Shorturl.at is a page-redirecting and ad-generating application that falls into the browser hijacker category. Users who have Shorturl.at in their browser may detect unauthorized changes to their homepage and search engine settings and may start to experience redirects to pre-defined websites.
This strange program can alter the settings of most browsers including Edge, Chrome and Firefox, and can show dozens of pop-up advertisements, banners and notifications on their screen. Normally, as a typical browser hijacker, Shorturl.at can take control over the system’s default web browsing app and make certain changes to its settings. For example, it may install some ad-generating components that display sponsored commercial messages during your browsing sessions. It may also replace your search engine with a different one that predominantly shows sponsored search results and set a new homepage address that redirects to a specific site. These new settings typically ensure that you get bombarded with streams of box notifications, pop-ups, banners and other types of online advertising content the moment you open your browser.
The Shorturl.at Virus
The automatic web page redirects are another infamous consequence of the presence of the Shorturl.at virus inside your browser. This program may reroute you to partnering sites the moment you type a URL in the search bar. This can not only be very annoying but also very risky because you can never know where you may land and what stands behind the websites that get loaded on your browser. The risk of bumping into virus-infected pages, phishing websites and low-quality domains used for the distribution of ransomware, Trojans and other malware is always present. Therefore, some caution is needed when it comes to the activities that a browser hijacker such as the Shorturl.at virus can perform.
The Shorturl.at Malware
What is probably the most disturbing fact about programs such as the Shorturl.at malware is that users often face difficulties when trying to uninstall them and to remove their browser changes. No matter how hard they try, the hijacker’s settings seem to stick to the default web browser in the system and even a change of one browser to another one cannot help eliminate the unwanted software and restore the previous search engine and/or homepage.
That is because programs like Shorturl.at typically install some helper elements to facilitate their activity and unless those helper elements are detected and fully removed, the user can’t gain control over their browser. The detection of all the hijacker-related elements, however, normally requires some help from a professional removal tool or detailed guide. That’s why, after this article, we have published a removal guide with a description of the whole uninstallation process of Shorturl.at. The manual is free and quick to follow but we do advise you to combine it with the automatic removal tool for optimal results.
The reason is that sometimes it is not enough to simply remove the browser hijacker from the system because, by the time you eliminate it, you might have happened to click on some questionable web link or a fake web ad that could have injected some malware (such as ransomware, a Trojan, etc.) or virus into your system that you may not be aware of. And the best way to check your computer for hidden malware is to scan it with a reliable security tool.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Browser Hijackers are easy to detect because they aggressively display sponsored ads all over the screen and redirect users to pre-defined websites.|
|Distribution Method||File bundling is a common method of distribution along with spam, torrents, click-bait ads and free software installers.|
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Remove Shorturl.at Virus
To try and remove Shorturl.at quickly you can try this:
- Go to your browser’s settings and select More Tools (or Add-ons, depending on your browser).
- Then click on the Extensions tab.
- Look for the Shorturl.at extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
- Remove Shorturl.at by clicking on the Thrash Bin icon next to its name.
- Confirm and get rid of Shorturl.at and any other suspicious items.
If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed Shorturl.at 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
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).
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
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:
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/online-virus-scanner/
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:
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.
- Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click Properties.
- The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
- 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 Shorturl.at 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 Shorturl.at from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
Remove Shorturl.at 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—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!