Virus Removal Guides

Captcha Smart Virus

Captcha Smart

Captcha Smart is a browser component that is labeled as unwanted by researchers as it tents to cause unpleasant automatic page-redirects inside the affected browser. Captcha Smart is also known for hijacking the search engine and injecting ads inside its search results.

Captcha Smart
The Captcha-Smart.top virus will display pop up ads and messages

Captcha Smart Top

If you have recently noticed the presence of some obscure software piece named Captcha Smart Top inside your system and browser, then you’d likely want to know more about its nature and about the actions you may need to take against it. The thing that has most probably drawn your attention to the presence of Captcha Smart Top in your computer are the ads and the page-redirects that it normally generates inside the main browser.

In addition to that, there may have also been changes to the search engine of your browser as well as to its homepage, new-tab page and toolbar. All those symptoms are typical for a group of software best known as browser hijackers (Wave browser, Smart Captcha Solve) . Normally, the type of browser that is being used in the computer doesn’t matter – you may be a Chrome, a Firefox or a Safari user or you may prefer some other browser like Edge or Opera and, in most of the cases, a hijacker would be able to get added to whatever your browser of choice is. This normally means that if you try to install another browser in your system and use that one as your main in order to avoid the hijacker’s activities, you will likely find out that this isn’t an effective method of handling this issue. Typically, the only surefire way of stopping the ads, the page-redirects, the banners and the pop-ups that are swarming your screen as well as bringing back your browser’s regular settings is to uninstall the software that is responsible for all of this.

Captcha-Smart.top

Some users may not be too bothered by the activities of an app like Captcha-Smart.top, especially if they do not use their browsers all that often. However, nowadays, pretty much all computer users need to use their browsers on a daily basis as this is one of the most commonly used types of programs, and having that program flooded with obnoxious and obstructive Captcha-Smart.top advertising materials may be quite irritating and frustrating.

The annoyance that the hijackers bring, however, is hardly the only reason those apps are normally regarded as potentially unwanted. In fact, there’s another much more important reason why it is advisable to get rid of Captcha Smart ASAP in case you’ve recently detected it in your computer. That reason is the risks that may come from the activities of such a hijacker. While in and of itself Captcha Smart is not an inherently threatening app and can’t be used in the same malicious ways in which Ransomware, Spyware, Trojans and other malware programs could, it’s definitely not the most trustworthy form of software either. The very fact that you have little to no control over the ads that get shown on your screen and over the pages that you may get automatically redirected to is more than enough of a reason to mistrust Captcha Smart. There’s just no way of telling if the next advert you accidentally click on won’t land you on a page with some Ransomware cryptovirus or with some malicious Trojan and this is exactly why it’s simply best to remove the hijacker at once.

SUMMARY:

NameCaptcha Smart
TypeBrowser Hijacker
Detection Tool

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Remove Captcha Smart Virus

The following instructions below can be useful if you want to remove Captcha Smart as quick as possible and start using your browser normally:

1. Select More Tools (Add-ons) from your browser’s main menu, then open the Tab/Submenu called Extensions.

2. Next, look for Captcha Smart or other extensions that may connect to your recent browsing interruptions, ads, and redirects.

3. Remove the extensions you find troublesome by clicking the Remove button next to each icon.

4. Then, start a new browsing session and use the browser for some time to see if the problem has been addressed and if Captcha Smart is still spamming you with unwanted messages.

If the instructions above are not sufficient to totally remove Captcha Smart from your system, please follow the comprehensive steps in the guide below to remove all traces of the hijacker:


WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

Please bookmark this guide or open it on another device, so you can have quick access to it during the entire Captcha Smart removal process and follow the instructions from start to finish.

Also, please reboot the computer in Safe Mode (click the link for instructions) in order to run only the basic programs and processes and make it easier to spot any hijacker-related entries that are not needed.

Browser hijackers like as Captcha Smart may covertly execute many processes as a background in the system. So, if you want to halt the annoying program’s nagging activity, you need to launch the Task Manager (CTRL+SHIFT+ESC) and check for potentially unwanted processes in the Processes tab.

If a particular process seems suspicious, right-click on it and choose Open File Location from the options:

Drag and drop the files from the File Location folder in the following virus scanner and check for hazardous code:

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    If any of the files that has been checked gets flagged, this is an indication that the process should be stopped (right-click it>>End Process) and the flagged file should be deleted.

    The so-called software bundling technique is a common strategy that many browser hijackers employ to infiltrate the system. The hijacker is typically bundled inside the installer of another legal and appealing application and gets installed with it as soon as the user starts the setup and accepts the suggested installation settings without customization.

    If you recently have set up a new application on your PC and immediately after that have started noticing Captcha Smart-powered notifications, it is a good idea to open the Control Panel >>>Programs and Features >>>Uninstall a Program and uninstall any program you believe may be connected to Captcha Smart.

    You may do the same by pressing the Start Key and R from the keyboard and typing appwiz.cpl in the Run box, then clicking OK.

    Search for Captcha Smart and other potentially unwanted programs and uninstall them.

    It is also recommended that you remove any other software you don’t usually use, since any old app may quickly turn into a backdoor for potentially harmful applications and viruses.

    Another thing we recommend is to check your system configuration settings for hijacker-related startup items. Type msconfig in the search box of the Start menu and press Enter.

    Then, under the Startup tab, check for suspicious items and, based on your research, uncheck the ones you think might be causing you disturbance.

    Another step we recommend you take is to check whether your computer was hacked by accessing your Hosts file and looking for suspicious IP addresses.

