If your computer has been infected by a program called Captcha Today, then you have landed yourself what experts commonly refer to as a browser hijacker. Captcha Today embeds itself in popular web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Opera.
The reason why this type of software has been dubbed browser hijackers is because of the liberties they start taking once integrated with the main browsing program. Specifically, programs like Captcha Today or CaptchaToday.top will as a rule start imposing their own browser configurations and make changes to the browser’s interface. Like, for instance, you may notice new elements like toolbars and buttons in your browser. In addition, there may be a new homepage there now to greet you every time you open a new tab or window. And your online searches will most likely now be facilitated by a new default search engine.
By such means the browser hijacker usually ensures a boost in traffic for the websites that it has worked into the browser’s settings. But another way that it can achieve this is by causing page redirects to said websites, which is something very commonly reported by victims of software like Captcha Today.
Other very common symptoms of similar infections include the dramatic increase in the amount of online ads you see during your browsing sessions. For example, you may find yourself having to close tons of popups or navigate past screen-wide banners that obstruct your view of any given site or page. These ads are typically generated from within your own browser, so if you have anything like popup or other ad blockers installed on your machine, they will be powerless against these online advertisements.
The only chance you stand at overcoming all the annoying and downright infuriating changes imposed on you by Captcha Today is if you remove it from your system. But as this is often not the easiest task to manage, we have put together a detailed removal guide below that should walk you through all the necessary steps.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Page redirects to various sponsored pages that take place without warning, obvious changes to the browser’s settings, unusually large quantities of ads on every site.|
|Distribution Method||Usually bundled with various free programs such as system optimization tools, file converters, low-quality games, etc.|
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.
Please follow all the steps below in order to remove Captcha Today!
How to remove Captcha Today
- First, click the Start Menu on your Windows PC.
- Type Programs and Settings in the Start Menu, click the first item, and find Captcha Today in the programs list that would show up.
- Select Captcha Today from the list and click on Uninstall.
- Follow the steps in the removal wizard.
What we suggest you do first is, check the list of programs that are presently installed on the infected device and uninstall any rogue software that you find there:
- From the Start Menu, navigate to Control Panel ->>> Programs and Features ->>> Uninstall a Program.
- Next, carefully search for unfamiliar programs or programs that have been installed recently and could be related to Captcha Today.
- If you find any of the programs suspicious then uninstall them if they turn out to be linked to Captcha Today.
- If a notification appears on your screen when you try to uninstall a specific questionable program prompting you to just alter it or repair it, make sure you choose NO and complete the steps from the removal wizard.
Remove Captcha Today from Chrome
- Click on the three dots in the right upper corner
- Go to more tools
- Now select extensions
- Remove the Captcha Today extension
- Once you open Chrome, click on the three-dots icon to open the browser’s menu, go to More Tools/ More Options, and then to Extensions.
- Again, find the items on that page that could be linked to Captcha Today and/or that might be causing problems in the browser and delete them.
- Afterwards, go to this folder: Computer > C: > Users > *Your User Account* > App Data > Local > Google > Chrome > User Data. In there, you will find a folder named Default – you should change its name to Backup Default and restart the PC.
- Note that the App Data folder is normally hidden so you’d have to first make the hidden files and folders on your PC visible before you can access it.
How to get rid of Captcha Today on FF/Edge/etc.
- Open the browser and select the menu icon.
- From the menu, click on the Add-ons button.
- Look for the Captcha Today extension
- Get rid of Captcha Today by removing it from extensions
If using Firefox:
- Open Firefox
- Select the three parallel lines menu and go to Add-ons.
- Find the unwanted add-on and delete it from the browser – if there is more than one unwanted extension, remove all of them.
- Go to the browser menu again, select Options, and then click on Home from the sidebar to the left.
- Check the current addresses for the browser’s homepage and new-tab page and change them if they are currently set to address(es) you don’t know or trust.
If using MS Edge/IE:
- Start Edge
- Select the browser menu and go to Extensions.
- Find and uninstall any Edge extensions that look undesirable and unwanted.
- Select Settings from the browser menu and click on Appearance.
- Check the new-tab page address of the browser and if it has been modified by “Captcha Today” or another unwanted app, change it to an address that you’d want to be the browser’s new-tab page.
How to Delete Captcha Today
- Open task manager
- Look for the Captcha Today process
- Select it and click on End task
- Open the file location to delete Captcha Today
- Access the Task Manager by pressing together the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys and then selecting Task Manager.
- Open Processes and there try to find a process with the name of the unwanted software. If you find it, select it with the right button of the mouse and click on the Open File Location option.
- If you don’t see a “Captcha Today” process in the Task Manager, look for another suspicious process with an unusual name. It is likely that the unwanted process would be using lots of RAM and CPU so pay attention to the number of resources each process is using.
- Tip: If you think you have singled out the unwanted process but are not sure, it’s always a good idea to search for information about it on the Internet – this should give you a general idea if the process is a legitimate one from a regular program or from your OS or if it is indeed likely linked to the adware.
- If you find another suspicious process, open its File Location too.
- Once in the File Location folder for the suspicious process, start testing all of the files that are stored there by dragging them to our free online scanner available below.
- If the scanner finds malware in any of the files, return to the Processes tab in the Task Manager, select the suspected process, and then select the End Process option to quit it.
- Go back to the folder where the files of that process are located and delete all of the files that you are allowed to delete. If all files get deleted normally, exit the folder and delete that folder too. If one or more of the files showed an error message when you tried to delete them, leave them for now and return to try to delete them again once you’ve completed the rest of the guide.
How to Uninstall Captcha Today
- Click on the home button
- Search for Startup Apps
- Look for Captcha Today in there
- Uninstall Captcha Today from Startup Apps by turning it off
- Now you need to carefully search for and uninstall any Captcha Today-related entries from the Registry. The easiest way to do this is to open the Registry Editor app (type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter) and then open a Find dialog (CTRL+F key combination) where you have to type the name of the threat.
- Perform a search by clicking on the Find Next button and delete any detected results. Do this as many times as needed until no more results are found.
- After that, to ensure that there are no remaining entries lined to Captcha Today in the Registry, go manually to the following directories and delete them:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Random Directory.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main/Random
Is Captcha Today dangerous?
Browser hijackers generally serve the purpose of generating income for their developers through the display of sponsored messages and paid ads. That’s all. They are not equipped to steal sensitive data, corrupt your system or in any other way cause damage the way that computer viruses can.
However, due to their underhanded installation methods (e.g. program bundles), as well as all the aggressive changes they make to your browsing experience, most experts classify these types of programs as potentially unwanted. And another reason for this is actually the fact that they may even expose your system to various external threats, even highly dangerous ones like Trojans, ransomware viruses and rootkits.
This may happen as a result of being redirected to a web location that happens to have been compromised by hackers, for example. Fake or infected ads are also very common malware distributors, so we would recommend trying to keep your interactions with any types of online advertising content to a minimum. And instead of having to worry about every popup or box messages that comes your way, it’s easier to simply have Captcha Today removed from your computer altogether.
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