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How to remove Universal Browser hijacker


Picture this: you’re browsing the web, and a pop-up for “Universal Browser” appears. Perhaps you’re shutting down or starting up your device when you see a pop-up that says Universal Browser is updating.

Far from being an innocuous pop-up, this is an indication your device has been infected by the Universal Browser virus.

This browser hijacker can expose you to myriad threats and put your personal information at risk. If you feel that Universal Browser has exposed your device, read further to learn how to get rid of this hijacker and how to keep your device safe in the future.

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What is a Universal Browser?

Universal Browser is a malicious software that modifies the browser settings on compromised devices. This browser hijacker is usually hidden in seemingly legitimate software.

If installed on your device, you may notice sudden changes in your browser. For instance, your default homepage and search engine may change. Moreover, you’ll be constantly directed to malicious or sponsored sites and may find new, unfamiliar browser extensions and programs on your system.

The Universal Browser virus can also display pop-ups and inject ads into pages. It harvests data about users’ browsing activities for targeted advertising and other malicious purposes. This browser hijacker can also make your browser slow and unstable.

Threat nameUniversal Browser
TypeBrowser hijacker
DevicesWindows devices
SymptomsChanges to browser settings (including homepage, search engine, and new tab settings), unwanted ads, and pop-ups
DamageTracking browsing activity, redirecting to potentially malicious websites, unwanted ads, and slower browsing experience

This malware has been linked to other browser hijacker software, including the Chromstera browser virus. Chromstera is known for redirecting searches, changing browser settings, and displaying unwanted ads. Having Chromstera on your system can lead to the appearance of the Universal Browser, as both are part of a group of browser hijackers designed to exploit your browser.

Similar scam/malware examples

Browser hijackers are malware that secretly changes your browser settings, redirects your searches, and collects your data. There are dozens of browser hijackers floating around the web, including Hao 123, snap.do, Poshukach, Chromstera, and my-search.com.

Browser hijackers have different modes of infection. Many, like the Universal Browser hijacker, spread through compromised software or malicious ads. Others, like the “Congratulations You Won” hijacker, spread through malicious pop-ups.

How did Universal Browser get installed on my computer?

You can accidentally install the Universal Browser virus because it often comes bundled with legitimate software. This malware has been found in game cheats and tools that claim to boost device performance.

You might also install the Universal Browser trojan by clicking on malicious ads and links on shady sites like online casinos and adult websites. Sometimes, just visiting these sites can automatically download and install malware on your device. Browser hijackers can also spread through pirated files on peer-to-peer platforms and fake software or browser extensions.

How to get rid of the Universal Browser hijacker

There are different ways to delete the Universal Browser virus and other malicious programs from your device. You can remove it manually or automatically with antivirus software. Below, I’ll detail the different ways you can rid your system of this browser hijacker.

1. Remove Universal Browser hijacker with antivirus software

Using an antivirus program is the most effective and easiest way to protect your device from malware, such as the Universal Browser trojan. Here’s how to delete this browser hijacker from your device using antivirus software:

  1. Choose a trusted antivirus solution and sign up. I recommend TotalAV
  2. Download and install the antivirus software on your device
  3. Run a full system scan
  4. Follow further instructions provided by the antivirus program

The antivirus will automatically detect the Universal Browser virus and any other malware on your system. It will also protect your device from further infection by alerting you about malicious sites and apps.

2. Remove Universal Browser hijacker manually

Compared to using antivirus software, removing the Universal Browser virus from your device manually is a little more complex. But we’ll guide you through the process step-by-step below.

Here’s how to remove the Universal Browser trojan from a Windows device:

Step 1. Uninstall the suspicious program:

  1. Click on the Start menu and choose Settings universal-browser-start-menu
  2. Select Apps and then go to Installed Apps universal-browser-installed-apps
  3. Look for any Universal Browser-related app. Right-click on it and select Uninstall universal browser uninstall
  4. The app's title can sometimes be unrelated or deceptive. I recommend sorting your app list by recently installed and paying close attention to any suspicious apps.

