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Remove WinSnare virus (Removal Guide) - updated Sep 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 WinsnareWinSnare 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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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.

To remove WinSnare from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  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 entries related to WinSnare (or any other recently installed 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.

Erase WinSnare from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for WinSnare and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example,
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete WinSnare removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Remove WinSnare virus 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 WinSnare-related 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

Reset MS Edge if that 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 DeleteAdvanced 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” -VerboseAdvanced 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 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

Get rid of WinSnare 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 plugins that are related to WinSnare and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  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

In case WinSnare did not get removed after following the instructions above, 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 – this should complete WinSnare removal.Reset Firefox 2

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

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 WinSnare 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

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the WinSnare-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 to complete WinSnare removal.Reset Chrome 2

Delete WinSnare from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to WinSnare 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

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.

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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