We were testing out some freeware download sites to prove our assertion that all download sites are pushing bundled crapware (and yes, they are) when we ran across a truly terrible piece of malware called BoBrowser which replaces Chrome with a lookalike that is chock full of adware.
That’s right, you aren’t looking at Chrome in that screenshot, instead it’s Chromium pre-loaded with malware ads that take over everything. As you can see on the Amazon page, they are inserting so many ads that you can barely see the content.
Luckily it’s not all that difficult to remove, but their uninstaller doesn’t work very well so you’re going to have to do some extra cleanup.
Removing the BoBrowser Adware / Malware
The first thing you’ll want to do is right-click on the pinned taskbar icon and choose to “Unpin this program from taskbar.”
Next you need to find the icon in the system tray, right-click on it, and choose to Exit. This is really important, because it won’t uninstall otherwise.
Now open up Control Panel, head to the Uninstall a program section, and click to Uninstall.
Now check both of the boxes… and it will pop up with a dialog that says it stopped working. Click to Close the program, and most of BoBrowser will be removed. But not all.
Open up a file browser window and type %localappdata% into the location bar. Once you get there, you’ll see a folder called BoBrowser, which you’ll want to delete.
Now open up your preferred browser, like Chrome, and click to set that browser as the default, because the uninstaller leaves things in a broken state.
Run Malwarebytes to Clean Up the Rest
Any time you get a malware or adware infection, we recommend running Malwarebytes to scan your computer to remove all of the adware and spyware. BoBrowser is not technically “malware” (although we would argue that it is), so your antivirus won’t remove it, but Malwarebytes will detect all the traces of it, as well as a whole bunch of other stuff that likely got onto your computer at the same time.
You can use the free version of Malwarebytes to find and remove everything — they do have a paid version that will protect you from stuff in the future, but it’s not necessary just for the removal. And it’s a free trial anyway, so whichever one is fine.
Once the scan completes, hit the Apply Actions button, and your system should be cleaner. You’ll probably want to reboot, and assuming nothing else shows up, you should be good to go.