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Squathweenic is a browser hijacker program that modifies the web browser’s settings without the user’s approval. Typically, Squathweenic redirects the user to websites he has no intention to visit and gets him exposed to pay-per-click ads.
Squathweenic is a type of browser hijacker best known for the overwhelming amounts of ads, pop-ups, box messages, and banners it keeps showing all over your screen. The program seems to be compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, and many other browsers and, apart from filling them with ads, it tends to replace their default homepage and/or the main search engine with some sponsored ones.
Fortunately, on this page, we’ll help you get back your previous browser settings by uninstalling the source of these changes, namely Squathweenic. The steps listed below are easy to follow and most likely will not take much time or effort. Like pretty much any Browser Hijacker that has come before it. Squathweenic has been developed with the sole purpose of generating loads of pop-ups, flashing banners, distracting box notifications, and frustration-inducing site redirects that seem extremely hard to remove. Besides that, you may also find some other side effects, such as a modified homepage, or another default search engine in your browsing app which you may want to remove.
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 Squathweenic.
If you find any of the programs suspicious then uninstall them if they turn out to be linked to Squathweenic.
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 Squathweenic from Chrome
Click on the three dots in the right upper corner
Go to more tools
Now select extensions
Remove the Squathweenic 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 Squathweenic 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 Squathweenic 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 “Squathweenic” or another unwanted app, change it to an address that you’d want to be the browser’s new-tab page.
How to Delete Squathweenic
Open task manager
Look for the Squathweenic process
Select it and click on End task
Open the file location to delete Squathweenic
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 “Squathweenic” 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 Squathweenic
Click on the home button
Search for Startup Apps
Look for Squathweenic in there
Uninstall Squathweenic from Startup Apps by turning it off
Now you need to carefully search for and uninstall any Squathweenic-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 Squathweenic in the Registry, go manually to the following directories and delete them:
The reason why the Squathweenic browser hijacker is spamming you with so many commercials and redirecting you to different pages is money. The more ads the Squathweenic displays, the greater the chance of you clicking on some of them. This, in turn, means more revenue for the developers who generate income on a pay-per-click basis. This is possible thanks to the Pay-Per-Click (or PPC) system, which is a very common strategy to make money online. You would be amazed by how many companies opera on this principle and, for the most part, there is nothing illegal with it. However, as more and more people try to squeeze out every penny from this effective online advertising technique, more and more problems start to occur.
Is Squathweenic dangerous?
The nature of some of the displayed ads is among the major risks of having a Browser Hijacker on your computer. In addition to being extremely invasive, sometimes the promotional messages the Hijacker displays may expose you to security hazards. Although it is still rather rare, some of the ads could potentially redirect you to malicious websites full of viruses of all kinds, including the infamous Trojans and Ransomware. That being said, the distinction between a Browser Hijacker such as Squathweenic, Wigglewurm or Just Cool Captcha and the actual viruses is still very clear. These two types of software aren’t the same. As a matter of fact, some browser hijackers are considered completely legitimate. A Ransomware or a Trojan-based virus, however, is a tool for cybercrimes, and can damage your system and data in different ways. Yet, there is another thing that typically raises concerns among most people who have a Browser Hijacker in their systems. This is the fact that programs like Squathweenic tend to monitor the users’ web activity. Of course, such pieces of software can’t hack your online banking accounts, or acquire your passwords like a Trojan, or encrypt your information like a Ransomware, but they can keep track of your search queries, browsing history, favorite sites, and other information related to your web surfing. The collected data may be used for various marketing purposes, or can be sold to third parties.
About the author
Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.