WilyCaptcha.live Virus

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 *Source of claim SH can remove it.


WilyCaptcha.live is a non-malicious program that is a member of the browser hijacker class. WilyCaptcha.live can integrate with any of the well-known web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Edge and others, and force them to display dozens of promotional messages, redirect links and pop-up ads.

WilyCaptcha.live Virus

Everyone could be affected by this program and can start to experience the stream of aggressive commercials on its screen, as well as some automatic redirects to many advertised sites. It is typical for most browser hijackers to make changes in the browser’s appearance. For instance, they can install a completely new search engine, replace the homepage URL with a different one, set some new domain for the new tab page and even install some shortcut buttons and toolbars inside the main browser’s taskbar. Fortunately, in the removal guide below, you will find instructions on how to uninstall these changes in case they are potentially unwanted and more importantly, how to remove WilyCaptcha.live from your browser once and for all.

The WilyCaptcha.live Virus

That’s why the majority of web users and some security experts consider programs like the WilyCaptcha.live virus to be potentially unwanted and typically prefer to have them uninstalled from the system. Removing the WilyCaptcha.live virus is actually the only way to remove its changes and its associated web ads.

Fortunately, every user can typically do that on their own because it is not overly complicated to deal with a browser hijacker. Yet, if this is the first time you are about to delete such software, we advise you to either follow a detailed removal guide like the one below or download a professional removal tool that can remove the unwanted software in no time.

Prevention is also important so, once you eliminate WilyCaptcha.live, make sure you don’t install it again. Many hijackers are usually distributed as free components of different software packages. That’s why we recommend that you pay close attention when you download and install new or interesting games, programs, applications, etc., because you may install some potentially unwanted program along with them.

How harmful can WilyCaptcha.live be?

Browser hijackers are programs that may totally take over the main browser in the system and make it operate in a different way. That’s why it is not a surprise that their activities can easily frustrate and disturb a lot of people. In fact, many web users initially assume that they have been infected with a virus or some nasty malware from the rank of Trojans or probably Ransomware. This, however, is a wrong assumption because, unlike Ransomware and Trojan viruses that can encrypt your data or keep track of passwords and bank details, browser hijackers are nothing more than online advertising programs. They have been created to promote certain websites and to redirect traffic to them by tricking users into clicking on various redirect ads, web links, and promotional messages. The activities of browser hijackers, however, can cause a lot of confusion because these programs can forward users to websites that they have never visited. Not to mention that they can make some unwanted changes to the users’ main web browser without even asking for approval. 


TypeBrowser Hijacker
Detection Tool

 *Source of claim SH can remove it.

Remove WilyCaptcha.live Virus

To remove WilyCaptcha.live, users need to make sure that there are no rogue extensions related to the hijacker in any of their browsers, so we suggest you do the following:

  1. Start whichever is the main browser on your computer, click on its menu icon, and then open the Extensions/Add-ons settings.
  2. On the following page, you will see what extensions are installed in the browser – there you must try to find anything that seems related to the hijacker.
  3. If you see any unknown, suspicious, or simply unneeded extensions, click on their respective Uninstall/Remove buttons to delete them.
  4. To fully remove WilyCaptcha.live, you must not forget your other browsers – check them too for unwanted extensions and uninstall what you might find.

After you have gone through all of your browsers, reboot the PC, open your main browser again, and surf the Internet for a couple of minutes. If you don’t notice any hijacker symptoms, there’s probably no need to do anything else. On the other hand, if WilyCaptcha.live is still there, causing disruptions to your browsing, it likely means that the hijacker has made additional modifications to other parts of the system that allow it to remain on the computer. To revoke any such modifications, please, complete the rest of this guide.

Extended Guide

During the following steps, you may have to restart the computer or the browser and so, to make finding this page easier, we recommend bookmarking it in your browser or opening it on your phone (or another device).

Step 1

 *Source of claim SH can remove it.

The hijacker apps as a whole are notorious for getting bundled with other software to get inside more computers. That is why the first thing you should do is see if there is a program on your computer that may have secretly delivered WilyCaptcha.live in your system without your knowledge.

You can see what programs are on your computer by going to Start Menu > Control Panel > Uninstall a Program. We suggest looking for entries installed just prior to the first appearance of the hijacker symptoms. If there are any sketchy and suspicious programs installed on your computer around that time, consider uninstalling them.

To uninstall a program from that list, simply click on its name and then on the Uninstall option as shown in the picture. This will usually evoke an uninstallation wizard. Follow the steps from the uninstallation wizard to complete the program deletion. If there is an option to keep any settings for the program, opt to delete them as well to make sure everything is removed.


Step 2


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You must also see if there are any unwanted processes that may be related to the hijacker that are currently running in the system. You can see all the processes on the computer from the Processes tab of the Task Manager utility. To go to the Task Manager, simply search for it in the Start Menu or press Ctrl, Shift, and Esc, and then select Processes.

Hijackers (and other unwanted software for that matter) usually give their processes names that are different from the name of the actual software to make it more difficult to find them. Still, red flags such as unusually high consumption of system resources (CPU, memory) from a process that isn’t familiar to you and doesn’t seem related to any of the regular programs on your computer can help you spot the unwanted process.

Once you think you’ve figured out which process may need to be stopped, use your search engine to find more information about that process. It is not uncommon for regular system processes to consume a lot of CPU or RAM and therefore look questionable, so it is important to rule out this possibility.

