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Remove Utatity virus (Virus Removal Guide) - 2020 update

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Adware

Utatity – an adware-type application that generates intrusive ads and actively promotes PUPs

Utatity adware

Utatity (alternative name Utatity not Utility) is the name of an adware-type application developed by Software Informer in 2016. Since it's release, many people expressed concern on various forums about the legitimacy of the tool and its actual purpose. Although the program has a direct download website, it's not introduced in a proper way, except a download link provided and a bunch of recommended installers, including UltimateZip 2007, CompanyLogoDesigner, Magic-i, Sleepy Sound, Convertdoconline, and others. 

According to experts, this application belongs to the group of Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) and adware. The grounds of the classification are the following:

  • The application is distributed bundled with freeware;
  • Typically, it's a pre-selected additional option disguised under Express installation option;
  • Upon infiltration, it rewrites default settings of the browser and injects extensions powered by Utatity Software Informer;
  • It generates intrusive ads and triggers the browser's redirects to irrelevant websites;
  • It may take advantage of cookies and web beacons to harvest browsing histories. 

Questions about Utatity virus

In fact, the Utatity virus is the most common reference to this application because typically it settles down on machines without asking for the user's permission explicitly and starts running a suspicious utatity.exe file in Task Manager. Besides, people claim that the emergence of this tool among Apps and Programs folder triggered a massive flow of popups marked as “Utatity ads.” In most of the cases, these ads promote unknown applications, software downloads, or commercial content that is prepared on the bases of people's web browsing history. 

PUP name Utatity
Classification PUP or adware, which may have traits of a browser hijacker[1]
Also known as UTATITY NOT UTILITY
Related processes UTATITY.EXE
Developer Software Informer
Goals To promote suspicious third-party software (PUPs and malware mainly)
Symptoms The presence of this adware may manifest with “Ads by Utatity” or similar intrusive browser-based content. It may also enable an extension that replaces the start page and search provider to Safe Finder. 
Removal We strongly recommend using an automated software utility to get rid of this malware. Eliminating it manually may be difficult due to multiplicity of related files and processes
To fix the damage that PUPs, malware, or viruses initiate on the targeted machine, take advantage of the powerful Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego repair tool.

Utatity virus is an invasive software that computer users often find on their computers without even downloading it. After a silent infiltration of the system via freeware bundles, the virus modifies Windows Registry[2] and may possibly add several browser extensions to web browsers to change your homepage (most likely to search.safefinder.com, which produces a lot of sponsored search results) and become able to display intrusive advertisements using your web browsers.

The performance of this application may be highly disruptive as it may send pop-up ads, banners (injected into websites that you visit), interstitial ads, and similar content massively. Some of the ads may be marked as Utatity ads or have no label at all. Nevertheless, they can easily be distinguished from the others as they tend to be more aggressive, i.e. cover the page completely or do not contain a close button. Moreover, most of them promote potentially unwanted programs, such as SearchYA

Those who have the Utatity app installed on the machine should understand that none of the displayed ads originate from the websites accessed intentionally. These ads are generated by third-party advertising servers that are used for increasing pay-per-click revenue. 

Utatity virus removalUtatity adware is capable of generating intrusive ads in ransom websites

In general, Utatity adware is a potentially unwanted program (PUP)[3], which aims to make a profit by flooding your computer with third-party ads. It's affiliate put much effort to make the adds appealing, thus increasing the chances that the visitor will click in them. Unfortunately, pay-per-click type revenue[4] is not the sole purpose of this tool.

Utatity virus is also used for promoting other unwanted applications, most of which fall for the category of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and adware. It may regularly reroute web browser to the utatity.software.informer.com or other misleading download sites to make you install other intrusive programs. Therefore, it's advisable to get rid of this application ASAP. 

On top of the pile of problems it causes, we can add another intolerable feature. It appears that Utatity redirect virus collects various information regarding your browsing habits and stores it on its servers. Later on, it uses such data for market research and also looks at this information to select targeted ads for you. Although this annoying program cannot collect personally-identifiable data, it can harvest IP address, your geolocation details, search queries, browsing history data, information about browser type and OS version you use.

Thus, to recover your PC and protect privacy, we strongly recommend you to remove Utatity virus from your machine. You can use a professional anti-malware application for that or follow the step-by-step tutorial that will explain how to get rid of it manually. 

Upon Utatity removal, use Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or similar repair utility to revert the changes within Windows Registry and other locations. Recovery of the system is not a must, though it's highly advisable because unwanted programs insert multiple files and eventually cache the machine. 

PUPs do not require users' permission for the installation explicitly

If you haven't installed a particular application, it means that your PC lacks protection and you are not well-informed about spyware/malware distribution methods. PUPs (adware, browser hijacker, and similar) are usually circulating on the Internet as freeware components. 

Useful-looking download managers, converters, or players spread on third-party download sites tend to contain at least two or three additional installers. Each of them can be seen and deselected; however, most people are not determined to spend more time on freeware installation and opt for Express installation option, which does not disclose pre-selected components. The installation of unwanted tools is granted by default just by clicking the Next button. 

If you wish to go around shady software marketing techniques, rely on Custom/Advanced settings[5], which will let you choose to install or not to install suggested additional third-party software. In other words, you need to decompose software bundles via Advanced or Custom settings if you do not want to install junkware into your computer system without realizing it.

Utatity adsUtatity ads may contain links to rogue third-party websites

Take advantage of the professional anti-malware to remove Utatity adware

As we have previously mentioned, it can be hard to remove Utatity virus manually – you will need to configure some settings in Windows Registry and get rid of the whole PUP bundle simultaneusly.

If you are not experienced enough, we recommend choosing automatic Utatity removal option. It lets you delete all critical programs at once, whereas removing PUPs and viruses manually may take a lot more time.

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.

To remove Utatity virus, follow these steps:

Remove Utatity from Windows systems

You will find UTATITY in the Add/Remove Programs panel (look at instructions how to open it below). This infection typically displays two stars – ** in the Publisher field. Uninstall it, and also uninstall SafeFinder and all suspicious programs that were installed around the same time when these two programs entered your system. 

You might encounter issues when trying to uninstall Utatity. In such case, do the following:

  1. Find these keys:
  2. Be careful. You will need to alter Windows Registry. In Windows search, type regedit and launch the identically named program that will appear in search results. 
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall;
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall;
  3. Export the list and save it, for example, on Desktop. Open it with Notepad and search for keyword DisplayVersion and delete all suspicious-looking entries that have 1.00.00 version or Utatity name. Read the information carefully – you should find the directory where these files/programs are located. Go there and delete them.

NOTE. If you do not understand these instructions, better do not try to carry them out. Simply employ a powerful spyware removal tool and delete UTATITY automatically.

 

  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 Utatity and related programs
    Here, look for Utatity 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'

Erase Utatity 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 Utatity 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'

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

Eliminate Utatity 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, Utatity should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Get rid of Utatity 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 Utatity 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 Utatity removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Delete Utatity from Google Chrome

In Chrome, delete all questionable extensions and reset homepage/search engine parameters if they have been modified by SafeFinder or another potentially unwanted program.

  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 Utatity 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 Utatity removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Remove Utatity 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 Utatity 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 Utatity removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

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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References

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  1. Heneza says:
    December 18th, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    This virus was incredibly annoying. im so glad that ive got rid of it! ☺️

  2. Garry1 says:
    December 18th, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Thanks. There arent many resources providing information about this virus, so you helped me a lot!

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