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*Source of claim SH can remove it. is a rogue app that attaches itself to browsers, forcing them to market different sites, services, and products by aggressively page-redirecting the user to them. can affect Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and other popular browser and change their homepage and search engine addresses.


There are some applications, known as browser hijackers which are not among the most pleasant pieces of software to have on your computer. A typical example are, Captcha Fair and Expo Captcha– this is also the most probable source of the recent on-screen ads invasion which might have recently been forced on your Chrome, Firefox or IE browser. In today’s article, we are going to tell you more about the way this particular application operates. 

Most users who have this browser hijacker on their PC complain about getting automatically redirected to certain sponsored websites full of difficult-to-remove ads, pop-ups, banners and similar intrusive advertising content without their approval. This behavior of the application normally causes confusion and frequent browsing interruptions which prevents the users from browsing normally. Unfortunately, uninstalling the undesired browser changes and getting rid of the ads can be very frustrating. Normally, in order to remove and all of its related components, you need to either use a professional removal tool or follow certain manual removal steps. That’s why, on this page, we have prepared a detailed removal guide with a number of instructions for those of you who want to deal with the browser hijacker effectively.

Type Browser Hijacker
Danger LevelMedium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms New homepage or search engine settings may be imposed on your default browser. 
Distribution MethodPrograms like this one are typically found inside different software bundles, torrents, free download links, shareware sites, freeware platforms and spam messages. 
Detection Tool

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*Source of claim SH can remove it.

Please follow all the steps below in order to remove!

How to remove

  1. First, click the Start Menu on your Windows PC.
  2. Type Programs and Settings in the Start Menu, click the first item, and find in the programs list that would show up.
  3. Select from the list and click on Uninstall.
  4. 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
  • If you find any of the programs suspicious then uninstall them if they turn out to be linked to
  • 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 from Chrome

  1. Click on the three dots in the right upper corner
  2. Go to more tools
  3. Now select extensions
  4. Remove the 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 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 on FF/Edge/etc.

  1. Open the browser and select the menu icon.
  2. From the menu, click on the Add-ons button.
  3. Look for the extension
  4. Get rid of 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 “” or another unwanted app, change it to an address that you’d want to be the browser’s new-tab page.

How to Delete

  1. Open task manager
  2. Look for the process
  3. Select it and click on End task
  4. Open the file location to delete
  • 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 “” 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.
  • Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
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    • 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

    1. Click on the home button
    2. Search for Startup Apps
    3. Look for in there
    4. Uninstall from Startup Apps by turning it off
    • Now you need to carefully search for and uninstall any 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 in the Registry, go manually to the following directories and delete them:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Random Directory. 
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run/Random
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main/Random

    What are the browser hijackers, like, used for?

    As most other software types, the browser hijackers are also created to generate profits. These pieces of software operate as online advertising applications, which serve the needs of the online marketing industry and generate huge profits from sponsored clicks, page-redirects and website traffic. Through methods like Pay-Per-Click or different sponsored ads positioning, hijackers such as or Captcha Fair try to make money for their developers from the clicks of the users.
    Most of the pop-ups, automatic page-redirects and browser changes are sponsored by certain online advertisers who want you to land on their sites and offers and to eventually make a purchase, create traffic or popularize their products and services. This activity is generally seen as harmless because it is part of the online advertising methods which the marketing industry is using to promote certain things on the users’ screen.The problem with the browser hijackers and their advertising methods, however, occurs when the amount of ads and sponsored redirects interferes with the normal users’ browsing and starts to modify their actual search results.
    Usually, in order to advertise more aggressively, most hijacking pieces of software may try to gain control over the default browser and modify its Internet settings. They may often favor some paid homepage domains, search engine tools, toolbars or add-ons and may try to force you to use them by installing them on your default browser without asking for your permission. These applications may also be able to monitor your browsing habits and thus redirect you to certain relevant ads and offers in order to gain revenue from your clicks.

    What danger may applications like pose and how are they distributed?

    Most browser hijackers are generally considered to be potentially unwanted applications. This is pretty understandable having in mind the irritation and browsing disturbance they can usually cause. However, if we have to compare them to real computer viruses (aka Trojans, worms, spyware, ransomware, etc.) such pieces of software are not that dangerous. An application like, for instance, (apart from the browsing disturbance that we mentioned above, cannot cause any significant damage to your system (at least not directly by itself). It simply does not have malicious code in it.
    A representative of the ransomware virus type or a Trojan horse infection, however, is a real tool for corruption and destruction which can encrypt your data, steal your passwords or damage your OS in such a way that the damage might be irreparable. Nevertheless, despite not being a serious computer threat, the presence of the browser hijacker in the computer may not be desirable. That’s why it is better to keep your system protected than having to find a way to uninstall the hijacker at a later time. The thing is that you may end up with such applications without realizing it, mostly when you download and install some software bundles or updates without customizing their setup configuration. Still, you can easily avoid having your favorite browser hijacked by potentially unwanted applications by using the Advanced/Custom installation options and paying close attention to the setup process of the software you install on your PC.


    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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