There’s nothing quite as annoying as being unable to properly use your Chrome, Firefox or IE browser because it has been invaded by some nagging program that constantly redirects you to sites you don’t want to visit and has also added a sketchy new starting page, search engine and toolbar to your browser. Unfortunately, programs that can cause this are very widely spread throughout the World Wide Web and all that it takes to get one installed onto your machine is a simple wrong click. Generally, they are referred to as Browser Hijackers and today we will be talking about one Hijacker in particular that is called Query Router “Virus”. You are now about to learn what it is known to do once it gets installed onto someone’s PC, how dangerous it can be and what methods there are to keep it out away from your PC. We can also offer you an instructional manual focused on uninstalling and removing the software in case you have already landed it onto your computer. However, it is highly recommended to first read the article itself and acquaint yourself with the different characteristics of Query Router “Virus” before you move on to removing it.
Obviously, a Browser Hijacker is an unwanted program the question that many people ask is how dangerous it is. Well, though the answer to this question might vary, generally speaking, Browser Hijackers are not actual malicious PC viruses (even though oftentimes people refer to them as such). Although there certainly are a number of similarities between the two types of software, there are also some major differences:
- Typically, Hijackers aren’t made with the purpose of damaging one’s PC or mess with their personal files in contrast to harmful malware such as Trojan horses, Ransomware, etc. The most common use of programs like Query Router “Virus” is online advertising via the user’s own browser. The problem with that is the fact that most of the methods used by Hijackers for their promoting purposes tend to be overly aggressive and at times might cause additional problems.
- Another important thing about Hijackers that ought to be mentioned is the fact that they are oftentimes legally developed, distributed and employed. On the other hand, Trojans, Ransomware and other harmful viruses are always illegal.
- Thirdly, it’s more than easy to spot a Hijacker that has installed itself in your system, because they do not try to remain hidden and unnoticed. Actual harmful malware is always aiming to show as few symptoms as possible, so that it can remain undetected during the time it is executing its malicious task.
In spite of the fact that Hijackers are not real viruses, they are certainly not desirable programs either. There are quite a few additional issues that one might have with such an application and here we will give you a general idea what Query Router “Virus” might be able to do on your PC if it gets installed on it.
- Something that a big number of Browser Hijackers might attempt to do is modify and/or add new keys to your system’s Registry. The general purpose of this is to make your browsers more susceptible to the modifications of the Hijacker but such changes to your Registry can also potentially make your system more vulnerable to virus attacks.
- Next in our list of potential negative effects of Query Router “Virus” is that it may spam your browsers with obnoxious adverts that when clicked upon can possibly redirect you to websites with shady content. Oftentimes it is nearly impossible to normally use your browser without accidentally clicking on any of the nagging pop-ups, banners and box messages.
- Some Hijackers are also known to acquire personal information about the recent online history of the users directly from their browser programs. The info that is gathered that way is used for marketing purposes but it could also be sold to third party companies.
How do Hijackers get onto users’ PC’s?
There is a vast number of methods and techniques for spreading undesirable programs the likes of Query Router “Virus”. Here, we will compile the most commonly employed ones. Be sure to read carefully and be on the lookout for the following Hijacker distribution methods.
- Sketchy, spam e-mails that either contain a file attachment with the Hijacker or a direct download link to it. This means that you’d need to be very careful when checking your email from now on.
- Shady Facebook, Skype or any other form of online messages that similarly to the spam e-mails can contain suspicious links that you should not click on.
- Big online banners that tell you that you’ve won a big amount of money or an Apple product. Those scams are more than obvious but you should still be really careful not to click on them.
- Software bundles where the Hijacker is added to some other program and gets installed along that other program unless it is unchecked prior to launching the installation. Oftentimes the user would need to opt for the custom setup settings so as to have access to the full set of installation settings and be able to leave out any potentially unwanted bundled applications.
How to Remove Query Router “Virus”
Before you begin completing the steps from the following guide, we advise you to place a bookmark on this page or have it opened on a separate device since some of the following steps will require you to close your browser.
Enter Safe Mode. If you don’t know how to do it, use this guide.
Open the Task Manger by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc. Go to the processes/details Tab and take a look at the resulting list. If you see a process with the name of the unwanted program or looks shady, right-click on it and select Open File Location. If you believe it is part of the infection, delete the files.
Use the Winkey+R key combination to open the Run window and in the search field type appwiz.cpl. Hit Enter and in the resulting list, look for recently installed programs that look potentially unwanted. If you find anything – uninstall it.
Re-open Run and this tie type msconfig. Hit Enter again and in the resulting window, go to the Startup tab. See if there are any shady programs there and if anything looks suspicious uncheck it and then select OK.
In the Start Menu search field, copy-paste the following line: notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts . Open the first result and look at the bottom of the file where it says “Localhost”. If there are any IP addresses below that, tell us what they are in the comments since they might be coming from the unwanted software.
Type Network Connections in the Windows search field and click on the first result. Right-click on the adapter that you are using at the moment and go to Properties > Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP) > Properties.
If the DNS line is not set to Obtain DNS server automatically, make sure to check that option.
Now go to Advanced > DNS tab and remove everything in DNS server addresses, in order of use.
Right-click on your browser’s icon and select Properties. Delete everything in Target that is after .exe”.
For Chrome users
Close Chrome and go to this folder: C:/Users/*Your username*/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. Change the name of the Default folder to Backup Default. Re-open Chrome.
For Firefox users
Open Firefox and click on the Main Menu > Add-ons > Extensions. If you see anything suspicious there, remove it.
For IE users
When you open the browser, go to Tools > Manage Ad-ons and remove the unwanted software if you see it there. Next, go to Tools > Internet options and change the homepage URL to whatever you are normally using.
Open Run (Winkey+R), type Regedit and click on OK. Next, press Ctrl+F and type the malware name. Hit Enter and delete everything that gets found.
If there are no results from the search, manually visit those folders in the Registry Editor.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main
If you find there any suspicious keys that have names with a lot of random letters and numbers, delete them or if you are not sure, tell us in the comments what you saw.