How to remove Key-Find.com virus (Removal Guide)

Key-Find.com is a browser hijacker, which is promoted via other free downloads, and once installed it will change your browser homepage to key-find.com and default search engine to search.yahoo.com.
This in itself is not considered malicious as there are many legitimate programs that change these settings as well. What is considered malicious, though, is that it will also append the argument http://key-find.com to random Windows shortcuts on your desktop and your Windows Start Menu.
Picture of Key-Find.com virus
The Key-Find.com homepage will display advertisements and sponsored links in your search results, and may collect search terms from your search queries. The Key-Find.com hijack is used to boost advertising revenue, as in the use of blackhat SEO, to inflate a site’s page ranking in search results.

Key-Find.com it’s technically not a virus, but it does exhibit plenty of malicious traits, such as rootkit capabilities to hook deep into the operating system, browser hijacking, and in general just interfering with the user experience. The industry generally refers to it as a “PUP,” or potentially unwanted program.
Key-Find.com is an ad-supported (users may see additional banner, search, pop-up, pop-under, interstitial and in-text link advertisements) cross web browser plugin for Internet Explorer (BHO) and Firefox/Chrome (plugin) and distributed through various monetization platforms during installation. The browser extension includes various features that will modify the default or custom settings of the browser including the home page, search settings and in some cases will modify Internet Explorer’s load time threshold, place a lock file within Firefox to prevent competing software from changing its settings as well as disable the browser’s Content Security Policy in order to allow for cross site scripting of the plugin.

Key-Find.com homepage got on your computer after you have installed a freeware software (video recording/streaming, download-managers or PDF creators) that had bundled into their installation this browser hijacker.
For example, when you install VPlay, you will also agree to change your browser homepage to key-find.com and default search engine to search.yahoo.com
Picture of Key-Find.com redirect
However when you uninstall VPlay from your computer, your web browser’s default settings will not be restored. This means that you’ll have to remove Key-Find.com homepage from your favorite web browser manually.

You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this Key-Find.com browser hijacker. Be very careful what you agree to install.
Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.

How to remove Key-Find.com  (Virus Removal Guide)

This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove Key-Find.com from your Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.
STEP 1: Uninstall Key-Find.com malicious programs from your computer
STEP 2: Remove Key-Find.com virus from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome
STEP 3:Clean up the various Windows shortcuts that have been hijacked by Key-Find.com virus
STEP 4: Remove Key-Find.com browser hijacker from your computer with AdwCleaner
STEP 5: Remove Key-Find.com virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
STEP 6: Double-check for the Key-Find.com infection with HitmanPro

STEP 1 : Uninstall Key-Find.com malicious programs from your computer

In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious program that might be installed on your computer.

  1. To uninstall the malicious program responsible for the Key-Find.com redirect from Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, click the Start button, then click on the Control Panel menu option.
    [Image: Control Panel in Windows Start Menu]
    If you are using Windows 8, simply drag your mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen, select Search from the list and search for “control panel” .Or you can right-click on a bottom left hot corner (formerly known as the Start button) and select Control Panel from there.
    [Image: Control Panel in Windows 8]
  2. When the Control Panel window opens click on the Uninstall a program option under Programs category. This option is shown by the arrow in the image below. If you are using the Classic View of the Control Panel, then you would double-click on the Programs and Features icon instead.
    [Image: Uninstall a program]
  3. When the Programs and Features or the Uninstall a Program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and uninstall Key-Find.com uninstaller, WPM17.8.0.3159, Key-Find.com Browser new tab extension, IePluginService, SupTab and any other recently installed unknown program from your computer.
    To view the most recently installed programs, you can click on the “Installed On” column to sort your program by the installation date. Scroll though the list, and uninstall any unwanted or unknown programs.
    [Image: Uninstall Key-Find program from Windows]
    Depending on what program has installed the Key-Find.com adware infection, the above program may have a different name or not be installed on your computer. If you cannot find any unwanted or unknown programs on your machine, then you can proceed with the next step.

If you are having issues while trying to uninstall the Key-Find.com program, you can use Revo Uninstaller to completely remove this unwanted program from your machine.


STEP 2: Remove Key-Find.com virus from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome

Remove Key-Find.com virus from Internet Explorer

You can reset Internet Explorer settings to return them to the state they were in when Internet Explorer was first installed on your PC.

