Captcha Wizard Virus

*Source of claim SH can remove it.

Captcha Wizard

Captcha Wizard is categorized as a browser hijacker by security experts. Captcha Wizard is known to cause browser redirects and different pop-up advertisements in addition to security vulnerabilities.

Captcha Wizard
The Captcha Wizard virus will display pop up ads and notifications

Captcha Wizard could be quite an annoying application for those who are not familiar with the specifics of its nature. This piece of software is a typical browser hijacker, which can integrate with your Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or any other browser and can cause some potentially unwanted changes to the way you normally surf the web. For instance, Captcha Wizard may change your default search engine or homepage, it may install a new toolbar, or add an add-on to the browser, it might also be able to start an automatic page-redirecting service that leads you to different unfamiliar pages every time you search for something. As soon as this hijacker becomes part of your system, you may also notice an enormous amount of ads, pop-ups, banners, and commercial messages on your screen that are hard to remove and are extremely irritating.

In the text below, you can learn more about what this software can do, what it is used for, how dangerous it could be and, of course, how to uninstall it without any risk for your system. In fact, if Captcha Wizard is really causing you a lot of disturbance, you may be interested in taking a look at the Removal Guide, which our experts have posted further down. It contains step-by-step instructions for the successful detection and elimination of the browser hijacker, which, if followed correctly, can save you from the nagging page-redirecting and browser changes once and for all.

Captchawizard

Normally, any software like Captchawizard that can impose certain changes on your computer or initiate some strange activities without your approval should be regarded as undesirable. Captchawizard could definitely fall into browser hijacker qualification because the way it typically operates can really lead to some potentially unwanted modifications in the users’ browsing settings.

Captcha Wizard Top

Applications such as Captcha Wizard Top usually try to manipulate people’s browsing without their permission by integrating some ad-generation and page-redirection scripts inside their default browsing apps. The purpose of these actions, however, is typically not malicious. Pieces of software like Captcha Wizard Top are seen as advertising tools which their creators use for gaining revenue from remuneration methods such as Pay-Per-Click.

Such applications are programmed to display sponsored ads and to promote certain web pages, products and services on users’ screens with the idea of accumulating clicks and traffic.

Unlike real computer threats such as Ransomware, Trojans, Spyware or Worms, browser hijackers have no intention of causing harm to your system, corrupting your software or encrypting your files. They simply seek to promote something and generate revenue for their developers by making you click on various paid ads. Despite not having malicious intentions, however, Captcha Wizard and the applications of its type like Secure Captcha, can make the users’ browsing experience really unpleasant and may eventually lead to some more serious problems related to the computer’s safety. For instance, applications like these may cause issues such as freezing, unresponsiveness or crashing of the affected browser and they may eat up a fair share of your system’s resources with their ads-generation activities. In addition, the hijackers’ redirecting service may expose users to some unfamiliar and/or questionable web locations, the safety of which cannot be confirmed. For this reason, it is not excluded that you may bump into some nasty virus or a Ransomware or Trojan horse transmitter by clicking on the randomly generated content on your screen.

This is why we generally advise our readers to stay away from the ads that applications like Captcha Wizard may display and also consider uninstalling the software as a preventive measure. Of course, the irritation from the constant browsing interruption itself is a good enough reason to remove the browser hijacker, so no need to wait for it to take over your web surfing. You can use the instructions in the removal guide below and eliminate the unwanted application immediately.

Simple ways to keep hijackers away from your PC

If you don’t want to clutter your machine with intrusive and annoying applications such as Captcha Wizard, you should follow some basic safety rules.

First of all, make sure you do not interact with sketchy content on the Internet (ads, pop-ups, spam messages, intrusive sites) and do not download apps from non-reputed software developers, from sketchy torrent platforms or from obscure free download links and freeware or shareware sites. In most of the cases, potentially unwanted applications can be found in such locations, so keep this in mind. If you really need to install something from such sources, always use the Advanced/Manual/Custom options of the installer, carefully read any small text that suggests you install an “additional” application or some “recommended” software and customize the installation accordingly.

