How to uninstall HomeGuard from the operating system

Also Known As: HomeGuard potentially unwanted application
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

HomeGuard removal instructions

What is HomeGuard?

HomeGuard is endorsed as software for parental control and activity monitoring. Some of its features include a pornography filter, website blocker, keylogging (i.e., recording of keystrokes), screen-capturing based on activity, gaming time restricting, hardware (e.g. printer and USB) monitoring and blocking, and so on. Due to the dubious proliferation methods of HomeGuard, many users download and install it unintentionally. Therefore, it is classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).

HomeGuard unwanted application

One dubious distribution method that is often basis for PUA classification is "bundling". This deceptive marketing technique is the pre-packing of software with unwanted (or sometimes malicious) additions. Distribution methods such as bundling can be used for legitimate and functional products, however, it is more commonly employed to promote untrusted software. Therefore, even normal programs, without any dangerous capabilities, might fall into the PUA category. Some examples of unwanted apps are fake anti-viruses, adware and browser hijackers. Rogue anti-virus tools are nonoperational software programs claiming to be able to detect/eliminate threats. They require activation (by purchase) but remain nonfunctional after 'activation'. Adware runs intrusive advertisement campaigns, delivering pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys and other ads. When clicked, these redirect to various dangerous websites and can execute scripts to stealthily download/install rogue software (e.g. PUAs). Browser hijackers reassign browser settings (default search engine, homepage, new tab/window URLs) and restrict access to them to promote bogus search engines. With one such PUA installed, each new browser tab/window opened and each search query typed into the URL bar redirects to the address of a fake search engine. The latter usually cannot provide unique results, and hence tends to redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing and other genuine search engines. Many PUAs (regardless of type/specifications) can track data. They can monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, typed, etc.) and collect personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). Developers of these products monetize the gathered data by sharing it with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) seeking to misuse it for profit. The presence of data tracking content on devices can lead to serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To ensure device and user safety, you are strongly advised to research all products and only download them from official/verified sources. Additionally, remove any suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name HomeGuard potentially unwanted application
Threat Type PUP (potentially unwanted program), PUA (potentially unwanted application).
Supposed Functionality Parental control tool and activity monitor.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Symmi.95130), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win64/KeyLogger.HomeGuard.J), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:Monitor.Win32.HomGrd.du), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms A program that you do not recall installing suddenly appeared on your computer. A new application is performing computer scans and displays warning messages about 'found issues'. Asks for payment to eliminate the supposedly found errors.
Distribution Methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers.
Damage Monetary loss (unnecessary purchase of fake software), unwanted warning pop-ups, slow computer performance.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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WisePCDoctorDriverMax and Tuneup Pro are some examples of other PUAs. These unwanted applications typically seem legitimate and useful, however, the features promised do not operate as advertised, or do not work at all. The only purpose of such nonoperational software is to generate revenue at users' expense. Rather than delivering any real value, PUAs can cause redirects to untrusted and malicious sites, run intrusive ad campaigns, modify browsers and track private data.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some PUAs have "official" download web pages. They are also proliferated using the "bundling" marketing method (i.e., packed into download/installation set-ups of other products). By rushing through downloads/installations (ignoring terms, using presets, skipping steps, etc.), many users risk unintentionally allowing bundled content onto their devices. Intrusive advertisements can also infiltrate these applications into systems. Once clicked, they can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

You are strongly advised to research all software to verify its legitimacy, prior to download/installation or purchase. Use only official and trustworthy download channels. Untrusted sources such as unofficial and free file-hosting (freeware) websites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders can offer deceptive/bundled content. Treat download and installation processes with caution. It is important to read the terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and decline download/installation of additional apps, tools, features and so on. Browsing should also be approached with care. Intrusive ads rarely seem suspicious, however, they can redirect to dubious pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.). If you experience ads/redirects of this kind, inspect the system and remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of HomeGuard application (GIF):

Appearance of HomeGuard PUA (GIF)

Installation setup of HomeGuard application:

HomeGuard PUA installation setup

Website promoting HomeGuard application:

Website used to promote HomeGuard PUA

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Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted applications:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

HomeGuard adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for "HomeGuard" and other suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:

At time of research, HomeGuard did not install any unwanted browser extensions, however, some unwanted applications can be installed together with adware and browser hijackers. If you experience unwanted ads or redirects when browsing the internet, continue with the removal guide below.

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the homeguard potentially unwanted application, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the homeguard potentially unwanted application, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with homeguard potentially unwanted application removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the homeguard potentially unwanted application, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove homeguard potentially unwanted application from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
HomeGuard potentially unwanted application QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of HomeGuard potentially unwanted application on your mobile device.
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