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From the malware you will get irritation from its unwelcome browser changes and obstructive ads.

Typically, when a computer is attacked by some form of malware like a Trojan horse, a rootkit or ransomware virus, the invading malicious program usually doesn’t initially give away its presence in any way. Instead, it tries to stay hidden for as long as possible until its nefarious task is finally complete. The same cannot be said about browser hijackers like or  which is one of the reasons why, although apps like this one may seem harmful, they aren’t really regarded as highly dangerous software.

A browser hijacker app is more of an annoying browser add-on for Chrome, Firefox and other browsers than a malicious and harmful malware infection. Once it latches onto the user’s browser, it set a new search engine as default and also change the homepage and new-tab page address in order to spam ads, page redirects, banners and pop-ups inside the browser more easily and effectively. This, in fact, is the main purpose of apps like : to swarm users’ screens with nagging advertisements as a means of making money for the people who have created them.

In many instances, an application of this type may be presented to you as something that you are told you would find useful. For example, a helpful add-on for your browser that can help you make your browsing time safer or better optimized. The problem is that if you are indeed dealing with a hijacker like , there would hardly be any actual usefulness. Instead, all you will probably get from such software is the irritation from its unwelcome browser changes and obstructive ads. The good news, though, is that handling this situation and cleaning your browser isn’t really all that difficult. Still, there are certain things that need to be done before you can be certain that the hijacker is uninstalled and you can learn more about that from the removal guide below.

It’s important to quickly remove once you find it inside your system because otherwise the ads will keep on swarming your screen and obstructing your online activities. In addition to that, we must also tell you that you are advised against clicking on any of the randomly displayed pop-ups, banners, blinking messages and other advertisements that you may see from .

First of all, not all of them may be what they seem. As you likely know, oftentimes, the adverts that you may see online may actually be linked to sites and offers different from what seems to be advertised. This could also apply to the ads that the hijacker delivers on your screen.

And since you can never be sure what the real origins of a given ad are, you should always keep in mind that there is a certain chance that some online adverts could even redirect you to malicious and illegal online locations. And this can, in turn, lead to all sorts of problems like getting your computer invaded by ransomware, worms, Trojans and other viruses. Therefore, keeping a safe distance from the commercial messages and removing as soon as possible is what we would advise you to do.

Type Browser Hijacker
Danger LevelMedium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms Obstructive online advertisements and modifications to the browser that have been imposed without your permission.
Distribution MethodMost hijackers are added to the installers of other software under the Advanced setup settings.
Detection Tool

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Remove Malware

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


    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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