How to Remove Stratus Chrome Extension

Stratus is an internet browser extension with the main goal of redirecting the homepage to its own search provider and unwanted website. To accomplish this task, this unwanted program made a certain modification to the browser even without the user’s approval. Though it is frustrating for victims to see the unsolicited changes on their homepage and search settings, they are the only ones to be held responsible for this adware attack.

Stratus infection method

Typically, Stratus and similar suspicious browser extensions like Odobenidae and Pinnipedia can enter the computer by taking advantage of freeware and software bundles. Creators of free applications receive payment from adware creators by including the PUP in their freeware, and additional compensation is allotted for every successful installation. So, if Stratus is present on the computer, it may have arrived alongside a recently downloaded free program.

Another online distribution scheme by Stratus is through a malicious advertising campaign. Pop-ups and redirects emerging in the browser are other sources of adware infection. It is unknown to the web user that most of these pop-ups employ deceiving tactics, and a single click on any part of the suspicious page will result in an unwelcome and discrete installation of Stratus Chrome extension.

Image of Stratus Adware

Getting rid of Stratus

The changes made by the Stratus extension in the Google Chrome browser seem to be permanent. There is no use in exerting effort to restore the homepage by adjusting the settings and assigned URL. As long as the Stratus adware is residing in the browser, it will keep dominating the configuration of the internet application. Therefore, it is vital to remove the Stratus extension first in order to restore the browser to its previous normal working condition. A full guide to accomplishing this task is provided below.

How do I avoid the infection?

It’s crucial to adopt safe surfing practices to avoid Stratus adware infestations. Make sure the most recent security updates are installed on your operating system, antivirus program, and browsers. Update your software often to fix security holes that adware could exploit. Also, use caution while installing and downloading software from the internet. Avoid downloading cracked or pirated software, since they sometimes come in bundles with Stratus adware.

Be mindful of the new software installation procedure. Select the Advanced or Custom installation options, then go over each step very carefully. To prevent inadvertently installing adware, uncheck any other programs or toolbars that could be included with the targeted program. Be cautious of misleading pop-ups and advertisements on websites as well. Finally, to find and get rid of any possible adware infestations, routinely check your computer for malware using reliable antivirus or anti-malware software.

Procedures to Remove Stratus from Mac

This section contains comprehensive guide for Mac users. It will help you remove malicious browser hijacker from Google Chrome browser. Procedures on this page are written in a manner that can be easily understand and execute by Mac users.

Quick Fix - Scan the System with Combo Cleaner

Combo Cleaner is a trusted Mac utility application with complete antivirus and optimization features. It is useful in dealing with adware, malware, and PUP's. Moreover, it can get rid of malicious browser hijacker like Stratus. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.

1. Download the tool from the following page:

2. Double-click the downloaded file and proceed with the installation.

3. In the opened window, drag and drop the Combo Cleaner icon onto your Applications folder icon.

Install Combo Cleaner

4. Open your Launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon.

5. Wait until antivirus downloads its latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing Stratus.

Combo Cleaner Scanner

6. Free features of Combo Cleaner include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus and privacy scanner, users have to upgrade to a premium version.

Proceed with the rest of the removal steps if you are comfortable manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat.

Step 1 : Delete Suspicious Google Chrome Extension on Mac

Most adware and unwanted programs are using a program called browser extension to be able to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend to check and remove the extension that is closely related to Stratus.

1. Open Google Chrome browser.

2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.

Chrome URL on Mac

3. Find Stratus or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

If unable to remove Stratus because browser is "Managed by your Organization", follow these steps:

1. Activate the Developer mode on Extensions window by using the slider.

2. Then, copy or take note of the browser Extension ID.

Screenshot of Chrome Manage ID

3. Open Finder on your Mac and go to the following directory:

~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Extensions

4. Once you opened the directory, find the folder that matches the Extension ID and delete it.

5. Please restart your Google Chrome browser.

Aside from this straightforward workaround, we have a separate comprehensive guide to fix the Managed by Organization issue. You can also execute that guide if the steps on this page are not enough to delete Stratus.

Step 2 : Delete Stratus from Mac Applications

1. Go to Finder.

2. On the menu, click Go and then, select Applications from the list to open Applications Folder.

3. Find Stratus or any unwanted program.

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag Stratus to Trash Bin to delete the application from Mac.

5. Right-click on Trash icon and click on Empty Trash.

Step 3 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed Stratus

1. Select and copy the string below to your Clipboard by pressing Command + C on your keyboard.

~/Library/LaunchAgents

2. Go to your Finder. From the menu bar please select Go > Go to Folder...

3. Press Command + V on your keyboard to paste the copied string. Press Return to go to the said folder.

Command + V

4. You will now see a folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:

  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.ltvbit.plist
  • unknown.update.plist
  • com.unknown

The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. It is normally an unfamiliar file name such as the following:

- Stratus

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing Stratus to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the most latest ones may also help you identify recently installed unfamiliar files. Please press Option + Command + 4 on your keyboard to arrange the application list in chronological order.

Option+Command+4

Important: Take note of all the suspicious files as you may also delete the same item on another folder as we go on.

5. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.

6. Please restart the computer.

7. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and Paste the following string to easily locate the folder.

