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Youtube virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Malware

YouTube virus gets more persuasive

The picture reflecting corrupted Youtube site

YouTube virus is the definition of various malware forms which use the name of the video broadcasting service in one or another way. Let us note that the official YouTube site is not related to any of viruses in any way. Usually, users encounter an identical but fraudulent YouTube sites[1]. Besides this phenomenon, there are other malware threats which exploit the authority of this service:

  • Adware
  • Screen lockers (fake ransomware)
  • Fake Flash Player updates disguising in fake YouTube domains
  • browser redirect infections

Note that the official website contains HTTPS indicator and it does not ask you to update Flash Player or install any additional codecs. If you are convinced that you are in a wrong version of the official domain, remove YouTube virus. Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes might be helpful in this situation. Before we discuss elimination methods, let us review dominant YouTube malware cases.

Adware lurking in fake YouTube sites

Perhaps the most efficient samples illustrating this virus type are Facebook message and video viruses. Despite the viruses recurring annually, the virtual community still does not seem to have learned the lesson.

In either case, a fraudulent video link is distributed among the Facebook community. In order to persuade gullible users to open the link, the message contains “[receiver’s name] video” comment. Recent cases of the scam include the profile picture of a receiver.

Furthermore, after clicking on the link which indicates random site or even supposedly YouTube URL, users are directed to a fake YouTube site. In order to play the video, users are expected to enable a specific extension or download a codec[2]. Some malware cases ask victims to install dubious applications. Such action would further download adware into the operating system or even more elaborate virtual menace.

Youtube ransomware?

As ridiculous it may sound, in fact, there were cases of the so-called YouTube ransomware. For instance, in June 2017, a screen locker pretending to be YouTube crypto-malware was spotted. It alarmed users that they have violated the YouTube law.

Questions about Youtube virus

In order to regain access to the website and the device as well, they were supposed to enter the code. Fortunately, experts have found the passcode – law725. Fortunately, the threat turned out to be a mere prank rather than a menacing virus. Due to the popularity of the official domain, the probability of a real ransomware should not be excluded.

Fake Youtube ads were used to spread crypto-mining malware

In the middle of January 2018, security experts discovered a new version of YouTube virus. This time, hackers were using YouTube ads to run crypto-mining code on victim's computer. As soon as the ad was clicked, the code was enabled and started using computer's CPU and electricity power to mine cryptocurrency. According to latest reports, it is a totally new form of abuse.

Ninety percent of malicious Youtube ads were using Coinhive miner that helped cyber criminals use other users’ computing power to illegally mine Monero and generate profit. Coinhive was created to let website owners operate a legal scheme to generate this currency. However, cybercriminals took only several months to learn how to abuse Google’s DoubleClick platform and Coinhive to utilize them for their personal gain.

Google – the owner of Youtube – responded to cyber attacks on their servers immediately. According to the announcement from the Internet giant, ads were blocked in less than two hours, and the malicious actors were quickly removed from its platforms.[3]

Fake Flash Player pop-ups

This is by far the most common form of YouTube virus. There have been multiple instances when users encounter a pop-up message urging to update Flash Player in order to play a video on the site.

Unfortunately, due to a persuasive appearance of such alert, credulous users install the fake alert only to discover the presence of frustrating adware, data-stealing trojan or even real crypto-malware. Bear in mind that your operating system notifies you about the outdated Flash Player once you log in to the computer.

YouTube impostors

As every popular website has its evil twin so does YouTube. Malware developers have created dozens of fake websites which are based on a single trick – mistyping of the word “youtube.” Since it is common among users to misspell a name of a domain, they often accidentally get redirected to a phishing site.

It may also offer to install a dubious extension. Otherwise, such domains may be a perfect haven for hidden crypto-coin miners[4]. They are not visible to ordinary users. While they watch videos on a fake website, the malware mines bitcoins or other crypto-currency. In short, due to them, you might notice that the website drains an enormous amount of CPU resources.

In that case, you will need to perform Youtube virus removal as soon as possible. In order to avoid the encounter with crypto-coin miners, install anti-miner plug-in, for instance, AdBlock or No Coin or any other, but choose wisely as there are also fraudulent imitations of such extensions as well.

Malware distribution trends vary

Depending on what type Youtube virus encounter, malware elimination, and prevention measures differ. In order to avoid adware or malicious YouTube virus redirect, make sure not to install any software updates from random pages.

Regarding Facebook message virus, do not click on video links or download an image file which is supposedly sent by your friend. Inquire the sender again to verify the content of such message. Note that a genuine video link often generates a video image with the screenshot of the video content.

If you mistyped Youtube URL name and found yourself in an odd website, exit it right away and scan the browse. You should also update your browser as exploit kits, which target certain browser vulnerabilities, may also cram you with fake YouTube site pop-ups.

Key Youtube virus elimination methods

Whether you are dealing with YouTube redirect virus or got to a counterfeited web page, scan the browser and the PC with an anti-malware utility. Update it before scanning. Automatic YouTube virus removal is also recommended when you are dealing with a screen locker.

In order to recover access to vital system functions, click ALT+F4. Later on, reboot into Safe Mode, if necessary and repeat the scan procedure. Lastly, it is recommended to reset browser settings. Such action will remove YouTube virus scripts, cookies, and other web components. Note that Youtube malware targets every computer user, regardless whether you are a British, Portuguese or Chinese.[5]

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Youtube virus, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Youtube from Windows systems

To remove Youtube virus from Windows, make sure you scan the system with updated anti-spyware to find all components that belong to this malware. However, you can also uninstall these components with the following guide.

  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 Youtube and related programs
    Here, look for Youtube 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'
  5. Remove Youtube from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete '' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Youtube from Mac OS X system

Mac OS users are not immune to Youtube malware as well. To get rid of it, make sure you carefully scan your computer with anti-spyware or use the guide to uninstall related programs that are malicious.

  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 Youtube 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'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Youtube 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 Youtube 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 Youtube removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Youtube 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, Youtube should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Youtube 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 Youtube 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. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. 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'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Youtube removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Youtube from Google Chrome

  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 Youtube 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. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. 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
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Youtube removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Youtube 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 Youtube or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Youtube, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. 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...'
  6. 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 Youtube removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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