If after your online research you still think that the suspected process is from the hijacker, right-click it in the Task Manger, open its File Location (the first option), and scan the files contained in the newly-opened folder for malware. For the scan you can use your own program or try out the free online malware-scanner we’ve included below:

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    Task Manager1

    Did malware get detected? If yes, you should most definitely quit the process related to those files so go to the Task Manager, right-click the suspicious process again, and click on the End Process option.

    Task Manager2

    • We strongly recommend quitting the process if searching for its name online showed you results that suggest the process is probably unwanted even if you didn’t detect any malware in its files!

    After that, try to delete the folder where its files are contained or at least as many of the files in that folder as you are allowed to. It is possible that you may be prohibited from deleting some of the related files, but that’s okay. When you are done with the guide, simply return to this folder and try to delete it once again – by that point you should have no problem deleting the process location folder.

    Step 3

    For the rest of this guide, it is recommended that your computer is in Safe Mode so that WilyCaptcha.live won’t be able to run any of its processes in case you didn’t manage to find and stop them in the previous step. If you need help accessing Safe Mode, click on the link and complete the instructions shown there.

    Step 4

    Press together the key with the Windows logo and the key from your keyboard to open the Run window.

    In the Run search field, paste the next line and click on OK:

    • notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

    The file that opens is called Hosts, and it is a common target for hijackers and malware. To find out if the file has been hijacked, check the bottom of its text – if there you see strange IP addresses, then WilyCaptcha.live has probably modified the file and those IPs you see are from it. However, to be sure, we suggest sending the IPs to us in the comments section. So that we confirm they are from the hijacker. Once we check them out, we will tell you if they may be from WilyCaptcha.live and if there’s need to delete them.


    Next, go back to Run, type in it msconfig, click OK, and select Startup in the following window. Check out the different startup items – if any of them seem related to WilyCaptcha.live or are unfamiliar to you, deselect them (remove the ticks from their boxes) and then click on OK.


    Open Run for a third time, type ncpa.cpl in it, select OK, and right-click on the network you are currently connected to (it should be the only one that doesn’t have an under its icon). Select Properties from the context menu, then click on the Internet Protocol Version 4 entry, and click Properties again.

    There should be an option labelled Obtain IP addresses automatically – select it, and then open Advanced. In the next window, go to the second tab (DNS) and see if there are any IP addresses listed in it. If you find any IPs, delete them and then click OK on everything.


    Step 5

    Open the Registry Editor utility selecting the Start Menu, typing regedit, and hitting Enter. When a window pops-up asking for your permission, click on Yes.

    A word of warning!: You should only delete things in the Registry if you are sure that they should be deleted. If you are not sure about anything, always ask us first before you commit to an action This is because, if you delete the wrong thing, there could be severe consequences for the whole system.

    When the Registry Editor opens, press from your keyboard the Ctrl and F keys at the same time and when the search box shows up, type WilyCaptcha.live and select find next. If the search finds anything, delete it, do the search again, delete the next thing, and keep going like that until all results for WilyCaptcha.live have been deleted.

    Regedit2 1

    After that, find these locations in the directory (expand the folders to the left to navigate to them):

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Random Directory. 
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main

    When you get to each of these three directories, look in them for items with names that are significantly longer than the rest and/or seem to consist of randomized strings of letters and numbers. If anything like this grabs your attention, you should probably delete it. If you are not sure, ask us what to do about the specific suspicious item or items by writing us a comment down below.

    Step 6

    Last but not least, you should once again make sure that all of your browsers are clean (even if you are no longer noticing hijacker symptoms in any of them).

    Right-click on the icon of the first browser, open Properties, go to the Shortcut tab, and click in the box next to Target. See what’s written in there – normally, the last thing written in the text box should be “.exe“. If there’s anything after that, you should delete it and click OK to save the change.

    Next, launch the browser, click on the menu icon (it’s usually a small icon in the top-right corner, just below the button; in the Opera browser, the menu icon is a red O located in the top-left).

    From the browser menu, select Extensions/Add-ons. If you are on Chrome, first select More Tools and then Extensions from the next menu.

    Look at the browser’s extensions one more time, trying to find ones that may be unwanted and deleting them.

    In case there is an extension that you aren’t able to remove or that gets instantly reinstalled after you seemingly delete it, try disabling it first and then quickly selecting the Remove button.


    Now open the menu of the browser one more time, and click on the button labelled Settings (in some browsers, such as Firefox, that button is Options).


    In the Settings/Options page, you must find the Privacy and Security settings and click them. Ten, look for an option labelled Clear Browsing data/Clear data and select it. Microsoft Edge users must look for the Choose what to clear button instead.


    In the dialog box that appears, select/tick each box, leaving only Passwords unchecked and proceed to launch the data clearing by selecting the Clear Now/Clear Data button. In some cases, the process could take a few minutes, and it may look like the browser has glitched – just be patient and do not exit the browser until the deletion completes.


    What to do if WilyCaptcha.live is still on the PC

    If the manual steps didn’t fully rid you of WilyCaptcha.live, then it may be time to try to use specialized software to take care of the hijacker. This is because it is possible that a more problematic program (such as a Trojan) may be hiding in the computer and providing the hijacker with persistence that you may not be able to manually deal with. For that reason, we have included a professional malware-removal tool on this page that you can use to delete the hijacker as well as any other unwanted or malicious software that could be in the system. In addition, the program can keep you safe in the future by fending off potential threats coming your way while you are on the Internet.


    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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