The Hotspot Shield Toolbar is a malicious application that has infected thousands of the computers in a shorter span of time. This dangerous malware presents itself as a legitimate toolbar, and compatible with all the major browsers including Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer. Once installed, it keeps interrupting your searches by redirected towards phishing websites. This is purely for the commercial purposes promote low quality products, and generate traffic on unpopular websites. This dangerous virus is designed to record your browsing activities, and change the crucial settings of your system to remain resident in the infected machine. This malicious application is capable of initiating the privacy issues in the infected system. The Hotspot Shield Toolbar is extremely dangerous threat for any windows based computers that is specifically developed to steal the personal information of the users. This information may include credit card details, shopping preferences, browsing history, and emails. Besides that, this virus also makes your system extremely slow and you cannot access of any of your desired website.
The Manual Removal of Hotspot Shield Toolbar
After confirming the presence of the Hotspot Shield Toolbar in your system, you need to remove this virus at your earliest. You can get rid of this malicious application manually as well as with the help of automatic removal tools. The instructions for manual removal method are as under:-
Start the System in Safe Mode
Before going through the actual steps of the manual removal method you have to reboot the infected computer in the safe mode. This can be done by simply restarting the PC, and use F8 key while the system in restarting.
Kill the Associated Processes
Once the PC is restarted in the safe mode, you have to open the windows task manager by suing the Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys and select the processes tab to see the list of processes running in the background. You have to delete the following malicious processes:-
- %AppData%\[RANDOM CHARACTERS]\[RANDOM CHARACTERS].exe
Delete the Associated Files
You also required to delete the corrupt files created by the Hotspot Shield Toolbar. In this regard, you have to remove the following files from the system files folder:-
- %Desktopdir%\Hotspot Shield Toolbar virus.lnk
- %Programs%\Hotspot Shield Toolbar virus\Hotspot Shield Toolbar virus.lnk
Reverse the Modification in the Windows Registry
In the end, you have to remove the malicious entries created by this virus ion the windows registry. This can be done with the help of registry editor that can be accessed by using the “regedit” command through “run” option of the “start menu”. Once the registry editor accessed, you have to remove the following entries and close the registry editor:-
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Hotspot Shield Toolbar virus\DisplayIcon %AppData%\[RANDOM CHARACTERS]\[RANDOM CHARACTERS].exe,0
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Hotspot Shield Toolbar virus
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Hotspot Shield Toolbar virus\UninstallString “%AppData%[RANDOM CHARACTERS][RANDOM CHARACTERS].exe” -u
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce\[RANDOM CHARACTERS] %AppData%\[RANDOM CHARACTERS]\[RANDOM CHARACTERS].exe
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Hotspot Shield Toolbar virus\ShortcutPath “%AppData%\[RANDOM CHARACTERS]\[RANDOM CHARACTERS].exe” -u
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Hotspot Shield Toolbar virus\DisplayName Hotspot Shield Toolbar virus
Restart the computer in the normal mode to see the success of the manual removal process. If the infection is removed successfully, update the existing antivirus and scan your system to remove the infections caused by this virus.