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Remove ZenoSearch (Removal Guide) - updated Jul 2018

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Adware

ZenoSearch – a PUP which profits from various ads

ZenoSearch ad-supported program

ZenoSearch (alternatively known as Adware.ZenoSearch, Zeno Search Assistant, etc.) is an adware-type program[1] which mostly reveals about itself by providing intrusive ads on victim's computer. This potentially unwanted program (PUP) starts running right after it infiltrates the target computer system. (Windows OS is the main target) Zeno Search virus is typically spread with the help of bundling. However, it is not as dangerous as ransomware viruses[2] and similar malware. Main problems caused by this ad-supported program are unethical advertising and unsafe redirects to third-party websites. Beware that you can be redirected to a malicious website as there is no guarantee that all links provided by this PUP are safe.

Name ZenoSearch
Type Adware
ALTERNATIVELY KNOWN as AdWare.Win32.ZenoSearch.o, Adware-Zeno, Adware.ZenoSearch
developer Zeno Tecnico
the Main Purpose Produces various advertisements to gain profit
main dangers Redirects to malicious websites; infiltration of malware
elimination You can easily delete the harmful program by installing Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

As we have mentioned, the PUP enters target devices when users are downloading other software or clicking on unsafe links that typically interrupt people while they are browsing the web. Typically, it occupies Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and similar web browsers right after it finishes its infiltration.

Right after the virus sets itself to run in the background of your browser, it starts promoting certain services and products by displaying ads filled with links to them during your browsing activity. According to IT experts[3], these kinds of actions can be very annoying as their main aim is to redirect victims to sponsored sites and help them increase web traffic. Due to these aims, you can find yourself on an infected domain which is not only offering goods that you don't even need but can also infect you with malware.

If these ads have been bothering you for some time, we recommend finding a reliable anti-malware tool to remove ZenoSearch from the system. Note that this adware is relatively old, so you may need trying several programs to see which one works the best. Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego is recommended to stop unwanted ads from appearing.

After the ZenoSearch removal is done, you should refresh your browsers by resetting them according to the rules provided at the end of this post. Keep in mind that the most of annoying ads that are displayed on your screen by this program might seem tempting and eye-catching because of tracking activity which is also initiated by this adware once it infiltrates the system. The longer you keep this program on your computer, the more information it will be able to collect. So, to stop such selfish actions, eliminate the cyberthreat and all its harmful added content permanently.

ZenoSearch virus ZenoSearch usually comes with bundled software and stealthily initiates needed changes ob the system.

Ad-supported programs are spread using one main way

Most commonly, adware comes bundled with other software as free addition to the program. Such potentially unwanted programs get installed together with regular programs or after we click on the unknown link or suspicious-looking ad. Finally, you should keep in mind that you can get infected with the PUP or even a serious virus after using illegal sites, such as P2P networks or torrent sites.

To prevent unwanted software or even viruses, you need to be extremely careful while browsing the web. Make sure you ignore all pop-ups and pop-unders, no matter how tempting they look. Some of them can be completely harmless, but some of them can bring you a serious virus once clicked.

If you are willing to avoid ad-supported programs, here are the best ways to achieve this kind of goal:

  • Browse only thru sites that are legitimate or well-known[4]. These kinds of pages are typically protected from various PUPs or other harmful components;
  • If you use secondary installers or download your software from third-party sources, go to the “Custom” or “Advanced” settings and opt-out all incoming downloads that are unrecognizable to you;
  • You can install professional protection – an antivirus program and let it protect you from malware. Make sure you perform regular system scans to know if something is going wrong. 

ZenoSearch adware elimination methods

To remove ZenoSearch you need to download and install anti-malware. We advise using one of these programs that are given below. Once you run the tool, it will provide you with steps on how to eliminate the adware-type program without leaving its leftover files. As we have already mentioned, this virus is quite old, so you might be dealing with one of its mutations. To prevent problems related to their removal, use professional help and get rid of the cyber threat safely.

If you are willing to use manual ZenoSearch removal on your system, use instructions given below. Here, you will see a step-by-step guide explaining which programs should be removed from Task Manager. Additionally, we strongly recommend resetting your browser in order to make sure that no infection-related components (cookies, beacons, etc.) are left inside them. 

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 ZenoSearch, follow these steps:

Erase ZenoSearch from Windows systems

Delete adware from your Windows operating system by following these instructions:

To remove ZenoSearch 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 ZenoSearch (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.

Get rid of ZenoSearch from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove ZenoSearch from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for ZenoSearch-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove ZenoSearch, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to ZenoSearch and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the ZenoSearch-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Remove ZenoSearch 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 ZenoSearch 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, Google.com).
  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 ZenoSearch removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete ZenoSearch from Microsoft Edge

If ZenoSearch ads are slowing down your browser, consider following these guidelines:

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 ZenoSearch-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

Uninstall ZenoSearch 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 ZenoSearch 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 ZenoSearch 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 ZenoSearch removal.Reset Firefox 2

Eliminate ZenoSearch from Google Chrome

To remove harmful content from your Google Chrome browser, look through these guiding steps:

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 ZenoSearch 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 ZenoSearch-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 ZenoSearch removal.Reset Chrome 2

Erase ZenoSearch 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 ZenoSearch 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

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 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
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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