A very irritating issue that you could perhaps encounter while surfing the internet is the display of numerous types of infuriating online coupons and ads. Readily available from all over the place in different forms, colors and pop-up boxes, they dominate your computer screen and disrupt your browsing activities. With that said, it is simple to realize why you’d want to eliminate those advertisements without procrastinating.
This type of ads tend to be the work of a Browser Hijacker application called Message-alert.center. Helping you deal with this irritation, however, isn’t our sole goal – we also want to tell you how to keep such invasive ad-generating apps such as Message-alert.center away from your computer in the future.
Is Message-alert.center really a virus?
Whenever users come across Browser Hijacker, they inaccurately assume their computer has become a victim of a computer virus. Referring to a hijacker as a virus, however, is inaccurate – computer viruses are malicious pieces of computer code intended for an exact cyber-crime job. For instance, espionage and persona monitoring, data destruction, data encryption and more. Nowadays, by far, the most dangerous and widely spread virus family is named Ransomware. Ransomware is designed to render the entire user’s personal computer data unreadable until a ransom is paid. We hope, you will now make the distinction between, say, the dangerous nature of a software virus such as a Ransomware representative and the nagging, but normally safer Browser Hijackers.
All that being said, you should definitely not keep a hijacker in your system. The unfortunate truth is that plenty of Browser Hijacker applications such as www2.savemax.store and www1.ecleneue.com are believed to be legitimate according to law and for this reason lots of anti-virus programs will not take actions against them but this doesn’t mean that these apps aren’t undesirable and do not need to be removed.
How to keep away from apps like Message-alert.center
Understanding how Browser Hijackers get spread is definitely beneficial to any computer user. It is safer to keep away from a problem than deal with its undesirable consequences.
The software-bundling technique is likely the most effective way for spreading Browser Hijackers throughout the web. This method aims to get users to install certain applications without actually being aware of it. Typically, the application with which Message-alert.center is bundled is either free or cheap. Torrent internet sites and online file sharing websites are the most typical locations where one can face Browser Hijacker bundles.
When you get the software of your liking, you need to install it. And here is where users make a major mistake: they choose the regular or quick installation settings. What you need to do in this instance is choose the advanced/custom installation. By using this alternative, you would have the opportunity to see if you are about to install any unwanted additional software programs. In that list of added software, you can uncheck all bonus apps that look questionable and intrusive. However, to be on the even safer side, we also advise you to be more cautious with your download sources. Once you successfully get rid of this invasive software from your computer, it is only your job to take safety measures against potential future infections. Anti-virus and anti-malware programs are extremely important defensive tools in the battle against malware and certain unwanted apps. Some people disagree with the idea of investing in anti-malware tools, but these could be well worth their price. Once you’ve acquired a dependable source of Computer protection, be sure to utilize it by regularly scanning your computer for possible threats.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||With all those ads and changes to the browser, it’s actually unlikely not to notice the hijacker’s presence.|
|Distribution Method||Usually, the use of file bundles is what allows such apps to get around.|
Remove Message-alert.center Virus
The following guide is only for windows users, it will help our readers get rid of the unpleasant Message-alert.center software. Follow the instructions and complete each step for best results. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them using our comment section down below.
Preparation: Entering Safe Mode and Revealing Hidden Files and Folders
Before you proceed with the actual removal instructions, you will need to take two extra steps in order to ensure that the guide has maximum effect.
For best results, we advise our readers to boot into Safe Mode prior to attempting to remove Message-alert.center. If you do not know how to do that, here is a separate How to Enter Safe Mode guide.
Also, in order to be able to see any potentially undesirable files, you should reveal any hidden files and folders on your PC – here is how to do that.
Removing Message-alert.center From Windows
Step 1: Checking the Task Manager
Before we start deleting files related to Message-alert.center we want to make sure that all services related to the viruses are killed before we proceed.
Open your Task Manager by using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys and go to the Processes tab. Look for any suspicious processes. For example, any unfamiliar process that uses high amounts of RAM and/or CPU. If you aren’t sure if a certain process comes from malware, tell us in the comments.
