Ecosia is a program classified as a Browser Hijacker. If you have noticed that your Chrome, Firefox, IE or Edge homepage has been changed or a new search engine or some sketchy toolbar has been added to the browser without your agreement, then you’ve likely stumbled upon Ecosia.
Apart from altering your browser settings without even asking you, there are several more potential problems that it might cause. Because of this, we have made this article, in which we will provide you with a detailed explanation about what these programs are used for and what they are able to do, once inside your machine. Since you have most likely ended up on this article because you too are having problems with Ecosia, we will also help you uninstall it from your PC and remove everything that it might have left behind.
The advertising industry within the virtual space is growing rapidly and both big and small companies are seeking to profit from it. It’s no secret that big websites like Google, Facebook and YouTube are gaining huge amounts of income primarily through online marketing. Nevertheless, at least they provide you with something in exchange for the annoying ads. Browser Hijackers, too, use internet advertising to generate money for their developers. However, the marketing methods they use are often way too aggressive and intrusive. Additionally, the programs themselves usually have no actual value to the regular users. Most of the time, applications like Ecosia are simply an annoyance to have around that does not give you anything in return for the frustration that you’d need to put up with when you have one installed on your computer.
The Ecosia “Virus”
“Virus” is a widely used term to refer to Ecosia and all sorts of undesirable and potentially harmful software. However, it is debatable whether it is correct to call Browser Hijackers “Virus”es. This is because programs like Ecosia are actually quite harmless for your computer.
Sure, they are intrusive and usually make your browsing experience miserable, but they are normally not malicious, unlike real computer “Virus”es such as the nasty Trojan Horses or the extremely dangerous Ransomware. If you currently have a Hijacker installed on your PC, know that there’s probably no real reason to be concerned and as long as you are being careful around it, your machine should remain safe and sound.
What problems can occur?
There is a reason why Browser Hijackers are unwanted. Apart from messing with some of your browser’s settings, there are several other potential negative effects that they might have on your system. Usually, none of the things that Hijackers do are damaging to the system but that does not mean that you should allow them to remain on your PC.
- When a Hijacker invades your browser, it often starts displaying obscure ads and obstructive banners. Not only is this extremely annoying and frustrating, but you can never know what waits for you on the other side of those pop-ups. Therefore, we advise you not to click on them.
- To enhance the advertising materials that they generate and make them look more appealing to the individual user, a number of Browser Hijackers will scan the browser history and searches in order to determine the user’s personal interests. This is yet another reason why you must make sure to get rid of the PUP (potentially unwanted program).
- Apart from what has already been mentioned so far, programs like Ecosia might affect your machine’s performance casing it to run slower and sometimes even freeze or crash. This is usually not supposed to happen, but due to the high amounts of memory and CPU time that some Hijackers require, it might occur, especially if your PC is not very powerful.
So far, we’ve made it clear why, even though Ecosia is probably not harmful to your PC, it must be removed from it. Below, you can find detailed instructions on how to do it. However, before you go there, make sure to carefully read the next short list of tips that will help you avoid any Browser Hijackers or other unwanted programs in the future.
- Set your browser to ask for a permission each time a file is about to be downloaded. That way, Hijackers won’t be able to automatically download themselves onto your PC.
- Double-check any new emails and text messages before interacting with them, especially if they have files attached to them or if they contain shady-looking links. If you think that the new message might be spam, make sure to avoid it and delete it if you can.
- Be careful with the websites you visit while surfing the internet. Browser Hijackers are often distributed via less reputable sites with sketchy content so try to avoid those.
- Before installing new programs, see if there are added applications that would get installed along the main piece of software. If some unwanted program is added to such a file bundle, you must make sure to leave it out of the installation. To do that, carefully examine the setup wizard and see of and what has been added. If there is an Advanced installation setting, go for that because this is where the added installs are usually hidden. Once you find the list of added contents, uncheck those of them that look like some sort of unwanted software before continuing.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Obstructive pop-ups and banners in your browser, changed homepage and new search engines and toolbars that have been added without your permission.|
|Distribution Method||Usually, Hijackers are getting spread via spam emails, file-sharing websites, sketchy banners/online ads and software-bundling.|
Ecosia “Virus” Removal
To try and remove Ecosia quickly you can try this:
- Go to your browser’s settings and select More Tools (or Add-ons, depending on your browser).
- Then click on the Extensions tab.
- Look for the Ecosia extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
- Remove Ecosia by clicking on the Thrash Bin icon next to its name.
- Confirm and get rid of Ecosia and any other suspicious items.
If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed Ecosia 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
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).
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
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.
Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/online-virus-scanner/
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.
Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.
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:
Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.
Hold the Start Key and R – copy + paste the following and click OK:
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:
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.
- Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click Properties.
- The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
- Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.
- 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).
Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.
Remove Ecosia from Internet Explorer:
Open IE, click —–> Manage Add-ons.
Find the threat —> Disable. Go to —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.
Remove Ecosia from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
Remove Ecosia from Chrome:
Close Chrome. Navigate to:
C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:
Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.
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—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!