Phonenow is a browser-infecting malware that doesn’t damage the computer but causes unpleasant ad-generation and page-redirects during online sessions. Phonenow also manipulates the settings of the browser and even makes changes in the Registry to ensure it remains in the computer for longer.
Phonenow is a new search engine in your browser that is now the default one and if your the starting page address has suddenly gotten replaced by a site that you’ve never ever heard about before, then you need to read this article because you most certainly have had a hijacker installed on your browser and need to remove it. Phonenow is a browser hijacker or, as some users may call it, a browser redirect, and it is a simple software tool that presents itself as a useful addition to popular browsing programs the likes of Firefox and Chrome.
Supposedly, this tool is programmed to optimize your surfing experience and allow you to make the most out of it by displaying you different offers and ads that may be relevant to your interests. On paper, this doesn’t sound too bad but once you start to get page-redirected every couple of minutes and once your screen starts to get flooded with invasive and obstructive advertising messages, you will realize that the presence of the hijacker in your computer isn’t really something that you are okay with. In fact, the thing that sets apart the browser hijacker apps from most other browser extensions is the fact that the former tend to be more irritating and obstructive than helpful. It is oftentimes up to the user to decide for themselves whether or not a give app is or isn’t a hijacker depending on how useful or irritating they find it.
Due to many recent reports concerning an app named Phonenow, we’ve concluded that this is what we would regard as a browser hijacker and this is why we are writing this post – to help the users that may have this browser component inside their browser uninstall it from their computer and remove all of the changes it’s made to the browser.
Removing the hijacker is the only way
If Phonenow is in your computer, you may have already tried to remove its changes either by re-installing the browser or by trying to bring back your original search engine, homepage and by removing the new and potentially unwanted toolbar buttons. The problem is that this would usually not work since the hijackers tend to be rather clingy and won’t easily go away unless fully uninstalled. In terms of how problematic they are, they are very far from Ransomware, Trojans and other viruses and won’t try to conduct any malicious processes. However, they still tend to be difficult to remove and could also sometimes lead you to potential online hazards if you aren’t careful. In a sense, even though Phonenow and other similar applications like Rediroff Ru aren’t viruses, they could still indirectly expose you to malicious programs like nasty Ransomware cryptoviruses, Spyware, Trojans and others. This is mainly due to the ads they show on your screen – you simply cannot trust the random advertising messages as they could be coming from anywhere and could be linked to anything.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||The visible symptoms are the browser changes and the ads.|
|Distribution Method||Most hijackers are usually distributed as bonus installs added to other software.|
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 Phonenow Virus
To try and remove Phonenow 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 Phonenow extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
- Remove Phonenow by clicking on the Trash Bin icon next to its name.
- Confirm and get rid of Phonenow and any other suspicious items.
If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed Phonenow 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:
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 Phonenow 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 Phonenow from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Remove Phonenow 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!