There are hundreds of free applications which can be downloaded online and many of them promise to enhance your web experience either by installing some free tools, toolbars, better search engines or more useful homepage domains inside your main browser or by adding some helpful add-ons. “Virus” is one such application which promotes itself as free and useful but once you install it on the computer, you may start to experience some rather unwanted browsing interruptions such as sudden page-redirects, automatic pop-ups and generation of various aggressive pay-per-click ads, banners and sponsored notifications. In addition to that, the application may place some changes to the settings of the main browser and may forcefully install some third-party search engine or a sponsored homepage domain, which may frequently prompt you to visit some predefined web locations. Virus Browser Redirect

Such activities are typically not malicious but they can easily be mistaken for virus-inflicted, especially by users who are not familiar with the true nature of applications like The good news is that these pesky browser components are usually entirely advertising oriented and lack the malicious features of a Trojan Horse or of a cryptovirus of the Ransomware category, for example. Yet, they are commonly encountered and are mostly classified as browser hijackers. You may easily get your Chrome, Firefox, Explorer (or practically any browser) “invaded” by an ad-generating and page-redirecting browser hijacker such as “virus”, usually after an installation of a browser add-on, a free program bundle, an update or an automatic setup. In most of the cases, the hijacker may be hidden under the advanced or the custom configuration menu of various programs. That’s why you should pay attention to the settings in the advanced menus of each and every setup wizard and manually disable any optional components that you don’t want to make part of your system. Otherwise, if you skip these settings, you may end up with an aggressive online advertising tool on your system, which may constantly nag you until you remove it.

Luckily, it is not the end of the world if you have accidentally installed on your system. Such software can be uninstalled rather easily, especially when compared to removal process of real malicious threats. In fact, in most of the cases, you don’t even need the help of a security professional because you are not dealing with some nasty virus or a stealthy Ransomware infection. Still, there are certain removal steps that need to be followed if you want to effectively deal with the browser hijacker. That’s why, as you have likely already seen, on this page, we have published a detailed removal guide and added to it a trusted removal tool that can help you take care of the hijacker-related issue you are currently struggling with. Those of you who want to safely eliminate the browsing disturbance, which this software may create, as well as rid themselves of the random exposure to various automatic redirects, sponsored links, third-party ads and pay-per-click banners are advised to use either or both the manual steps and the automatic removal tool for best results.


Type  Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms  Aggressive ads and different sponsored pop-ups may constantly appear all over your screen during regular web surfing. 
Distribution Method Spam messages, software bundling, torrents, ads, automatic installers, freeware sites. 
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


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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