In the event that your machine has been invaded by a program known as Search Query Router “Virus” and you’re struggling to figure out how to deal with it – stick around. We have designed this article specifically for cases like yours. Search Query Router “Virus” belongs to the software category of browser hijackers, which are a very widespread software type.
If this isn’t the first time you’ve encountered a browser hijacker, then you should by now be well aware of the primary symptoms of an infection with one. They typically include a change in your browser’s usual homepage, as well as a newly set default search engine, which on top of everything also tends to initiate frequent redirects to various sponsored websites. And what’s more, it doesn’t even matter what browser you’re using: hijackers can infect anything from Chrome to Firefox, Edge or any of the other most popular browsing programs. So, unless you remove the program in question, all the changes that the hijacker has imposed will remain in place. That’s where we step in. Below you will find a detailed removal guide with all the necessary instructions that will help you eliminate Search Query Router “Virus” and remove all its nagging ads and redirects.
What are browser hijackers and what are they after?
For the main part, browser hijackers serve the online marketing industry and actually represent a fairly innovative approach towards advertising. Instead of waiting for users to come by and see their ads on, say, a certain website, they bring their directly to each and every user, who’s installed them. As a result, the numerous products and services can gain wider exposure to the benefit of their vendors and distributors. Likewise, the developers of programs like Search Query Router “Virus” profit from the whole deal, as well. In fact, they often user the Pay Per Click scheme as a remuneration method, as it ensures that they receive revenue based on the number of clicks the ads have received from users such as yourself.
However, the Pay Per Click or PPC scheme also dictates certain controversial behavior that often puts browser hijackers and similar programs in a rather unfavorable position. What we mean by that is a specific tactic, which hijacker developers frequently employ so as to generate as much revenue as they possibly can. To do so they, they tend to program their hijackers in a way that will allow them to monitor each user’s browsing patterns and extract certain data from their browsing history. For example, they can be interested in your latest online search queries, as this will give them a better idea about the kind of content you are currently interested in. They can also gain this information from things like the websites you favorite, bookmark or visit most often. In addition, even the kind of content you like and share on social media can provide them with the necessary information they may need to adjust their ad flow in a more efficient manner. Thus, you can very soon start noticing that the ads you’re constantly being bombarded with oddly resemble the things you were just recently looking up online.
Are there any dangers related to Search Query Router “Virus”?
The above practice of monitoring your browsing patterns certainly isn’t one to be taken lightly. For one, it is most definitely an invasion of your privacy and that alone is what most people won’t stand for. Furthermore, this is valuable marketing data we’re talking about here. It can be sold over and over again to multiplier marketing companies and various other third parties. That’s hardly something any user would look forward to.
But there are a couple more nuances to look out for when dealing with browser hijackers in general. Though they aren’t seen as viruses and they don’t really have the capacity or the intention to cause any actual damage, they can unintentionally expose you to various threats, such as Trojans and ransomware. With the rise of the latter, malvertisements have also gain extreme popularity and are often the distribution method of choice for many hackers and cybercriminals. They inject various popups, banner, box messages and other online advertising materials with the harmful script and wait for some unsuspecting user to come by and click on the ad, which, in turn, would automatically get them infected. To avoid anything like this, we would recommend abstaining for interacting with any form of online ads and removing Search Query Router “Virus” from your system as soon as possible. Please refer the below guide for more on this.
Remove Search 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.