    For this, copy the following line:

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

    After that, go to the search box inside the Start menu, paste it, and press Enter.

    Then look at the Hosts file, scroll down to Localhost and compare your file to the following example image:

    If you find similar virus creator IPs in your file, copy them and report to us in the comments below. A member of our team will give you some advice on what to do.

    Next, in the second part of this step, you need to delete any DNS modifications that the hijacker may have enforced without your awareness. How can you do this? Just follow these instructions:

    • First, in the Start menu search box, search for Network Connections and open it.
    • Then, right-click on the main network adapter and choose Properties.
    • Next, highlight Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP) with the cursor and click  Properties.
    • Make sure that Obtain DNS server automatically is the selected option and click on Advanced.
    • Select the DNS tab in the new window and remove everything in it. Click OK at the end.

    Let’s now remove all Captcha Smart traces from your browsers. This step won’t take much time if you carefully repeat the following instructions in all browsers currently installed on your machine:

    Select the shortcut icon of the browser, (please do that for any browser that you have on your computer, regardless of how often you use it), then Right click on the shortcut and choose  Properties from the list of options.

    Next, in the new window, go to the Shortcut tab and remove everything after .exe in the Target section.

      Remove Captcha Smart from Internet Explorer:

    If you are using Internet Explorer, open it, click on the gear symbol   and choose Manage Add-ons.

    In the list of add-ons, make sure that any add-ons that you believe are associated with your disturbance are disabled.

    Next, again click on the gear icon   and choose Internet Options. If you notice changes when looking at the Homepage URL, remove everything and enter a homepage URL you trust. Apply your changes.

     Remove Captcha Smart from Firefox:

    The method to delete potentially unwanted Firefox extensions is as follows:

    • Click the top right icon that opens the menu and choose Add-ons, then, on the left, click Extensions.
    • Search for the Captcha Smart-related extension or another extension that disturbs you in the list. Click Disable first and then Remove the unwanted extension.

    Remove Captcha Smart from Chrome:

    To clean Chrome from any extensions associated with the hijacker, first shut the browser and then go here:

     C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. 

    Rename the “Default” folder into Backup Default, save the new name and start Chrome again.

    If you still have auto redirects and random advertisements appearing on your screen, finish the remainder of the removal guide.

    Finally, you should start the Registry Editor and search for hijacker-related items that need to be removed from the Registry.

    To do that, use the Start menu search bar to type Regedit in it and press Enter.

    Then open a Find dialog box using CTRL and F to enter the name of the browser hijacker that disturbs you. Search the registry and carefully remove the results for entries that match that name.

    If nothing with the name of the hijacker is discovered in the registry, navigate to these folders manually and remove entries that you are sure belong to Captcha Smart:

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory.
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

    Please tell us in your comments if you find the manual guide helpful. Also, feel free to write us if you encounter any problems during its completion.

    In case you are afraid that you may delete files that are not related to Captcha Smart, remember that you can download the anti-virus software linked on this page to search your PC for any hidden entries enabling the hijacker to stay on your system.

    What is Captcha Smart?

    Captcha Smart is an undesirable extension for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and other Windows-compatible browsers that is categorized as a browser hijacker due to the unwanted changes it makes in such browsers. Captcha Smart will replace the starting page and the search engine, and also cause sudden page-redirects.
    If you’ve suddenly started noticing these or other similar irritating symbols inside any of your browsers, then you are probably dealing with a browser hijacker like Captcha Smart. At first, this may seem quite unnerving because and you may be worried that the computer has been attacked by a more dangerous threat such as a Trojan Horse or a Ransomware virus. Hijackers like Captcha Smart, however, are primarily designed as advertising tools that are supposed to market different websites, software products, and online services. The problem is that they do this in a very aggressive and intrusive way and that the content marketed by such software is oftentimes low-quality or outright unsafe.
    For those reasons, it’s strongly advised that you make removing Captcha Smart from your computer a top priority and do everything within your power to clean the system from anything related to this undesirable piece of software.

    How dangerous is Captcha Smart?

    Captcha Smart is relatively dangerous – it’s not as threatening as a Trojan Horse or Ransomware, but it can still compromise your virtual security and privacy, exposing you to various hazards. Captcha Smart is also dangerous because it may secretly gather personal data from your browsers.
    The reason most hijackers collect telemetry data from the browsers they infect is that this allows them to later tailor the ads they show to Internet users. Using the collected data, the hijacker determines what ads to show to each individual user and what sites to redirect that user to. This, in turn, greatly increases the probability of users interacting with the content that’s getting advertised and, since the creators of Captcha Smart and other similar hijackers earn money on the Pay-Per-Click and Pay-Per-View bases, this directly boosts the amount of income that they earn from the ads and page-redirects. The problem for the end-users, however, is that their data may eventually end up getting sold to third-parties, some of which may be scammers and hackers who can use that data to target the user.

    How to remove Captcha Smart?

    To remove Captcha Smart using the manual method, you should make sure to delete everything in your system that may be linked to the hijacker. Once this is done, you will also need to perform a thorough browser cleanup, making sure that all browsers are cleaned.
    The following steps give a brief overview of how the deletion process needs to be performed:
    1. Start by searching for potentially rogue programs that may have recently been installed on your PC and eliminate them.
    2. Then check the processes shown in the Task Manager and if you see anything fishy, look up the process name to find out if it’s malicious/unwanted, and if it is, quit it.
    3. Next, you should also clean system settings such as the Registry, the Hosts file, the DNS settings, and the Startup items list.
    4. Lastly, check your browsers for rogue/unknown extensions and delete any such items, and then clear the browser cache and cookies.

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