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the “gear icon[Image: icongear.jpg] in the upper right part of your browser, then click again on Internet Options.
    [Image: Internet Options in Internet Explorer]
  2. In the “Internet Options” dialog box, click on the “Advanced” tab, then click on the “Reset” button.
    [Image: Reset Internet Explorer]
  3. In the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” section, select the “Delete personal settings” check box, then click on “Reset” button.
    [Image: Reset Internet Explorer to its default settings]
  4. When Internet Explorer has completed its task, click on the “Close” button in the confirmation dialogue box. You will now  need to close your browser, and then you can open Internet Explorer again.
    [Image Reset Internet Explorer settings]

Remove Key-Find.com virus from Mozilla Firefox

If you’re having problems with Firefox, resetting it can help. The reset feature fixes many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information like bookmarks, passwords, web form auto-fill information, browsing history and open tabs.

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click the Firefox button, go over to the “Help” sub-menu, then select “Troubleshooting Information“.
    [Image: Firefox Troubleshooting Information]
  2. Click the “Reset Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
    [Image: Reset Firefox to its default settings]
  3. To continue, click on the “Reset Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
    [Image: Reset Firefox settings button]
  4. Firefox will close itself and will revert to its default settings. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click on the “Finish“.

Note: Your old Firefox profile will be placed on your desktop in a folder named “Old Firefox Data“. If the reset didn’t fix your problem you can restore some of the information not saved by copying files to the new profile that was created. If you don’t need this folder any longer, you should delete it as it contains sensitive information.

Remove Key-Find.com virus from Google Chrome

  1. Remove Key-Find.com extensions from Google Chrome.
    Click on the “Chrome menu button” (Chrome menu)  on the browser toolbar, select “Tools“, and then click on “Extensions“.
    [Image: Extensions menu in Chrome]

In the Extensions tab, remove Extended Protection 1.9, Lightning Newtab  and any other unknown extensions by clicking the trash can [Image: Remove an extension from Chrome] icon.
Basically, if you have not installed a Chrome extension, you should remove it from your web browser.
[Image: Key-Find.com Chrome extension]

  • Set Google Chrome default search engine from Yahoo Search to Google.
    Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button, then select Settings and click on Manage search engines in the Search section.
    In the Search Engines dialog that appears, select Google and click the Make Default button that appears in the row.
    [Image: Yahoo Search in Google Chrome]
    Search for Yahoo Search in the Search Engines list, and click the X button that appears at the end of the row.
    [Image: Yahoo Search Chrome removal]
  • Change Google Chrome homepage from key-find.com to its default.
    Key-Find.com has modified your Google settings to open their webpage whenever you start your browser, so we will need to revert this change.
    Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button, then select Settings and click on One the New Tab page in the On Startup section.
    [Image: Change Google Chrome homepage to its default]

 


STEP 3: Clean up the various Windows shortcuts that have been hijacked by Key-Find.com virus

This infection has hijacked your browser shortcuts, so in this step we will need to manually clean them by removing the key-find.com argument

  1. Search for your browser shortcut (Desktop, Taskbar or Start Menu Shortcut), then right click on it and select Properties.
    [Image: Firefox Shortcut properties]
    To view the Properties menu for the browser shortcuts pinned to your Task Bar, right-click on the browser shortcut from the Taskbar, then right-click again on the browser icon as see in the below image. Alternatively, you can just Unpin the browser shortcut from your task bar, then you can add it back after you have removed the “key-find.com” argument from the original browser shortcut.
    [Image: taskbar shortcut hijacker]
  2. In the Shortcut tab, in the Target field, remove the http://key-find.com argument. Basically, there should be only the path to browser executable file. Nothing more.
    These are the default shortcut path that should be in your Target box, if the key-find.com argument is there, then you should remove it.

    If you are using this browser: In the Target field you should have:
    Internet Explorer “C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe”
    Chrome “C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” for Windows 32 bit OR “C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” for Windows 64-bit
    Firefox “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe” for Windows 32-bit OR “C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe” for Windows 64-bit

    [Image: key-find.com hijack]


STEP 4: Remove Key-Find.com browser hijacker with AdwCleaner

The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer and browser for Key-Find.com malicious files that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge.

  1. You can download AdwCleaner utility from the below link.
    ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download AdwCleaner on your computer)
  2. Before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.
    Picture of AdwCleaner Icon
    If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
  3. When the AdwCleaner program will open, click on the “Scan” button as shown below.
    Picture of AdwCleaner Scan button
    AdwCleaner will now start to search for the Key-Find.com malicious files that may be installed on your computer.
  4. To remove the Key-Find.com malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the “Clean” button.
    Picture of AdwCleaner Clean button
  5. AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or data as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the “OK” button.
    AdwCleaner will now delete all detected adware from your computer. When it is done it will display an alert that explains what PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and Adware are. Please read through this information and then press the “OK” button. You will now be presented with an alert that states AdwCleaner needs to reboot your computer.
    Please click on the “OK” button to allow AdwCleaner reboot your computer.