Another good piece of advice is to stick legal and reputed websites and avoid pirated content, illegal web locations and too-good-to-be-true offers which may often be a scam and may serve as Trojan horse or Ransomware transmitters. Finally, having a good antimalware tool is highly recommended as it can keep viruses and other undesirable applications at bay, so invest in one if you don’t have such a software program and would like some extra system protection.

NameCaptcha Wizard
TypeBrowser Hijacker
Detection Tool

*Source of claim SH can remove it.

Remove Captcha Wizard Virus

To remove Captcha Wizard, here is what needs to be done: 

  1. Start by searching for a recently-installed program with which the hijacker may have been bundled, and uninstall said program.
  2. Disable any processes in the Task Manager that may be from Captcha Wizard.
  3. Remove any hijacker entries from the Hosts file, the Registry, and the list of Startup items.
  4. Remove Captcha Wizard extensions and data from all your browsers.

 Carefully read the next instructions, as they detail the exact way in which the removal steps must be performed. 

Detailed Captcha Wizard Removal Guide Before starting the guide, disconnect the computer from the Internet to stop the communication between Captcha Wizard and its creators’ server. 

Step 1

*Source of claim SH can remove it.

Open Start Menu, find the Control Panel in it, open it, and go to Uninstall a Program

Look for any recently added program that is unknown, suspicious, or comes from a questionable site and may have had the hijacker bundled with it. If you find anything like that, uninstall it using the Uninstall window from the top. During the uninstallation process, do not allow the uninstaller to keep any data related to the program on your computer. 

Uninstall1

 Step 2

 WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING! 

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Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to go to the Task Manager and then click Processes. Look for entries labeled Captcha Wizard or anything else with a strange or unfamiliar name that also has high CPU or memory usage. If there’s a Captcha Wizard process, right-click it, select the File Location option, then End the process and delete the folder that opens. 

Task Manager1

If you didn’t find any processes named Captcha Wizard, but there are other ones you deem suspicious, look them up to see if there’s information about them being harmful. Also, use the scanner below to see if any of the files in their file location folders are infected – if infected files are found, this means the process in question is rogue, and it must be stopped, and its folder must be deleted. 

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    Task Manager2

     

    Step 3 Boot into Safe Mode – this should make it impossible for Captcha Wizard to start any of its rogue processes again. 

    Step 4 Search for the following app in the Start Menu search bar and open it:

    • msconfig

    In it, go to Startup, where you will see a list of items that start when the system boots up – anything that looks related to Captcha Wizard as well as anything you don’t recognize must be disabled, so uncheck the questionable items and click OK

    Startup1

     

    After that, use the Start Menu again to search for ncpa.cpl, open the app, and then right-click the icon of the network that you use the most often. Select its Properties, then click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) from the list, and click the next button labeled Properties

    After that, check “Obtain an IP address automatically” if it’s not unchecked and move on to Advanced. There, click the DNS tab, remove anything that may be listed below “DNS server addresses, in order of use” and click OK on every window. 

    Dns1

    Now go to C: > Windows > System32 > drivers > etc, double-click on Hosts, and select Notepad. Copy what’s below Localhost, paste it in the comments section, and wait for a reply from us. If Localhost is the last thing written in that file, proceed to Step 5

    Hosts2

    Step 5 Start this step by searching for the regedit.exe app in the Start Menu search bar and opening it. You will likely be asked for Admin permission to open the program, so select Yes. When the Registry Editor window appears, click Edit and then Find type the hijacker name, and search the Registry for items related to it. If a result gets found for Captcha Wizard , delete it, repeat the search to see if there are more, and delete them as well. 

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is regedit2-1.png

     

    When the search stops yielding any results for Captcha Wizard , manually locate the following directories in the left panel of the Editor. 

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Random Directory
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main

    See if there are any oddly-named items there that seem to have randomly generated names such as this “2389rd928jr984g98udj98eug984ruj8f92jef98r4tj” and tell us about them in the comments – we will let you know if they need to be deleted.

    Step 6 Right-click the icon of the main browser, then click Properties and then the Shortcut tab. Check if there’s anything in the Target field written after “.exe” and if yes, delete it and click OK. Following that, start the browser, click the menu icon (it should be in the top-left or top-right corner), and click Extensions (or Add-ons in some browsers). In the Chrome browser, the user must first select More Tools from the menu and then Extensions from the sub-menu. Eliminate the Captcha Wizard extensions and/or any other questionable or unknown extensions that may be there by first disabling them and then clicking on their respective Uninstall/Remove buttons.

