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Winsafe.xyz is a browser hijacker that has the capacity to become part of your Chrome, Firefox, Edge or other commonly used browsing program. Software like Winsafe.xyz installs ad-generating components in these browsers and causes them to produce ads on your screen.
Hence, one of the first symptoms of an infection of this type happens to be the vast increase of popups, banners, box messages and other online advertising materials that you see on all websites you visit. In addition to this, however, browser hijackers like Winsafe.xyz also have a tendency to meddle with the settings of the browser in question.
So, for example, it’s not uncommon for them to change the browser’s homepage and even introduce a new search engine as the default one. This is done with primarily the intention of driving more traffic to these sponsored websites, but also in the name of pushing sponsored search results on users. Other changes to your browser’s appearance may include the addition of a new toolbar, new buttons, a new add-on or plug-in in the respective section of your browser, etc.
Now, if you try to manually change these settings your main browsing program, they will only hold until your next browsing session. After that they will return exactly to the state that Winsafe.xyz had set them to previously, which can often cause panic among users and cause them to think that they’ve been attacked by some virus or malware. Although that’s not at all the case, the only way you will be able to regain control over your browser is by removing the hijacker. Below we’ve included a step-by-step removal guide with detailed instructions on how to do that.
The Winsafe.xyz Virus
Browser hijackers like the Winsafe.xyz virus primarily operate as online advertising tools. This is because the Winsafe.xyz virus is designed to generate revenue from sponsored ads for their developers.
Please follow all the steps below in orderto remove Winsafe.xyz!
How to remove Winsafe.xyz
First, click the Start Menu on your Windows PC.
Type Programs and Settings in the Start Menu, click the first item, and find Winsafe.xyz in the programs list that would show up.
Select Winsafe.xyz from the list and click on Uninstall.
Follow the steps in the removal wizard.
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 Winsafe.xyz.
If you find any of the programs suspicious then uninstall them if they turn out to be linked to Winsafe.xyz.
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 Winsafe.xyz from Chrome
Click on the three dots in the right upper corner
Go to more tools
Now select extensions
Remove the Winsafe.xyz 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 Winsafe.xyz 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 Winsafe.xyz 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 “Winsafe.xyz” or another unwanted app, change it to an address that you’d want to be the browser’s new-tab page.
How to Delete Winsafe.xyz
Open task manager
Look for the Winsafe.xyz process
Select it and click on End task
Open the file location to delete Winsafe.xyz
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 “Winsafe.xyz” 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 Winsafe.xyz
Click on the home button
Search for Startup Apps
Look for Winsafe.xyz in there
Uninstall Winsafe.xyz from Startup Apps by turning it off
Now you need to carefully search for and uninstall any Winsafe.xyz-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 Winsafe.xyz in the Registry, go manually to the following directories and delete them:
Typically viruses like Winsafe.xyz revolve around the so-very-popular online business models of Pay Per Click and Pay Per View. So as you can deduce from the names, every time you click on or see a certain popup, banner or what have you – the creators of the hijacker profit. This should go to explain the rather aggressive placement of the ads on your screen. But this same fact also leads to browser hijackers like Winsafe.xyz and GoSearches.gg engaging in questionable practices that tend to make security experts view these programs as potentially unwanted. Namely, software of this type has a strong tendency to record your browsing patterns in order to optimize the flow of ads on the screen of each individual user. This can be seen as very intrusive, especially if you never knowingly consented to this activity. Furthermore, the constant page redirects that a program like Winsafe.xyz may force you to deal with have the potential of exposing your system to viruses such as ransomware, Trojans, worms, rootkits and others. These are additional reasons why you may want to get rid of Winsafe.xyz as quickly as possible. And with the above in mind, we would like to stress that you may want to avoid clicking on any links, ads and messages displayed by hijackers.
About the author
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.