Painter Extension is a browser hijacker known for its constant display of advertisements, banners, and pop-up windows. If you installed Painter Extension on your Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, (or any other browser you use), your default search engine or homepage may have been changed by a new one.
Painter Extension comes within the PUP (potentially unwanted program) category, which is why it’s important to remove it from your system. In general, the term PUP is used for software that may be confused for a virus but, in reality, does not pose any direct danger to the system. One of the most visible symptoms of having a potentially unwanted program like Painter Extension on the system is that different ads (in the form of pop-up windows, banners, pop-under windows, and redirect links) may bombard the screen of the main web browser and literally hijack it.
Such browser hijacker programs may also change your default search engine and homepage with a sponsored version, in addition to disturbing your web browsing with random pay-per-click adverts. What irritates the most is that this often happens without the user’s direct consent or awareness.
The good news is that the operating system’s functioning will not be affected by Painter Extension’s browser hijacking. However, a computer where such a program is installed may become an easy target to a wide variety of online threats including adverts that include malware or malicious websites. Because of this, if you are worried about your online safety, you should better remove this program and uninstall any changes it has done in the system as soon as possible.
If you don’t remove the browser hijacking software, your browser may become slow, unresponsive, or unstable, leading to unexpected crashes. Aside from that, the pop-up windows and adverts you see on your screen may not always be the most trustworthy type of content you can rely on. This kind of random pop-up redirection may sometimes lead you to a fake website that is attempting to steal your personal information via “phishing” forms or click-bait links that directly deliver viruses and other malware like trojan horses and ransomware. In other cases, the pop-ups may merely show an advertisement, which may trick you to purchase a product or a service with a questionable quality.
After reading what we’ve stated so far, you’ve probably concluded that it’s in your best interest to remove Painter Extension and all of its components from your computer as soon as possible. Fortunately, you won’t have to spend time searching for instructions on that since we have a detailed guide that explains each step in depth.
It’s very common for browser hijackers to be distributed as part of a larger software package alongside more desirable software. This is due to the fact that browser hijackers are generally less appealing than other types of software and thus, they’re often touted as additional tools that may enhance your online experience if you add them to your browser, but it’s not clear how much of an impact they have on your browsing. The Custom/Advanced settings in an installation package is where you’ll often discover the options for installing a hijacker like Painter Extension or leaving it behind. You can easily prevent the installation of the browser hijacker simply by deselecting the option for the extra components.
Ad-generating components like Painter Extension and Altruistics may also be included in pop-ups that, if clicked on, may serve as permission buttons on more aggressive websites. If you click on these links irresponsibly, a browser hijacker may take over your browser and change its settings without your knowledge.
So, it’s best to steer clear of websites that you don’t know, and to take the time to thoroughly install any new software that you download. By doing this, not only will you prevent applications like Painter Extension, but also will stay ways from viruses and malware such as Trojans, Ransomware, and Spyware. Of course, for optimal protection, the best thing you can do is invest in a professional anti-virus software product that can detect many complicated dangers, such as hijackers and other threats, and stay away from unreliable web locations.
Some threats reinstall themselves if you don't delete their core files. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to remove harmful programs for you. This may save you hours and ensure you don't harm your system by deleting the wrong files.
Remove Painter Extension Virus
To completely remove Painter Extension, you must delete all files and revoke all potentially unwanted settings associated with the browser hijacker. For this, you’ll need to uninstall the hijacker’s intrusive browser extension, plus, you’ll need to carefully check a couple of key system locations for the hijacker’s associated settings and processes. Of course, this is not a simple procedure for an inexperienced user, which is why, in order to assist you in eliminating Painter Extension as efficiently and fast as possible, we’ve compiled a list of instructions that will walk you through the process. Here is, in brief, what the removal guide that you will find below contains:
- First, we will head to the Control Panel, where you’ll need to search for and uninstall any recently installed apps that could have introduced the hijacker on your system. Typically, this happens through software bundling.
- Next, we’ll demonstrate how to check the Task Manager for suspicious processes that have been identified as hijacker-related and how to end them.
- Additionally, we will demonstrate how to clear hijacker-related data from your browsers and uninstall the Painter Extension extension.
- We will not skip checking and clearing any modifications to the Host file, the DNS settings, the Startup items list, and, of course, the system’s Registry.
The following paragraphs will detail how to remove the hijacker, and we highly recommend you not to skip any steps.
To begin, we recommend that you bookmark this page so you can have the instructions at one click.
