Malware is categorized as a browser hijacker by security experts. is known to cause browser redirects and different pop-up advertisements in addition to security vulnerabilities. 1024x411

Most of the Internet browsers, no matter how safe and secure they may be, are still susceptible to applications of the browser hijacker category. This is because the so-called browser hijackers or browser redirects are not actually malware. Unlike a Trojan Horse threat or a Ransomware virus, a hijacker app wouldn’t initiate anything malicious, criminal or illegal during the time it’s active in your system. This makes it easier for this type of apps to attach themselves to browsers like Firefox, Edge, Chrome and Safari. Once added to a given browser, however, this sort of software components would normally trigger the generation of annoying pop-ups, banners, page-redirects and other sorts of online advertisements. They may also add a new custom search engine to the browser.

The Malware

Researchers have labeled the malware a browser hijacker. Security problems such as the malware are known to cause website redirects, intrusive advertisements and even phishing attempts.

Some who have faced a browser hijacker also report a replaced starting page and/or new-tab page address. Such activities could, of course, make it rather frustrating to user the main browser of the computer. After all, the advertising activities as well as the unauthorized changes in the browser could make it difficult for anyone to actually reach the webpages and the information that they are actually looking for. Still, the good news is that this isn’t really a malware infection and because of that, dealing with this unpleasant situation shouldn’t be all that difficult. Still, if you have already tried to remove a hijacker from your computer, you may have realized that this app may not be so easy to uninstall. Case in point, many users have complained about a software piece named which seems to operate much like a browser hijacker and which is also quite difficult to get rid of. Here, however, we may have what those of you with , Cog Extension or Ten Browser Virus in their machines may need in order to liberate their browsers and computers from the presence of this annoying app:

The Notifications

The notifications are regarded as a type of a browser hijacker. Threats like the notifications are known to cause different problems like changing of the user’s designated home page or even the preferred browser of choice.

Even though these apps aren’t real viruses, many users and even software researchers see them as potentially harmful software. The reason for that lies in the uncontrolled advertising activities conducted by most hijackers and the implications one may draw from that. It’s no secret that many of the online ads you could encounter in the Internet world could actually be gateways for malicious and harmful programs like Trojan Horses, Rootkits, Spyware and Ransomware that may allow those threats to enter the users’ computers. There is a reason it is generally advisable to stay away from obscure and sketchy-looking online advertisement whenever you see them. The problem is that, with a hijacker in your browser, you can’t really be sure which ads are safe and which may be potentially hazardous and linked to unreliable sites and pages. The solution to all this is, of course, to rid your browser of the software that is responsible for the constant generation of online advertisements and in that way to make sure you do not get automatically exposed to any content that may put your system at risk.

TypeBrowser Hijacker
Detection Tool

Remove Malware

To try and remove quickly you can try this:

  1. Go to your browser’s settings and select More Tools (or Add-ons, depending on your browser).
  2. Then click on the Extensions tab.
  3. Look for the extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
  4. Remove by clicking on the Trash Bin icon next to its name.
  5. Confirm and get rid of and any other suspicious items.

If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed removal guide below.

If you have a Windows virus, continue with the guide below.

If you have a Mac virus, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.

If you have an Android virus, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.

If you have an iPhone virus, please use our iPhone Virus Removal guide


Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).



Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab (the “Details” Tab on Win 8 and 10). Try to determine which processes are dangerous. 


Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

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    After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders. 

    Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections. 


    Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.


    You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them.

    Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:


    Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.


    Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

    notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

    A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

    hosts_opt (1)

    If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.

    Open the start menu and search for Network Connections (On Windows 10 you just write it after clicking the Windows button), press enter.

    1. Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click  Properties.
    2. The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
    3. Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.

    • After you complete this step, the threat will be gone from your browsers. Finish the next step as well or it may reappear on a system reboot.

    Right click on the browser’s shortcut —> Properties.

    NOTE: We are showing Google Chrome, but you can do this for Firefox and IE (or Edge).


    Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.

    Browser Hijacker Removal Instructions

    ie9-10_512x512  Remove from Internet Explorer:

    Open IE, click  IE GEAR —–> Manage Add-ons.

    pic 3

    Find the threat —> Disable. Go to IE GEAR —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.

    firefox-512 Remove from Firefox:

    Open Firefoxclick  mozilla menu  ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.

    pic 6

    chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove from Chrome:

    Close Chrome. Navigate to:

     C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:

    Rename the Folder to Backup Default

    Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.


    Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.

    Inside, press CTRL and F together and type the threat’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show up this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

    If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!


    About the author


    Brandon Skies

    Brandon is a researcher and content creator in the fields of cyber-security and virtual privacy. Years of experience enable him to provide readers with important information and adequate solutions for the latest software and malware problems.

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