STEP 5: Remove Key-Find.com virus from your computer with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free uses industry-leading technology to detect and remove all traces of malware, including worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware, and more.
It is important to note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware works well and should run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.

  1. You can download download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the below link.
    MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free)
  2. Once downloaded, close all programs, then double-click on the icon on your desktop named “mbam-setup-consumer-2.00.xx” to start the installation of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware setup program]
    Picture of User Account Control You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
  3. When the installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard]
    To install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Final Setup Screen]
  4. Once installed, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will automatically start and you will see a message stating that you should update the program, and that a scan has never been run on your system. To start a system scan you can click on the “Fix Now” button.
    [Image: Click on the Fix Now button to start a scan]
    Alternatively, you can click on the “Scan” tab and select “Threat Scan“, then click on the “Scan Now” button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Threat Scan]
  5. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now check for updates, and if there are any, you will need to click on the “Update Now” button.
    [Image: Click on Update Now to update Malwarebytes Anti-Malware]
  6. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for the Key-Find.com virus. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is scanning it will look like the image below.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware while performing a scan]
  7. When the scan has completed, you will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes Anti-malware has found, click on the “Quarantine All” button, and then click on the “Apply Now” button.
    [Image: Remove the malware that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has found]
    Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.
  8. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now quarantine all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. When removing the files, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot your computer, please allow it to do so.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware while removing viruses]
    After your computer will restart, you should open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and perform another “Threat Scan” scan to verify that there are no remaining threats

STEP 6: Double check for the Key-Find.com infection with HitmanPro

HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner, designed to rescue your computer from malware (viruses, trojans, rootkits, etc.) that have infected your computer despite all the security measures you have taken (such as anti virus software, firewalls, etc.). HitmanPro is designed to work alongside existing security programs without any conflicts. It scans the computer quickly (less than 5 minutes) and does not slow down the computer.

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
  2. Double-click on the file named “HitmanPro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “HitmanPro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
    [Image: HitmanPro start-up screen]
    Click on the “Next” button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.
    [Image: HitmanPro setup options]
  3. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for Key-Find.com malicious files.
    [Image: HitmanPro scanning for malware]
  4. When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the “Next” button, to remove Key-Find.com malware.
    [Image: HitmanPro scan results]
  5. Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    [Image: HitmanPro Activate Free License]

Your computer should now be free of the Key-Find.com infection. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove Key-Find.com hijacker from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

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ABOUT STELIAN PILICI

I am the creator and owner of MalwareTips.com.
My area of expertise includes malware removal and computer forensics. I'm active in the various online anti-malware communities where I do researches for new malware threats as they are released.
I live in Bucharest (Romania), where I run my own local computer repair shop.
I repair both hardware and other operating systems related issues, however most of my business is malware related problems.

You can follow me on Google+ , and I will keep you up-to-date with the latest computer infections and malware threats.

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  • Manoj

    thanks a lot…..It worked

  • Diana

    THANK YOU!! My computer was brand new!!! I’m talking straight out of the box! I tried to download Firefox but got messed up with a misleading site. I thought I was going to have to pay a fortune to get it fixed!
    You are wonderful!!! :)

  • ItachiUchiha

    Amazing article! Thanks!

  • Alex

    You’re the man

  • Kourtney

    omg thank you, without you i wouldn’t know what to do! i literally cried worrying, you saved me from having to pay, thanks again :)

  • dustin

    oh my goodness! you are a life saver

  • Marcel P.

    Stunning!!! KeyFind is such a cretin thing. Drove me nuts. Ty! Ty! Ty!

  • James Michael Weatherford Jr.

    Thank you thank you thank you! I could kiss your feet for this! I had began combat this virus using Malwarebytes and even searching for, and eradicating every trace if it in the registry but I kept coming up short. Thanks to this article, that virus is deader than dead.

  • Aisha Arid

    Thank you! You have no idea how much your article made my day! The key-find.com viruses was making my computer unusable. I have been fighting it all week by uninstalling anything I couldn’t remember installing and scanning with SpyBot but nothing was working. In a last, frustrated attempt to get rid of it, I googled how and your article popped up. What I had been trying to get rid of for the past week was completely eradicated from my computer in minutes, thanks to you. I seriously hope you keep up the amazing work and whenever I have spare money, I’ll be sure to donate to your site every chance I get. Thank you again!!