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Relevant Knowledge


“Relevant Knowledge”

“Relevant Knowledge” is a rogue browser add-on developed by TMGR Inc. that collects telemetry data from the browser. Relative Knowledge is regarded as unwanted software because it doesn’t require your permission to gather browsing data and because it may make unwanted changes in your browser.

Relevant Knowledge

“Relevant Knowledge”

This undesirable app has been around for quite a while now and many users have encountered it in their Firefox, IE, Edge, Chrome, and other browsers throughout the years. Some people even willingly install “Relevant Knowledge” thinking that it is some kind of useful and helpful app that can improve their browsing experience only to find out soon after that their browser is behaving in a strange way and showing then unpleasant pop-ups, ads, banners, and page-redirects.

According to its creators, the goal of this software is to collect user browsing data and use it for research purposes related to the global online behavior of the Internet users. In exchange for agreeing to have their data collected and used for research, people who have “Relevant Knowledge” installed in their browsers are allowed to download for free different software apps developed by partners of “Relevant Knowledge”. The developers of this software state on their official site that “Relevant Knowledge” is not a virus, spyware, or other type of malware, that it is not harmful to the system, and that it can be easily uninstalled. On surface leve, all of this suggests that the app is legitimate and is not a danger to the system. However, users who have had it installed on their browsers report having difficulties removing “Relevant Knowledge” despite following the removal instructions included on the app’s official site. Additionally, some reports state that this app brings unwanted and aggressive ads and pop-ups to the browser that it is installed on, further proving that it is probably best if the software is removed as soon as possible.

Is “Relevant Knowledge” a virus?

“Relevant Knowledge” is technically not a virus because it doesn’t replicate in the system and doesn’t seek to damage anything on the computer. Although Relative Knowledge is not a virus, its presence inside the browser could make your computer an easy target for real viruses.

The good news if you have “Relevant Knowledge” in your system is that your system isn’t under any direct risk. While we still consider this adware app to be unwanted, it is true that it can’t damage the system and doesn’t collect any personally-identifiable data (according to the current information that we have). Considering this, there’s no reason to panic if you notice the “Relevant Knowledge” app on your computer and in your browser. That said, it is still a good idea to uninstall it and we are about to show you exactly how to achieve this within a guide posted at the bottom of this page.

What is “Relevant Knowledge”?

“Relevant Knowledge” is what can be described as an adware app that seeks to collect user browsing data and use it for targeted advertising. “Relevant Knowledge” monitors your online activities and your browsing history and then transmits this data to undisclosed third-party advertisers.

One of the main problems about adware apps like this one is that you never know where the data they collect from you may end up. Admittedly, there is a big Privacy Policy page on the official site of “Relevant Knowledge” where you are told how your information could be used. According to it, the primary purpose of the data collected from your computer would be for research done by Comscore, Inc. – the parent company of TMRG, Inc. However, there’s also mention of selling your data to other third-parties who are business partners of the creators of “Relevant Knowledge”. Unfortunately, this means that your data may get resold over and over and it may eventually land in the hands of dishonest online crooks, scammers, or hackers who could use the data for their nefarious goals. It is generally never a good idea to allow any third-party software to have access to information relating to what you do on your computer and browser so it is best to get rid of “Relevant Knowledge” right away.

RelevantKnowledge – should I remove it?

You should remove “Relevant Knowledge” if this unwanted adware is currently present in your system and attached to your browser. The reason you should remove “Relevant Knowledge” is that the changes it makes in the browser could eventually lead to exposure to additional malware.

One other big issue we have with the way software like “Relevant Knowledge” operates is relating to the fact that these apps can make changes in the browser that the user has not allowed. Adware apps like this one could add another search engine, affect the homepage behavior, and install new add-ons automatically. Though rarely, this could turn out into a bigger problem because more hazardous threats like Trojans, Ransomware, or Spyware may exploit weaknesses caused by those browser changes and thus compromise the whole system.