Step 2. Remove malicious browser policies:

  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator by typing “cmd” in the Windows search bar and selecting “Run as administrator” universal browser run as administrator
  2. Type the following commands into the newly opened screen:
    RD /S /Q “%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicyUsers” and press Enter
    RD /S /Q “%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicy” and press Enter
    gpupdate /force and press the Enter universal browser commands

Step 3. Remove malicious scheduled tasks:

  1. Lookup Task Scheduler in the Windows search bar universal browser task scheduler
  2. In the Task Scheduler window, go to the Task Scheduler Library
  3. Look for any suspicious tasks on the list. It could be a randomly generated name like Chrome_Display, Chrome_Folder, or something similar
  4. Right-click on the suspicious task and select Delete universal browser delete

Step 4. Remove malicious files located in the AppData/Roaming and AppData/Local folders:

  1. In the Windows search bar type “run” or press the Windows key + R to open the Run app
  2. Type “%AppData%” and click OK universal browser appData/roaming
  3. In the Roaming folder that opens up search for and delete any unknown or suspicious folders
  4. In the Windows search bar, type “run” or press the Windows key + R to open the Run app
  5. Type “%localappdata%” in the box and click OK
  6. Look for any suspicious folders like WindowsApp or ServiceApp in the AppData/Local directory, and delete them universal browser suspicious folders
  7. Go to Google folder > Chrome > User Data > Default (or Profiles) > Extensions. Look for any unfamiliar extension folders and delete them

3. Remove Universal Browser hijacker from your browser

You can also delete the Universal Browser virus from your browser. The process is relatively straightforward.

Here’s how to remove the Universal Browser hijacker from your browser.

Google Chrome

  1. Click the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner of your Chrome browser. In the drop-down menu, click on Settings universal browser chrome settings
  2. Find Reset settings on the left and click it universal browser chrome reset settings
  3. Choose Restore settings to their original defaults. universal browser restore settings
  4. Confirm by clicking Reset settings universal browser reset settings

Mozilla Firefox

Here’s how to delete Universal Browser virus on Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Click the three horizontal lines in the upper-right corner of your Mozilla app. Select Help > More troubleshooting information from the drop-down menu universal browser Firefox help
  2. Click on Refresh Firefox in the newly opened window universal browser refresh Firefox
  3. Confirm by clicking on Refresh Firefox again universal browser refresh firefox click

Microsoft Edge

Here’s a simple way on how to delete Universal Browser virus on Microsoft Edge:

  1. Click on the three horizontal dots in the upper right corner of your Microsoft Edge app. Click on Settings in the drop-down menu universal browser mc settings
  2. Select Reset settings from the left, then Restore settings to their default values universal browser mc reset
  3. Confirm by clicking Reset universal browser mc settings reset

How do I prevent my device from installing unwanted apps?

The best way to avoid malicious apps like the Universal Browser virus is to ensure these apps don’t get installed on your device. Here are a few ways to ensure unwanted apps never get on your system:

  • Only download browser extensions and other software from official sources like the developer’s website or reputable app stores such as Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. Avoid downloading apps from obscure, third-party sources, as they may contain malware.
  • When installing apps, choose custom or advanced settings instead of quick installation. This lets you review and deselect any additional components, preventing the installation of bundled software, including browser hijackers.
  • Use a trustworthy antivirus software and scan your device regularly to spot any hidden malicious files.
  • Keep your operating system, browser, and other apps up to date. Install updates as soon as they become available to ensure your device has the latest security patches and is less vulnerable to malware.

Conclusion

Browser hijackers like the Universal Browser virus are becoming increasingly common as threat actors seek ways to exploit unsuspecting targets. If you notice any weird pop-ups or suspicious changes on your browser, you may be the victim of a browser hijacker trojan.

I strongly recommend installing a top-rated antivirus solution like TotalAV to protect your device from malicious software. TotalAV is not only effective at removing malware but also blocks harmful apps from getting onto your device and shields you from other online threats.


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