Luckwinner.me is a browser hijacker that targets popular web browsing applications like Chrome, Firefox, and others. When integrated with the browser, Luckwinner.me begins to generate large quantities of ads during browsing sessions.
Furthermore, software of this type is also notorious for its ability to tamper with the browser’s default settings. For instance, Luckwinner.me may have changed the homepage of your browser and may have also introduced a new default search engine. On that note, it may have also added new elements to the browser like toolbars, various buttons, etc.
And unless you have the hijacker removed from your computer, these changes will persist in your browser – no matter you do. You can try switching to a different browser or even reinstalling it, and Luckwinner.me will eventually still enforce its settings on you.
In addition to the above, applications of this type are known for generating myriads of popups, banners and various other forms of online ads on your screen, regardless of the websites you visit. These ads can be highly obtrusive as they often block the content of the websites and make it difficult to navigate the web. What’s more, programs like Luckwinner.me usually also trigger spontaneous page redirects to various sponsored web locations, which is another extremely annoying trait typical of hijackers.
All of this may seem like random, chaotic behavior at first. But really it’s strategic and serves a specific purpose. Namely, software like Luckwinner.me, iStart Search Bar, Maincaptchasource is generally designed to earn revenue for its developers via Pay Per Click and Pay Per View remuneration systems. These are popular online business models, the names of which are fairly self-explanatory. And while there’s essentially nothing harmful or illegal about these particular ways of doing business, there are a number of issues associated with them nevertheless.
For one, the crazy bombardment with ads may throw users off and lead them to think that they’ve actually been infected with a virus of some sorts. With that in mind, we’d like to ease any worries you may have in this respect and say that Luckwinner.me is not a virus or malware.
However, the exposure to so many different ads that lead to so many different websites and pages can potentially put you at risk of virus infections. In fact, extremely dangerous malware types such as ransomware and Trojan horse viruses are primarily distributed via what’s known as malvertising or the practices of spreading malicious software with the help of fake ads.
With that in mind, removing Luckwinner.me isn’t only a matter of preserving your sanity, but is actually a necessary means of maintaining your system’s overall security. You don’t want to risk exposing your system to any potential threats, especially when there’s really nothing in it for you.
So without further ado, we’d like to offer you our detailed removal guide below to help you take care of this infection for good. And if you’d like to be extra thorough, you can also make use of the professional removal tool we have available.
Some threats reinstall themselves if you don't delete their core files. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to remove harmful programs for you. This may save you hours and ensure you don't harm your system by deleting the wrong files.
If you want to remove Luckwinner.me as quickly as possible, use the short directions below:
- Open the affected browser and select Settings>>>More Tools/Add-ons>>>Extensions.
- Search for Luckwinner.me in the extensions list and highlight it.
- Click on the Trash Bin icon/the Remove button to remove it.
- Search for other unfamiliar or potentially unwanted extensions and add-ons in your browser and remove them too.
If after you apply these directions you are still having difficulty browsing the web due to Luckwinner.me, please follow the steps in the removal guide below:
Click on the Bookmark icon at the top right corner of your browser. This will save the page with this guide so you can refer back to it after a system restart. Next, follow the steps from the active links and restart your device in Safe Mode. Once you are done, move to the next instructions below.
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
As soon as the computer boots in Safe Mode, press the Start and R keyboard keys simultaneously. In the Run window that appears, type appwiz.cpl and click OK:
A list of all applications that have been installed on your computer will appear on the screen. Search the list for Luckwinner.me and right-click to uninstall it.
If Luckwinner.me doesn’t want to get uninstalled because some processes are running, start the Task Manager (CTRL + SHIFT + ESC) and click on the Processes Tab.
If you are using Windows 8 or 10, and you don’t see a Processes tab, know that in these versions it is called “Details“, so make sure you click on it.
Next, search for Luckwinner.me-operated processes in the list and, as soon as you find any, right-click on them and pick Open File Location.
After that, check the files in that location by scanning them with the free online virus scanner below:
If the files get flagged as dangerous, end the processes they are related to (Right-click >>> End Process Tree) and delete the files and their folders from the File Location.
Note! The scanner above can be used to scan the files of any process that looks unusual or questionable. However, be sure to carefully study every process that you are about to end online as stopping legitimate system processes and deleting their files may cause system dysfunctions.
In the second step open the System Configuration app by typing it in the Windows search field and selecting it. After that, click on the Startup tab and search for Luckwinner.me in the Startup Items column. The browser hijacker may have added itself there so it can start as soon as the system starts. If you find Luckwinner.me in the list, select it and remove its checkmark from the checkbox.
Click OK to save the changes once you are done.
Note! Please make sure that you uncheck only Hijacker-related entries as unchecking anything related to the system from the Startup may affect the operation of some important startup processes.
Aside from messing with your browsers, Luckwinner.me may make some changes to the Registry. That’s why if you want to remove the browser hijacker completely, make sure that you follow these steps:
- Type Regedit in the search field and press Enter to launch the Registry Editor.
- After that press CTRL and F keys simultaneously to open a Find window.
- Type the name of the browser hijacker in the Find window and click on Find Next.
- Delete all the results that are found by right-clicking on them.
Next, manually go to each of the directories below delete/uninstall 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
If you aren’t sure about the directories that need to be removed, feel free to ask us in the comments below this post.
As soon as you remove the entries of Luckwinner.me from the Registry, head to Network Connections. You can open it by simply clicking on the windows search field and typing “Network Connections”. After that, follow the directions below:
- Right-click on the currently used Network Adapter and click on Properties
- Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP) and click on its Properties button below.
- Check if Obtain DNS server automatically is selected and click on Advanced.
- Click the DNS tab and remove everything in the DNS server addresses section.
- Finally, click the OK button to save the changes.
Note! The directions that you will see next explain how to remove Luckwinner.me in Google Chrome. Below we have included also the browser-specific steps for Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. However, the same directions could be applied to other browsers as well.
Remove Luckwinner.me from Chrome:
Right-click on the shortcut icon of the hijacked browser and select Properties.
After that click on the Shortcut tab in the Properties window and go to Target.
If something has been added after .exe, delete it and click OK.
Next, close the Chrome browser and manually navigate to User Data by using this path:
C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data.
In User Data, search for the “Default” folder and change its name to Backup Default. Restart the browser after that.
- Open Internet Explorer and go to
- Select Manage Add-ons:
- If Luckwinner.me has added itself to the add-ons list, select it and click on the Disable button.
- Next, click
once again and select Internet Options.
- If Luckwinner.me has changed your preferred homepage, remove the imposed one and place a URL that you want. Click on Apply to save the changes.
Remove Luckwinner.me from Firefox:
The directions in Firefox are as follows:
- go to the top right corner and click
- Select Add-ons
- Search for Extensions on the left and click it.
- If Luckwinner.me has added itself as an Extension in the browser select that extension and click on Remove.
One last thing that you need to do is to check your Hosts file for signs of possible hacking. Press the Start and R keyboard keys together and copy the command below in the Run window:
Click OK and in the Hosts file search for Localhost. Then, look at the explanations in the image below:
If you see any strange IPs below Localhost that look like the IPs in the example image above, please write us in the comments section below.
Alternatively, if the removal guide and its instructions can’t help you get rid of Luckwinner.me successfully, please use a professional removal tool to deal with the browser hijacker. On this page, you can find a trusted and tested software that can help you scan your computer and remove the unwanted program.