The hackers are an unscrupulous bunch and they prey on the uninformed. Just like with the phone scammers, they’ll find a way to get your sensitive data, rob you of your belongings, identity and what not. That’s exactly the deal with the Windows detected ZEUS Virus prompt some users seen on their web browsers.
And, stay assured, you have nothing to worry about. As long as you avoid contacting their “support representatives”. We explain how to remove this malicious software and how to recognize threats like this below.
What’s “Windows detected ZEUS Virus” and how to deal with it
If you’re prompted with the “Windows detected ZEUS Virus” message, you can be certain that there’s no such thing as a ZEUS Virus. Your PC might be infected but not as the message prompt puts it.
This is just trickery by adware you’ve mistakenly installed on your PC. These kinds of browser hijackers are not uncommon in the current state of the internet. They come in numbers and the most important thing is not to rush your actions.
The only way this adware can hurt you is if you comply to give some sensitive data in order to resolve it to the cybercriminal who developed it. Don’t do it.
Adware is almost always not a real danger and the problems start only when users panic and call “support” or provide the hacker with credentials of any sort. Hence, what you need to do is follow a cleanup procedure which we’re about to explain below.
Step 1 – Check the Control Panel
Let’s start the whole cleanup procedure by inspecting the list of installed programs. The peculiar, unrecognized applications are ones you should pay attention to.
They are usually installed by mistake, hidden within some installers, or directly added to your browser as add-ons. We call them PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and they can prove to be quite an annoyance.
So, here’s the first step, make sure to follow it closely:
- In the Search bar, type Control, and open Control Panel.
- From the Category view, select Uninstall a program.
- Navigate to one (or multiple) suspicious and untrusted programs.
- Right-click on a program and uninstall it.
- Restart your PC.
Step 2 – Scan for malware
The next step is to check for possible malware infection. Most antivirus solutions would identify malware with real-time protection, but that’s not always the case. Just to make sure there’s no malicious intrusion at hand, we suggest going for a deep scan with your antivirus.
The procedure is rather similar on the majority of tools, from ESET to Malwarebytes, but we made sure to stick with Windows Defender. In the end, it’s available from the get-go for all Windows 10 users.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Open Windows Defender from the taskbar notification area.
- Choose Virus & threat protection.
- Choose Scan options.
- Select Windows Defender Offline Scan.
- Save everything you’re doing as this mode will restart the PC.
- Click Scan now.
Step 3 – Remove PUP-s and Adware
Ok, once you’re sure that there’s no virus or an erroneously installed third-party application on your PC, let’s deal with PUPs. Those nasty creepers usually tackle browsers and come in different sizes and shapes. The common ones are adware toolbars.
They hijack your browser, replace your default search engine for some ad-ridden rubish, and redirect your traffic to suspicious websites. Or, in this case, prompt you with the “Windows detected ZEUS Virus” prompt.
But how to remove them if the antivirus doesn’t help? These usually require specific tools like Malwarebytes ADWCleaner. This tool is an anti-PUP tool and it deals with unwanted programs. At the core of the problem, we probably have an unwanted program and we most certainly want it removed.
Here’s how to install and run AdwCleaner by Malwarebytes on your PC:
- Download AdwCleaner for free, here.
- Run the tool (you don’t have to install it).
- Choose Scan and wait for the procedure to finish.
- Your PC will restart and the cleaning process will continue after it boots again.
- Clean everything and restart your PC.
Step 4 – Reset browser settings
Finally, the browser settings which were changed once the infection occurred won’t get restored on their own. What you need to do is reset your browser to factory settings by hand. If you don’t do it, the default search engine and the possible malicious add-on will continue working. And we don’t want that.
In addition, make sure to clear all locally cached files as some of them might be corrupted. The reinstallation might be your safest bet but, for the time being, the factory reset should do the job.
Here’s how to reset popular browsers to factory values:
- Open Chrome.
- Click on the 3-dot menu and open Settings.
- Scroll down and open Advanced.
- Scroll to the bottom and click Restore settings to their original defaults.
- Click Reset.
- Open Mozilla Firefox.
- Click on the 3-line menu and open Help.
- Open Troubleshooting information.
- Click Refresh Firefox.
- Open Edge.
- Click on the 3-dot menu and open Settings.
- Choose Clear Browsing data and then Choose what to clear.
- Click Show more and check all the boxes.
- Click Clear and restart Edge.
With that said, we can conclude this article. In case you’re still having issues with the “Windows detected ZEUS Virus” prompt, repeat all steps and consider reinstalling the browser. We certainly hope this was a helpful read. If that’s actually the case, don’t forget to tell us in the comments section below.
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