     

    Chrome2

    Go to the menu again and now click Options/Settings

    Chrome3

     

    Access the Privacy and Security options (click on Advanced if you don’t initially see the Privacy and Security button) and click on Clear browsing data/Choose what to clear (for Microsoft Edge users). 

    Chrome4

    Check all the boxes, leaving only the Passwords one empty, click Clear data, and wait for the deletion to complete. 

    Chrome5

    Remember to do everything from the current step with every browser on your computer. 

    If you are still having problems with Captcha Wizard If Captcha Wizard is not going away despite all your efforts to remove it, one possible reason for this is the presence of a Rootkit or a Trojan that is allowing the hijacker to remain active or to return to the computer the moment you uninstall it. For this reason, it’s recommended to try to delete Captcha Wizard with a specialized removal tool that can also take care of any other rogue software that may be hidden in the system. We recommend the powerful anti-malware program that is posted on this page as a good option for deleting Captcha Wizard and cleaning your computer from any additional malware – if you are interested in giving it a try, you can find it linked in the guide above. 

    What is Captcha Wizard?

    Captcha Wizard is a potentially unwanted software component that attaches itself to the computer’s main browser in order to advertise certain sites, services, or software in it. Captcha Wizard is also capable of tracking your browsing activities and later using the gathered information to display targeted ads. Unlike stealthier forms of unwanted software (e.g. Trojans, Spyware, Ransomware, etc.), browser hijackers don’t try to keep their presence in the system hidden to the user. On the contrary, as soon as the unwanted software gets added to the browser, it begins changing the latter in order to better facilitate the generation of paid page redirects and ads that is to come. Captcha Wizard will likely add a new starting page to the browser and/or change the default search engine with another one (that’s likely fake or of low quality). This is all done with the goal to advertise more effectively and to get the user exposed to as much promotional content as possible. In doing so, however, Captcha Wizard may also expose the system to unsafe content.

     
    Is Captcha Wizard dangerous?

    Captcha Wizard is not as dangerous as Trojans, Ransomware, or other high-danger threats, but it is still regarded as an unsafe and undesirable app. If Captcha Wizard is in the browser, uninstalling it as quickly as possible is recommended in order to keep the PC safe. The main danger that comes from Captcha Wizard is the content it may try to promote. Most browser hijackers like it would advertise any site, including ones that may be unsafe and that may contain harmful components. Therefore, if you end up clicking on a hijacker-generated ad or get automatically page-redirected by Captcha Wizard, your computer may get targeted by hackers and scammers and the system may get infected with malware (without you even realizing it). Also, another issue worth mentioning is that the data collected by the hijacker from your browser may get sold to third parties that may have malicious intentions and could use the acquired data in harmful ways. In short, even though this hijacker is most likely not able to directly inflict damage on your computer or files, it may end up being the starting point of a much more serious problem.

     
    How to remove Captcha Wizard? 

    To remove Captcha Wizard, you need to delete any app that may have allowed the hijacker to enter your browsers and then perform a meticulous clean-up of the computer. Lastly, to remove Captcha Wizard, you must remember to delete any rogue components and data from your browsers. Step 1: Check the Uninstall a Program list in the Control Panel for a recently installed program or app that may have secretly brought the hijacker into your PC, and uninstall that program/app. Step 2: using the Task Manager, locate any processes that may be from Captcha Wizard, delete their file location folders, and then quit those processes. Step 3: Go to the Hosts file and the Startup items list and clean them from anything that may have been added to them by Captcha Wizard. Also, restore any unwanted changes made in the DNS settings. Step 4: Use the Registry Editor to find rogue components in the system Registry and delete what you may find. Step 5: Clean each browser (starting with the main one) from hijacker apps, then restore your preferred starting page and search engine, and lastly clear the browsing data.

     


    About the author

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    Brandon Skies

    Brandon is a researcher and content creator in the fields of cyber-security and virtual privacy. Years of experience enable him to provide readers with important information and adequate solutions for the latest software and malware problems.

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