Browser Hijacker “Virus” Removal (September 2018 Update)


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This page aims to help you remove Browser Hijacker “Virus”. Our removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Safari, as well as every version of Windows, Android, Mac.

There are many different types of unwanted and problematic software programs that can cause various problems to the users’ computers and to their online privacy. However, not all undesirable programs out there are malicious and dangerous PC viruses. There are many programs that are regarded as unwanted due their intrusive and irritating behavior but are typically harmless for the computer system. A collective term used to describe such software is PUP (potentially unwanted programs). There are different types of PUPs – bloatware, adware, custom browser toolbars, fake/ineffective system optimization tools, etc. In the present article, however, we will be focusing on the so-called browser hijacker software category. Applications of this type normally function like extensions for the majority of browser programs – IE, Firefox, Opera, Chrome. etc. They tend to replace the homepage and the search engine of the browser as well as cause redirects to different pages without asking for the user’s permission. Aside from that, it is also possible that some hijackers also try to display intrusive and irritating ads inside the user’s browser whenever a new browsing session gets started. Adware programs are also known for doing this. In fact, the difference between Adware and hijackers is mostly the ability of the latter group of software to alter certain aspects and settings of the targeted browser.

Hijacker issues and how to deal with them

Now, it is easy to see why one might not want a browser hijacker on their computer – it can be extremely annoying and even frustrating to have your main browser modified in ways that typically reduce the overall quality of the browsing experience. The imposed new search engine, for example, might generate altered/modified search results in order to push certain sites and pages and increase their view count instead of actually showing you the most relevant results for your search. The worst part of all that is the fact that it might not be possible to revert the changes while the hijacker is still in your computer. Some browser hijackers could be rather aggressive and might prevent you from overriding the unwanted changes. In some instances, even if you manage to bring your browser back to normal, it is likely that the next time you open the browsing program or reboot your PC the hijacker would have re-introduced its obstructive modifications. That is why it is typically best to simply eliminate such pesky software as this is the one most effective method for dealing with its irritating activities. If you ever need help with a hijacker application, know that you can use the guide on this page in order to fully uninstall and remove the undesirable software – just make sure to closely follow the instructions and in case you need some additional help you can also use the recommended anti-malware tool from the guide or ask for out aid using the comments section below.

Browser Hijacker “Virus” Removal

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


Step1

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).

Step2

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. 

malware-start-taskbar

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

Drag and Drop Files Here to Scan
Maximum file size: 128MB.

This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/online-virus-scanner/




Scan Results


Virus Scanner Result
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AVG AV
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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. 

Step3

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

appwiz

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:

msconfig_opt

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

Step4

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.

DNS

Step5

  • 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).

browser-hijacker-taskbar-properties

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

ie9-10_512x512  Remove Browser Hijacker 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 Browser Hijacker from Firefox:

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

pic 6

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Browser Hijacker 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.

Step6

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

Potentially dangerous?

The majority of browser hijacker applications are actually quite safe and harmless – they normally contain no malicious code and are primarily used as advertising tools through which their developers are able to accumulate income. However, we must mention that there could still be certain risks if you have a hijacker inside your machine. The one thing you should be the most careful with are the adverts and the page-redirects. It is not a secret that malvertising is a very common method for distributing malicious viruses like Trojans and Ransomware and although most of the advertising content coming from a hijacker should generally be safe, you can never be too sure. Therefore, it’s best if you avoid clicking on any ads or interacting with the contents of any pages that the hijacker app has brought to your screen.

Ways you could get a hijacker installed on your computer

There are numerous techniques used for spreading such software – spam messages, fake/misleading online offers and adverts, obscure or low-quality programs, sketchy sites, torrents, etc. The practice of bundling additional applications with a certain program’s installer is another popular distribution method for the hijacker software category. In such cases where bundling is used, the potentially unwanted software is put inside the installer of another program and enabled by default under the Quick installation configuration. This is, of course, the option that most users go for. However, it is also the one you should actually abstain from using if you want to avoid getting unwanted programs on your computer. Instead of opting for the Quick setup, use the Advanced/Custom alternative where you will see all of the bundled applications and you will have the ability to leave out of the installation those of them that might be undesirable and unwanted. That is why, we advise you to always use this option in order to customize the installation so that you’d only get the program/s that you actually want to have in your system.

SUMMARY:

Name Browser Hijacker
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms This program may display hundreds of ads, pop-ups, new tabs and links full of different shopping proposals, gaming offers, sponsored links or other advertising content according to your latest search queries.
Distribution Method Software bundles, free installers, torrents, automatic setups, spam messages, ads, links, attachments. 
Detection Tool We generally recommend SpyHunter or a similar anti-malware program that is updated daily.

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!

 


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