What is Similar Sites?
Similar Sites is a browser extension, which as the name suggests, displays a list of sites similar to the current one visited by the user. This browser plug-in is developed by SimilarSites and promises to save with its ability to generate a list of sites related to the user's browsing interest.
Similar Sites is a popular browser add-on and not related to malware or viruses, however, many Internet users recently report that it was installed on their Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, and Opera) without their consent.
Unwilling installation of the Similar Sites extension can be caused by free software installation, since this browser plug-in is promoted using a software distribution method called 'bundling'. Note that today, many download websites and freeware developers employ this marketing technique to monetize incoming web traffic.
To avoid potentially unwanted program (PUP) installation, including Similar Sites, Internet users should always carefully inspect each free software installation step. Ensure that you opt-out of any additional software installation (including browser extensions, toolbars, etc.) and uncheck any options suggesting changes to the Internet browser homepage or default search engine settings.
Whilst Similar Sites is not a virus, it is not advisable to click on sponsored results presented within the similar websites list, since clicking on these may lead to malware infections.
The Similar Sites browser add-on often installs on users' computers without their consent, and furthermore, clicking on the suggested similar sites (sponsored results) may lead to security infections.
To avoid unwilling browser add-on installation such as this, ensure that you pay close attention when downloading and installing free software. If you feel that this browser add-on was installed on your Internet browser/s without your consent, use the removal guide provided to eliminate this PUP from your computer.
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- What is Similar Sites?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Similar Sites application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Similar Sites add-on from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Similar Sites plugin from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove Similar Sites extension from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove Similar Sites extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Similar Sites removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
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 "Similar Sites", select this entry and click " Uninstall" or "Remove"
After uninstalling Similar Sites, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. Recommended malware removal software.
Remove Similar Sites from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click on the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Manage Add-ons". Look for Simple Toolbar related entries ("Similar Sites") and disable them.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the similar sites ads, 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.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate: "Similar Sites" select it and click on the trash can icon.
If the Similar Sites extension is greyed out and you cannot remove it ("This extension is managed and cannot be removed of disabled"), please follow this removal guide - how to remove a managed Google Chrome extension?
If you continue to have problems with removal of the similar sites ads, 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 on the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window) select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and disable this add-on: "SimilarSites".
Computer users who have problems with similar sites ads 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 similar sites ads, 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.
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.
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