Captcha Wave Virus

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*Source of claim SH can remove it.

Captcha Wave

Captcha Wave is an application with behavioral traits similar to those of most browser hijackers. Captcha Wave looks like a free and helpful addition to commonly used browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and others. But in reality, Captcha Wave’s activities significantly differ from those that are typical for regular browser add-ons.

Appearance of the Captcha Wave top page
The Captcha Wave Top virus


For instance, instead of providing you with some helpful functionality, may prevent you from visiting your favorite websites and may create a lot of browsing disturbance which may be related to the aggressive generation of ads, pop-ups and different banners, automatic page redirects as well as changes in the browser’s homepage or search engine settings. In most of the cases, the tries to prompt the users into clicking on some pay-per-click links and sponsored messages, which generate revenue for the developers of the intrusive app.

The Captcha Wave Top pop-up redirects
The Captcha Wave Top browser hijacker asking for permissions

The Virus

However, in its attempts to promote third-party content on the browser’s screen, the virus may sometimes display misleading ads or questionable websites, which may try trick users into purchasing low-quality products or potentially unwanted software, as well as redirect them to shady web locations or fake offers. And those, in turn, could be potential carriers of Trojans, ransomware, spyware and other nasty viruses. That’s why it is generally inadvisable to click on the pop-ups and the messages which browser hijackers like the virus (Secure Captcha, Pro Captcha Hub) may generate, especially if you don’t know what’s behind them.

In fact, one of the best ways to prevent yourself from accidentally clicking on something undesirable is to permanently remove all the ads and imposed browser changes and to uninstall their source. That’s why, in the next lines, we will provide you with a detailed removal guide and a trusted automatic removal tool for the fast and effective uninstallation of Captcha Wave.

In most of the cases, the browser hijacker can be mistaken for some sort of nasty virus infection. However, unlike threats such as ransomware or Trojans, which need just one wrong click from your side in order to contaminate the system, applications like Captcha Wave cannot infect your machine on their own. The way they typically get installed in the system is through a method known as software bundling, thanks to the users’ negligence during the installation of new software, add-ons, plugins and updates.

Usually, most people who download and install software don’t pay much attention to the additional or the optional components which may come with a given setup package but if they select the Advanced/ Custom installation options, they may be surprised by the amount of bundled applications, which may be found there. If not disabled manually, these applications usually become part of the system by default when the setup process completes. That’s why it is important that you remove them before you finish with the installation of the application that you desire. If you skip that step and an application like Captcha Wave gets installed by default, then you may need to take some additional steps to uninstall it. We explain these steps in detail in the removal guide above.


NameCaptcha Wave
TypeBrowser Hijacker
Danger LevelMedium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Detection Tool

*Source of claim SH can remove it.

Remove Captcha Wave Virus

Removing a browser hijacker like Captcha Wave from your computer may be a time-consuming process. With the use of these guidelines, however, some users may be able to save themselves some time and effort:

  • Select More Tools (or Add-ons) from the available options in the hijacked browser’s main menu.
  • You should now be able to view the Extensions tab on the left side of the window. Select it.
  • Next, you should remove any extensions that are linked to the hijacking problem and any others you find as potentially unwanted.
  • Restart your browser to check if there are any indicators of browser hijacking after you remove the potentially unwanted add-ons.

You may not need to do anything extra if the instructions above resolve the problem. If they don’t work, however, you’ll need to follow the detailed steps in the Captcha Wave removal guide that you can find next, to get rid of the annoying pop-ups and auto redirects.


Preparation is necessary for the proper removal of Captcha Wave. The first step is to bookmark this page with removal instructions (so you can easily return to it) and then go to the next step. Restart the computer in Safe Mode by following the instructions from this link step by step. After the system reboots, return to this page you’ve saved and continue with the next steps from the guide.



*Source of claim SH can remove it.

In the instructions below, you’ll have to use several key combinations that will save you time and open important system locations. The CTRL + SHIFT + ESC key combination is one of them. Use it to open the Windows Task Manager which will give you information on the processes that are presently running on the computer.

Try to find out which of the listed processes doesn’t look authentic and could be operated by Captcha Wave by clicking on the Processes Tab (the “Details” Tab on Win 8 and 10).

Then select Open File Location from the context menu by right-clicking on the process you believe is connected to the browser hijacker in question.


Then, use the free online virus scanner below to check the files at that place. After scanning, you’ll know what files and processes need to be stopped if they contain harmful code.

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    If a threat is found, end the associated process (Right-click>>>End Process) and remove the flagged files from the File Location folder.


    Next, use Start Key and R in a key combination to start a Run command window. Type appwiz.cpl in it and click OK.


    You’ll see a list of all the programs currently installed on your computer in the Control Panel window that pops up.

