*7-day Free Trial w/Credit card, no charge upfront or if you cancel up to 2 days before expiration; Subscription price varies per region w/ auto renewal unless you timely cancel; notification before you are billed; 30-day money-back guarantee; Read full terms and more information about free remover. is a browser hijacking component that, although not physically harming the system, might still pose a danger to the system’s safety and security. There are a lot of people that complain about because of the pushy advertising, popups, and page redirection that the program displays in the browser.
Ads displayed by the virus may lead to phishing pages or pages containing malware

Browser hijackers like straddle the border between malware and a legal software category, despite the fact that they’re mostly harmless in the majority of cases. While there are many types of hijackers out there, some are only software components that alter the user’s homepage or preferred search engine. Complex ones may be downloaded and run as a separate software on the computer, and they can impose a variety of system modifications and even provide a small amount of functionality inside the browser. There are also browser hijackers sites that utilize underhanded approaches, including bogus captchas, to obtain presence in the users’ Chrome or Firefox or Edge browsers in order to generate more visits and get higher rankings in the major search engines. The major purpose of all of these applications, sites, and software components is to earn money via various forms of online advertising, and that is what unites them all. However, the method used to accomplish this purpose raises serious questions about the security of a computer system when a typical hijacker like or Courage Browser is involved.

What is so harmful about

At first glance, seems to be nothing more than a browser add-on that displays advertisements on your screen and makes potentially unwanted modifications to your browser. There are several ways to deal with this issue, but the vast majority of people will be able to just ignore it and continue using their computers and browsers normally. Harming the computer indirectly may not be the intention of the advertising, page redirection and browser modifications, but these changes may be used as entry points for more harmful threats (such as Trojans, ransomware cryptoviruses and spyware) to infiltrate the PC. Besides, the lack of control over the advertising content offered by these browser hijacking applications and sites, and similar apps are a major source of concern.

For instance, ads displayed by may lead to phishing pages or pages containing malware disguised as free applications and apps, especially if you don’t pay close attention and randomly click on what pops-up on your screen. Even though you can usually tell right away that these pages are malicious and should be avoided, some cybercriminals have gone to great lengths to make their harmful pages look as real as possible, and this is when you risk of unknowingly exposing your online privacy and safety to the danger. That’s why, when a hijacker is installed, the only sensible thing to do is remove the program and all of its associated files and settings right away. This will protect you from being tricked into visiting phishing sites or pages that distribute Trojans, Spyware, Ransomware viruses and other types of malicious code.

A comprehensive hijacker uninstallation guide is provided just below this article to assist you in uninstalling from your computer. There is an anti-malware program included that can help you detect and remove all traces of from your computer, preventing the hijacker from automatically re-infecting your system when you restart it.

Type Adware/Browser 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.

Remove Virus

To try and remove quickly you can try this:

  1. Go to your browser’s settings and select More Tools (or Add-ons, depending on your browser).
  2. Then click on the Extensions tab.
  3. Look for the extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
  4. Remove by clicking on the Trash Bin icon next to its name.
  5. Confirm and get rid of and any other suspicious items.

If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed removal guide below.

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


Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).



Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab (the “Details” Tab on Win 8 and 10). Try to determine which processes are dangerous. 


Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

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    After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders. 

    Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections. 


    Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.


    You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them.

    Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:


    Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.


    Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

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

    A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

    hosts_opt (1)

    If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.

    Open the start menu and search for Network Connections (On Windows 10 you just write it after clicking the Windows button), press enter.

    1. Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click  Properties.
    2. The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
    3. Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.

    • After you complete this step, the threat will be gone from your browsers. Finish the next step as well or it may reappear on a system reboot.

    Right click on the browser’s shortcut —> Properties.

    NOTE: We are showing Google Chrome, but you can do this for Firefox and IE (or Edge).


    Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.

    Browser Hijacker Removal Instructions

    ie9-10_512x512  Remove from Internet Explorer:

    Open IE, click  IE GEAR —–> Manage Add-ons.

    pic 3

    Find the threat —> Disable. Go to IE GEAR —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.

    firefox-512 Remove from Firefox:

    Open Firefoxclick  mozilla menu  ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.

    pic 6

    chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove from Chrome:

    Close Chrome. Navigate to:

     C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:

    Rename the Folder to Backup Default

    Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.


    Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.

    Inside, press CTRL and F together and type the threat’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show up this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

    If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!


    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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