What is Dark Mode?
Dark Mode is a rogue browser extension classified as a browser hijacker. As its name implies, this extension is endorsed as a tool capable of enabling dark mode for browsing.
Typically, browser hijackers make alterations to browser settings - in order to promote fake search engines. However, Dark Mode does not consistently modify browsers when promoting its illegitimate search engine (mktsrc.com).
This piece of software also spies on users' browsing habits. Since most users download/install browser hijackers unintentionally, they are categorized as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).
Browser hijackers reassign browsers' homepage, default search engine, and new tab/window URLs - to fake web searcher addresses. In some cases, Dark Mode operates in this manner. While these modifications may appear minor, they seriously affect the browsing quality.
To elaborate, with a browser hijacker installed: every single search query typed into the URL bar and new browser tab/window opened - redirect to the promoted search engine. Illegitimate web searchers usually cannot provide search results, so they tend to redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Bing, Yahoo, Google, and other genuine search engines.
Dark Mode is not an exception to this. When users search a query, this browser hijacker firstly allows the default search engine to load and, via mktsrc.com, redirects to Bing (bing.com).
Furthermore, browser hijackers can ensure persistence by restricting or denying access to the browser settings. Alternatively, this software can undo any changes users attempt to make to their browsers.
Therefore, restoring an affected browser is impossible without removing the software hijacking it. What is more, Dark Mode has data tracking abilities. Information of interest includes (but is not limited to): URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, IP addresses/ geolocations, and personally identifiable details.
The gathered data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, the presence of data-tracking software on devices can lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
To protect device integrity and user safety, it is crucial to eliminate all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Dark Mode|
|Supposed Functionality||Browsing dark mode enablement|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). Users are forced to visit the hijacker's website and search the Internet using their search engines.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers.|
|Damage||Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Search By QuickNewtab, Media Tab, Pick Color, SearchConvertersWeb - are a few examples of browser hijackers. They appear ordinary and harmless. Users are lured into download/installation with various "handy" functionalities.
However, the features seldom work as advertised, and in most cases - they do not work at all. This is true of nearly all PUAs. The only goal of unwanted software is to generate profit for the developers; hence, functionality and user privacy are irrelevant.
PUAs are designed to hijack browsers, cause redirects, deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns (adware), and gather private and vulnerable data.
How did Dark Mode install on my computer?
Some PUAs (e.g., Dark Mode) have "official" promotional/download webpages. These applications are also distributed via downloaders/installers of other programs. "Bundling" is the name of this deceptive marketing tactic - packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions.
Rushed downloads/installations (e.g., ignored terms, skipped steps, used pre-set options, etc.) increase the risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive advertisements proliferate PUAs as well. Upon being clicked, the ads can execute scripts to download/install this software without user consent.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is advised to research software before download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified sources.
Untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peet-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - often offer bundled and/or harmful content. When downloading/installing, it is recommended to read terms, explore available options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features, etc.
It is just as important to exercise caution when browsing. Intrusive adverts appear legitimate and innocuous; however, they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and many others).
In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this type, the system must be checked and all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it. If your computer is already infected with Dark Mode, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Website promoting Dark Mode browser hijacker:
Appearance of Dark Mode browser hijacker loading the browser's default search engine, then (via mktsrc.com) redirecting to the Bing search engine (GIF):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Dark Mode?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Dark Mode application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Dark Mode browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove mktsrc.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove mktsrc.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove mktsrc.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
Dark Mode browser hijacker removal:
Windows 10 users:
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.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
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.
In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications (for example, "Dark Mode"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the mktsrc.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Dark Mode browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Dark Mode" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable "Dark Mode", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.mktsrc.com) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present click on the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.
Change your default search engine:
To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list look for "mktsrc.com", when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the dark mode redirect, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the 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.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "Dark Mode", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window disable "Dark Mode", remove hxxp://mktsrc.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change your default search engine:
In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
Click "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: "extensionControlled"
Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the button.
Computer users who have problems with dark mode redirect removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...
In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker - change it.
In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage and new tab settings:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section look for the name of the browser hijacker and click "Disable".
Change your default Internet search engine:
To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Privacy and services", scroll to bottom of the page and select "Address bar". In the "Search engines used in address bar" section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the "Disable" button near it. Alternatively you can click on "Manage search engines", in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the dark mode redirect, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
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.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove hxxp://mktsrc.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter about: blank to open a blank page when you start Internet Explorer.
Change your default search engine:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window, select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing", or any other preferred search engine as your default and then remove "Dark Mode".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the dark mode redirect, 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.
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.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
A browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove dark mode redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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