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*Source of claim SH can remove it.


CaptchaClean is a browser hijacking program that some users find potentially unwanted and seek to remove. What CaptchaClean does is, it typically makes some changes to the user’s default browser (be that Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or another one) and launch a campaign of intrusive advertising and page redirection without first obtaining permission for that.
The virus will display pop up ads and messages

If you allow a program like that to be installed on your personal computer, there is a high probability that the configurations of your web browser will be entirely altered. A new homepage and a new default search engine may be introduced, both of which may be connected with certain websites that are unfamiliar to you and that are sponsored by third parties. If this occurs, you should be aware of the potential implications of these changes.

The most visible effect of a browser hijacker’s takeover of your browser is that it may show various advertisements in the form of banners, pop-up windows, and other types of promotional material that are unrelated to the website that you are now on. As a result of this, you may begin to suffer consistent ad interruptions in the middle of your web browsing sessions or when you least expect it. What is more, these ads can be hard to close, making it impossible to ignore them until you actually click on them.

This activity could easily go on the nerves of most users, to the point that some of them may even start to think that a virus has taken control of their computer.

In reality, browser hijackers like, Pulpysearch, “Home Search Design” do not put the system in direct danger and do not pose the same level of risk to your computer as other types of malicious software, such as ransomware and Trojan Horses. Nevertheless, may alter the settings of your browser in order to show certain sponsored adverts for products, services, and websites, the reliability of which may not be verified.

For instance, it is possible that you may be prompted into clicking on advertisements, which may then direct you to websites that may be fraudulent and offer products, services, and software of questionable quality. Additionally, it is likely that some of the adverts that are randomly shown might be hacked or infected with computer viruses, including Trojans, Ransomware, Spyware and other threats.

Of course, it is not the intention of the developers who have built the browser hijacker to harm users in any way when they show these advertising; rather, their goal is to earn pay-per-click money through the clicks on the ads shown. Despite this, as you can see, there are a number of reasons why you should remove the intrusive ad-generating software as soon as possible and undo any modifications that it may have done to your system.

If you don’t, a hijacker like CaptchaClean may randomly redirect you to a variety of different sponsored websites, and this always comes with the risk of inadvertently navigating to a website that may not be secure and could collect private and sensitive information about you.  It is for this reason that uninstalling the software would lower the possibility of you being exposed to ads and sites that may contain potentially harmful content.

In most cases, you may need specialized software or a step-by-step removal guide like the one that is provided below in order to deal with CaptchaClean effectively. Both of these options are offered for your convenience and the good thing is that, if you use them, you will be able to easily delete any undesired changes that have been made to your browser without your permission.

TypeBrowser Hijacker
Detection Tool

anti-malware offerOFFER Read more details in the first ad on this page, EULA, Privacy Policy, and full terms for Free Remover.

*Source of claim SH can remove it.

Remove CaptchaClean Virus

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

As an alternative to going through all the steps outlined in this article, here’s a shortcut that will help you get rid of CaptchaClean more quickly:

1. Navigate to the main menu of the hijacked browser (typically found in the button top right).

2. Select More Tools/Add-ons from the drop-down options.

3. Next, select the Extensions button/tab from.

4. You should now be able to see the Extensions page. It is recommended that you uninstall any extensions that are associated with CaptchaClean or any extensions that are causing redirection or ad interruptions from your browser by clicking the “remove” or “trash bin” button.

5. After you do that, start a new browsing session and see whether uninstalling the extensions that you have identified as problematic has made any difference.

If the problem with CaptchaClean has been resolved, there are no more actions to be taken. If the advertising, redirections, and other hijacker-induced browser alterations have not been resolved after deleting the browser extension from your computer, however, you will need to follow our extensive step-by-step instructions below.


To begin, we must notify you that your computer and browser will need to be restarted in order to complete the next steps. Thus, we recommend that you save this page as a bookmark in your browser before proceeding to the next stage in this process. You’ll be able to swiftly return to it and pick up where you left off if you do this now. Or, you may choose to view the instructions on another device if it is more convenient for you.

Following up on our recommendation for a computer restart, we recommend that you use the instructions on this link to restart your computer in Safe Mode. The browser hijacker may be much easier to detect and delete once you’ve done this, since Safe Mode allows you to run just the most critical applications and processes at the same time, giving you more chance to look for anything unexpected or additional that shouldn’t be operating otherwise.



*Source of claim SH can remove it.

It is necessary to open the Windows Task Manager as the second step in this guide (press CTRL, SHIFT, and ESC at the same time) so you can access the processes that are currently running on your system. Next, under the Processes tab, check for processes with unusual names, processes that take a lot of CPU or RAM, or processes that are responsible for activities such as ad generation or page redirection, among other things. Processes with CaptchaClean in their names can also be searched for.

When you right-click on a suspicious process, you will be able to select Open File Location from the quick menu and view its files.

Malware Start Taskbar 1

Scan the files you’re looking at through a trustworthy online virus scanner to make sure they’re not contaminated with anything. If you don’t have access to a scanner, the free scanner offered below will save you a great deal of time and frustration:

Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users.
This file is not matched with any known malware in the database. You can either do a full real-time scan of the file or skip it to upload a new file. Doing a full scan with 64 antivirus programs can take up to 3-4 minutes per file.
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    This scanner is based on VirusTotal's API. By submitting data to it, you agree to their Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, and to the sharing of your sample submission with the security community. Please do not submit files with personal information if you do not want them to be shared.

