In most of the cases where users suddenly realize that the search engine, the starting page, the toolbar or some other aspect of their default browser has gotten altered without their approval, the main cause behind such unauthorized alterations normally is a piece of software that falls under the so-called browser hijacker category. Such apps tend to “target” pretty much every browser that you could think of since they are normally not browser-specific unlike most other browser extensions and could get added to all kinds of browsers.

Some popular examples are Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, IE and so on and even though some browsers like Chrome have protection features against unauthorized modifications, oftentimes hijackers still manage to “invade them”. Aside from the changes that a hijacker is likely to impose to your browser, random page-redirects, intrusive ads generation and display of nagging banners, pop-ups and blinking online messages are also to be expected. All in all, a browser hijacker app is a piece of software that is supposed to advertise stuff on the user screen and in most of the cases the ways in which those browser components could carry out their task are various.

It should be obvious, especially for those of you who currently have such software on their computers, that hijackers can be quite irritating and therefore unwanted by most of the users. This, however, does not make them actual viruses or malicious programs similar to Trojan Horse infections and Ransomware cryptoviruses. Hijackers are still relatively harmless despite their intrusiveness and their unpleasant traits. That said, it’s still better if you don’t allow such software to stay present in your system for longer periods of time – the intrusive ads, the page-redirects and the changes to your browsers could really make it quite difficult to find whatever it is you are looking for on the Internet. Also, there are some security concerns to be had when it comes to hijackers despite their overall non-malicious nature which is another reason why removing them is preferable in most of the cases.

It is important to understand that a hijacker usually can’t be removed by a simple uninstallation. Furthermore, in most cases, there won’t be any option to simply “uninstall” the pesky app mainly because those pieces of software are purposefully programmed to be tricky to eliminate. After all, the longer they stay present on a given PC, the higher the potential profit that they’d be able to generate from clicks and visits to the ads and sites that they seek to promote and advertise. This is, in fact, the whole purpose of those apps and even though some of them might actually offer certain functions to the end-users in order to be more presentable and, therefore, desirable, most browser hijackers are still mostly an unwanted annoyance that few users would be willing to put up with. Of course, in the end, the decision on whether to remove or keep the hijacker is all yours to make but here is where we must tell you something more about the potential risks related to apps like

A piece of software like, as we said, is no Ransomware, Trojan Horse, Spyware or some other type of virus or malicious program. However, it’s pretty much always a security risk if you have random adverts, banners and page-redirects popping-up on your screen since some of them may be unsafe. This means that even though might not be purposefully seeking to harm your system, it might indirectly expose it to a number of hazards which makes it better to simply remove the hijacker so as to prevent this from happening.

Methods of distribution of hijackers and other undesirable software

Clicking on some sketchy online offer, agreeing to download some obscure app or program from some questionable site, interacting with spam messages and visiting fishy web locations could easily land you unwanted software components like The same could also happen if you normally use the Default setup configuration when installing new software on your PC. This is because in many of the cases, the programs people install tend to have additional components bundled within their installers. Sometimes, such components could be browsers hijackers the likes of If you, however, choose to use the Advanced installation menu, you should have the opportunity to see what bundled apps there are and manually leave out anything that might look unwelcome.

This piece of software is a good example of what a browser hijacker really is. Lately, there have been quite a lot of complaints concerning which is why the guide that follows will show you how to remove it:


Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms The annoying ads, the pesky page-redirects and the replaced elements of your browser (search engine, toolbar, homepage) are sure to give away the presence of the hijacker.
Distribution Method Normally, such apps get bundled with other software’s installers and get distribution in this way.
Detection Tool


The first thing you need to do is to Quit Safari (if it is opened). If you have trouble closing it normally, you may need to Force Quit Safari:

You can choose the Apple menu and click on Force Quit.

Alternatively you can simultaneously press (the Command key situated next to the space bar), Option (the key right next to it) and Escape (the key located at the upper left corner of your keyboard).

If you have done it right a dialog box titled Force Quit Applications will open up.

In this new dialog window select Safari, then press the Force Quit button, then confirm with Force Quit again.

Close the dialog box/window.


Start Activity Monitor by opening up Finder, then proceed to

Once there, look at all the processes: if you believe any of them are hijacking your results, or are part of the problem, highlight the process with your mouse, then click the “i” button at the top. This will open up the following box:

Now click on Sample at the bottom:

Do this for all processes you believe are part of the threat, and run any suspicious files in our online virus scanner, then delete the malicious files:
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Maximum file size: 128MB.

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Scan Results

Virus Scanner Result AV

The next step is to safely launch Safari again. Press and hold the Shift key while relaunching Safari. This will prevent Safari’s previously opened pages from loading again. Once Safari is opened up, you can release the Shift key.

On the off chance that you are still having trouble with scripts interrupting the closing of unwanted pages in Safari, you may need to take some additional measures.

First, Force Quit Safari again.

Now if you are using a Wi-Fi connection turn it off by selecting Wi-Fi off in you Mac’s Menu. If you are using a cable internet (Ethernet connection), disconnect the Ethernet cable.

Re-Launch Safari but don’t forget to press and hold the Shift button while doing it, so no previous pages can be opened up. Now, Click on Preferences in the Safari menu,

and then again on the Extensions tab,

Select and Uninstall any extensions that you don’t recognize by clicking on the Uninstall button. If you are not sure and don’t want to take any risks you can safely uninstall all extensions, none are required for normal system operation.

The threat has likely infected all of your browsers. The instructions below need to be applied for all browsers you are using.

Again select Preferences in the Safari Menu, but this time click on the Privacy tab,

Now click on Remove All Website Data, confirm with Remove Now. Keep in mind that after you do this all stored website data will be deleted. You will need to sign-in again for all websites that require any form of authentication.

Still in the Preferences menu, hit the General tab

Check if your Homepage is the one you have selected, if not change it to whatever you prefer.

Select the History menu this time, and click on Clear History. This way you will prevent accidentally opening a problematic web page again. How to Remove From Firefox in OSX:

Open Firefoxclick on (top right) ——-> Add-onsHit Extensions next.

The problem should be lurking somewhere around here –  Remove it. Then Refresh Your Firefox Settings. to Remove From Chrome in OSX:

 Start Chrome, click —–>More Tools —–> Extensions. There,  find the malware and  select

 Click again, and proceed to Settings —> Search, the fourth tab, select Manage Search Engines.  Delete everything but the search engines you normally use. After that Reset Your Chrome Settings.

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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