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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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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 ZenoSearch, follow these steps:

Erase ZenoSearch from Windows systems

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

  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 ZenoSearch and related programs
    Here, look for ZenoSearch 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'

Get rid of ZenoSearch from Mac OS X system

  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 ZenoSearch 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'

Remove ZenoSearch 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 ZenoSearch 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 ZenoSearch removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Delete ZenoSearch from Microsoft Edge

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

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, ZenoSearch should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Uninstall ZenoSearch 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 ZenoSearch 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 ZenoSearch removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate ZenoSearch from Google Chrome

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

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

Erase ZenoSearch 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 ZenoSearch 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 ZenoSearch removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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