Remove “Settings Manager” by Aztec Media Inc pop-up virus

Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc is a potentially unwanted program that is designed to protect its own search engine (default-search.net) and make sure this program remains installed and unchanged by other third party programs.

[Image: Settings Manager by Aztec Media virus]
The Settings Manager program is a part of the “Search Protect” program, and is developed by Aztec Media Inc, a company known for their malicious programs.
Settings Manager is typically added when you install another free software (video recording/streaming, download-managers or PDF creators) that had bundled into their installation this program. Very often users have no idea where did it come from, so it’s not surprising at all that most of them assume that Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc is a virus.
This program is also bundled within the custom installer on many reputable download sites, so if you have downloaded a software from these websites, chances are that Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc was installed during the software setup process.
Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc 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.

Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc is a web browser extension that will integrate itself into Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. The extension/toolbar will modify the browser’s search and home pages as well as various other features such as 404 erros and DNS redirections, etc as well as may change some browser settings that might cause lessen its security levels. This is a potentially unwanted program and may interfere with the functions of some of the browser’s normal features and web search behaviors. In many cases in addition to modify the search provider and default home pages, the toolbar will push additional advertisements to the browser.

When installed, the Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc program will change the default search engine and home page to default-search.net in Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome, and if you try to revert to their default settings, this program will not allow you to perform these changes.
The text of the Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc pop-up is:

New Add-on or Extension Notification

Settings Manager has blocked an attempt to add a new add-on to Internet Explorer.

Click here to change your settings

Distributed by Aztec Media Inc.

Settings Manager is bundled within the installer of many free programs, with the sole purpose of install Yahoo Search on your computer and making the removal process of this program more difficult.

You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc 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 Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc (Virus Removal Guide)

This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc pop-ups from your computer, and any other adware program that may have been installed during the the setup process.
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 Settings Manager malicious program from Windows
STEP 2: Remove Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc adware with AdwCleaner
STEP 3: Remove Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc browser hijackers with Junkware Removal Tool
STEP 4: Remove Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
STEP 5: Double-check for the Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc infection with HitmanPro
(OPTIONAL) STEP 6: Reset your browser settings to remove Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome

STEP 1 : Uninstall Settings Manager malicious program from Windows

Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc was installed with adware or browser hijacker program that you have recently installed on your computer. In our case Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc infection was installed with the MyStart toolbar.
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 Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc 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, 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 Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc and any other recently installed or unknown programs 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 Settings Manager from Windows]
    Depending on what program has installed the Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc 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 Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc malicious programs, you can use Revo Uninstaller to completly remove the unwated programs from your machine.


STEP 2: Remove Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc adware from your computer with AdwCleaner

The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer for Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc adware, 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 Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc malicious files that may be installed on your computer.
  4. To remove the Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the Clean button.
    Picture of AdwCleaner Clean button
    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.

STEP 3: Remove Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc browser hijackers with Junkware Removal Tool

Junkware Removal Tool is a powerful utility, which will remove Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc browser hijacker from Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome.

  1. You can download the Junkware Removal Tool utility from the below link:
    JUNKWARE REMOVAL TOOL DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download the Junkware Removal Tool utility on your computer)
  2. Once Junkware Removal Tool has finished downloading, please double-click on the JRT.exe icon as seen below.
    [Image: Junkware Removal Tool]
    If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run Junkware Removal Tool, please allow it to run.
  3. Junkware Removal Tool will now start, and at the Command Prompt, you’ll need to press any key to perform a scan for the Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc virus.
    [Image: Junkware Removal Tool scanning for Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc virus]
    Please be patient as this can take a while to complete (up to 10 minutes) depending on your system’s specifications.
  4. When the scan Junkware Removal Tool will be completed, this utility will display a log with the malicious files and registry keys that were removed from your computer.
    [Image: Junkware Removal Tool final log]

STEP 4: Remove Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc virus 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”)
  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 Settings Manager 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 Settings Manager popup virus]
    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 Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc infection with HitmanPro

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a 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.
    HitmanPro scanner
    Click on the Next button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.
    HitmanPro installation
  3. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc malicious files.
    HitmanPro detecting for Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc virus
  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 Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc adware.
    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 30 days activation button]

(OPTIONAL)STEP 5: Reset your browser settings to remove Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome

If you are still experiencing issues with the Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc redirect in Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome, we will need to reset your browser to its default settings. Before resetting your browser to its default settings, we recommend that you check again your browser shortcuts for the Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc hijack, as seen in Step 3.

Remove Settings Manager by Aztec Media Incfrom Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the gear icon [Image: icongear.jpg] (Tools for Windows XP users) at the top (far right), then click again on Internet Options.
    Internet Options in IE
  2. In the Internet Options dialog box, click on the Advanced tab, then click on the Reset button.
    Reset Internet Explorer
  3. In the Reset Internet Explorer settings section, check the Delete personal settings box, then click on Reset.
    Internet Explorer back to its default settings  to remove Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc virus
  4. When Internet Explorer finishes resetting, click Close in the confirmation dialogue box and then click OK.
  5. Close and open Internet Explorer.

Remove Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc from Mozilla Firefox

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click the Firefox button, go over to the Help sub-menu (on Windows XP, click the Help menu at the top of the Firefox window), and select Troubleshooting Information.
    Firefox Troubleshooting Information
  2. Click the Reset Firefox button in the upper-right corner of the Troubleshooting Information page.
    Firefox default settings  to remove Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc pop-up virus
  3. To continue, click Reset Firefox in the confirmation window that opens.
  4. Firefox will close and be reset. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click Finish

Remove Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc from Google Chrome

  1. Click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines ([Image: Chrome's main menu button]) .When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled Settings.
    [Image: Click on Settings button]
  2. Chrome’s Settings should now be displayed in a new tab or window, depending on your configuration. Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Show advanced settings link (as seen in the below example).
    [Image: Click on Show advanced settings link]
  3. Chrome’s advanced Settings should now be displayed. Scroll down until the Reset browser settings section is visible, as shown in the example below. Next, click on the Reset browser settings button.
    [Image: Click on Reset browser button]
  4. A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the Reset button.
    [Image: Click on Reset button to restore Chrome to default settings]

Your computer should now be free of the Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc 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 Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc 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.

  • Wagner Monsores

    I’m from Brazil and I tested it. I recommend. These tips are 100% eficient. congratulations Stelian!

  • zimbabwe

    You are the Best. Thank you

  • Chang

    Thank you for this. I really hate these kinds of viruses.

  • Inna

    Thanks!!!!!!!!!
    Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc hijacker didn’t allow me to change the TCP/IP settings.
    But now all is good))

  • USML

    It also locked the device list. I could not modify any of my drivers to the point of trying to install USB device drivers would fail or update my wireless driver. This was the culprit

  • L

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. THIS MALWARE HAS BEEN THE BANE OF MY LIFE FOR THE PAST FEW DAYS. I FEEL SO RELIEVED THAT IT IS GONE. THANKS ONCE AGAIN.

  • Daniel

    Aztec Media Corp. is not responsible for this virus. We have received several complaints from users about this. IT’S NOT US! We don’t write software, we build websites, produce videos, and do graphic design.

    Please spread the word that it is Aztec Media INC, not Aztec Media CORP. Thanks!