The RelevantKnowledge app

The “Relevant Knowledge” app is an unwanted rogue browser attachment that gets installed in the browser without the user’s permission. The “Relevant Knowledge” app can make different changes in the browser’s settings and track your online activities without asking for your approval.

The “Relevant Knowledge” app is often distributed via file-bundles that allow it to get installed on the computer without the user realizing it. The key to avoiding this in the future is to always pay attention to the details shown in the installation wizards of different programs (especially free ones). If an installation manager asks you if you want to install some additional component in the system, click on no if you think that the component in question is potentially unwanted. Also, be sure to always check the Advanced setup settings if such are available. Oftentimes, this is where developers hide additional software apps that are attached to the installer since most users ignore those settings and do not uncheck the option to install the bonus app(s).

One other rule of thumb is to only download new programs and apps from reputable sources that you are sure you can trust. Even then, however, you should still check the installers for potentially unwanted optional bonus elements.

The “Relevant Knowledge” virus

The “Relevant Knowledge” virus is how most users refer to the unwanted browser add-on known as “Relevant Knowledge”. The “Relevant Knowledge” virus is not able to harm your files or system but it could greatly disrupt your online experience and introduce unwanted browser changes.

Though “Relevant Knowledge” is technically not a virus, as we’ve already pointed out, the fact that it is attached to your browser could lead to potential infections with real viruses so it’s preferable if you uninstall “Relevant Knowledge” as soon as possible.

You can get rid of the unwanted app either by completing the following manual removal steps or by using the powerful anti-malware tool included in the guide. Needless to say, you can use both removal options which will give you the highest chances of success so we suggest doing exactly that.

SUMMARY:

Name “Relevant Knowledge”
Type Adware
Detection Tool

“Relevant Knowledge” Removal

The “Relevant Knowledge” Removal can usually be done through the Control Panel in the following way:

  1. Open the Start Menu of your computer and go to the Control Panel.
  2. Click on the Uninstall a Program option and try to find “Relevant Knowledge” in the following list.
  3. If you find it, click on it, select Uninstall from the top, and follow the prompts to complete the “Relevant Knowledge” removal.
  4. If you see other suspicious apps in there, delete them too in the same way.
    Uninstall A Program

Detailed Steps

The short instructions above were a quick way to delete “Relevant Knowledge” but it is possible that those may not be enough to fully clean your computer from the unwanted app. If “Relevant Knowledge” is still in your computer and browser after uninstalling it from the Control Panel or if you weren’t allowed to finish the uninstallation, we suggest completing the more detailed steps shown below.

Step 1: Quit the “Relevant Knowledge” process

  1. Access the Task Manager by pressing together the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys and then selecting Task Manager.
  2. 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.
    malware-start-taskbar
  3. If you don’t see a “Relevant Knowledge” 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 amount 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.
  4. If you find another suspicious process, open its File Location too.
  5. Once in the File Location folder for the suspicious process, start testing all of the files that are stored there by dragging it to our free online scanner available below.
    Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
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    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.
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    • 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.

    Step 2: Boot Into Safe Mode

    Enabling Safe Mode should keep any adware processes that you may have missed in the previous step from interrupting your troubleshooting activities. You can learn how to boot into Safe Mode from on this page.

    Step 3: Check the Startup items and the Hosts file

    1. Go to System Configuration by typing msconfig in the Start Menu and hitting Enter.
    2. Select Startup from the top and explore the list of startup items.
    3. If you see “Relevant Knowledge” in the list, remove the tick from the checkbox in front of it and select Apply.
    4. If you there isn’t an item labeled “Relevant Knowledge” and/or if there are other suspicious startup items listed there, remove their ticks too.
    5. Uncheck items with Unknown manufacturers unless they are related to a program that you trust and know is reliable.
      msconfig_opt
    6. Exit System Configuration by clicking on OK and then copy-paste this into the search field under the Start Menu: notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts.
    7. Open the file shown in the results and look at the bottom of the text in the newly-opened notepad file.
    8. If you see lines written below LocalHost (weird IP addresses and settings rules) paste them in the comments.
      hosts_opt (1)
    9. After we see what’s written in your Hosts file below Localhost, we will tell you what needs to be done next. If the lines of text you’be sent us are from the adware, you will need to delete them from the Hosts file and then save the changes that you’ve made to the latter.

