How to Fix a Google Time Out Virus

By Tammy Clevenger

The Google Time Out Virus is a known malware threat that infects Internet Explorer browsers and will replicate to other files. Mainly, the Google Time Out replicates "Hosts" files to the computer, creating host conflicts when Internet Explorer attempts to search Google. The Google Time Out Virus will manifest in one of two ways: Google searches will time out before obtaining search query results, or a warning page appears after a Google search has been completed, indicating a virus may have infected the machine.

Step 1

Close all Internet Explorer browser windows.

Step 2

Right-click the Windows "Start" button and click on "Explore" to open the Windows Explorer file manager.

Step 3

Navigate to the "Windows" folder in the left pane of Windows Explorer, and then click on the folder to expand.

Step 4

Click on the "System32" folder, and then click on the folder named "drivers" in the System32 directory.

Step 5

Click on the "Etc" folder in the "drivers" directory. Locate and highlight all files named "Hosts" in the Etc directory. "Hosts" files do not have a file extension.

Step 6

Right-click on each "Hosts" file and select "Delete" from the context menu to delete the file. Delete all "Hosts" files from the directory. The Google Time Out virus has now been eliminated from this directory.

Step 7

Click on the "Windows" folder in the left navigation pane of Windows Explorer, and then click on the "Help" folder.

Step 8

Right-click on each "Hosts" file and select "Delete" from the context menu to delete the file. Delete all Hosts files from the Help directory. The Google Time Out virus has now been eliminated from the Help directory.

Step 9

Open Internet Explorer and click "Tools" from the top navigation menu.

Step 10

Click "Internet Options", and then click "Accessibility".

Step 11

Uncheck the option labeled "Format Documents Using My Style Sheet". Internet Explorer malware exploits this option when selected in the browser.

Step 12

Reboot the computer and test the cleaning by opening an Internet Explorer browser window and performing a Google search.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try a browser other than Internet Explorer, such as Mozilla Firefox. Internet Explorer seems to be affected much more by malware than other browsers.