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Programinfos is a browser-infecting malware that doesn’t damage the computer but causes unpleasant ad-generation and page-redirects during online sessions. Programinfos also manipulates the settings of the browser and even makes changes in the Registry to ensure it remains in the computer for longer.
Programinfos 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. Programinfos 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.
Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
The visible symptoms are the browser changes and the ads.
Most hijackers are usually distributed as bonus installs added to other software.
What we suggest you do first is, check the list of programs that are presently installed on the infected device and uninstall any rogue software that you find there:
From the Start Menu, navigate to Control Panel ->>> Programs and Features ->>> Uninstall a Program.
Next, carefully search for unfamiliar programs or programs that have been installed recently and could be related to Programinfos.
If you find any of the programs suspicious then uninstall them if they turn out to be linked to Programinfos.
If a notification appears on your screen when you try to uninstall a specific questionable program prompting you to just alter it or repair it, make sure you choose NO and complete the steps from the removal wizard.
Remove Programinfos from Chrome
Click on the three dots in the right upper corner
Go to more tools
Now select extensions
Remove the Programinfos extension
Once you open Chrome, click on the three-dots icon to open the browser’s menu, go to More Tools/ More Options, and then to Extensions.
Again, find the items on that page that could be linked to Programinfos and/or that might be causing problems in the browser and delete them.
Afterwards, go to this folder: Computer > C: > Users > *Your User Account* > App Data > Local > Google > Chrome > User Data. In there, you will find a folder named Default – you should change its name to Backup Default and restart the PC.
Get rid of Programinfos by removing it from extensions
If using Firefox:
Select the three parallel lines menu and go to Add-ons.
Find the unwanted add-on and delete it from the browser – if there is more than one unwanted extension, remove all of them.
Go to the browser menu again, select Options, and then click on Home from the sidebar to the left.
Check the current addresses for the browser’s homepage and new-tab page and change them if they are currently set to address(es) you don’t know or trust.
If using MS Edge/IE:
Select the browser menu and go to Extensions.
Find and uninstall any Edge extensions that look undesirable and unwanted.
Select Settings from the browser menu and click on Appearance.
Check the new-tab page address of the browser and if it has been modified by “Programinfos” or another unwanted app, change it to an address that you’d want to be the browser’s new-tab page.
How to Delete Programinfos
Open task manager
Look for the Programinfos process
Select it and click on End task
Open the file location to delete Programinfos
Access the Task Manager by pressing together the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys and then selecting Task Manager.
Open Processes and there try to find a process with the name of the unwanted software. If you find it, select it with the right button of the mouse and click on the Open File Location option.
If you don’t see a “Programinfos” process in the Task Manager, look for another suspicious process with an unusual name. It is likely that the unwanted process would be using lots of RAM and CPU so pay attention to the number of resources each process is using.
Tip: If you think you have singled out the unwanted process but are not sure, it’s always a good idea to search for information about it on the Internet – this should give you a general idea if the process is a legitimate one from a regular program or from your OS or if it is indeed likely linked to the adware.
If you find another suspicious process, open its File Location too.
Once in the File Location folder for the suspicious process, start testing all of the files that are stored there by dragging them to our free online scanner available below.
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.
Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
If the scanner finds malware in any of the files, return to the Processes tab in the Task Manager, select the suspected process, and then select the End Process option to quit it.
Go back to the folder where the files of that process are located and delete all of the files that you are allowed to delete. If all files get deleted normally, exit the folder and delete that folder too. If one or more of the files showed an error message when you tried to delete them, leave them for now and return to try to delete them again once you’ve completed the rest of the guide.
How to Uninstall Programinfos
Click on the home button
Search for Startup Apps
Look for Programinfos in there
Uninstall Programinfos from Startup Apps by turning it off
Now you need to carefully search for and uninstall any Programinfos-related entries from the Registry. The easiest way to do this is to open the Registry Editor app (type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter) and then open a Find dialog (CTRL+F key combination) where you have to type the name of the threat.
Perform a search by clicking on the Find Next button and delete any detected results. Do this as many times as needed until no more results are found.
After that, to ensure that there are no remaining entries lined to Programinfos in the Registry, go manually to the following directories and delete them:
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 Programinfos, 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
Is Programinfos a virus?
If Programinfos 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 Programinfos and other similar applications like Appyrinceaskeda and Captcha Safe Top 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.
About the author
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.