Higher Captcha-Settle Virus

Higher Captcha-Settle

Higher Captcha-Settle acts as browser add-on and is designed to generate online ads in the browsers of web users. Due to its invasive nature, Higher Captcha-Settle is categorized as a browser hijacker. As you can tell from the name of this type of software, it basically hijacks your Chrome, Firefox, Edge or other browsing program and takes over its settings in order to turn it into your very own, personal browsing platform.

higher captcha-settle

The Higher Captcha-Settle virus will display pop up ads and messages

Though its activities can sometimes come across as suspicious and nearly always appear to be very annoying, we should calm you down right now and point out that this is not a malicious program. Browser hijackers like Higher Captcha-Settle, Poshukach, Hurawatch are classified as potentially unwanted at worst, but that’s about it. This isn’t some virus that will try to steal your files or corrupt your whole system.

Higher Captcha-Settle is primarily there in order to get you to see (and preferably also click on) as many popups, banners, in-text links and other ads as possible. Furthermore, if it’s set to promote certain pages, it will be sure to redirect you to them smack in the middle of your browsing session. And if the promoted website happens to also be a search engine, that you can be sure it will set it as your default one and maybe even as the browser homepage. And to top it all off, you won’t be able to do anything about these intrusive changes to your settings until you’ve actually removed Higher Captcha-Settle from your system. But since it doesn’t come with a designated uninstallation button like most software does, you will have to be a little smarter about this. And we have a special removal guide designed to aid you in the process – located just below this post.

The Highercaptcha-Settle Virus

Yes, we know the Highercaptcha-settle virus is a browser hijacker and we know that it generates ads. But then what? Well, the things is that the developers of programs like the Highercaptcha-Settle virus tend to earn revenue from all the paid ads and sponsored messages that appear on your screen. And typically this activity is tied to remuneration systems such as Pay Per Click and Pay Per View.

But this is what breeds other processes and activities that aren’t directly visible to the end user. For instance, you may not know that browser hijackers can often track your browsing patterns and keep tabs on the type of content you interact with online. This data is stored and analyzed in order to optimize the flow of ads on your specific screen. That way, when you’re presented with products and service according to your personal preferences, you will be more likely to click on their ads and maybe even purchase them.

However, this may go against your understanding of privacy, especially if you didn’t knowingly consent to the installation of Higher Captcha-Settle in the first place. And on top of that, it won’t help knowing that all of this collected information could easily be sold on to other parties for marketing purposes and you can find yourself directed with tailored ads from each and every direction.


Name Higher Captcha-Settle
Type Browser Hijacker
Detection Tool

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Remove Higher Captcha-Settle Virus

Higher Captcha-Settle may have added some potentially unwanted extensions in your browser without your approval. If this is the case, a quick way to stop the browser hijacking disturbance is to find and remove these extensions with the help of the quick instructions below:

  1. Open the browser that has been hijacked and click on its main menu icon.
  2. Then, select More Tools (or Add-ons) from the slide-down list of options.
  3. Next, search for a tab called Extensions and click it.
  4. In it, search for Higher Captcha-Settle or other extensions that you believe are linked to the browser hijacker and its activity.
  5. If you find any, click on the Trash Bin/Remove button to remove them.

After you do this, check how the browser operates and if you still are seing ads, pop-ups and redirects powered by Higher Captcha-Settle during your browsing, please follow the more detailed Higher Captcha-Settle removal guide below.


In the first step, you will need to do some preparation to ensure the successful removal of Higher Captcha-Settle and all of its traces.

We highly recommend that you do a system reboot in Safe Mode (if you don’t know how to do that, use the guidelines from the link) and then get back to this page to complete the guide.

Since you will need to restart the computer, it is also a good idea to first bookmark this page in order not to lose it and easily come back to the instructions after the system restarts.



Once in Safe Mode, it is time to carefully search the Windows Task Manager for processes that are related to Higher Captcha-Settle which need to be stopped. For that, simply press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC and in the Task Manager window click on the the Processes Tab (the Processes tab is called “Details” on Win 8 and 10).

If you detect a process that grabs your attention with unusual behavior (higher than normal CPU or RAM usage), a strange username, or the Higher Captcha-Settle name, highlight it with a right-click on your mouse and select the Open File Location option.


After you do that, you should be able to see the files related to that process. A quick way to check if they are dangerous is to scan them with our free online virus scanner:

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    If the scan results show that there is a dangerous code in the scanned files, end the process that is related to them (right-click on the process>>>End Process) and delete the files and their folders. 


    Next, close the Windows Task Manager and go to your Desktop.

    Press the Windows and R keyboard keys together and type appwiz.cpl in the Run window that appears on the screen. Next, click OK to execute the command.


