Today’s article is about MetroHotspot – a toolbar that generates intrusive pop ups. If you need it deleted from your system you’ll find the removal guide below, but before that we’ll discuss how these things operate and what is the best course of action when dealing with them. So without further ado lets begin with…
A short introduction to MetroHotspot and Adware in general.
Adware – the type MetroHotspot belongs to – is a compound word made out of Ads and Malware fused together. It is generally used as a generic term for all viruses that generate unwanted messages /ads/ on your computer. If you are reading this article then you are probably already familiar with what these ads look like. There are two important things to understand about them:
- As long as you ignore them and don’t download and install anything you are relatively safe.
- If you interact with them you put your computer into the risk of becoming infected with more viruses.
IMPORTANT! Besides the usual ads you may also be seeing a number of other items that are also ads, but are probably made not to look like one. Things like:
- Pop-ups about missing required plug-ins that you need to install.
- Media windows that want something downloaded before they can show the video.
- Warnings about necessary updates to important outdated programs like Java.
- Free software download. Anti-virus scanners often used as bait.
ALL of these are viruses and that is the reason you should never interact with anything offered by MetroHotspot. In the off chance that you are actually interested in the program offered (after all they do use legitimate program names as decoy/bait) you should Google that program and download it from the site of the official developer. This is the only way to be sure the installer is 100% virus free.
In fact similar messages are one of the most commonly used ways to spread Adware and other Malware. You may come upon these things in different sites around the web and they are an excellent indication that a site is unsafe.
On to some dirty tricks you may not be aware of.
One of these is program bundles. Many developers add additional applications and utilities to the installer of their main product – to promote their other work or their partners’. Unfortunately, more common with free programs, these bonus apps may in fact be Adware. This is why it’s a good idea to forgo the default installation option and go with the advanced one. While using it you can see and control what is getting installed.
Another are the fake download/torrent sites. These may generate files with the name you want, but who are a virus. Look for the file extension – if a file ends with .exe and you are not getting that file from an official site it’s likely a virus.
How to Remove MetroHotspot
Our first step here is a reboot in Windows Safe Mode. If you already know how to do it, just skip this and proceed to Step 2. If you do not know how to do it, continue reading:
For Windows 98, XP, Millenium and 7 Users:
Restart your computer. To be sure you don’t miss the window of time when you need to press it, just spam F8 as soon as the PC starts booting. In the new menu, choose Safe Mode With Networking.
Proceed to Step 2.
For Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Users:
Press the Windows Key and R at the same time. Select the Boot tab in the new window that appears.
Then check the Safe Boot option and click OK. Click Restart in the new pop-up.
Proceed to Step 2.
For OS X Users:
When you Mac is turned off, press the Power Button. After you hear the Startup Sound, immediately press and hold the Shift key until the Apple logo appears.
Proceed to Step 2.
MetroHotspot has infected ALL of your browsers. Apply the steps separately for each one.
For Internet Explorer Users:
Open IE, then click —–> Manage Add-ons.
Find MetroHotspot . Disable it.
If your Home Page is different from the usual, click —–> Internet Options>edit the URL box with your preferred search engine, and click Apply.
For Mozilla Firefox Users:
Open Firefox, click on (top right) ——-> Add-ons.
Hit Extensions next.
MetroHotspot should be somewhere around here – Remove it.
For Google Chrome Users:
Start Chrome, click —–>More Tools —–> Extensions.
In Extensions, find the virus and select .
Click again, and proceed to Settings —> Search (the fourth tab), select Manage Search Engines. Remove anything but the search engines you normally use.
For Safari Users:
Open Safari, and click Safari —–>Preferences —–> Extensions—–>Uninstall the malware.
(Works for Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1)
You are now in the Control Panel. Search around for MetroHotspot and anything else suspicious-looking. Uninstall it/them. Also, be extremely careful. Viruses often spend one last ditch effort to trick you into installing more of their kind. If you see a screen like this when you click Uninstall, choose NO:
This is perhaps the most important and difficult step, so be extremely careful. Open the Task Manager by right clicking on the Taskbar and choosing Start Task Manager.
Once it opens, choose the Processes Tab. Look at all of the processes in front of you and try to determine which ones are a virus. Google them or ask us in the comments and we will provide the best assistance we can. If the virus returns later on, the reason is that you missed something here.
Right click on each of the virus processes separately and select Open File Location. Also, End the process after you open the folder. Just to make sure we don’t delete any programs you mistakenly took for a virus, copy the folders somewhere, then delete the directories you were sent to.
We’ve had reports that this virus can come back after you uninstall it. This usually takes place on system boot. If this happens, do the following:
Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.
Once inside, press CTRL and F together and type the virus’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. Alternatively, if you can’t find any this way, look in these directories, and delete the registries manually:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random numbers
HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random
STEP 6 – Optimization
And that’s it. Well done for removing MetroHotspot. We’ve prepared a short and sweet optimization guide, specifically designed for users who just removed a virus. It is completely free, you do not need to download anything, and it’s not very time consuming. If you are interested, you can check it out here.