Browser hijackers, like, despite their rather irritating ad-generating and page-redirecting behavior, are not considered to be viruses. They do not contain malicious scripts which can harm your system and are not interested in corrupting your data like a Ransomware or spying on your like a Trojan or Spyware.

One of the most unpleasant and annoying types of software today is the infamous browser hijacker category. The appearance of such apps usually is a complete surprise for the web users and is pretty much always accompanied with a lot of browsing disturbance and irritation. The most obvious signs of a browser hijacker in the system include a change in the browser’s home page URL, a replacement of the default search engine with a new one as well as the appearance of a large number of advertisements within the browser’s window. No matter what sites you are on or which pages you want to visit, you are likely to get prompted to click on some page-redirect ads and links, which will link you to some sponsored third-party websites. It also doesn’t matter which browser you are using since any browser from Chrome and Firefox to Safari and Edge can get invaded by such apps.

What is important to know is that you will not be able to remove the changes in any way while the browser hijacker is present in your system. That’s why, if you want to learn how to uninstall this type of software, in the next lines, we will provide you with a very detailed removal guide with screenshots, with the help of which you can find and remove all files related to the browser hijacker. In fact, we will focus on a specific browser hijacker called which has been reported as a source of unstoppable ads and unauthorized browser changes by a number of web users in the recent days. Below, we will tell you everything you need to do when facing it for the first time and we will help you to safely locate and uninstall it.

Are the browser hijackers dangerous?

The sole purpose of their presence in the system is to advertise various kinds of goods, services, websites, etc. It is clear that this is beneficial for the manufacturers and the distributors of the advertised goods and services because they get their ads, pop-ups, banners and promotional messages displayed directly on the users’ screen. That’s why, in most of the cases, they are willing to pay for such advertising services to the developers of programs like However, the fee is not solely for the generation of certain online advertising materials – it is also based on how many times the users saw these advertisements and how many times they clicked on them. And in order to earn more from those clicks, the developers of software like oftentimes resort to questionable strategies in order to increase the potential number of clicks. For instance, they mess with the browser’s settings by installing some sponsored tools, toolbars and search engines which can automatically redirect the users to the paid links and pages and fill their screen with pay-per-click ads. Such practices, however, increase the likelihood of clicking on potentially dangerous adverts and accidentally getting infected with real malware like Ransomware or Trojans.


Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms A change in the main homepage or the default search engine may reveal the presence of the browser hijacker.
Distribution Method Spam, ads, free downloads, torrents, software bundles, automatic installers, shareware platforms.
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

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).


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:
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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

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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:

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:

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.

  • 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 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 from Firefox:

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

Find the adware/malware —> Remove. 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—-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


Lidia Howler

Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.

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