What is Amazon Assistant? And how does it function?
Amazon Assistant also referred to as Amazon Assistant aa.hta, is a browser extension advertised as a tool that helps users in shopping online, getting product comparisons as well as getting shopping deals and discounts. However, security experts found some negative features of this program and deem it as a potentially unwanted program or PUP. One of these negative features involves Amazon Assistant’s ability to track users’ browsing activities.
This program is designed to work on several browsers like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and more. Once installed, it will change the default homepage and default search engine to Browser bar or Amazon Web Search. Note that these changes are done without asking for your permission and this is another reason why it is categorized as a PUP. After its installation and modifications made on your browser’s settings, you will start to see aggressive pop-ups, too many shopping offers and deals. This clearly diminishes your browsing experience rather than improving it.
If you find it hard to remove the Amazon Assistant program from your browsers, you’re not alone as many users experience difficulty in removing this unwanted program. In fact, some user reported that:
“Each time I start up my laptop PC Amazon assistant opens all by itself new windows (one after the other filling the whole screen) indicating “C:\Program Files(x86)\Amazon\Amazon Assissitant\aa.hta””
You should not waste your time and delete the Amazon Assistant from your computer. Worry not, as this post will guide you in removing this pesky unwanted program from your computer.
How is Amazon Assistant distributed online?
Amazon Assistant is distributed in the Chrome Web Store as well as in the Mozilla Firefox add-on store. On the other hand, you might also come across this browser extension when you visit its affiliated domains or even on freeware or shareware packages. This means that it could be distributed using the software bundling technique – a technique used by developers of unwanted programs. To avoid unwanted installation of PUPs, you must always opt for the Custom or Advanced setup every time you install any freeware or shareware.
Refer to the removal instructions laid out below and carefully follow each one of them to successfully delete the Amazon Assistant program from your computer.
Step 1: Start the removal process by closing all the browsers infected with Amazon Assistant. If you’re having a hard time closing them, you can close them using the Task Manager just tap on Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
Step 2: After you open the Task Manager, go to the Processes tab and look for the infected browser’s process and end it.
Step 3: Then close the Task Manager and open Control Panel – to do so, tap the Windows key + R, then type in appwiz.cpl and then click OK or press Enter.
Step 4: After pulling up Control Panel, from the list of installed programs, look for Amazon Assistant or Amazon Browser Bar or Amazon Assistant aa.hta as well as any suspicious program you don’t remember installing and then Uninstall them.
Step 5: Edit your Hosts File.
- Tap the Win + R keys to open then type in %WinDir% and then click OK.
- Go to System32/drivers/etc.
- Open the host’s file using Notepad.
- Delete all the entries that contain Amazon Assistant.
- After that, save the changes you’ve made and close the file.
Step 6: Reset all your browsers to default to their default state.
- Launch Google Chrome, press Alt + F, move to More tools, and click Extensions.
- Look for Amazon Assistant or any other unwanted add-ons, click the Recycle Bin button, and choose Remove.
- Restart Google Chrome, then tap Alt + F, and select Settings.
- Navigate to the On Startup section at the bottom.
- Select “Open a specific page or set of pages”.
- Click the More actions button next to the hijacker and click Remove.
- Open the browser and tap Ctrl + Shift + A to access the Add-ons Manager.
- In the Extensions menu Remove the unwanted extension.
- Restart the browser and tap keys Alt + T.
- Select Options and then move to the General menu.
- Overwrite the URL in the Home Page section and then restart the browser.
- Launch Internet Explorer.
- Tap Alt + T and select Internet options.
- Click the General tab and then overwrite the URL under the homepage section.
- Click OK to save the changes.
Step 7: Hold down Windows + E keys simultaneously to open File Explorer.
Step 8: Navigate to the following directories and look for suspicious files associated with the unwanted program such as the software bundle it came with and delete it/them.
Step 9: Close the File Explorer.
Step 10: Empty the contents of Recycle Bin.
Refer to the advanced instructions given below to ensure the removal of Amazon Assistant as well as all the file residues it left behind.
Perform a full system scan using [product-code]. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the SafeMode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in the URL address, [product-url] in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
- Once the installation process is completed, run [product-code] to perform a full system scan.