Next, it is a good idea to restart your computer in Safe Mode as this will make your task in detecting Painter Extension-related processes easier. If you need help with that, you can click this link, follow the instructions shown there and then get back to this guide to complete the Painter Extension removal process.
After completing the preparation steps from above, go to the windows search field and type “control panel”. Following that, choose Programs & Features and then Uninstall a Program. Select Uninstall to remove any program that you believe is potentially unwanted or linked to Painter Extension and its activity.
You can sort the programs by date of installation and look at the recently installed ones, especially those that you have installed around the time that the hijacker started bothering you. Then, as instructed on-screen, complete the uninstallation process. Ensure that you remove any files and folders associated with the software you’re uninstalling, and uncheck any options that may leave data or settings associated with the program on your computer.
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Following that, hit the CTRL, SHIFT, and ESC keys on your keyboard and check the Processes tab in Task Manager to see what’s running in the system right now. Search for processes named after Painter Extension or with other strange names that consume a large amount of RAM and CPU.
To determine whether a certain process is associated with the hijacker, you can Google search for information on the process and if you discover reliable information on reputable cyber-security websites, you should probably end the process and delete its files.
Another technique to determine if a process should be ended is to scan its files. You can see the files by right-clicking on the process and selecting Open File Location.
Following that, scan the files using the free virus scanner located just below. If they get flagged, the associated process should be ended and the files should be removed. To end a process, right-click on it in the Processes tab, then select End Process from the options.
Following that, launch System Configuration by entering msconfig in the Windows search field and click Enter. Select the Startup tab in the new window and check the startup items listed there:
Uncheck any startup items that you believe are associated with Painter Extension, as this will disable them. However, please don’t uncheck anything else that is legitimate.
In this step, you’ll need to press the WinKey and R keys simultaneously to open a Run command window. Once you see it, copy and paste the following command into the Run text box and click OK:
You should see the following file on the screen:
Scroll through the Hosts file’s text and seek for IP addresses that appear suspicious. Navigate to Localhost and see what is added below (look at the image above for explanation). Please, share with us in the comments any suspicious IP addresses identified in the file under “Localhost” and we’ll inform you if any of those IPs need to be deleted or not.
Your DNS settings is the next thing that needs to be checked for modifications. To do that, go to Network Connections (type it in the Windows search field). Then, configure your DNS settings by following the instructions below.
1. Go to the Network Adapter that is currently active, right-click on it and select Properties.
2. Immediately after that, in the new window, choose Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP) and click Properties as shown on the image.
3. Next, check that the DNS line is set to Obtain DNS server address automatically and click on Advanced.
4. Check that the DNS field does not include any rogue entries. If so, delete them and click OK to save your changes on each open window.
This step requires you to search for hijacker-related entries in each of the browsers installed on your computer. To do so, right-click on the browser’s shortcut icon and then select the Properties option. Please note that we are showing Google Chrome here, but you can do the same for Firefox, Internet Explorer (or Edge), Opera or any other browser.
From the tabs at the top of the window, select Shortcut. Remove any characters following “.exe” in the Target text field. After that, click OK.
Following that, launch the hijacked browser, then click on its main menu icon (usually in the top right corner). Then, depending on which browser you’ve opened, click on More Tools or Add-ons. Following that, navigate to Extensions and click on it. Search the list of Extensions and Add-ons to see if there is anything linked to Painter Extension. Please note that there could be more than one extension that could be disturbing your web browsing experience, so don’t hesitate to remove anything that you don’t use. Just check that the extensions you want to uninstall are first disabled, and then click the Remove/Trash bin option next to each of them.
Returnt to the browser’s main menu icon, click it, choose Settings (or Options) and then choose Privacy/Security and Privacy from the panel on the left. Then, click on “Clear browsing history/data”. If there are Advanced options, click on them. Check off every check box except the one for your passwords, and click the Clear/Clear data button to confirm your action. This will clean up traces of pages powered by Painter Extension.
Finally, you’ll need to open the Registry Editor and search for Painter Extension-related entries in it.
To do so, type Regedit in the Windows search field. Then, click the result to start the Registry Editor. Once the Registry Editor has been launched, open a Find window with CTRL and F. Following that, write the browser hijacker’s name and click Find Next. Remove any results that appear in the list. Repeat the search, removing the next item, and so on until no results for Painter Extension appear in the search.
Following that, navigate to the left side of the Registry Editor and manually check the following locations for entries that could be hijacker-related:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random
If Painter Extension continues to disturb you after you complete everything from the manual guide, you should use a specialized removal program or a free online virus scanner to help you out. Such software may detect and eliminate any traces of the hijacker that you may have missed when manually removing it.