In this article we are going to try and help you remove the HowToBleases.xyz “Virus”. Our instructions cover all Windows versions as well as most browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer etc.
There’s a specific of software programs that are not generally harmful for your system but are still unwanted. Those programs are known as PUP’s (potentially unwanted programs). One particularly annoying type of PUP’s is the Browser Hijacker. This kind of software is known to get into your IE, Chrome, or Firefox browser and fill it with unwanted add-ons, toolbars, change the default search engine and homepage and also occasionally redirect the browser without the user’s agreement.
In today’s article, we will be focusing on HowToBleases.xyz “Virus” – a newly released Browser Hijacker that has recently been reported to install itself onto people’s computers without their knowledge or agreement. We will help you get a better understanding of how programs like this one function, what their purpose is and whether they can threaten your system. You will also find a removal guide that can help those of you, who have already had the intrusive program installed onto their PC, uninstall and remove it. Just make sure to read the whole article, because learning the information in it will greatly decrease the chances of landing another Hijacker in the future.
What is HowToBleases.xyz used for?
Commonly, Browser Hijackers are advertised as being helpful and beneficial to the user. Some of them might even have some sort of useful function. However, the majority of them are nothing but irritating software that meddles with your browser’s settings. The truth is that in most cases, whether or not the Hijacker provides you with any actual useful feature, it is just not worth keeping the program, due to its obstructiveness and tendency to nag you. In fact, the real purpose of these Hijackers is to be used as online marketing tools. Programs like HowToBleases.xyz “Virus” are able to generate significant amounts of income for their developers through employing and oftentimes abusing a variety of different marketing techniques. As for us, the regular users, we’d be lucky if the Hijacker is not absolutely useless and is easy to remove.
Is HowToBleases.xyz harmful?
As we mentioned in the beginning of this article, Browser Hijackers rarely represent any sort of threat to the user’s PC and online security. Programs like the HowToBleases.xyz “Virus” are certainly not some sort of malicious Ransomware or Trojan horse virus. Even though at times they might be somewhat tricky to remove, Browser Hijackers are generally safe if you are careful around them. However, even though they are nowhere as problematic as an actual virus such as Ransomware, it is still advisable that you remove the invasive software ASAP. It might not be inherently harmful for your PC, but there are still quite a few unwanted and questionable traits that it might have:
- Hijackers have the tendency to scan through your browsing history and searches. The information that they acquire is later used by them to fill your browser with banners and ads that are modified so there’s a higher chance of you clicking on them (something you should absolutely not do).
- Software like HowToBleases.xyz can display false or exaggerated error warning messages that urge you to download some system optimization tool in order to resolve the errors. We advise you not to trust those or click on them – most of the time the messages you see are nothing but another marketing trick used to persuade you to get the promoted software.
- Last but not least, on less powerful computers, Browser Hijackers might cause a significant slowdown due to the system resources that are being used by the processes that they run. Also, it is possible that due to poor programming of some applications of this type your PC might start to freeze or your browser might stop responding. Fortunately, as soon as you uninstall the unwanted software and remove all traces of it, those negative effects will cease.
How to protect your PC from Hijackers?
Browser Hijackers are everywhere and it is often difficult to avoid them. This is why so many people end up landing programs of this type. However, if you follow the tips and guidelines we are about to present you with, you will greatly improve your computer’s security and decrease the chance of it getting invaded by any sort of unwanted software.
- When using your browser, stay away and do not download anything from sites that are illegal or shady-looking. Stick to reputable website and download sources that you know are trustworthy.
- Make sure that you always double-check new e-mails and other forms of online messages before interacting with them. If there is an obscure link or attachment, or if the whole message looks suspicious, you might be better of deleting it without opening it.
- If you are about to install a new piece of software (especially if it is freeware), make sure to carefully look through the setup wizard for any added installs and uncheck them if you think that they might best be potentially unwanted. Oftentimes you’d have to opt for the Custom installation setting in order to see what’s been bundled with the program you’re trying to install. If you do not do that, there’s a high chance that you’d install some added program that you do not want to be on your PC. This software distribution technique is known as file-bundling and is commonly used for Browser Hijacker distribution.
Many types of malware will restrict your access to their core files. It is highly recommended that you reboot your PC in safe mode before attempting to use this guide.
- To enable Safe Mode reboot you PC, then hit F8 repeatedly. When the corresponding menu opens please select Safe Mode with Networking.
WARNING! If you are using Windows 8,0 or later and/or your operating system is installed on a fast SSD drive this may fail to work. In this case click here to see how to start your PC in Safe Mode.
#1: Uninstall the malicious program from your control panel
Enter control panel to look for any suspicious programs, which may have installed on your PC. To do that:
- Navigate to your Desktop
- Press simultaneously the Win button together with the R button (Win+R)
- In the Run window that just opened type appwiz.cpl
- Go through the list of programs and find HowToBleases.xyz or anything else that may seem suspicious. Right-click on it and choose the uninstallation option
WARNING! Carefully read any confirmation messages that may be created in the process. Sometimes you may get offers to download more Adware applications and this can be linked to either the Yes or the No answer depending on the wording!
Go through the list of programs again and check online for any potentially unwanted programs. We have an article that covers this awesome free software that makes sure that your computer is free from bloatware and programs that you don’t need.
#2: Remove HowToBleases.xyz From Chrome
Now we’ll remove the extensions that the malware has attached to your browser.
- Open your Google Chrome browser.
- Type chrome://extensions/ in the URL address bar and press Enter.
- Click on “Developer Mode” on the top right and look for the extension installed by HowToBleases.xyz and anything that might be related to it. Copy their IDs (the string of letters), then remove them by clicking on the trash bin icon.
- Type Regedit in the Windows Start Menu and press Enter. Go in : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Google\Chrome\Extensions and delete the entries corresponding to the suspicious IDs you recorded.
#3: Remove HowToBleases.xyz From Firefox
- Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
- Type “about:support” in the URL address bar and press Enter.
- Click on the “Refresh Firefox” button on the right and confirm.
#4 Remove HowToBleases.xyz From Internet Explorer
- Open your Internet Explorer internet browser.
- Click on the Gear icon on the up right, then on manage add-ons.
- Go through the list disable any suspicious extensions.
#5 Remove any leftover parasitic processes
From the task manager:
- Use Ctrl + Shift + Esc and open the Task manager, then click on the Processes
- Go through the list of processes and look for unknown or otherwise suspicious entries.
- If you see anything suspicious right click on the process and shoes Open File Location, then terminate the process and delete any files you find in the directory.
WARNING! If the directory you open from this menu has no files inside of it it’s probably because the malware has hidden them. You need to reveal hidden files and folders in order to be able to see them. Click here if you don’t know how to do that.
From the start menu:
- Press simultaneously the Win button together with the R button (Win+R)
- In the Run window that just opened type msconfig
- Click on the Startup tab.
This menu controls which programs are loaded when windows starts after a reboot. Disable anything that seems suspicious. Optionally you can also disable any program that you don’t need and also has a high impact on your startup time.
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