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: Remove Uninstall Key-Find program from Windows
STEP 2: Remove Key-Find.com browser hijacker from your computer with AdwCleaner
STEP 3: Clean up the various Windows shortcuts that have been hijacked by Key-Find.com virus
STEP 4: Remove Key-Find.com malicious files with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
STEP 5: Double-check for the Key-Find.com infection with HitmanPro
(OPTIONAL) STEP 6: Reset Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome to remove Key-Find.com

If you are using an Apple Mac OS X operating system, please follow this Remove virus from Apple Mac OS X (Pop-up Ads and Adware) guide to remove Jamenize Search malware.

STEP 1: Uninstall Key-Find program from Windows

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

  1. To uninstall a program 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 or Windows 8.1, 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: Type Control Panel in Windows 8 search box]
  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 uninstaller and WPM17.8.0.3442.
    This program may have a different name on your computer. To view the most recently installed programs, you can click on the “Installed On” column to sort your programs by the installation date. Scroll through the list, and uninstall any unwanted or unknown program.

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

    [Image: Uninstall Key-Find program from Windows]
    If you cannot find any unwanted or unknown programs on your machine, then you can proceed with the next step.


STEP 2: Remove Key-Find.com browser hijacker with AdwCleaner

The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer and web browser for malicious files, adware browser extensions and registry keys, 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 download AdwCleaner on your computer)
  2. Before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.
    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.
    Click on Scan button to find Key-Find.com virus
    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.
    Remove Key-Find.com virus with AdwCleaner
  5. AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or documents, as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the OK button.
    AdwCleaner removing Key-Find.com virus

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 “http://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

    Key-Find.com Firefox hijack

    Key-Find.com Internet Explorer  hijack

    Key-Find.com Chrome hijack


STEP 4: 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 5: 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]

(OPTIONAL) STEP 6: Remove Key-Find.com from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome

If you are still experiencing issues with the Key-Find.com redirect in Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome, we will need to reset your browser to its default settings. This step needs to be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.

Reset 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]

Reset 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. In the upper-right corner of the Firefox window, click the Firefox menu button ([Image: Firefox Menu button]), then click on the “Help” ([Image: Firefox Help button]) button.
    [Image: Click on the Menu button then Help]
  2. From the Help menu, choose Troubleshooting Information.
    If you’re unable to access the Help menu, type about:support in your address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting information page.
    [Image: Troubleshooting Information in Firefox]
  3. Click the “Reset Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
    [Image: Reset Firefox to its default settings]
  4. To continue, click on the “Reset Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
    [Image: Click on the Reset Firefox button]
  5. 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 from 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 Quick Start 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]
  2. 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]
  3. 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]

Your computer should now be free of the Key-Find.com redirect. If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove Key-Find.com browse hijacker from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

IT’S YOUR TURN TO HELP!

If we have managed to help with your computer issues, then please let other people know that this article will help them!
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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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  • Ivon Septriyana

    Hi Stelian, if It has gone when I have done the step 2, should I follow all until the last step? I feel sooooo relieved when it’s back to normal but I am still scared that it will come up again if I dont follow all steps

    • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici

      Hello Ivon,
      The first two step should be enough, however I would recommend that you go through all the steps to check your computer for other type of malware. In the end, it’s really up to you! : )

  • muazzam

    thanks alot

  • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici
  • Heber Solis

    Thanks! This malware is so annoying and it was almost imposible to remove from my computer :s

  • Hero Of Kvatch

    Dude you are so amazing, thank you so much :) i am so grateful

  • Schmiznurf

    Thank you so much for this guide, it got rid of everything and all is back to normal thanks to you. I owe you a beer.

  • Sabrina Caixeta de Oliveira

    Thank you very much! Finally I managed to clean up chrome and Firefox. Chrome was more difficult and I’ve only deleted key-find on the last step. Thanks, thanks, thanks!

  • DavidH9000

    I managed to clean up chrome which is my main brower – THANKS!!!! but Internet explorer STILL opens with it despiter following the instruction in that section TWICE. I am hoping a reboot will kill it, but not confidant.

    • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici

      Hello David,
      Lets try to fix your PC:
      1.Please download ZOEK by Smeenk and save it to your desktop (preferred version is the *.exe one) from here: http://hijackthis.nl/smeenk/

      2. Right-click on Zoek icon and select “Run as Administrator” to start the tool.
      Wait patiently until the main console will appear, it may take a minute or two.
      3. In the main box please paste in the following script (between the lines):
      —————————————————–
      createsrpoint;
      autoclean;
      emptyalltemp;
      ipconfig /flushdns;b
      ——————————————————-
      4.Make sure that Scan All Users option is checked.
      5. Push Run Script and wait patiently. The scan may take a couple of minutes.
      When this program will finish the clean-up it will ask you to restart your computer.

      Let me know if this fixed your issue or not!

      • DavidH9000

        Thank you so much! I have NO idea how anyone can have THAT much
        knowledge and still be human!!!! Appears to have cleaned it all up now. Many thanks again.

        DavidH

        • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici

          Thank you David!! Have a great day, and stay safe! If you ever have malware issues, you can always come here!

  • teacher826

    thank you and I will donate to your website maintenance fund!!!!!!!!

  • Uday Kumar

    thank you sir,

  • Shiranui

    Thanks, your posting really great. Finally i can delete that annoying home page from my browser. once again thanks!

  • Dr.Ramachandran

    Very helpful… Thanks a lot!!

  • AmitYadav

    Thanks for writing this great article, its really work.

  • grain172

    I tried system restore and it seems to work just fine, nice guide Btw, cheers

  • 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!!