Amazon is one of the most used websites in the world. It is possible to buy just about anything from the e-commerce storefront. To help make it easier to interact with the website and to avoid going directly to the site when looking for the latest sales, Amazon created the Amazon Assistant. While it is developed by Amazon, many have gone on to refer to it as the Amazon Assistant virus due to how it acts and what it does to the computer after installed.
What Is the Amazon Assistant Virus?
It is important to point out that Amazon Assistant virus is not actually a virus. It is an official creation of Amazon. If you have installed it on your computer, then you don’t need to worry as it is not stealing personal information or siphoning off data to sell to another website. However, it has become known as the Amazon Assistant virus because of how it acts and how it completely takes over your Internet browser.
The Amazon Assistant begins as a plug-in for your browser. It was created to help improve your ability to find deals on Amazon and to discover the latest prices offered by the company and through the website. However, while it does this it also completely takes over the browser and bogs you down with all kinds of problems. This happens not only on a Windows computer but also on Macs. It doesn’t matter what operating system you are running; if you have downloaded the browser plug-in, you will experience issues with your browser and the only way to correct it is to completely remove the Amazon Assistant virus.
What Does the Amazon Assistant Virus Do?
After you install Amazon Assistant onto your browser, it will take control of the main browser page. When you boot it up, you don’t see the Google homepage (or whatever else you had the default homepage set to). Now you receive a special Amazon Assistant home page.
The Amazon Assistant virus doesn’t stop at altering the home page though. It will constantly flash new shopping suggestions for what you should purchase. It bombards you with non-stop pop-ups in additional windows you need to close out to use your browser. Even if you are not shopping on Amazon at the time and instead are looking through your email or sifting through social media, the Amazon Assistant virus will still display pop-ups.
Pop-Ups No Matter the Browser
Beyond no matter for what operating system you’re running, it doesn’t matter what Internet browser you’re running either. You could be using Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer or anything else. Chances are, you decided to install the plug-in to improve your shopping experience and to make it easier for you to find deals and to discover new products that might work for your needs. However, Amazon Assistant is known as an Amazon Assistant virus because it acts just like adware running on your computer.
Installing without Your Intent
The plug-in also does its best to install itself without you knowing it, so you may not have intended on installing the feature onto your browser. It uses tricky wordplay to try to promote itself without you knowing you’re installing this plug-in. If your homepage has changed to the Amazon Assistant page without you making any changes yourself, or if you’ve noticed numerous pop-ups recently, it’s likely because you have the Amazon Assistant virus running. You now need to take it off your computer to restore your system to its original functionality.
How to Remove the Amazon Assistant Virus
When it comes to removing the Amazon Assistant virus, there are a few ways to go about doing this. The easiest way is to take advantage of a malware removing tool. Even though it is an official Amazon product, it is so intrusive the malware programs will spot it as a possible threat and rid your system of it. Beyond this, if your malware program cannot fix the problem, there are workarounds you can use to take the Amazon Assistant virus off of your system.
Using a Malware Removal Tool
There are many available malware removal tools you can use to delete the plug-in from your Internet browser. If you don’t have a program that specializes in malware removal, now is the time to take advantage of one. You can use a free option such as Spyhunter, Reimage, Malwarebytes or other removal tools to delete the plug-in. Just run the application and wait for it to perform a complete system scan. It should identify the plug-in as a possible threat and then walk you through the deletion process.
Deleting Amazon Assistant
You might find that Amazon Assistant keeps on installing itself onto the computer or the malware removal tool is not deleting it completely. Here you need to perform the removal yourself. Now, you would think it would have an Uninstall Wizard, as it is an official Amazon product. However, as it grows and evolves on your computer, it often loses this, making it difficult (if not impossible) to delete it from your computer. You may even look it up on the Control Panel and find the Uninstall option grayed out.
If you find the Uninstall option is grayed out, you will need to disable the Amazon Assistant service. Hold down the “Ctrl,” “Alt,” “Del” button combination to load the Task Manager, then choose “Process” and choose the Amazon Assistant task as the one you want to stop.
Now, return to the Control Panel and choose Amazon Assistant. The uninstall feature should no longer be grayed out.
Still Not Deleting
If the Amazon Assistant virus is still not deleting, you will need to go through the computer’s file system to remove it. It’s a frustrating step that shouldn’t be necessary, but it’s a poorly designed program by Amazon, and so you will need to use the hard removal process.
Click on the “Start/Windows” button in the lower left corner of the screen, then choose “Control Panel” and select “Programs.” Once here you will need to sift through the list of programs and identify “Aa.hta.” (this is the Amazon Assistant code name). The biggest problem with this is there are several alternative programs that might have been installed—Amazon Assistant opened the back door to your computer, allowing all kinds of pests in.
You’ll need to return to this area later, but for now, right-click the Aa.hta file and choose “uninstall.” This will remove the file from your computer. Now, return to the Programs location in your Control Panel and sift through the listing of programs. Most malware will be easily identified, and you want to remove those files. You might see program titles like Is Alexa Spying on you, Shopping Assistant, Win a $1000 Amazon Gift Card, Luckysearch, and so on.
Additional Malware Scan
Attempting to sift through your computer to find these secondary files can be challenging and time-consuming. This is where having a malware removal tool is beneficial. You can also install one of the free malware removal tools mentioned above. Run the software and allow it to pick up these different malware files installed (the files might be listed as adware as well). When you run the scan, you’ll be asked if you want to do a quick scan or a complete system scan. Because you know your computer is infected with these additional files, it is important for you to perform the full system scan.
Following the full system scan, the computer will display all the malware files you have accumulated on the computer. You may want to watch the computer during the scan as it will display where each malware file is located. You can take notice of these locations so you can always go back and sift through the area of the computer to see if there are additional files the scan might not have picked up. Chances are it didn’t miss anything, but as it is scanning over official Amazon files, there is a chance it might not have picked up some Amazon plug-in files you want to remove.
It is a good idea to restart the computer after you have deleted all the files. With the files gone, you should now be able to return to your normal Internet browser activity.
Being tricked into installing something on your computer you had no intention of installing can be incredibly frustrating. This is exactly what happens with the Amazon Assistant plug-in. The plug-in starts as either an accidental installation you didn’t mean to install, or you install it intentionally but the plug-in completely taken over your browser, displays constant pop-ups, and prevents you from enjoying your Internet browsing experience. However the Amazon Assistant virus ended up on your computer, you need to use one of these corrective measures to remove it from your computer.
While Amazon Assistant is not a virus, the manipulative methods that lead to its install and its invasive nature post-install make it similar to a virus. If you have been plagued by this virus-like plug-in, use the methods described above to return your computer to its original functionality.