Browse Safely is an aggressive app that places ads and forces automatic page-redirects in the browsers of Windows computers. Browse Safely is commonly found attached to Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers tampering with the settings of their homepage and search engine.
Many users ask us how serious an infection with a browser hijacker such as Browse Safely could be. Luckily, this type of software is not designed to do harm to the computers and is usually not related to criminal schemes or malicious activities. What it does, however, is it spams the screen with pay-per-click links, ads, and pop-ups and it also generates web traffic for its partnering sites.
There could be several reasons why you may experience automatic page-redirects and generation of aggressive advertisements inside browsers like Chrome, Safari, Edge and Firefox but one of the most common ones is the presence of a browser hijacker application inside your system. Now, the browser hijackers may have a name that initially sounds as scary as Ransomware or Trojan Horses, but the truth is that the apps of the browser hijacker type are not some sort of computer viruses. Instead, they are some rather aggressive (but mostly harmless) online advertising tools used for on-screen promotion of different third-party ads, pop-ups, banners, and sponsored links and even search engines and homepage addresses. These pieces of software are widely distributed all over the Internet with the help of software bundles, ads, free downloads, ad-supported sites, automatic installation managers, torrents and other methods of software distribution. However, most commonly, they become part of the system due to the users’ carelessness during the setup process of new software. Browse Safely is very similar (in fact almost identical) to others like Reverse Captcha, The Goodcaster. Therefore, they are programmed to initiate automatic page-redirects and to generate sponsored search results, which can lead directly to these websites. They easily integrate with any browser and hijack their search engine tool or homepage domain by replacing them with sponsored ones. In this case, you start seeing modified search results which automatically redirect to specific links and landing pages, regardless of what you are actually trying to load.
Generally, the presence of such software in the system is not fatal but, as you can see, it can be very annoying. That’s why, in the next lines, we will show you how to remove a browser hijacker and uninstall all of the changes it may have imposed on your browsing program. In fact, what we have prepared is a detailed removal guide, specifically dedicated to a recently reported browser hijacker called the Browse Safely virus. In case this is the program that is causing you browsing disturbances, we suggest you pay close attention to the next steps or use the suggested removal tool to safely remove it.
How serious is the browser hijacker infection?
Compared to what a real malware such as a Ransomware or a Trojan Horse could do, this is definitely not something destructive or highly dangerous and yet, on the other hand, it still has the potential to cause browsing irritation and disturbance which cannot be easily ignored. That’s why the removal guide above is written to help the users remove the Browse Safely virus from their machines and to uninstall all the related components which are causing redirects and sponsored ads positioning on their screen. If the manual steps shown there seem too long and difficult to follow, there is a faster method which involves the use of a specialized removal tool for automatic assistance, which you can also find here.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Pesky ads and banners covering your screen and random page-redirects landing you on unknown sites are commonly-encountered symptoms.|
|Distribution Method||The ways these apps get distributed normally include the use of some sort of installation bundle or package as some other program as the main one in the setup.|
Some threats reinstall themselves if you don't delete their core files. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to remove harmful programs for you. This may save you hours and ensure you don't harm your system by deleting the wrong files.
Remove Browse Safely
To try and remove Browse Safely quickly you can try this:
- Go to your browser’s settings and select More Tools (or Add-ons, depending on your browser).
- Then click on the Extensions tab.
- Look for the Browse Safely extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
- Remove Browse Safely by clicking on the Trash Bin icon next to its name.
- Confirm and get rid of Browse Safely and any other suspicious items.
If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed Browse Safely 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).
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
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:
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:
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:
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.
- Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click Properties.
- The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
- 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.
Remove Browse Safely from Internet Explorer:
Open IE, click —–> Manage Add-ons.
Find the threat —> Disable. Go to —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.
Remove Browse Safely from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Remove Browse Safely from Chrome:
Close Chrome. Navigate to:
C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:
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—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!