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If you see that your Chrome or Firefox browser has Apps 4.0 as its new homepage, despite you having done nothing to allow this, then know that this isn’t a real virus that you have on your hands. Instead, you are dealing with a particularly annoying browser hijacker app responsible for the promotion of the Apps 4.0 page.
The Apps 4.0 Virus
The Apps 4.0 virus is an software app categorized as a browser hijacker. The Apps 4.0 virus infects your browser with the purpose to scan your web activity and collect valuable marketing data.
To get rid of Apps 4.0 and the hijacker software behind it, you need to follow the instructions from the guide added to this article. The manual removal of a hijacker is not always an easy task since most of those software components can’t be uninstalled like regular programs. In fact, the hijackers typically do not come as separate software apps. Instead, they are added to the installer of some other software. There is usually a clause there that allows them to get installed alongside the main program of the installer. Naturally, most users do not really pay attention to the contents of the installers of the programs they want to set up on their machines. Instead, they simply click on the Next button until the program gets installed. This is, in fact, the main reason why so many users get hijackers like Apps 4.0, Apps 3.5, Apps Extension without realizing it. The key to avoiding this in the future is always paying attention to all the different settings and options in a given installer. If there is a menu labeled Advanced or Custom, use that menu to customize the installation configuration so that no unwanted or unneeded apps end up getting installed in your computer. Also, it’s also important to consider what sources you use when downloading new software. If you tend to go to sketchy or pirate sites when downloading new things, a hijacker is the least dangerous thing you can land. Ransomware, Trojans and other threats can also get downloaded from such sites so it is important to keep away from them. Also, a good security tool such as the one from this page may help you prevent any hijacker from entering your system in the future. Last but not least, never open messages or any links and file attachments added to them, if the said messages look sketchy, and if you think they may be spam.
What we suggest you do first is, check the list of programs that are presently installed on the infected device and uninstall any rogue software that you find there:
From the Start Menu, navigate to Control Panel ->>> Programs and Features ->>> Uninstall a Program.
Next, carefully search for unfamiliar programs or programs that have been installed recently and could be related to Apps 4.0.
If you find any of the programs suspicious then uninstall them if they turn out to be linked to Apps 4.0.
If a notification appears on your screen when you try to uninstall a specific questionable program prompting you to just alter it or repair it, make sure you choose NO and complete the steps from the removal wizard.
Remove Apps 4.0 from Chrome
Click on the three dots in the right upper corner
Go to more tools
Now select extensions
Remove the Apps 4.0 extension
Once you open Chrome, click on the three-dots icon to open the browser’s menu, go to More Tools/ More Options, and then to Extensions.
Again, find the items on that page that could be linked to the malware and/or that might be causing problems in the browser and delete them.
Afterwards, go to this folder: Computer > C: > Users > *Your User Account* > App Data > Local > Google > Chrome > User Data. In there, you will find a folder named Default – you should change its name to Backup Default and restart the PC.
Get rid of Apps 4.0 by removing it from extensions
If using Firefox:
Select the three parallel lines menu and go to Add-ons.
Find the unwanted add-on and delete it from the browser – if there is more than one unwanted extension, remove all of them.
Go to the browser menu again, select Options, and then click on Home from the sidebar to the left.
Check the current addresses for the browser’s homepage and new-tab page and change them if they are currently set to address(es) you don’t know or trust.
If using MS Edge/IE:
Select the browser menu and go to Extensions.
Find and uninstall any Edge extensions that look undesirable and unwanted.
Select Settings from the browser menu and click on Appearance.
Check the new-tab page address of the browser and if it has been modified by the malicious program or another unwanted app, change it to an address that you’d want to be the browser’s new-tab page.
How to Delete Apps 4.0
Open task manager
Look for the Apps 4.0 process
Select it and click on End task
Open the file location to delete Apps 4.0
Access the Task Manager by pressing together the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys and then selecting Task Manager.
Open Processes and there try to find a process with the name of the unwanted software. If you find it, select it with the right button of the mouse and click on the Open File Location option.
If you don’t see a malicious process in the Task Manager, look for another suspicious process with an unusual name. It is likely that the unwanted process would be using lots of RAM and CPU so pay attention to the number of resources each process is using.
Tip: If you think you have singled out the unwanted process but are not sure, it’s always a good idea to search for information about it on the Internet – this should give you a general idea if the process is a legitimate one from a regular program or from your OS or if it is indeed likely linked to the adware.
If you find another suspicious process, open its File Location too.
Once in the File Location folder for the suspicious process, start testing all of the files that are stored there by dragging them to our free online scanner available below.
Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users.
This file is not matched with any known malware in the database. You can either do a full real-time scan of the file or skip it to upload a new file. Doing a full scan with 64 antivirus programs can take up to 3-4 minutes per file.
Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
If the scanner finds malware in any of the files, return to the Processes tab in the Task Manager, select the suspected process, and then select the End Process option to quit it.
Go back to the folder where the files of that process are located and delete all of the files that you are allowed to delete. If all files get deleted normally, exit the folder and delete that folder too. If one or more of the files showed an error message when you tried to delete them, leave them for now and return to try to delete them again once you’ve completed the rest of the guide.
How to Uninstall Apps 4.0
Click on the home button
Search for Startup Apps
Look for Apps 4.0 in there
Uninstall Apps 4.0 from Startup Apps by turning it off
Now you need to carefully search for and uninstall any Apps 4.0-related entries from the Registry. The easiest way to do this is to open the Registry Editor app (type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter) and then open a Find dialog (CTRL+F key combination) where you have to type the name of the threat.
Perform a search by clicking on the Find Next button and delete any detected results. Do this as many times as needed until no more results are found.
After that, to ensure that there are no remaining entries lined to Apps 4.0 in the Registry, go manually to the following directories and delete them:
The browser hijacker software category is an interesting one – the representatives of this software are not viruses, yet many people fear them as they fear Trojans, Spyware and Ransomware. The reason for that is twofold. The first part of it is the fact that the hijackers can indeed be quite unpleasant to have on inside the browser, as they are likely to modify it without the user’s permission, setting a new homepage address, replacing the default search engine service and starting to trigger page-redirects to sites that are filled with ads, clickbaits, pop-ups and other invasive content. The other part of the reason why people see hijackers are potentially harmful is misunderstanding. The word computer virus is oftentimes used as an umbrella term that refers to any sort of unwanted or sketchy software.
About the author
Brandon is a researcher and content creator in the fields of cyber-security and virtual privacy. Years of experience enable him to provide readers with important information and adequate solutions for the latest software and malware problems.