Remove GardeningEnthusiast

What is GardeningEnthusiast

GardeningEnthusiast is an extension that is there to provide gardening tips, but also delivers advertisements to its users through its search engine — MyWay. Because of the excessive settings changes that it performs, GardeningEnthusiast is classified as a browser hijacker. Though not a virus, GardeningEnthusiast should probably not be used by as many people as do. The GardeningEnthusiast extension can be distributed by adware bundles. If you have GardeningEnthusiast but never sought it out, it’s possible that you have adware or a few potentially unwanted programs — PUPs. Bundles might result in software being installed without your knowledge or permission, so, if that’s the case, you might want to scan your machine with an antivirus program and see if it finds anything suspicious. Bundles can be promoting relatively harmless PUPs, but some of them spread ransomware.

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GardeningEnthusiast, when installed from its website, uses bundling to introduce Ask, another browser hijacker that uses its own search engine that is, similarly to MyWay, filled with ads. Ask takes over the address bar, which GardeningEnthusiast left alone.

Browser settings changes

GardeningEnthusiast lists these permissions on Chrome: Read and change your data on a number of websites Replace the page you see when opening a new tab Read your browsing history Display notifications Manage your downloads Manage your apps, extensions, and themes That’s quite a list of permissions for an extension that’s about finding “all the gardening advice you need to keep your flowers blooming, your vegetables growingâ€. A couple of these are classified by Google slightly concerning, specifically, “Read and change your data on a number of websitesâ€. Extensions that need lots of permissions aren’t automatically dangerous, but they have the power to be. This is why all the installed extensions should be periodically reviewed (sometimes a popular extension is bought by a malicious company and abused to send ads to users, or steal their information). And only trusted apps and extensions should be granted risky permissions.

Mindspark, the developer of GardeningEnthusiast, is not very trustworthy. They have developed so many clone extensions that it seems like their main goal is just getting a large userbase. That’s valuable to marketers, and advertising isn’t necessarily dangerous, but the users are not getting a very good service in exchange. What the users of GardeningEnthusiast are getting is more ads that they should have to see, and their private information being recorded and used to offer ads more effectively. Mindspark’s extensions all look so similar that you would not be able to tell them apart by their new tab page: Free.everydaylookup.com, PackageTracer, FreePDFCombiner — they all use the same design, have the same privacy policy.

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Can GardeningEnthusiast be safely used?

GardeningEnthusiast provides two things to its users: A list of links to gardening-themed websites. A search bar that directs queries to the MyWay search engine. GardeningEnthusiast is not a virus, it cannot install any viruses, and it doesn’t steal any passwords or files. It can be used as-is without any immediate danger.

However, GardeningEnthusiast does have the power to do harm. For example, we know from Mindspark’s privacy policy that GardeningEnthusiast collects information about the user and their browsing habits and then shares that information with advertisers. The information can be shared, as long as it’s not associated with the user’s identity. But, what if the identity is not properly hidden? Or if someone deanonymizes the data? It is completely up to you how much you care about your browsing history being private, but, in the wrong hands, such information could, in theory, be used to perform targeted phishing attacks and make scams seem very believable. At the end of the day, this could result in some people suffering real harm — feeling stress, wasting time, even losing money.

The problem with useless toolbar extensions is that they target people who may not know exactly how to remove them. GardeningEnthusiast is just unintrusive enough that people who were hassled with it might deal with it, without knowing how easy it is to uninstall it. Meanwhile, MyWay will continue to inject excessive ads into their search results and earn money from advertisers.

How to remove GardeningEnthusiast

GardeningEnthusiast can be removed simply by accessing your browser settings. If you want to scan your computer, Anti-Malware Tool or Anti-Malware Tool should be good enough tools to check if you have adware or other suspicious programs. If you didn’t interact a lot with your browser settings, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with them. They’re there to allow you to customize your browsing experience. Even cosmetic changes, like pinning your favorite links to your new tab page, can be done by yourself, without extensions.

