What is GameHug?
GameHug is a rogue application claiming to allow users to play various addictive arcade games. On initial inspection, this functionality may seem legitimate and useful, however, be aware that GameHug is categorized as adware or a potentially unwanted program (PUP).
This rogue application employs a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' to install on Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox) without users' permission.
Bundling allows developers to stealthily distribute their applications together with other software, and therefore, most users inadvertently install GameHug during download of free software from freeware download websites. Following successful infiltration on Internet browsers, GameHug tracks users' Internet browsing activity and generates intrusive online advertisements.
The advertisements generated by GameHug include (but are not limited to) coupon, interstitial, pop-up/pop-under, banner, sponsored link, and targeted video ads. It is highly probable that clicking advertisements generated by GameHug will lead to further high-risk adware or malware infections.
In addition, users' Internet browsing activity is continually monitored, since this potentially unwanted program records various software and hardware information such as unique identifier numbers, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, geographic locations, browser type and data (cookies, website URLs visited, search queries entered, pages viewed), and other similar details that are likely to be personally identifiable.
This behavior may lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft, and therefore, you are strongly advised to eliminate this adware from your Internet browsers.
GameHug is similar to other potentially unwanted programs that employ bundling as an installation method. Some examples include The Sea App, Coupon Marvel, ArcadeParlor, and Web Guard among many others.
Neither GameHug, nor any of these other browser plug-ins provide any real value for the user - their purpose is to generate revenue by the display of intrusive online ads and sharing collected information with third parties.
At time of research, GameHug was predominantly distributed via small programs called 'download managers' on freeware download websites such as download.com, softonic.com, soft32.com, and many others.
Download managers are used by these websites as free services monetization tools, since they offer installation of promoted (according to the developers, '100% virus-free') browser extensions together with the chosen software. Thus, reckless download and installation often results in adware or malware infections.
Installation of GameHug, or other similar adware, can be prevented by closely inspecting each step of the free software download process and never accepting installation of any additional applications offered.
Furthermore, all software downloaded from the Internet should be installed using the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' installation options, rather than 'Quick' or 'Typical' - this will reveal any bundled applications listed for installation and allow you to decline them.
If your computer is infected with GameHug, and you observe intrusive online ads generated by this adware, read the following removal guide and eliminate the PUP from your system.
Deceptive free software installers used in GameHug adware distribution:
GameHug adware installer setup:
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 GameHug?
- STEP 1. Uninstall GameHug application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove GameHug ads from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove GameHug advertisements from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove Ads by GameHug from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove GameHug extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
GameHug adware 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 "GameHugArcade", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program (which causes GameHug ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove GameHug adware from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
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 "GameHug", select this entry and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the gamehug adware, 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: "GameHug", select this entry and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the gamehug adware, 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", in the opened window, remove "GameHug".
Computer users who have problems with gamehug adware 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, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
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 upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the gamehug adware, 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.
Commonly, 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.
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