how to create professional-looking websites, not make spelling or grammar mistakes and write a convincing message. These are all the things you should look out for when you come across a page that tries to convince you to download software, browser plugins, or anything else.
Twitch Explorer was promoted through a deceptive site
You should also avoid pages that engage in illegal activities, like illegal streaming sites because they are unregulated. That results in a lot of deceptive ads, and sneaky redirects that can take users to dangerous pages. Even though Google said it would get rid of fake “Download” and “Play” buttons, they still exist.
Another method of infection is through official web stores. Although it is rare, some hijackers slip through an extensive review process. Browser hijackers can be very profitable for crooks so you should look for cues anywhere as in the past years they increased in numbers significantly.
We recommend reading the reviews, looking at the ratings, and how many users plugins have before making a decision. You should also read the descriptions. Crooks often try to make the extensions seem legitimate by saying that they were created in collaboration with big tech companies like Google.
Remove the plugin
You should first try to locate the extension responsible for the changes in your browser settings. Look for Twitch Explorer in the list by following our guide and move on to the next step:
- Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
- In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove.
- Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
- From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
- Click on Uninstall at the bottom.
MS Edge (Chromium)
- Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
- Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.
- Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
- Select Add-ons.
- In here, select the unwanted plugin and click Remove.
- Click Safari > Preferences…
- In the new window, pick Extensions.
- Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.
Get rid of cookies and cache
Browser extensions can follow your activity with various tracking technologies, like cookies. These small data files can store your IP address, geolocation, websites you visit, links you click on, and things you purchase online. Although cookies are not inherently bad, if they end up in the wrong hands, your information can be used sold to rogue advertising networks and other third parties.
That is why security experts recommend clearing cookies and cache regularly. That can become a very annoying process so you can use a maintenance tool like ReimageIntego that can do it automatically. Besides, this software can fix various system errors, corrupted files, and registry issues which is especially helpful after virus infections.
Check your system for adware
The first method may not have gotten rid of the symptoms completely. That is because there might be a PUA hiding in your system. The application can keep messing up your browser settings until you completely remove it from your device. Identifying the program responsible for the changed settings might be difficult if you have never done this before.
The program could be disguised as antivirus, system optimizer, or media player because they are most often made to look like a “handy” tool. PUPs are usually installed from freeware distribution sites. These platforms include additional programs in the installers in the hopes that most people will not notice. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happens most of the time.
Suppose you do not want to risk deleting the wrong files. In that case, we suggest using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes professional security tools that will scan your machine, eliminate it, and prevent such infections in the future by giving you a warning before a PUP can make any changes. If you prefer manual removal because you know what to do, we have instructions for Windows and Mac machines:
- Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
- Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.
- From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
- Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
- If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
- Wait till the uninstallation process is complete and click OK.
- Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are a Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
- In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.
- Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
- At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
- In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
- Click OK once the removal process is finished.
- From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
- In the Applications folder, look for all related entries.
- Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)
To fully remove an unwanted app, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:
- Select Go > Go to Folder.
- Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
- In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries and then delete them.
- Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files.
How to prevent from getting browser hijacker
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.