Stage 1: Delete Browser Extension

First of all, we would recommend that you check your browser extensions and remove any that are linked to GardeningEnthusiast. A lot of adware and other unwanted programs use browser extensions in order to hijacker internet applications.

Remove GardeningEnthusiast Extension from Google Chrome

  1. Launch Google Chrome.
  2. In the address bar, type: chrome://extensions/ and press Enter.
  3. Look for GardeningEnthusiast or anything related to it, and once you find it, press ‘Remove’.

Uninstall GardeningEnthusiast Extension from Firefox

  1. Launch Mozilla Firefox.
  2. In the address bar, type: about:addons and press Enter.
  3. From the menu on the left, choose Extensions.
  4. Look for GardeningEnthusiast or anything related to it, and once you find it, press ‘Remove’.

Delete GardeningEnthusiast Extension from Safari

  1. Launch Safari.
  2. Press on the Safari Settings icon, which you can find in the upper-right corner.
  3. Select Preferences from the list.
  4. Choose the Extensions tab.
  5. Look for GardeningEnthusiast or anything related to it, and once you find it, press ‘Uninstall’.
  6. Additionally, open Safari Settings again and choose Downloads.
  7. If GardeningEnthusiast.safariextz appears on the list, select it and press ‘Clear’.

Remove GardeningEnthusiast Add-ons from Internet Explorer

  1. Launch Internet Explorer.
  2. From the menu at the top, select Tools and then press Manage add-ons.
  3. Look for GardeningEnthusiast or anything related to it, and once you find it, press ‘Remove’.
  4. Reopen Internet Explorer.In the unlikely scenario that GardeningEnthusiast is still on your browser, follow the additional instructions below.
  5. Press Windows Key + R, type appwiz.cpl and press Enter
  6. The Program and Features window will open where you should be able to find the GardeningEnthusiast program.
  7. Select GardeningEnthusiast or any other recently installed unwanted entry and press ‘Uninstall/Change’.

Alternative method to clear the browser from GardeningEnthusiast

There may be cases when adware or PUPs cannot be removed by simply deleting extensions or codes. In those situations, it is necessary to reset the browser to default configuration. In you notice that even after getting rid of weird extensions the infection is still present, follow the below instructions.

Download Removal Toolto remove GardeningEnthusiast

Use Chrome Clean Up Tool to Delete GardeningEnthusiast

  1. Launch Google Chrome.
  2. In the address box, type: chrome://settings/ and press Enter.
  3. Expand Advanced settings, which you can find by scrolling down.
  4. Scroll down until you see Reset and Cleanup.
  5. Press on Clean up computer. Then press Find.

This Google Chrome feature is supposed to clear the computer of any harmful software. If it does not detect GardeningEnthusiast, go back to the Clean up computer and reset settings.

Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default

If you still find GardeningEnthusiast in your Mozilla Firefox browser, you should be able to get rid of it by restoring your Firefox settings to default. While extensions and plug-ins will be deleted, this will not touch your browser history, bookmarks, saved passwords or Internet cookies.

  1. Launch Mozilla Firefox
  2. Into the address box, type: about:support and press Enter.
  3. You will be redirected to a Troubleshooting Information page.
  4. From the menu on the right side, select Refresh Firefox.
  5. Confirm your choice by clicking Refresh Firefox in the new window.
  6. Your browser will close automatically in order to successfully restore the settings.
  7. Press Finish.

Reset Safari Browser to Normal Settings

  1. Launch Safari.
  2. Press on the Safari Settings icon, which you can find in the upper-right corner.
  3. Press Reset Safari.
  4. A new window will appear. Select the boxes of what you want to reset or use the screenshot below to guide you. Once you have selected everything, press ‘Reset’.
  5. Restart Safari.

Restore Internet Explorer to Default Settings

  1. Launch Internet Explorer.
  2. From the top menu, press on Tools and then Internet Options.
  3. In the new window that opens, choose the Advanced tab.
  4. At the bottom of the window, below Reset Internet settings, there will be a ‘Reset’ button. Press that.

While extensions and plug-ins will be deleted, this will not touch your browser history, bookmarks, saved passwords or Internet cookies.

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