Auto Refresh Malware

The Auto Refresh Malware

Auto Refresh Malware is an aggressive attachment for popular Windows browsers such as Firefox and Chrome that causes the browser to constantly redirect your online searches. Additionally, Auto Refresh Malware changes the address of the browser and the default search engine used by its Omnibox without asking for permission.

Auto Refresh Malware

The Auto Refresh Malware Chrome Extension

This type of app is incredibly widespread and many Windows users are forced to tolerate its presence in their browsers. One of the reasons for this is the lack of a straightforward uninstallation process for apps like Auto Refresh Malware. Instead of allowing the user to simply remove them through the browser’s extensions menu or through the Control Panel’s Uninstall a Program list, they make it extra difficult for the user to remove them (which is why many people give up trying and simply decide to put up with the annoying application).

The reason for all this is the paid page redirects and advertisements that these apps are known for. Ever since the browser-hijacking Auto Refresh Malware has been installed on your PC, you’ve likely noticed a significant increase in the number of advertisements you see in your browser. Also, the quality of the ads has probably gone down as you’ve started to see more and more obvious clickbait ads instead of ones coming from legitimate sites that offer actual good-quality products.

Auto Refresh on Chrome

As we mentioned, another unpleasant thing browser hijackers like Auto Refresh do is they cause your Chrome browser to redirect you to different sites. Oftentimes those sites would be unknown to you and may contain more questionable ads and links.

Sometimes, it’s even possible that some of the sites you may get redirected to could tell you there’s some dangerous virus on your computer, such as Ransomware or a Trojan horse, and that you need to download a certain app from the site in order to remove the threat. Whenever you see such a warning displayed on your screen by a website, be sure to ignore it and leave the site as soon as possible. This type of warning is always a sham and it is more than likely trying to get you to download (and maybe pay for!) some low-quality product that you don’t want in your computer. Furthermore, in some cases this may even be a trick used to get your computer infected with an actual virus, including the aforementioned Trojan and Ransomware threats.

All in all, whenever there is a hijacker in your browser, you need to act quickly and remove the unwelcome software or else you may be shown ads and redirected to pages that may not be what they seem and that may expose your machine to potential malware hazards.

Avoiding hijackers in the future

The best way to keep these apps away from your computer from now on is to use your common sense while browsing. Never open messages and emails that look like spam, never interact with anything that could be a clickbait, and only download new programs and tools from reputable sources that won’t try to scam you. If you follow these important rules, you should greatly decrease the chances of landing another hijacker in the future. Now. As for the uninstallation of Auto Refresh Malware, you can try using the guide you’ll find right below if you are unable to deal with the unwanted app on your own.


Name Auto Refresh Malware
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms  The symptoms typically associated with browser hijackers include the unauthorized change of the browser’s default homepage and the introduction of a new search engine tool to the browser’s Omnibox.
Distribution Method Hijackers are mostly distributed with the help of other programs to which they are added as optional installs.
Detection Tool

Remove Auto Refresh Malware

To try and remove Auto Refresh Malware quickly you can try this:

  1. Go to your browser’s settings and select More Tools (or Add-ons, depending on your browser).
  2. Then click on the Extensions tab.
  3. Look for the Auto Refresh Malware extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
  4. Remove Auto Refresh Malware by clicking on the Thrash Bin icon next to its name.
  5. Confirm and get rid of Auto Refresh Malware and any other suspicious items.

If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed Auto Refresh Malware removal guide below.

If you have a Windows virus, continue with the guide below.

If you have a Mac virus, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.

If you have an Android virus, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.

If you have an iPhone virus, please use our iPhone Virus Removal guide

Auto Refresh Malware

Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).

Auto Refresh Malware


Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab (the “Details” Tab on Win 8 and 10). Try to determine which processes are dangerous. 

Auto Refresh Malware

Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

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.
Auto Refresh Malware
Drag and Drop File Here To Scan
Auto Refresh Malware
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Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
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    After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders. 

    Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections. 

    Auto Refresh Malware

    Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.

    Auto Refresh Malware

    You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them.

    Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:

    Auto Refresh Malware

    Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.

    Auto Refresh Malware

    Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

    notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

    A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

    Auto Refresh Malware

    If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.

    Open the start menu and search for Network Connections (On Windows 10 you just write it after clicking the Windows button), press enter.

    1. Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click  Properties.
    2. The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
    3. Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.

    Auto Refresh Malware

    Auto Refresh Malware

    • After you complete this step, the threat will be gone from your browsers. Finish the next step as well or it may reappear on a system reboot.

    Right click on the browser’s shortcut —> Properties.

    NOTE: We are showing Google Chrome, but you can do this for Firefox and IE (or Edge).

    Auto Refresh Malware

    Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.

    Auto Refresh Malware

    Auto Refresh Malware  Remove Auto Refresh Malware from Internet Explorer:

    Open IE, click  Auto Refresh Malware —–> Manage Add-ons.

    Auto Refresh Malware

    Find the threat —> Disable. Go to Auto Refresh Malware —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.

    Auto Refresh Malware Remove Auto Refresh Malware from Firefox:

    Open Firefoxclick  Auto Refresh Malware  ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.

    Auto Refresh Malware

    Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
    Auto Refresh MalwareRemove Auto Refresh Malware from Chrome:

    Close Chrome. Navigate to:

     C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:

    Auto Refresh Malware

    Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.

    Auto Refresh Malware

    Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.

    Inside, press CTRL and F together and type the threat’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show up this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

    If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!


    About the author


    Brandon Skies

    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.

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