In today’s article we are going to talk about SafeFinder. Experts classify this program as an exemplary browser hijacker. What it could do to you is possibly annoy you by modifying your browsers (Firefox, Opera, Chrome and/or Explorer). If any of your browsers has been affected by such a hijacker, you are likely to experience unauthorized redirection to various websites; some constantly popping up ads while you are surfing as well as new homepages and unfamiliar search engines. More information about this sort of software is available to you in the text below.
What is SafeFinder?
Briefly speaking, hijackers are programs that are marketing-driven and can only affect the programs that most users around the world regularly use – the browsers. All known browsers could be vulnerable to such programs. Any hijacker could not only be capable of changing the browser’s appearance and way of functioning, but also researching its search history and trying to determine the exact taste of any infected user. That is way the stream of pop-up advertisements you may experience could be related to your recent or most usual online requests. Thanks to the rather questionable features mentioned above, SafeFinder and other members of this software family are usually regarded as potentially unwanted programs. It is not that they can truly harm your computer; it is just that they may greatly irritate you.
In order to prove our statement about how relatively harmless hijackers normally are, we would like to draw a comparison between them and the most popular hazardous programs – the Ransomware-based ones. For instance, in case your system has caught a Ransomware-type virus, you are likely to experience blocking of your most regularly used files, as well as a substantial amount of harassment in the form of ransom-demanding notifications on your screen. In the case of the infection with such malware, your files are truly in danger. On the other hand, in the case of an infection with SafeFinder, you can never expect anything harmful to happen to any of your files. Only your browsers can be affected and not in a really dangerous way, either. Still, hijackers are not among the programs you will want on your PC or remember putting one of them there as sometimes they could use tricky means of distribution, so that they could be installed on your PC with your indirect permission.
How you are most likely to catch SafeFinder
In this paragraph we will explain to you how such ad-generating programs as SafeFinder could trick you into putting them inside your system yourself. You already know they have nothing to do with viruses, so that it is impossible for them to self-install on your PC. As a result, their programmers have come up with an easy way to tempt you to install them on your machine yourself. The means of transporting hijackers, which are the most successful so far, are called program bundles. These are interesting free mixtures of various apps, programs and games, which you can get for free from the web. Usually they also contain hijackers or Adware. The real way to get infected with such a program is by installing the entire content of such a bundle on your PC. You may really be extremely excited to try something from the downloaded free bundle, and you may use the installation steps that require less time and fewer installation efforts. These steps are normally called: “DEFAULT”; “EASY”; “AUTOMATIC’’ or ‘’QUICK’’. Make sure that you avoid them no matter what you install on your PC. Instead of them, always choose the ADVANCED method or the CUSTOM installation features. They allow users to choose exactly the apps and features they want on their computers and you can easily deselect the Adware or the hijacker program from the list of the ones to be installed.
Is it even legal to distribute such software in such a way?
Indeed, the production and the distribution of SafeFinder are two completely legal processes. Developers make money out of creating such programs and the people who order such software – usually goods producers and service providers, get a bigger audience for what they have to offer. As a result, everyone wins from the situation. In case you would like to get rid of SafeFinder, though, this program needs to be removed from your computer. You can safely and easily do that by following the advice in the Removal Guide below.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Great irritation caused by redirecting, many pop-ups and changes in the default search engines and homepages.|
|Distribution Method||Via torrents, bundles, shareware, spam.|
Some threats of this type reinstall themselves repeatedly if you don't delete their core files. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to scan for malicious programs. This may save you hours and cut down your time to about 15 minutes.
How to Remove SafeFinder Mac/Win
If you are a Windows user, continue with the guide below.
If you are a Mac user, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.
If you are an Android user, please use our Android Malware 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:
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/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 SafeFinder 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 SafeFinder from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
Remove SafeFinder 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!