Dark Reader Malware

Firstly, we would like to take your attention and point out that Dark Reader Malware is a legit extension where you can find it here. Just recently Dark Reader Malware and other popular extensions were cloned and encoded with malicious code. If you happen to be one of the unlucky users which installed any of these harmful extensions, we strongly recommend you to continue reading the article below.

Dark Reader Malware

Dark Reader Malware falls into the particularly annoying software category of so-called browser hijackers. As such, Dark Reader Malware basically ‘hijacks’ your browser by modifying some of its main settings.

Dark Reader Malware

Dark Reader Malware Clones

Dark Reader Malware can take control of most Windows-compatible web browsers and that includes but is not limited to Firefox, Edge and Chrome. As for the settings, let’s start with the most obvious ones. Normally the first symptoms of a hijacker infection are the changes made to the browser homepage and the default search engine. Namely, these will likely be replaced with new ones and you won’t have the option to change them. Well, you will, but as soon as you restart your browser, Dark Reader Malware will reinstate its own search engine and homepage.

Next, you may also notice new browser elements that have been added to its interface such as plug-ins, toolbars, bookmarks, buttons, etc. But the real core of the changes introduced by software of this kind are as follows. Users become the target of vast amounts of online ads that come in every shape and size you can imagine. These range from popups and banners to box messages, in-text links and beyond. Furthermore, it’s very common to start frequently experiencing page redirects as well. These can take place at any point during your session and may take you to some sponsored or page that’s trying to sell you something.

With the above in mind, you may already be out of your mind with frustration over these unwanted changes and advertising practices – and we get it. That’s why our team of experts has designed the below removal guide specifically for this browser hijacker. Simply follow the steps exactly as described in it and you will be hijacker-free in no time. And once you have removed Dark Reader Malware from your PC, you will be able to restore your browser configurations and things will return to normal.

The risks of having Dark Reader Malware on your PC

Browser hijackers like Dark Reader Malware are generally seen as potentially unwanted programs of PUPs. Basically this means that they do not possess the malicious qualities that would help put them in the same bunch as malware like ransomware and Trojan horse viruses. But at the same time they do no benefit the end user in any way and furthermore, their behavior is often rather sneaky and questionable. For one, you probably don’t even know how Dark Reader Malware ended up in your system to begin with, because you certainly didn’t go looking for it on the internet.

Moreover, the activities of this type of software are annoying and frustrating in and of themselves, there’s no question there. But aside from that they also take their toll on your system’s resources and may lead to other unwanted effects in the long-term. You may start to experience browser freezes and crashes, other programs and applications on your machine may begin to suffer in their performance as well, etc. Not to mention how sluggish your system may become overall. And of course there’s also the risk of landing on insecure web locations that may lead to virus infections.


Name Dark Reader Malware
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms Popups, banners, box messages and various other online ads that are constantly bombarding your screen. 
Distribution Method Mainly with the help of program bundles, e.g. the hijacker is included in the setup of another program that the user installs and the hijacker gets installed automatically alongside it.
Detection Tool

Remove Dark Reader Malware

To try and remove Dark Reader 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 Dark Reader Malware extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
  4. Remove Dark Reader Malware by clicking on the Thrash Bin icon next to its name.
  5. Confirm and get rid of Dark Reader Malware and any other suspicious items.

If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed Dark Reader 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

Dark Reader 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).

Dark Reader 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. 

Dark Reader 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.
Dark Reader Malware
Drag and Drop File Here To Scan
Dark Reader Malware
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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. 

    Dark Reader Malware

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

    Dark Reader 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:

    Dark Reader Malware

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

    Dark Reader 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:

    Dark Reader 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.

    Dark Reader Malware

    Dark Reader 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).

    Dark Reader Malware

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

    Dark Reader Malware

    Dark Reader Malware  Remove Dark Reader Malware from Internet Explorer:

    Open IE, click  Dark Reader Malware —–> Manage Add-ons.

    Dark Reader Malware

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

    Dark Reader Malware Remove Dark Reader Malware from Firefox:

    Open Firefoxclick  Dark Reader Malware  ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.

    Dark Reader Malware

    Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
    Dark Reader MalwareRemove Dark Reader Malware from Chrome:

    Close Chrome. Navigate to:

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

    Dark Reader Malware

    Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.

    Dark Reader 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


    Violet George

    Violet is an active writer with a passion for all things cyber security. She enjoys helping victims of computer virus infections remove them and successfully deal with the aftermath of the attacks. But most importantly, Violet makes it her priority to spend time educating people on privacy issues and maintaining the safety of their computers. It is her firm belief that by spreading this information, she can empower web users to effectively protect their personal data and their devices from hackers and cybercriminals.

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