WinSnare virus (Free Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

WinSnare virus Removal Guide

What is WinSnare virus?

WinSnare – virus capable of installing on system without any permission asked

Winsnare virus

WinSnare virus can be very annoying and can keep installing on your Windows 10 or another operating system without your approval. That's because it has been spreading in a bundle with a bunch of components, including winsnare.dll. Each of these components has to be removed at once if you want to get rid of this potentially unwanted program for good. Otherwise, it can reappear right after rebooting the system.

Mostly, Win Snare operates as adware: after installing automatically, it starts causing commercial ads on all web browsers that can be seen during your searches. However, this PUP can also track information on the target computer and send logs to a remote server[1]. Taking into account this feature, the malware can be considered a hacking tool as well.

You can spot this virus by the .dll command in the Task Manager or C:\Windows\System32\svchost.exe -k process running in the background. If you found any of these, make sure you remove the virus because data-tracking activities should not be tolerated or ignored if you value your data confidentiality. Access to your personal computer can help the offenders to steal your private information[2].

The title of this PUP may remind you of Snare (System Intrusion Analysis and Reporting Environment)[3] – the collection of software that focuses on the decentralization of data log files. The latter program was devised by InterSect Alliance International Pty Ltd. However, WinSnare has nothing in common with the mentioned PUP.

In reality, the app is closely related to amuleC virus, another potentially unwanted program which is based on the well-known legitimate program eMule. Besides, there have been claims that it is related to startpageing123 virus and can be installed with its help.

Main facts about this virus

Names WinSnare
The latest version 4.0.8
Category Adware
Operating systems affected Windows XP, 7, 8, 10
Distribution methods Travels together with free software as optional component, attaches itself to torrent files and other downloads.
Symptoms of infiltration Changes the start page on the browser, causes pop-up ads and fake alerts, slows down the browser.
Removal methods Manual and automatic removal methods

Picture of WinsnareThe virus may disguise under the name of a legitimate Windows system process in the Task Manager.

We do not recommend choosing the manual removal option if you are not an experienced PC user. This task can not only be troublesome for you but can also end up with more troubles on your computer. Besides, this potentially unwanted program (PUP) spreads together with other potentially unwanted programs, so you need to know each name to uninstall it fully.

If your antivirus detects this PUP, most likely, it will detect all potentially unwanted programs, like adware and browser hijackers, that could be related to this virus. To save your time, we suggest choosing the WinSnare removal tool to run a full system scan and remove all components that are essential for this adware to function. We recommend using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes and then employing FortectIntego to fix damaged Windows system files automatically.

How does this virus spread?

Adware is spread just like any other unwanted software – it can hijack[4] your computer when you rush through some program’s installation steps without unchecking conditions that grant this PUP access to the system. Therefore, we suggest you act more attentively when installing random programs from the Internet[5].

There is a simple misconception about the right installation settings – most computer users believe that Default, Standard, or Recommended settings are the most trustworthy ones. However, this is entirely incorrect, and you should opt only for the Custom or Advanced installation option. Otherwise, you can fall for installing bundled components.

Software bundling allows the developers of potentially unwanted programs (such as Win Snare) to group their products with legitimate software and spread them together. In most cases, it turns out that these apps are ad-supported[6] and that they cause only unpleasant activities on the target system.

Agreements to install them are usually hidden under the Default or Standard installation settings, so the next time you install something from the Internet, make sure you choose the Custom or Advanced installation option. Of course, you should also remove ticks under the suggestions to install unknown third-party software. Also, we must mention that there is a risk of infecting the system with similar programs when installing pirated software.

WinSnare removal techniques

As we have already mentioned, there are two ways that you can use to remove the virus from your computer. Firstly, you can run a full system scan with your anti-virus or anti-spyware and get rid of every entry that is marked as unsafe or malicious. However, sometimes one antivirus programs fail to detect threats like this adware after the scan. In this case, it is advisable to update the software to its full version or use an alternative anti-malware.

You may also want to take a look at the removal instructions given below. They will help you eliminate any present adware scripts and tracking tools manually. Note that there is also WinSnare 4.0.8 version roaming on the web, which hides its files from the user. To uncover them, follow these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel and go to Appearance and Personalization -> Folder Options
  2. Go to View tab and select Show hidden files, folders and drives and uncheck Hide extensions for known file types. Click Apply to save these changes.
  3. Now click Windows Key and R at the same time to launch Run and enter %temp%. After hitting Enter button, you should find yourself in a new directory.
  4. Select each of temporary files that can be seen here and delete them.

You should also check your Program Files and Program Data Folders for suspicious files that could be related to this virus. Make sure that you inspect both of your drives, C: and D:. Finally, if you can still notice ads on your web browser, you should go to “Appdata” folder and delete your profile for this web browser.

You may remove virus damage with a help of FortectIntego. 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.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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.

Getting rid of WinSnare virus. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

To remove adware from Windows, make sure you use these basic instructions. Do not forget to scan the system afterward to check if there are any suspicious files or applications that you missed.

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK. Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Remove from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom. Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear. Clear Edge browsing data

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running. Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick Delete Advanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -Verbose Advanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy, search and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now. Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset. Reset Chromium Edge

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Remove from Google Chrome

To fix Google Chrome after the hijack, make sure you reset the browser to remove this PUP from your computer. However, keep in mind that this program has mostly been spreading together with other shady programs, and the easiest way to clean your computer is to allow anti-spyware program to delete all PUPs and malware at once

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. 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. Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data. Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings. Reset Chrome 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall. Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of WinSnare registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting adware

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. 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 the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. 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.


Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 


About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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