Browser Redirect “Virus” Removal (August 2017 Update)

This page aims to help you remove Our removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.

Programs like are probably some of the least desirable pieces of software that one would want on their computer. They are, fortunately, not as dangerous as viruses or the malicious Trojan-Ransomware based infections, however, a lot of users refer to them as potentially unwanted due to the disturbance they may cause. These programs are also known as browser hijackers and they have some typical behavioral traits that we are going to reveal in the next lines. If your Chrome, Firefox or Explorer has recently been taken over by numerous ads, pop-ups, and banners, or some strange new homepage, toolbar or search engine has been placed in your default browser to redirect all your searches to some unfamiliar sites, then the removal guide below has a solution for you. It contains step-by-step instructions on how to detect and manually uninstall from your system. Doing so will automatically remove the above-described changes and pop-ups and will save you from the entire ads-related disturbance. 

How browser hijackers behave and why

The main focus of browser hijacking programs like is to provide aggressive exposure of various ads, pop-ups, banners, in-text messages and links that tend to redirect users to certain promotional web pages. These programs do that by placing certain ad-generating components inside of the default browser (aka hijacking it), which may change its homepage or search engine or may install some new toolbars.

Obviously, such activity is closely related to someone’s interests to display specific ads and prompt the users to interact with them by clicking or landing on certain pages. The people, who stay behind programs like, are usually online vendors or marketers, who try to aggressively advertise their products and services and make money. They use the browser hijackers as tools, which can bring them more exposure and traffic and also can generate them some income from remuneration methods like Pay-Per-Click or some sponsored ads positioning. The strive for more profits is the main reason why programs like invade the users’ system and flood them with hundreds of nagging ads. However, can such software be dangerous? Let’s see “Virus” Removal

If you are a Windows user, continue with the guide below.

If you are a Mac user, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.

If you are an Android user, please use our Android Malware 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

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.

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

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
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!

Can cause you harm?

There are a few major points that need to be clarified when we speak about programs like and their danger level. Generally, ]browser hijackers are not considered to be potential threats to the users’ system. From a legal point of view, these programs are legitimate tools of the online advertising industry and are not developed to perform harmful activities, which genuine computer viruses and the other forms of malware like Ransomware and Trojans are specialized in.

However, many users often get irritated and disturbed by the hijackers’ activity and actively seek for ways to uninstall the browser hijackers from their system and remove their ads. The reason is that the constant flow of ads, pop-ups, banners and blinking boxes may prevent them to use their browser normally and may interrupt their web surfing on a frequent basis. What is more, the sudden page redirects may often land users on content that they may not want to interact with, or may expose them to some sketchy web pages, which may contain security hazards. Programs like may also have a significant impact on the way the hijacked browser operates and may cause it to crash or become unresponsive to the users’ searches. They may also have access to the latest browsing history records, bookmarks and frequently visited web pages and may use this information to display more ads, matching the users’ searches. In a way, this can be seen as a privacy invasion, which the users don’t really have control over. If they don’t want the hijacker to access their browsing activity, the only way to stop it is to fully uninstall it from their system.

How to remove and prevent such programs in the future?

Even if the browser hijacker is not malicious, for some people, keeping it on their machine can bring them more irritation than some actual benefit. That’s why getting rid of this hijcker and all of its annoyance may be a good decision. The instructions in the removal guide below are easy to follow and contain all the steps that you may need to safely eliminate the browser hijacker from your system. Once you do that, we would advise you to be careful what content you interact with, if you don’t want to catch a similar piece of software again. Generally, the browser hijackers are distributed via software bundles, spam messages, free installers, torrents, freeware, shareware or direct free download links from the web. That’s why, to avoid them, it is best to stick to sites and developers you trust and always check each bundle that you are about to install (via the Custom/Advanced settings) instead of rushing with the standard/automatic installation.


Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms Numerous ads, pop-ups, and banners, or some strange new homepage, toolbar or search engine may take  place inside your default browser. 
Distribution Method Software bundles, spam messages, free installers, torrents, freeware, shareware or direct free download links from the web. 
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.

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