Sauwoaptain is a browser hijacker that can interfere with your main browser’s function. When incorporated in your system, Sauwoaptain may show sponsored ads, banners and page-redirect links that are likely to disturb your web browsing activity. Virus

The Virus will redirect your searches

Browser hijackers such as Sauwoaptain, Pornographic Virus Alert From Microsoft, mainly operate as online advertising tools. This is precisely why they keep spamming you with hundreds and hundreds of pop-ups, banners, and ads of all colors and shapes every time you open your web browser. To be more effective in their online promotion, these programs can integrate with any browser – Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, etc., and replace its homepage or set a new default search engine with the idea to redirect you to sites full of particular advertisements. The developers of browser hijackers benefit from this activity thanks to a popular pay-per-click scheme. They are paid every time you click on a displayed ad or land on a page promoted by the hijacker. The advertisements are often positioned in such a way that won’t allow you to remove or ignore them and this is done for capturing your unintended clicks on the given pop-up message or a page-redirect link. The imposed browser changes are also hard to uninstall and even changing the browser with another one may not help you get rid of them.

On this page, however, we have a solution that can help you effectively remove all the unwanted ads and imposed changes by uninstalling their real source – Sauwoaptain. You will find a comprehensive removal guide with all the needed steps below, as well as a professional removal tool for automatic assistance.

The Sauwoaptain Virus

Browser hijackers like Sauwoaptain, may often access your browsing history and keep track of your latest browsing queries and the websites you are visiting. This shouldn’t be a surprise since a program such as Sauwoaptain essentially integrates with your main browser.

The main issue here comes from the fact that the collected data is typically processed and used to tailor the ads the hijacker displays to your searches and preferences. This is done because the developers hope that at least some of the pay-per-click adverts will catch your attention and you’ll click on them. Some people, however, see this activity as irritating and invasive and list programs like Sauwoaptain as potentially unwanted. In their frustration, some even refer to the browser hijackers as viruses that need to be removed and put them next to threats like Ransomware or Trojans. Due to this confusion, we believe it is important to clearly distinguish the browser hijackers from more serious malware threats. A browser hijacker cannot cause system damage, file encryption, or data corruption and, therefore, such software is not considered a direct danger to your machine.

Yet, we cannot ignore the fact that the various advertisements that you keep seeing on your screen thanks to programs like Sauwoaptain may have the potential to expose you to online threats. This is possible thanks to a practice called malvertising which is, basically, the distribution of malicious ads inside the regular stream of advertisements. Malvertising should not be underestimated as it is one of the leading causes of infections with Ransomware and Trojans. For this reason, we typically recommend avoiding close interaction with online ads that are randomly getting displayed on your screen. Of course, showing malicious ads is not something that a browser hijacker would do intentionally but, still, the risk is always there. Therefore, we believe that this, combined with the above-mentioned browsing disturbance, gives you a good reason to uninstall the ad-generating software.


Name Sauwoaptain
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms You may start to experience automatic redirects to sites full of sponsored content.
Distribution Method Browser Hiajckers can commonly be found inside free software installers, torrents, freeware or shareware platforms and spam.
Detection Tool

Remove Sauwoaptain Virus

To try and remove Sauwoaptain quickly you can try this:

  1. Go to your browser’s settings and select More Tools (or Add-ons, depending on your browser).
  2. Then click on the Extensions tab.
  3. Look for the Sauwoaptain extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
  4. Remove Sauwoaptain by clicking on the Thrash Bin icon next to its name.
  5. Confirm and get rid of Sauwoaptain and any other suspicious items.

If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed Sauwoaptain removal guide below.

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 Sauwoaptain 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 Sauwoaptain from Firefox:

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

Find the adware/malware —> Remove. VirusRemove Sauwoaptain 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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