    In the Control Panel window that opens, search for applications that could potentially be linked to Higher Captcha-Settle and could have brought the browser hijacker onto your system. If you find such applications, it is important to uninstall them in order to prevent the hijacker from being reinstalled after you complete this guide.

    Once you are sure that there are no apps that could introduce Higher Captcha-Settle in the system again, close the window and go to the Windows search bar located in the Start menu.

    Type msconfig in the search field and open the result:


    In the Startup tab, remove the checkmark for any Startup Items that you believe are related to Higher Captcha-Settle and can not be associated with any of the legitimate programs and processes that are running on your system.  If you are unsure about a given entry, it doesn’t harm to do a quick research online to gain more information about it.


    Open a new Run window (press Windows and R keyboard keys together) and copy/paste this line in it:

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

    Click on the OK button and this will open a notepad file named “Hosts”. Scroll down to Localhost in the text and check if some suspicious IP addresses have been added there.

    hosts_opt (1)

    In case you detect anything suspicious that indicates a possible hacking, please leave us a comment with a copy of the IPs in question so we can take a look at them and advise you on what to do.

    Next, open Network Connections from the Start menu (or simply type it in the windows search bar) and right-click on the Network Adapter that you are currently connected to.

    Once you do that, select Properties.

    Next, highlight the  Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP) option and click on the active  Properties button at the bottom (image 2).

    Set the DNS to Obtain DNS server address automatically and click on Advanced.

    In the Advanced window (image 4), select the DNS tab and remove everything from the DSN server addresses field.

    Before you close the window, click OK to save your changes.



    If you can’t wait to remove Higher Captcha-Settle from your browser, this is the step that will show you how to do that. We need to remind you, however, that if you have more than one browser on your computer, you should check them all for browser hijacker traces and potentially unwanted extensions. The instructions below cover that in detail.

    Note! Google Chrome is used only for demonstration purposes here and the next instructions should be applied to any other browser that is installed on your system. More browser-specific instructions can be found a few lines below.

    Start with a right click on the browser’s shortcut icon and select Properties.


    In Properties click Shortcut.

    Next, in Target, make sure you remove remove everything after .exe (if there is anything that has been added).

    Browser Hijacker Removal Instructions

    ie9-10_512x512  Remove Higher Captcha-Settle from Internet Explorer:

    Launch IE, click  IE GEAR and select Manage Add-ons.

    pic 3

    In the Add-ons list, disable any add-ons that have a relation to Higher Captcha-Settle and its hijacking activity. Also, do not hesitate to disable add-ons that you don’t use and just sit there. If you find that you really need a particular add-on after some time, you can easily install it again.

    Next, go to IE GEAR and click on Internet Options.

    If the homepage address has been replaced with a URL that you don’t trust or don’t want to be your default homepage, change it and click on Apply.

     Remove Higher Captcha-Settle from Firefox:

    Start Firefox, go top right and click  mozilla menu . Next, select Add-ons from the slide-down list of options.

    Once in Add-ons, click on the Extensions tab on the left to view all extensions that are presently installed in the browser. Disable and remove anything that you don’t plan on using in the near future, as well as any extensions that are clearly linked to your browsing disturbance.

    pic 6

    Remove Higher Captcha-Settle from Chrome:

    Close Chrome if it is open and navigate to this location:

     C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. 

    Search for a folder called “Default” and select it:

    Rename the Folder to Backup Default

    Change the name of the selected Default folder to to Backup Default and save it. After you are done, restart Chrome to see if Higher Captcha-Settle is gone or not.


    Some browser hijackers, including Higher Captcha-Settle, may add potentially unwanted entries in the Registry of your computer. That’s why if you want to ensure that all traces of the intrusive program have been removed from your system after you complete this guide, you need to search the Registry and delete any results that are clearly related to the hijacker.

    The quickest way to do that is to type Regedit in the windows search bar and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.

    Next, press CTRL and F keys from the keyboard together and write the name of the browser hijacker in the Find dialog box. Click on the Find Next button and if anything related to the unwanted program shows up in the search results, right-click on it and delete it.

    When no more Higher Captcha-Settle-related results show up, manually visit the directories listed below and delete/uninstall anything linked to the hijacker that is found in them:

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory.
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

    Attention! Changes and deletions in the Registry hide risk for the normal operation of your OS. Please use the recommended professional removal tool on this page if you are unsure about the entries that need to be deleted or uninstalled. In this way, you will avoid an involuntary corruption of your applications and OS-related processes. If any questions arise during any of the steps above, feel free to share them with us in the comments below and we will do our best to answer them quickly.

    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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