    You should look for and uninstall any apps that were recently installed close the time that Captcha Wave appeared on the system, or any apps that you suspect may have introduced the malware. If you need more information about their origin and manufacturer, don’t hesitate to do an online research on reputable cybersecurity sites and act based on the details you’ve found.

    Next, you can use the Windows search field to search for several system apps and open them without losing time. The first one is System Configuration, which you can start simply by typing it in the search field and selecting the first result at the top of the search.

    Click on the Startup tab on the new window, and make sure that any startup items that you are sure are associated with Captcha Wave are unchecked before proceeding. This will disable them from starting when your computer starts. By clicking OK, you are confirming your changes.



    Here you’ll need to use the Start Key and R key in a combination once again. This time,  copy + paste the line below in the Run box and click OK:

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

    The Hosts file will appear right away on your computer’s screen. Search the file’s Localhost section for IP addresses that seem suspicious. An example of what you should be looking for is shown in the image below:

    hosts_opt (1)

    If you see anything suspicious in your file, similar to what is on the example image, please leave a comment below this post with a copy of the IPs in question. We’ll let you know whether they pose a threat after we take a look at them.

    After that, go to the Windows search field, select Network Connections, and then follow the steps below to undo any DNS changes that Captcha Wave has made.

    • Right-click your main network adapter and select Properties.
    • Go to Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP) and click on it. Then select Properties from the buttons at the bottom.
    • Click on Advanced after you’ve selected the option to Obtain DNS server automatically.
    • To remove any rogue DNS that may be present, click on the DNS tab in the Advanced window.
    • Make sure you click OK before you close all the windows to save the changes.


    Not only system locations, but also all browsers should be cleaned properly to prevent browser hijackers like Captcha Wave from reappearing. For this purpose, we’ve included step-by-step instructions to help you delete Captcha Wave from all major browsers on your PC. Even if you’re using a different browser than the one listed, you should be able to follow the steps just fine as they most likely will be similar, if not identical.

    Start with a right-click on the browser’s shortcut icon and click Properties from the options that are displayed.


    Select the Shortcut tab from the top of Properties and then go to Target.

    If you see anything added after .exe, you need to remove it, and then click OK.

    Browser Hijacker Removal Instructions

    ie9-10_512x512  Remove Captcha Wave from Internet Explorer:

    • Launch Internet Explorer and click the gear icon in the upper right corner.

    • Select Manage Add-ons from the drop-down menu that slides down.

    pic 3

    • Disable any Captcha Wave-related extensions or add-ons that you find.

    Select Internet Options from the gear icon menu. You can change your homepage URL if you discover that Captcha Wave has taken over your browser’s homepage address. Click on Apply.

    firefox-512 Remove Captcha Wave from Firefox:

    In general, the Firefox-specific instructions aren’t all that different, although they do have a few minor differences:

    • When Firefox is open, go to the top right corner and click on the three parallel lines icon.

    Once you’ve selected Add-ons from the menu, click on the Extensions tab on the left. Remove any extensions that appear to be problematic or potentially unwanted from the list, just like you did in Internet Explorer.

    pic 6

    chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Captcha Wave from Chrome:

    To complete the next instructions, you need to make sure that Google Chrome is closed down.

    Once it is, go to this location on your computer:

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

    Rename the Folder to Backup Default

    There should be a “Default” folder there. After renaming the specified folder to Backup Default, Restart Chrome to test if the browser hijacking issue has been fixed.


    If there are any Captcha Wave-related entries found in the Registry Editor, you must remove them before you close these removal instructions.

    Registry can be opened by typing regedit in the Windows search field and pressing Enter.

    Once inside, hold down CTRL and F on your keyboard at the same time. In the Find window, enter the browser hijacker’s name and click Find Next.

    Remove all results with that or a similar name by right-clicking and deleting them. Don’t be afraid to keep searching the Registry until you find no more results containing the hijacker’s name.

    You should also manually search each of the directories listed below for suspicious or hijacker-related entries and remove/uninstall anything that you strongly believe is part of the problem:

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

    The professional removal tool listed on this page and the free online virus scanner will both save you a great deal of time and effort, as well as the risk of deleting something important that could affect your system’s stability and performance, especially if you can’t figure out what needs to be deleted or simply want to fix the Captcha Wave issue as quickly as possible.


    About the author


    Violet George

    Violet is an active writer with a passion for all things cyber security. She enjoys helping victims of computer virus infections remove them and successfully deal with the aftermath of the attacks. But most importantly, Violet makes it her priority to spend time educating people on privacy issues and maintaining the safety of their computers. It is her firm belief that by spreading this information, she can empower web users to effectively protect their personal data and their devices from hackers and cybercriminals.

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