    Step 4: Check the DNS Settings

    1. Again in the Start Menu, type network connections and hit Enter.
    2. Right-click the icon of the network that you are currently connected to and go to Properties.
    3. From the list in the Properties window, click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP) and select Properties.
    4. The Obtain DNS servers automatically option should be enabled so if it isn’t, enable it.
    5. Go to the Advanced option and select DNS.
    6. Remove any addresses that may be listed there by selecting them and clicking on Remove.
    7. Exit all of the windows that are currently open by clicking OK on all of them.
      DNS

    Step 5: Check the Registry Editor

    Warning!: Before you start completing this final step, know that you must be very careful when deleting items from your Registry. Only delete those items that you are certain are from the adware. If you have any doubts, you should first consult us through the comments section before you delete an item you are not sure about!

    1. Press the Windows key and R key from the keyboard and type regedit in the Run box.
    2. Press Enter and if a dialogue window appears asking you for Admin permission click on Yes.
    3. Once the Registry Editor shows up on your screen, go to its Edit menu and select Find.
    4. In the Find box, type “Relevant Knowledge” and search for it in the Registry by clicking on Find Next.
    5. Delete the first item that gets found (if an item is found) and click on Find Next again.
    6. Delete the next item and rinse and repeat the process until there are no more entries in the Registry with the “Relevant Knowledge” name.
    7. Manually locate the following three directories in the Registry from the sidebar on the left:
      • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/
      • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run/
      • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main/
    8. Look for any folders in those directories that are with very long and suspicious-looking names (for example, a name that is a long sequence of random characters).
    9. If you notice anything like that, select the item and delete it. Again, if you are not sure about an item, it’s best to contact us before you delete it. 

    Step 6: Clean your browsers

    Instructions for Chrome

    1. Go to the three-dot menu in Chrome and select More Tools > Extensions.
    2. Find the “Relevant Knowledge” extension (or any other suspicious and unwanted extensions) and delete it by selecting Remove.
      Suspicious Extension Chrome
    3. Go to Settings from the Chrome menu and type “new tab” in the search field.
    4. If the browser’s new-tab page has been changed by “Relevant Knowledge”, restore your previous new-tab page or type the address of another site that you trust to make it your new new-tab page.

    Instructions for Firefox

    1. Select the three parallel lines menu and go to Add-ons.
    2. Find the unwanted add-on and delete it from the browser – if there are more than one unwanted extensions, remove all of them.
    3. Go to the browser menu again, select Options, and then click on Home from the sidebar to the left.
    4. 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.

    Instructions for Edge

    1. Select the browser menu and go to Extensions.
    2. Find and uninstall any Edge extensions that look undesirable and unwanted.
    3. Select Settings from the browser menu and click on Appearance.
    4. Check the new-tab page address of the browser and if it has been modified by “Relevant Knowledge” or another unwanted app, change it to an address that you’d want to be the browser’s new-tab page.

    Step 7: Try to uninstall “Relevant Knowledge” again

    Repeat the steps from the start of this guide that showed you how to delete “Relevant Knowledge” from your Control Panel. This time the uninstallation should make the unwanted program disappear from your computer if it hasn’t been removed by now.

    Final Notes

    If completing the manual steps we’ve shown here didn’t fully rid your PC of “Relevant Knowledge”, we suggest using the advanced professional anti-malware tool available on the current page which will clean your system and browser  from anything related to the adware and also keep your computer safe from future threats.

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    About the author

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    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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