The flashy and colorful online ads that we are all forced to get exposed to nowadays every time we go on the Internet aren’t only irritating but may also sometimes be potentially hazardous towards our system’s safety. They may page-redirect the user to sketchy sites, pages filled with Trojans or Ransomware (or other malware threats) or to misleading and fake online offers. This is why it’s essential to make sure that you do not get exposed to any potentially unreliable advertising materials. In most cases, getting an ad-blocker on your Chrome or Firefox or Safari browser and also keeping away from sites with overly-aggressive advertisements should do the trick. Virus Pop up

However, what if even this doesn’t help and what if the search engine of your default browser as well as its new-tab page and starting page have also started to redirect you to different unknown web locations after getting replaced by some strange software. Well, in this case, you should know that you most likely have recently had an application of the browser hijacker category added to your browser. In case you are not aware of what “browser hijacker” means, let us give you some general information about this category of software. A browser hijacker is generally seen as an unwanted software piece that needs to be removed from the computer. Despite being unwanted, however, it isn’t really on the same level as Ransomware infections and Trojan Horse viruses in terms of how hazardous it is. Most browser hijacker apps are, in fact, legit applications that have been legally developed and that are getting legally distributed. Still, getting your browser altered beyond recognition and your screen spammed with flashy banners, box messages and pop-ups during each browsing session is more than enough of a reason to want such an app uninstalled. If you are currently struggling with the removal of one particular hijacker called, look at the instructions below and use them as they could help you take care of the invasive software.

What you need to know about the risks related to hijackers like “Virus”

Though the app itself is likely no intended to threaten the safety of your computer, it may indirectly do so even if that is not its purpose. The main thing to be careful with here is the random advertising messages that will most probably get shown on your screen if “Virus” is inside of your browser. It is inadvisable to interact with the different advertisements as you can’t know what their actual source is and what you may get redirected to should you interact with any of them. If you randomly click on the different banners, pop-ups and pop-unders, you may even risk landing on hazardous pages that hackers use for Ransomware, Spyware and Trojan Horse distribution. However, since it may oftentimes be difficult to avoid all of the ads, it is simply better and much easier to remove the software that generates them which, in this case, is


Type  Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms It is typical for such applications to spam the user’s screen with many invasive adverts. 
Distribution Method In most cases, people land such apps after installing some other program that had the hijacker in its installer through its default setup configuration.
Detection Tool

Remove “Virus”

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 Virus

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). Virus


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. Virus

Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner: Virus
Drag and Drop Files Here to Scan
Maximum file size: 128MB.

This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at:

Scan Results

Virus Scanner Result VirusClamAV VirusAVG AV VirusMaldet

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. Virus

Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK. Virus

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: Virus

Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious. Virus

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: Virus

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. Virus Virus

  • 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). Virus

Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe. Virus Virus  Remove from Internet Explorer:

Open IE, click Virus —–> Manage Add-ons. Virus

Find the threat —> Disable. Go to Virus —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply. Virus Remove from Firefox:

Open Firefoxclick Virus  ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions. Virus

Find the adware/malware —> Remove. VirusRemove from Chrome:

Close Chrome. Navigate to:

 C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside: Virus

Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome. Virus

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


Brandon Skies

Brandon is a researcher and content creator in the fields of cyber-security and virtual privacy. Years of experience enable him to provide readers with important information and adequate solutions for the latest software and malware problems.

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