is a browser hijacker, which is one of the most common things out there. When invades your system the first things you are bound to notice is changed homepage, your search requests are redirected to a different engine than the one you had set by default.

The Virus will redirect your searches and display pop up windows

And the final most obvious sign of having such software installed on your PC are the numerous ads that are constantly present on your screen. These may come in various shapes and sizes from popups to banners, to box messages and beyond. You might even experience difficulties closing some of them, as doing so only results in more popups appearing or your page query being redirected to somewhere else.

The logical question that should come to mind is what’s the point of it all? Why all these ads, why this harassment? Well, browser hijackers are used as a marketing tool that helps promote products and services of many different vendors – on the one hand. On the other hand, the developers earn money from those vendors based on the amount of clicks that the generated ads get. This should explain the bizarre placement of the ads within your browser and the incredibly hard time users have with dodging them. But there’s more to it than just random bombardment.

Programs like are actually created with the ability to track your browsing activity and use that information to determine what possible products and services you might be interested in. Then, the next wave of advertising that is to flood the separate user’s browser will be tailored to those specific preferences in the hopes that the ads will indeed ‘speak’ to the user. This practice is often considered a privacy violation and there many users, who feel greatly disturbed by the fact that a program on their computer is able to monitor what they do online. If you’ve had on your system long enough, you may have yourself come to notice the uncanny resemblance a lot of the featured ads bear to your recent search queries. This even people to mistakenly believe they’ve been infected by a virus of sorts and that the hijacker is in fact some form of spyware or malicious piece of programming.

So, is it a virus then?

No, it most certainly isn’t. Despite the rather questionable abilities and behavior, cannot genuinely do any harm to either you or your machine, as opposed to real viruses such as Trojans or ransomware. Nonetheless, you should be very cautious around the ads that it generates, as they may not always be what they seem. It could happen that you click on a misleading link or banner and be redirected somewhere you least expected. Or, if you happen to come across a malvertisement and click on that, then you could end up in some serious trouble by downloading some of the internet’s most dreaded threats. An additional reason why you might want to get rid of the moment you get that chance is related to your PC’s performance. It could start to decline noticeably due to the amount of resources it calls upon for the purpose of generating the many invasive ads. Very soon, depending of course on your computer’s specifications and how you use it, you might start witnessing browser crashes, various malfunctions and a general slow-down of your machine.


Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms The most obvious indications include numerous ads visible throughout the whole browsing experience, substituted homepage and/or search engine.
Distribution Method Program bundles, spam e-mails, infected torrents.
Detection Tool

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware detection tool is free. To remove the infection, you’ll need to purchase the full version.
More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.


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:
Drag and Drop Files Here to Scan
Maximum file size: 128MB.

This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at:

Scan Results

Virus Scanner Result
Clicksgear.comAVG AV

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:

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.  Remove from Internet Explorer:

Open IE, click —–> Manage Add-ons.

Find the threat —> Disable. Go to —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply. Remove from Firefox:

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

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
Clicksgear.comRemove from Chrome:

Close Chrome. Navigate to:

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

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


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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