Are all of your Google search results redirecting to weird, obnoxious, or otherwise shady websites? If so, your computer may be infected by a form of the Google Redirect Virus (GRV). While the virus can be problematic, it is possible to remove it completely off your system.
Unlike most cases of malware, this virus embeds itself deeper into your system and requires more than a simple malware scan. However, even though the removal process is more involved, someone who is computer illiterate will still be able to perform it, so if you’re not very tech-savvy, fear not!
What Is The Google Redirect Virus?
The main symptom of the GRV is that clicking on a Google search result link will take you to another unrelated website. It doesn’t matter which search link you click and it doesn’t matter which browser you use for searching. How can you get it? Unfortunately, it’s not very difficult. If you accidentally (or even purposely) visit a malicious or infected website, and if you don’t have the necessary anti-virus protection on your computer, you can get it.
Technically, the GRV is not really a virus at all – it’s a trojan – and despite the name, Google has nothing to do with the problem. It’s not a problem with Google’s website, search engine, or anything else. The problem is local to your computer and it will affect all of the main browsers that you have installed, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Chrome.
Why Is The Google Redirect Virus So Frustrating?
For many people, the GRV is one of the most annoying and infuriating computer infections to deal with. Not only does it interrupt your normal search sessions, it makes it incredibly difficult to find a solution – because you can’t search for one. At best, you’ll spend inordinate amounts of time pressing the “Back” button to negate the website redirects. At worst, your productivity will plummet and you’ll stop wanting to even use your computer at all.
To add to the frustration, the GRV is difficult to remove. It is a variation of the TDSS rootkit, which piggybacks on top of a system driver. Since the system driver is innocent in the eyes of malware detection programs, the GRV is not flagged as malevolent and, therefore, not removed.
The GRV is an objectively small inconvenience, but it can wear you down and ruin your mood rather quickly. Luckily, there are tools and programs to aid in the process of removing the Google redirect virus.
Remove Google Redirect Virus – Using TDSSKiller
Follow these steps to get rid of the Google Redirect Virus once and for all.
Download TDSSKiller. Download the TDSSKiller.zip file to your Desktop and extract the files using an extraction program. WinRAR is popular, as is 7-Zip. After extracting, you should see a TDSSKiller.exe file.
- If you are unable to download the file, then the TDSS rootkit on your system may be blocking the connection. In this case, you’ll need to download the file using another computer and transfer it to your own computer.
Run the TDSSKiller.exe. Double click on the TDSSKiller.exe file to run it. The program will initialize and then present you with the ability to scan your computer for problems.
- If nothing happens when you double click the file, you’ll need to rename it. Right click on the file and select Rename, then rename the file to 12345.com. Take note that the .com extension is very important – it is how you can bypass the TDSS block.
- If TDSSKiller still won’t run, you may need to scroll down and use FixTDSS instead.
Scan your system. Click on Start Scan to start the scan. TDSSKiller will search your system for related problems and report back to you if it finds anything. If TDSSKiller happens to not find anything, you may need to scroll down and use FixTDSS instead.
Cure the problems. If TDSSKiller does find any problems, choose to Cure as many of them as you can – all of them would be best. If you can’t cure some of them, leave it on the default Skip option.
- Only use the Cure or Skip options. Avoid the Delete and Quarantine options because using them on critical system files may cripple your computer and render it inoperable.
Reboot your computer. To complete the removal of the TDSS rootkit, you will be required to reboot. Do so when prompted.
Google Redirect Virus Removal — Using FixTDSS
These steps are only necessary if TDSSKiller failed to clean up your system.
Download FixTDSS. Download the FixTDSS.exe file to your Desktop.
Run the FixTDSS.exe. Double click the FixTDSS.exe file to run it. After the program initializes, click on the Proceed button to start the scan. The program will look for potential problems and fix them if necessary.
Reboot your computer. To complete the removal of the TDSS rootkit, you will be required to reboot. Do so when prompted. After your computer boots back up, you will see the results of FixTDSS’s findings.
At this point, the TDSS rootkit should be successfully eliminated from your system. You can check if the infection is gone by searching on Google and clicking on any search result link. If you aren’t redirected to another website, the infection is gone.
In the future, you can help prevent infections on your system by utilizing free anti-virus software. Compound that with safe computer habits and you will drastically reduce your likelihood of catching another virus.
If you are the victim of the Google Redirect Virus, try these tools out and let us know in the comments if they helped or not.