Right-click on any process that you consider shady and select Open File Location. Delete anything from the file location of the process.
Step 2: Disabling Startup programs
Use the Winkey + R keyboard combination to open the Run search bar and type msconfig. Hit Enter and in the newly opened window, go to the Startup tab. There, look for suspicious entries with unknown manufacturer or ones that have the name Message-alert.center on them. Right-click on those, and select disable.
Step 3: Uninstalling unwanted programs
Go to Start Menu > Control Panel > Uninstall a Program. Click on Installed On to sort the entries by date from most recent to oldest and look through the programs that come at the top of the list. Right-click on any entries that appear shady and unwanted and then select Uninstall to remove them from your PC. If you see the name Message-alert.center in the list of programs, be sure to remove the software without hesitation.
Step 4: Checking for shady IP’s
To remove parasite on your own, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. If you were to do this, you need to be extremely careful, because you may damage your system.
If you want to avoid the risk, we recommend downloading SpyHunter - a professional malware removal tool - to see whether it will find malicious programs on your PC.
Step 5: Cleaning-up the browsers
You will also have to uninstall any undesirable browser extensions from your browser programs. Here’s how to do that for some of the more popular browsers:
Getting rid of Message-alert.center from Chrome
Open Chrome and open its main menu. Go to More Tools > Extensions. Look through the list of extensions and uninstall any that you think could be suspicious. To remove them – click on the trash can icon next to each extension.
You can also use a specialized Chrome CleanUp tool if you cannot manually remove a certain extension. Here is an article where you can learn more about the CleanUp tool.
Removing Message-alert.center From Firefox
Open Firefox and go to its Menu. Select the Add-ons button.From the left panel, select Extensions and take a look at the different entries. Remove any of the that might be unwanted.
Removing Message-alert.center From Windows Internet Explorer
Once you open your IE browser, click on the Tools button at the top-right corner of the program and from the drop-down menu select Manage Add-ons. Check each one of the four different groups of add-ons and search for anything that seems undesirable. If you find anything, click on it and them select Remove.
Removing Message-alert.center From Windows Edge
Open the main menu of Microsoft Edge and go to Extensions. Find the extensions that you believe could be unwanted and right-click on them. Then, select Uninstall.
Step 6: Checking the Registry Editor
Open the Run search bar again and type regedit in it. Hit Enter and once the Registry Editor opens press Ctrl + F. In the search field type Message-alert.center and click on Find Next. Tell us in the comments if any results came up when you searched for Message-alert.center in your PC’s Registry.
Step 7: Deleting recent entries
For this step, you will have to open your Start Menu and copy-paste the following lines, one by one:
Hit Enter after each one to open a file directory. In the directories, delete the most recent entries that you find there. In the Temp folder, delete all files.
Step 8: System Restore
In order to be fully sure that the unwanted software has been removed from your machine, you can also try using a Restore Point to roll back your system its last stable configuration. However, in order to do that, you would have to previously had had a restore point created. On most systems, such points get created automatically but this isn’t always the case.
- If you want to learn how to configure System Restore and how to manually create Restore Points, follow this link.
- Open your Start Menu and type System Restore.
- Click on the first result – a setup wizard should open.
- Read the brief description of the process and select Next.
- Now, choose a restore from the presented list. You can also check the Show more restore points option in order to reveal any other restore points that might be saved on your PC.
- Click on Scan for affected programs to see what programs will get deleted or restored after you use the Restore Point. (optional)
- Click on next and take and then select Finish.
- A warning window will appear telling you that once the process starts, it shouldn’t be interrupted. Select Yes and be patient as this might take some time. Do not do anything on your PC throughout the duration of the process.
Step 9: Windows Refresh/Reset
Use this method only if nothing else has worked so far as it is a last resort option. If you do not know how to do it, this separate guide will give you the information that you need.
Daniel Sadakov has a degree in Information Technology and specializes in web and mobile cyber security. He harbors a strong detestation for anything and everything malicious and has committed his resources and time to battling all manners of web and mobile threats. He has founded MobileSecurityZone.com, a website dedicated to covering the top tech stories and providing useful tips for the everyday user, in an effort to reach and help more people.