~/Library/Application Support

8. Look for any suspicious items that are similar to the ones in Step 4. Drag them to the Trash.

9. Repeat the process on the following non-hidden folders (without ~):

/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons
/Library/Application Support
/Library/Preferences

Optional : For locked files that cannot be removed, do the following:

1. Go to Launchpad, Utilities folder, open Activity Monitor.

2. Select the process you want to quit.

Force Quit Apps

3. Click on Force Quit button.

4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to Stratus homepage hijacker.

Step 4 : Double-check with MBAM Tool for Mac

1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from the link below.

2. Run Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac. It will check for updates and download if most recent version is available. This is necessary in finding recent malware threats including Stratus.

3. If it prompts to close all running web browser, please do so. Thus, we advise you to PRINT this guide for your reference before going offline.

4. Once it opens the user interface, please click on Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.

MBAM for Mac

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, Stratus is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click Remove button to clean the computer.

Step 5 : Remove Stratus from Homepage and Search

Google Chrome

- Open Chrome browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and press Enter on keyboard : chrome://settings/
- Look for 'On Startup' area.
- Select 'Open a specific page or set of pages'.
- Click on More Actions and select Edit.
- Enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing Stratus. Click Save.
- To set default search engine, go to Search Engine area.
- Click on 'Manage search engines...' button.
- Go to questionable Search Engine. Click on More Actions and Click 'Remove from list'.
- Go back to Search Engine area and choose valid entry from Search engine used in the address bar.

Stratus Removal Procedure for PC

Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of the potentially unwanted program (PUP) from compromised computer. In order to totally eliminate the threat, it is vital to follow the process in exact manner.

Quick Fix - Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner

Combo Cleaner is a trusted PC utility application with complete antivirus and optimization features. It is useful in dealing with adware, malware, and PUP's. Moreover, it can get rid of malicious browser extension like Stratus that is responsible for displaying unknown homepage and pop-ups.

To quickly remove Stratus without going through the complicated process, please click on the button to download the removal tool. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.

Proceed with the rest of the removal steps if you are comfortable manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat. The following guides are also vital in deleting malicious items from the browser configuration.

Step 1 : Get Rid of Unwanted Google Chrome Extension

The above procedures should have totally eliminated the browser hijacker. However, if you still find that there are still remnants of Stratus on internet application, please proceed to manual removal of associated objects as outlined below.

1. Open Google Chrome browser.

2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.

Chrome URL

3. Find Stratus or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

If you cannot remove Stratus because "Your Browser is Managed by your Organization", do the following:

1. Activate the Developer mode on Extensions window by using the slider.

2. Then, copy or take note of the browser Extension ID.

Chrome Manage ID on PC

3. Open Windows Explorer and locate the following folder:

C:\Users\(Your Username)\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions

4. After opening the Folder, find the item that matches the Extension ID and delete it.

5. Please restart your Google Chrome browser.

Aside from this straightforward workaround, we have a separate comprehensive guide to fix the Managed by Organization issue. You can also execute that guide if the steps on this page are not enough to delete Stratus.

Step 2 : Scan the computer with Sophos Antivirus

To remove Stratus automatically, scanning the computer with this powerful anti-virus tool is recommended. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware, it is also effective in discovering browser hijacker like Stratus that slows down online browsing activities.

1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.

2. Once the download completes, browse the location of the file. Double-click to run the program and begin the install process.

Screenshot of Sophos Installer

3. On first windows of installation wizard, click Next to continue. Then, it will display the program’s License Agreement. You need to Accept the terms in order to proceed. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes to proceed.

Screenshot of Sophos EULA Page

4. On succeeding windows, click Next or Continue to carry on with the installation. After completing the installation process, Launch Sophos Virus Removal Tool.

5. Internet connection is required when running this scanner in order to download important updates. Make sure that everything is up-to-date to effectively remove malicious program like Stratus.

6. Click the  button to  carry out the Scan. This will check the system for presence of malicious objects, malware, and viruses. The tool reveals items that were found linked to Stratus+ and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.

Screenshot of Sophos Virus Scan

The above procedures should have totally eliminated the Stratus browser hijacker. However, if you found that there are still remnants of the threat, please proceed to manual removal of associated objects as outlined below.

Step 3 : Scan with AdwCleaner and Reset Chrome Policies

In addition to the procedure, we suggest scanning the computer with AdwCleaner tool. Possibly, there are some traces of Stratus on the browser that was not deleted during the preceding steps. This tool will scan the computer and check for presence of malicious applications.

1. Follow the link below to download the tool called AdwCleaner.

2. When the download has completed, please close all running programs on the computer, especially browsers affected by Stratus.

3. Browse the location of the downloaded file and double-click on adwcleaner_Ver.exe to start running the tool. Then, click on the scan button.

4. On the AdwCleaner Dashboard, click on Settings.

Image of AdwCleaner Dashboard

5. While in the Settings window, please turn On the Reset Chrome Policies option.

Image of AdwCleaner Settings for Chrome

6. Go back to the Dashboard and click the Scan button.

7. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated with Stratus.

8. Clean or Remove all suspicious and harmful items identified after the thorough scan.

9. After the cleanup procedure, rebooting the computer is required to finalize the removal of detected threats.

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