DownloadManagerNow – a toolbar that changes your web browser settings in order to serve you intrusive ads

DownloadManagerNow is a potentially unwanted application that can be downloaded from third-party sites

DownloadManagerNow is a potentially unwanted application that can be downloaded from third-party sites

DownloadManagerNow is one of many Mindspark Interactive creations and is presented as a useful toolbar that is capable of helping users to download and watch various videos. While this feature might seem useful initially, it is evident that the app is a browser hijacker[1] that changes web browser settings of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, MS Edge, or another web browser to deliver various commercial content.

Just as many other potentially unwanted programs, DownloadManagerNow can be downloaded on official sources (such as Chrome web store), although users typically find the toolbar installed after they download freeware from third-party websites when software bundling is used. As a result, the PUP gains access to the web browser without direct user permission.

Once installed, DownloadManagerNow virus changes the homepage to and appends a browser extension. It shows promotional ads and sponsored links via a customized search engine and tracks users’ web browsing activity in order to benefit from the targeted advertisements.[2]

Name DownloadManagerNow
Type Browser hijacker, toolbar, potentially unwanted program
Also known as PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic
Distribution Browser hijackers can be installed intentionally by users themselves, although many notice these type of apps installed without permission (due to software bundling)
Symptoms Browser new tab and homepage address changed to; extension installed on the browser; customized search engine applied; all search results are filled with sponsored links and ads, etc.
Dangers Users’ web browser activities are monitored, which might result in privacy issues. Also, users might end up installing additional PUPs or even malware due to various ads encountered via the hijacked search engine 
Removal To eliminate the extension, you should right-click on it via your browser. You should also scan your device with anti-malware software and reset web browsers for best results
System fix In case malware of PUPs were found on your device, we recommend using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to fix potential damage that could have been done by the infection

Mindspark Interactive is one of the better known potentially unwanted application developers out there. The company is known for its shady distribution campaigns, app persistence practices, excessive information tracking, and similar dubious activities. The company is distributing such apps as CryptoPriceSearch, SearchYA, EasyPDFCombine, GardeningEnthusiast, and many others. Due to the developer, DownloadManagerNow is also often called PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic.

In most cases, users install DownloadManagerNow because they believe that the app is useful. Nonetheless, it can also be spread via software bundle packages (unintentional installation). Once installed, the app would show the following symptoms:

  • Homepage and new tab is set set to;
  • An extension is installed on your browser;
  • All search results are filled with sponsored links and ads;
  • Overall increased amount of advertisements, etc.

While the extension is advertised as a download manager, it is actually nothing like it. All it does is provides links to various insecure websites that allow downloading videos from YouTube, Dailymotion, Facebook, and many other sources. These types of sites are notorious for injecting malicious ads to users’ web browsers, which may result in the infection of malware, personal data disclosure, or monetary losses. Thus, you should not delay DownloadManagerNow removal.

Just like many other typical hijackers, DownloadManagerNow also incorporates links to the most popular websites, such as YouTube, eBay, Gmail, Yahoo, Amazon, and many more. While this might seem convenient, such functionality has been long included within all modern web browsers and is obsolete to users. If anything, you can include links to websites you like – you won’t have to deal with DownloadManagerNow hijack and fake search results.

DownloadManagerNow hijack
DownloadManagerNow is a browser hijacker that changes homepage and new tab address to and delivers sponsored links

DownloadManagerNow hijack
DownloadManagerNow is a browser hijacker that changes homepage and new tab address to and delivers sponsored links

Another reason to remove DownloadManagerNow is its information gathering practices and permissions that the app asks upon installation. Even though the extension mainly gathers anonymous information (such as search queries, websites visited, links clicked, technical details of the device, location, ISP, etc.) for marketing purposes,[3] it allows itself to perform the following actions:

It can:

Read and change data on a number of websites
Replace the page you see with opening a new tab
Read your browsing history
Display notifications
Manage your apps, extensions, and themes

As evident, there is no need to risk your online privacy and engage in diminished web browser experience by using this fake download manager. To eliminate it, right-click on the add-on and select “Remove.” However, if the browser changes do not get set to default, we recommend resetting them as explained below and scanning the computer with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego, as well as a reputable anti-malware software.

Avoid installing apps that clutter your computer and track your online activities

Potentially unwanted programs are called so for a reason – they typically arrive at users’ machines without permission. This happens due to several reasons:

  • users are unaware of deceptive distribution practices of PUPs;
  • installation process of new apps is typically rushed;
  • applications are downloaded from shady websites;
  • third-party app developers often deliberately hide optional components within the installer.

However, the unintentional installation can also be followed by an array of other problems. For example, some PUPs can collect personal information in the background, compromise security settings, establish new registries for persistence, and much more. Besides, some unwanted apps can be difficult to eliminate, or they might also leave traces behind.

Thus, it is best to avoid potentially unwanted applications in the first place – choose trustworthy apps that do not track you and use overall fair practices. To do that, you should employ robust security software with PUP detection feature, download apps from credible sources, and always pick Advanced/Custom settings when prompted. This will allow you to remove ticks next to download managers, file converters, extensions, and similar useless tools.

DownloadManagerNow optional apps
DownloadManagerNow offers users more useless apps

DownloadManagerNow optional apps
DownloadManagerNow offers users more useless apps

DownloadManagerNow removal instructions

To remove DownloadManagerNow from your machine, you should right-click on the extension. If it is not showing up, you should access web browser settings or reset web browsers entirely. However, you should also be aware that potentially unwanted programs often arrive in bundles, so it might be that suspicious apps are present on your machine. In such a case, you would have to uninstall the program as per the instructions provided below.

In case DownloadManagerNow removal did not stop unwanted browser activity, and you are still encountering frequent ads and redirects, you should also scan your computer with anti-malware software. In fact, security applications can also get rid of PUPs automatically, in case such function is enabled.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can’t grant a full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. 

Nevertheless, there’s a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various circumstances, malware is also one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. Potentially unwanted programs may clear files that keep the application from running smoothly.

More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, or images get locked. Ransomware is the one that is focused on such functions, so your device gets useless without access to needed data. Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for such recovery in the system.

In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection.