Aartemis Virus

Also Known As: Aartemis Redirect
Distribution: Low
Damage level: <strong>Moderate</strong>

Aartemis virus removal instructions

What is Aartemis?

The Aartemis virus is a browser hijacker, which modifies users' Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox) by assigning the homepage and default search engine settings to Aartemis.com This redirect adware is distributed using a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling'. Commonly, computer users install this browser hijacker inadvertently without their consent when downloading free software. Internet users should be aware that, today, most freeware download websites use 'download clients' - small programs, which manage the download process of the chosen free software. Download clients are also used to promote free browser plugins.

Aartemis virus homepage

Internet users who do not pay close enough attention to the download steps of chosen freeware can inadvertently install Aartemis or other potentially unwanted applications. Some free software download websites use dubious download clients that conceal the 'decline' button used to opt-out of installation of advertised browser extensions. Whilst Aartemis.com is advertised as a 'useful website', in fact, you are advised not to use this site for daily Internet searches. The Internet search engine presented by this site is crowded with sponsored search results, which may lead to malware and virus infections. If your Internet browsers redirect you to Aartemis.com, your computer is infected with adware, and therefore, you are advised to eliminate it from your Internet browser/s.

The Aartemis browser hijacker is similar to other adware, which modifies browser settings, including GovomeOmiga Plus amongst many others. Whilst there are many other examples of adware that modifies the browser homepage and default search engine settings, Aartemis is especially rogue since it is bundled with a browser 'helper object' (Wsys Control), which prevents users from rolling back these changes. Moreover, this browser hijacker modifies the installed Internet browser shortcut targets, a change made in order to force computer users into visiting Aartemis.com To avoid installation of this adware, users should be attentive when downloading free software. If your download is managed by a download client, opt-out of installation of promoted browser plugins by clicking the 'decline' button. If your Internet browsers redirect you to this website, use the removal guide provided to eliminate the Aartemis browser hijacker from your computer.

Quick menu: Quick solution to remove Aartemis

Aartemis virus removal:

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 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.

Aartemis uninstall

In the uninstall programs window: look for "Wsys Control", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove". Note that you must not skip this step since "Wsys Control" is a browser helper object, which prevents user-modification of Internet browser settings.

After uninstalling potentially unwanted programs (which cause browser redirects to the Aartemis.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software. Remove all entries that this program detects to ensure your PC is clean from any possible spyware and malware infections.

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Aartemis.com homepage and default search engine removal from browsers:

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

Internet Explorer Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Safari

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Aartemis virus removal from Internet Explorer shortcut target

Fix Internet Explorer shortcut target:

The Aartemis browser hijacker changes the "Target" field of the Internet Explorer shortcut. To fix this, locate your Internet Explorer shortcut on your Desktop and click the right mouse button over it. In the opened menu choose "Properties". In the opened window, locate Target field and eliminate text (hxxp://www.Aartemis.com/...), which is entered after "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe".

Change homepage:

Removing aartemis from Internet Explorer homepage

 

Click on the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove Aartemis.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer.

Change default search engine:

Removing Aartemis from Internet Explorer default search engine settings

Click on the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options 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 "Aartemis".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the aartemis virus, 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

Internet Explorer Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Safari

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Aartemis removal from Google Chrome shortcut target

Fix Google Chrome shortcut target:

The Aartemis browser hijacker changes the "Target" field of the Google Chrome shortcut. To fix this, locate your Google Chrome shortcut on your Desktop and click the right mouse button over it. In the opened menu choose "Properties". In the opened window locate Target field and eliminate all text (hxxp://www.aartemis.com/...), which is entered after "C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe"

Remove Aartemis related browser extensions:

Removing Aartemis from Google Chrome extensions

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate "Extended Protection" and "Lightning Newtab", select them and click the trash can icon.

Change homepage:

Removing Aartemis from Google Chrome homepage

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) select "Settings". In the "On startup" section click "set pages", hover your mouse over Aartemis.com and click the x symbol. Now you can add your preferred website as your homepage.

Change default search engine:

Aartemis removal from Google Chrome default search engine settings

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) select "Settings", in the "Search" section click "Manage Search Engines...", remove "Aartemis" and add or select your preferred domain.

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the aartemis virus, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Tools. From the opened menu, select Extensions. In the opened window, select Settings (at the left corner of the screen). Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Show advanced settings… link.

Resetting Google Chrome setting to default - accessing settings

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset browser settings button.

Resetting Google Chrome settings to default - advanced settings

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

Resetting Google Chrome settings to default - confirm that you want to reset Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button

Internet Explorer Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Safari

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing Aartemis from Mozilla Firefox shortcut target

Fix Mozilla Firefox shortcut target:

The Aartemis browser hijacker changes the "Target" field of the Mozilla Firefox shortcut. To fix this, locate your Mozilla Firefox shortcut on your Desktop and click the right mouse button over it. In the opened menu choose "Properties". In the opened window locate Target field and eliminate all text (hxxp://www.aartemis.com/...), which is entered after "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe"

Change homepage:

Aartemis removal from Mozilla Firefox homepage

To reset your homepage, click on the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window) then select "Options", in the opened window remove Aartemis.com and enter your preferred domain.

Change 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: "aartemis"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with aartemis virus 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 the Open Help Menu icon, firefox help menu

Resettings Mozilla Firefox settings to default - accessing settings window

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Resetting Mozilla Firefox settings to default - accessing

In the opened window, click the Reset Firefox button.

Resetting Mozilla Firefox settings to default - clicking the

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

Resetting Mozilla Firefox settings to default - confirming settings reset

Internet Explorer Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Safari

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

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

removing browser hijacker from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 3 - changing homepage

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.

removing browser hijackers from safari step 4 - changing the default Internet search engine

In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.

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

Summary:
declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sample 1A browser hijacker is a type of adware that alters user's Internet browser settings by changing one's homepage and default Internet search engine to some unwanted website. Most commonly this type of adware infiltrates user's operating system through free software downloads. While browser redirects might seem as a low risk security infection, computer users should know that the websites to which they are being redirected to commonly contain deceptive online advertisements and the Internet search engine that is presented in such websites might return shady Internet search results. Using such websites for one's daily Internet searches might easily end up in privacy issues, identity theft or malware infections.

A computer that is affected by a browser hijacker is exposed to high risk security infections. To prevent further privacydeclining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sample 2 and security issues it's recommended removing any Internet browser settings altering adware as soon as possible. To avoid installation of aartemis be very attentive when downloading and installing free software.

If your download is managed by a download client be sure to opt out of installing advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine. Some of the mentioned free software download clients don't allow downloading the chosen free program if user decides to decline installation of it's offered toolbars, in such cases it's recommended to cancel the installation and look for an alternative download source.

Symptoms indicating that your Internet browsers are affected by a browser hijacker: your homepage and/or default Internet search engine is changed, appearance of new toolbars, slow performance of Internet browsers, new Bookmarks or Favorites added, you can't change your homepage or default search engine, you see online ads on your screen that are not served by the website, you get redirected to pages you never intended to visit.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove aartemis from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.

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About the author:

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

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