Browser hijackers like are not a direct security threat to the users’ system yet, a lot of web users want to remove them. Compared to nasty infections such as Trojans or Ransomware, however, these pieces of software are mostly harmless.

They do not corrupt anything in the system and do not contain malicious code which can initiate criminal activities. But, on the other hand, the browser hijackers can rarely provide any useful functionality which can benefit the ordinary users. In reality, such applications usually just take space on the computer and mess with the default browser (be it Chrome, Firefox, Explorer or another one) by generating various sponsored ads, pop-ups, banners and redirect messages on its screen. In addition, pieces like can be linked to unwanted modifications to the main search engine or the homepage domain, which can oftentimes be replaced with some third-party tools and URLs. As you can see, more often than not, such applications may prevent the people from fully using their browser, whether it would be for work, education or leisure. What is more, most browser hijackers can often have side effects which further add to the decision to uninstall them.

Through the advertising processes they carry out on your screen, these apps normally generate profits for their developers on a pay-per-click basis. However, in order for these advertising processes to be more efficient and profitable, the creators employ some aggressive methods to make you click more often on the ads that they display. For instance, the hijackers are programmed to automatically redirect you to pay-per-click ads and to display sponsored search results through its imposed search engines, toolbars and URLs. They may also keep track of your browsing history, latest searches, bookmarks, the content that you share within social networks, etc. with the idea to later generate ads that you are more likely to click on.

The other undesirable effects of the presence of such software on your PC, due to which you may want to uninstall, may be more serious. At the beginning of the article, we mentioned that this is not a virus application but, unfortunately, this does not exclude the possibility of indirectly getting infected with real malware because of it. All the redirects that you may have to endure because of the browser hijacker can actually be a serious risk for your machine as you can’t know how reliable the sites you get redirected ti are. That’s why it is very possible that some of them may be infected with malware. In addition, hackers often like to integrate different viruses and malicious applications, especially Trojans and Ransomware, in different online ads, pop-ups, banners and similar promotional materials. In this regard, we generally advise our readers to refrain from interacting with random online advertising content simply because it is not possible to know for sure whether this or that advertisement is a carrier of a virus or not. Therefore, in order to reduce the risk of having your system infected, we recommend that you simply remove and also get a browser extension that would block online advertising. In this way, you can protect yourself to some extent from unwanted ads and dangerous system threats.


Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms Different ads, pop-ups, banners and sponsored redirect links may spam your screen.
Distribution Method Software bundling is a common method of distribution along with torrents, free downloads, spam and shareware platforms.
Detection Tool


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

Virus Scanner Result
Syndication.exoclick.comAVG AV

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.
Syndication.exoclick.comRemove 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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