Heavy generation of ads, altered browser search engine and homepage, new toolbar buttons and browser add-ons as well as sudden redirects to pages that seem sketchy and unreliable are all commonly encountered symptoms of a type of software known as browser hijackers. Here, we will explain what these apps really are and will show those of you who may need it a way to remove a hijacker named Watch-this.live from their computers. Before we get to the actual removal section of our article, however, we must tell you something more about the hijacker category of apps. These intrusive pieces of software are usually available for all browser that you can think of – Firefox, Chrome, Opera and in many cases even Safari users also get hijacker in their browsers. As we already mentioned, various intrusive activities are bound to take place once a hijacker like Watch-this.live latches on to a given browser. In some cases, some users may even get scared that the app they are dealing with is actually some form of dangerous and harmful malware – a program such as a Trojan or a Ransomware or some other scary infection. If, however, you’ve dealt with an app like Watch-this.live before, you would probably know that this type of software is actually way less harmful and threatening than an infection of the Ransomware, the Trojan Horse or the Spyware type The hijacker applications are typically meant to spread ads and make money by generating increased traffic and clicks for third-party sites and online stores. Obviously, this invariably involves massive advertising campaigns conducted by he hijacker but the truth is that this would typically not threaten the safety of your PC (at least not directly). Still, we understand your frustration if Watch-this.live is inside your computer at the moment which is why we offer you our help in the form of a detailed set of instructions and a professional removal tool, both of which you can find down below.
The dangers of the Internet
A problem with hijackers that many users actually tend to forget about is the fact that they would usually have little to no control over the types of ads that get shown on their screens. This means that if the hijacker decides to spam you with some obscure, obnoxious or unreliable advertisements, you wouldn’t really be able to do much about it. And, believe us, there are all sorts of sketchy advertisements on the Internet that you should really not interact with. After all, the misleading and fake web ads and links are among the favourite tools that many cyber criminals and anonymous hackers use to spread malware infections of the Trojan Horse, the Ransomware, the Rootkits or of some other category. With all that said, you should see that it’s just better to not take any chances and simply uninstall the unwanted piece of software that is spamming you with ads that may be unreliable and potentially unsafe. Again, we recommend that you use the guide from this page and, in case of need of extra assistance, request it from us via the comments section below.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Pesky pop-ups, page redirect links and ads in your browser is what hijackers normally cause as typical symptoms.|
|Distribution Method||Bundling such unwanted apps with other software programs’ installers is how their creators typically distributed them.|
Android user, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.
Mac user, please use our Mac Malware Removal guide.
The following guide will help our readers get rid of the unpleasant Watch-this.live 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 the virus. 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.
Step 1: Checking the Task Manager
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 Watch-this.live 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 Watch-this.live in the list of programs, be sure to remove the software without hesitation.
Step 4: Checking for shady IP’s
Open your Start Menu and copy-paste notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts in the search bar. In the notepad file, look below Localhost and see if there are any IP addresses there. If there are some, send them to us in the comments and we will tell you if you should take any action. [add_forth_banner]
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 Watch-this.live and click on Find Next. Tell us in the comments if any results came up when you searched for Watch-this.live 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.