    The best course of action to take if your scanner finds a threat in one or more of the scanned files is to remove those files from their original file location folder. This, however, may not be achievable if the process is still running in the background. For this reason, you must return to the Processes tab and right-click on the currently selected process, then choose End Process from the shortcut menu. After that, you may go back to the folder where the files you wish to delete are located and delete them.


    Press the Windows and R keys at the same time to open the Run window, as seen in the screenshot below. After entering appwiz.cpl into the Run box, hit the Enter key to execute the command:


    In a new Control Panel window, you should see a list of all the programs that have been installed on your computer. Look for new apps that may be associated with the installation of CaptchaClean on your computer. To save time, you may sort the list by the date the software was installed. Afterwards, you should delete any hijacker-related software that you discover in there by highlighting it with the cursors and pressing the Uninstall button at the top of the window. Then, when the potentially unwanted apps have been uninstalled, close the Control Panel window.

    Next, navigate to the Windows search field and carefully type msconfig in it, followed by the Enter key on your keyboard. The search field in Windows 10 is represented by the magnifying glass symbol at the bottom of the screen, next to the Windows Start menu button.

    In System Configuration, click the Startup tab, so you can search for and disable (by removing the checkmark) any startup items that are related with CaptchaClean. In this way, the hijacker will not be able to start running its processes as soon as the computer is switched on.



    *Source of claim SH can remove it.

    The Windows and R keys should be pressed at the same time once again to open up a new Run window. Afterwards, in the text area, enter the following line:

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

    A new Notepad document with the title Hosts should appear on the screen of your computer after you’ve hit the OK button. Search for the phrase “localhost” in the file’s text, and check if any suspicious IP addresses are included in the section below.

    Be cautious about deleting IP addresses that you aren’t certain about. In order to receive assistance, the best course of action is to write to us and provide a copy of any strange IP addresses you come across in the comments area below this page.

    hosts_opt (1)

    After that, follow the instructions outlined below very carefully in order to reverse any DNS alterations that CaptchaClean may have made to your settings:

    • To begin, open Network Connections by typing “network connections” in the Windows search field.

    • Right-click on the network adapter you’re currently using and select Properties from the list of available options.

    • With your cursor, highlight the Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP) and click the Properties button to open up the Properties window.

    • Select Obtain DNS server address automatically from the options and then click the Advanced button.

    •Remove any malicious DNS entries from the DNS tab of the newly opened window.

    Your settings should be saved as soon as you select the OK button, and you should move on to the next step.



    Begin by typing Regedit in the Windows search field and pressing Enter. This will launch the Registry Editor.

    By hitting the CTRL and F keys at the same time, you can open a Find dialog box. In order to locate the browser hijacker that is causing you problems, type its name in the Find box and then click Find Next. This will initiate a search for entries in the register that are having the same name as CaptchaClean. Any entries that are detected should be deleted by right-clicking on them. Repeat the search as many times as required until there are no more results, which may take some time.

    As soon as the Find function in the Registry does not return any more results, use the left panel of the Editor to manually navigate to each of the places listed below:

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

    It’s important to note that removing Registry entries might cause issues for your computer and its applications if done incorrectly. You should therefore use professional removal software, such as the one offered on this page, or another trustworthy tool of your choice in order to avoid causing damage to your computer’s software.


    The majority of people, while dealing with the CaptchaClean hijacker, concentrate solely on removing it from their primary browser, failing to search the other browsers on their system for any hijacker-related modifications that also need to be removed. The last step will address this common mistake and demonstrate how to remove the browser hijacker from some of the most popular web-browsing programs available today.

    Using the right-click menu on the browser shortcut icon, select Properties from the drop-down menu that appears.


    Then, in the Properties window, choose Shortcut from the top tabs.

    Please make sure that no other text is entered in the Target text field after .exe, and then click the OK button.

    Browser Hijacker Removal Instructions

    ie9-10_512x512  Remove CaptchaClean from Internet Explorer:

    As soon as Internet Explorer is launched, click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the window. After that, go to Manage Add-ons and make sure that none of the add-ons or extensions that are related with CaptchaClean are enabled.

    pic 3

    By clicking the gear icon a second time, you can see if anything has changed in Internet Options. If a sponsored URL has been placed to your homepage without your knowledge, you should delete it immediately and add a homepage of your liking. The Apply button should be selected when you’re ready.

    firefox-512 Remove CaptchaClean from Firefox:

    Start Firefox, then click on the main menu button (three vertical lines), then on Add-ons, then >>Extensions.

    Look for and uninstall CaptchaClean and any other extensions that are interfering with your browser experience within the Extensions tab.

    pic 6

    chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove CaptchaClean from Chrome:

    Close Chrome and manually browse to the following system location:

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

    By right-clicking on the Default folder and selecting Rename, you should rename it to Backup Default. After that, re-open Chrome.

    Rename the Folder to Backup Default

    When manual removal methods prove too difficult, or when you need to get rid of CaptchaClean and any related files as fast as possible, you may save time and effort by using the professional removal program available on this website, which can be downloaded for free. If you wish to verify particular files that appear to be suspicious, you may use our free online virus scanner to do the necessary checks. For any issues or concerns, please leave a comment below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks for visiting!

    About the author

    Lidia Howler

    Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.

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