Hotcleaner is an extension for the Google Chrome browser which claims to be a data cleaner. Hotcleaner redirects your browser and displays pop-up ads which could cause even more serious problems.
Hotcleaner is a website, which a number of users have reported as a source of some potentially unwanted and irritating ads, banners, pop-ups, and redirects. This app is a browser hijacker and as such, it may impose some modifications on your Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or on any other browsing program that you might use on your PC. For instance, it may change your default homepage, install a new search engine or a toolbar and start generating an unstoppable flow of ads on your screen with every browsing session. Users who face this browser hijacker may experience frustrating redirection to pages they didn’t really want to visit occuring every time they try to go to a certain site. On this page, we are going to talk about the possible methods of safely removing the unwanted changes and uninstalling the Hotcleaner Virus without risk for your system as well as what the main characteristics of this and other hijacker applications are.
Browser hijackers are a commonly encountered form of software, which can be found all over the Internet. These pieces of software are not malicious and you may find them in different free download websites, freeware or shareware platforms, ads, links, and email attachments. Some hijackers have their official websites, where they could be downloaded and where they are often presented as helpful free tools which are designed to enhance your browsing experience. However, the most common way of distributing this software are the so-called software bundles. The bundles are installation packages of one main program and one or more added (bundled) applications – additional or recommended optional software components which is also where a hijacker might be added.
Fortunately, unlike real computer threats (such as Ransomware, Trojans, Spyware and other viruses) which can sneak inside your system automatically, software like Hotcleaner Virus cannot infect you on its own. In most cases, some form of user agreement (though mostly uninformed) is required for the hijacker to get inside the system.
The Hotcleaner Popup
Hotcleaner is categorized as a malicious browser extension by security experts. Hotcleaner is known to cause browser redirects and different pop-up advertisements in addition to security vulnerabilities.
Many web users make a mistake when they deal with software bundles and other sources of browser hijackers and this is how they usually end up with such software on their computers. They typically don’t pay much attention to the EULA or the detailed installation options. In most of the cases, people simply click on the Automatic/Quick/Standard setup option which normally has the hijacker’s installation enabled by default. By skipping the customization, the users effectively allow the entire bundle to get installed, including the added bundled components. This could be easily avoided if instead of the Automatic installation settings, the users select the Advanced/Custom/Manual installation, carefully check for any pre-selected components and simply disable them.
Hotcleaner is on Chrome
Hotcleaner is known to display pop-up ads which can be annoying. Numerous complaints about Hotcleaner include webpage redirects, unwanted advertisements and unapproved changes to the user’s browser.
As we said above, applications like Hotcleaner Virus are not seen as computer threats. So far, most software that belongs to the hijacker category has been verified as relatively safe and harmless. Most users simply complain from the browsing irritation caused by the page redirects and the intrusive ad-generation but such activity is seen as marketing-oriented rather than as malicious. The purpose of the hijackers is to promote websites, homepages, search engines, and/or different services/products on your screen. Unlike threats such as Ransomware or Trojans, a piece of software like Hotcleaner Malware shouldn’t be able to damage anything on your computer or crash your system.
Still, if your browsing is significantly disturbed, you have all the right to uninstall the hijacker and remove its imposed browser changes. In fact, if you are using your browser on a daily basis for work or leisure, the amount of ads, pop-ups, and redirects you may be forced to deal with may really become unbearable and the elimination of the hijacker may be necessary for your normal and undisturbed web experience. After all, why would you let a piece of software which does not bring you any actual benefit stay on your computer and exploit its resources for nothing other than annoying ad-generation?
To remove Hotcleaner effectively, we suggest you follow the instructions in the Removal Guide below or simply scan your PC with the professional removal tool, which is available on this page.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Annoying ads, pop-ups and sudden redirects may disturb your normal web activity.|
|Distribution Method||Different free software packages, bundles, automatic installers, torrents, shareware sites, freeware platforms, ads, spam.|
Some threats of this type reinstall themselves repeatedly if you don't delete their core files. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to scan for malicious programs. This may save you hours and cut down your time to about 15 minutes.
Hotcleaner Malware Removal
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).
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
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:
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/online-virus-scanner/
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:
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.
- Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click Properties.
- The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
- 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 Hotcleaner 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 Hotcleaner from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
Remove Hotcleaner 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—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!