*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 web browser component that is known to cause a lot of browsing irritation. However, the good news is that is not a dangerous computer virus or a malware such as a Trojan Horse or a ransomware and can be removed without any significant negative consequences from your Chrome, Firefox, Edge or any other web browser.

That being said, it’s always a good idea to be careful with browser hijacker programs like, Main Captcha Top and uninstall before it takes over your default web browser completely because if you let it do so, the program may expose you to dangerous web locations where the chance of meeting Trojans, ransomware and other computer viruses is very real.

From the moment it starts to operate on your computer, typically installs a new search engine into your browser and changes the default homepage address with some sponsored website that spams you with hundreds of pop-ups, banner messages, and click-bait ads the moment you land on it. The role of these changes, which typically aren’t user-approved, is to activate an intrusive page-redirecting and ad-generating activity from on the screen of the main web browser that is aimed at promoting different websites, and their related products, services, and software.

While most browser hijackers are not viruses, they are typically tough to uninstall. And this is what confuses web users a lot.

The Malware

Unlike a regular web browser extension, an app like the malware may not have an uninstall menu from where it can be easily removed. And this makes the successful deletion of all the hijacker-related components a challenging task, especially for unprepared web users.

Since you are on this page, however, we will help you cope with by giving you our removal guide, which includes all of the details you would require to remove the irritating program successfully. The guide provides a series of manual instructions that should be completed in several steps.

However, if you believe your degree of technological expertise would not be enough for you to complete the guide carefully without deleting something else, you still have an option to use professional removal software like the tool that we have introduced in the guide.  It will save you time and nerves and will eliminate the unwanted software within seconds.

The importance of keeping your PC hijacker free.

The  ads irritation, the frequent page-redirects and the unauthorized modifications in the browser’s search engine, homepage and toolbars is typically enough for most users to decide to remove the browser hijacker app without regrets. However, there are a few more good reasons why apps like should generally not be kept on the computer.

The major one of them is linked to the aggressive web promotional activities, which are often not regulated or poorly regulated. A hijacker like may display a number of on-screen banners, pop-ups, redirect messages, click prompts and similar advertising materials that may be dangerous for the end user or may be virus-infected. And if you click on a web link or an add that turns out to be misleading, or you interact with the content of a sketchy website that the hijacker has redirected you to, you may land your computer with a terrifying malware, like a Trojan Horse virus or a file-encrypting ransomware infection. So, compared to that risk,  it is much easier to get rid of the hijacker itself and prevent a possible encounter with sketchy web materials.

TypeBrowser Hijacker
Danger LevelMedium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Detection Tool

Remove Malware

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 Firefox, click 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!


    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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