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Remove WinSnare virus (Removal Guide) - updated Jul 2020

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

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 other 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 an 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, WinSnare 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 WinSnare because data-tracking activities should not be tolerated or ignored if you value your data confidentiality. The 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 which 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.

Questions about WinSnare virus

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, Win Snare, WinSnare.dll
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 Winsnare
WinSnare virus may disguise under the name of a legitimate Windows system process in the Task Manager.

We do not recommend choosing 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 WinSnare removal tool to run a full system scan and remove all components that are essential for this adware to function. We recommend using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or Malwarebytes.

How does this virus spread?

WinSnare 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 with the 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 – the most of the 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 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 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 to infect 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 WinSnare 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 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 WinSnare 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 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.

To remove WinSnare virus, follow these steps:

Delete WinSnare from Windows systems

To remove WinSnare 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.

  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 WinSnare and related programs
    Here, look for WinSnare 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 WinSnare 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 WinSnare 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 WinSnare removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Remove WinSnare 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, WinSnare should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

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

Eliminate WinSnare 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 delete all PUPs and malware at once

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

Delete WinSnare 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 WinSnare 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 WinSnare 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. suzan says:
    January 23rd, 2017 at 5:59 am

    My antivirus just detected this infection, came here for information. Thanks a lot – hopefully this virus didnt transmit a lot of information:/

  2. larry says:
    January 23rd, 2017 at 6:00 am

    Oh my god… I hope Im not infected!

  3. Jazyds says:
    January 23rd, 2017 at 6:00 am

    Why the hell someone creates programs like winsnare? why? just why?

  4. Lucas02 says:
    January 23rd, 2017 at 6:01 am

    Thanks, I have detected and uninstalled it with Reimage. The entire removal process didnt take longer than 15 minutes.

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