Got Browser Hijackers? How to Spot and Remove from Any Device

Browser hijackers are malicious programs that can infect your device and change your browser settings without consent. They are a type of malware that can redirect your searches, set new homepages, and alter your browser experience in unwanted ways.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about browser hijackers, including what they are, what they do, how to tell if your device is infected, and most importantly, how to fully remove them.

What Are Browser Hijackers?

Browser hijackers are a form of malware and part of a wider category known as Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs). As the name suggests, browser hijackers “hijack” your browser and make unwanted changes.

Some of the most common changes inflicted by browser hijackers include:

  • Setting a new homepage that you didn’t approve. This is often an ad-laden page.
  • Changing your default search engine to something unknown.
  • Adding extra toolbar extensions to your browser without permission. These extensions might have ads or mining scripts.
  • Redirecting your searches to advertising pages, even if you don’t click on any ads.
  • Inserting extra ads on web pages. These can be in the form of pop-ups, banners, or video commercials.
  • Tracking your browsing activity and online habits.
  • Slowing down your browser performance.

Essentially, browser hijackers exist to make money from your traffic and data. They monetize by pushing ads, redirecting affiliate commissions, mining cryptocurrency, and selling user data.

For the user, browser hijackers can ruin the browsing experience. They can make the internet frustratingly slow, bombard you with unwanted ads, and violate your privacy.

How Do Browser Hijackers Infect My Device?

Browser hijackers often sneak onto devices through “bundled” software installations. Many free programs will offer to install “optional extra” components during setup. If you rush through and accept everything by default, you may unintentionally approve a browser hijacker.

Here are some of the most common infection vectors:

  • Downloading freeware programs like media players, download managers, and PDF creators. These programs are otherwise safe but may bundle hijackers in the custom installer.
  • Visiting shady websites that trigger a browser hijacker download when you click anywhere on the page. This is known as a “drive-by download.”
  • Opening email attachments from unknown senders. The attachment contains malware that downloads the hijacker.
  • Clicking on misleading ads and pop-ups that say things like “your computer is infected, click here to scan.”
  • Using pirated software, illegal streaming sites, and torrents. These sources are ripe with malware.
  • Visiting compromised sites that silently push malware. This can happen when sites have not updated WordPress or other vulnerable platforms.
  • Clicking on shortened or masked links that redirect to hijacker downloads rather than the intended page.

In essence, browser hijackers spread through deceptive downloads from untrustworthy sources. The installation is designed to seem legitimate to trick users into infecting themselves.

Signs Your Device is Infected With a Browser Hijacker

If you suspect your browser has been hijacked by an unwanted program, here are some telltale signs to look for:

  • Your homepage has changed: This is one of the most common signs of a hijacker. You suddenly get redirected to a different homepage that you never set. It may be an unfamiliar search engine, news site, or page full of ads.
  • Your default search engine has changed: Another way hijackers earn money is by switching your search engine to something unknown that gives them affiliate revenue from your searches.
  • New toolbars: Toolbar addons may randomly appear at the top, bottom, or sides of your browser. They often contain ads or suspicious search boxes.
  • More pop-ups: If you suddenly get way more pop-up ads and notifications, even on sites you trust, it could indicate an injected adware program.
  • Redirection when clicking links: Hijacked clicks are when you click a normal link but get sent to an ad portal or unrelated page. This allows hijackers to earn money from your clicks.
  • Slow browser: Added addons, scripts, and traffic redirects can noticeably slow down web browsing. It takes longer for pages to load as they pass through unwanted programs.
  • High CPU usage: Related to the slow browsing, you may notice browser processes using much higher CPU usage than normal. All those mining scripts and junkware place additional load on your device hardware.
  • Problems shutting down or closing browser: Some browser hijackers stubbornly run in the background even when you try to close the browser completely. This is because they want to preserve infections between browsing sessions.
  • Unknown extensions: Carefully check your browser extensions and remove anything that looks suspicious or that you don’t remember installing.

If you notice one or more of these issues, it’s wise to scan for and remove any hijackers lurking on your system.

Dangers of Browser Hijackers

Left unchecked, browser hijackers can inflict a range of problems beyond just being a nuisance:

  • Privacy invasion: Hijackers monitor your web activity and can collect personal details like passwords and banking info. They track browsing to sell data to advertisers.
  • Search and click tracking: By redirecting searches and clicks, hijackers can monitor everything you search for and click on. They build data profiles about your interests and habits.
  • Credit card theft: Some browser hijackers are designed to watch for credit card numbers and other financial details entered into online forms. This allows them to steal credentials and identities.
  • Higher malware risk: The changes hijackers make to your browser settings can leave you more vulnerable to further malware infections from malicious ads and sites.
  • Cryptocurrency mining: Some hijackers run cryptocurrency mining scripts in your browser, which drains your device’s processor resources to mine digital coins for profit.
  • Slow computer: All the background processes make your whole system laggy as more of your computer power goes toward unwanted programs.
  • Unwanted charges: Some hijacked browser changes will sign you up to paid subscriptions, services, and other charges without consent.

Clearing browser hijackers is important to take control of your browser security and privacy again. The next section covers effective detection and removal tips.

How to Check for and Remove Browser Hijackers

This malware removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the number of steps and numerous programs that are being used. We have only written it this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy-to-understand instructions that anyone can use to remove malware for free.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubts at any point, stop and ask for our assistance.
Browser Hijackers can target Windows, Android, and Mac devices, so we’ve covered each operating system below. Depending on which operating system is installed on your computer please click on the operating system icon below and follow the displayed steps to remove the Browser Hijackers.
Removal Instructions for Windows

Remove Browser Hijackers from Windows

To remove Browser Hijackers and other malware from your PC, follow these steps:

STEP 1: Use Rkill to terminate malicious processes

In this first step, we will download and run Rkill to terminate malicious processes that may be running on your computer.

RKill is a program that was developed at BleepingComputer.com that attempts to terminate known malware processes so that your normal security software can then run and clean your computer of infections. When RKill runs it will kill malware processes and then removes incorrect executable associations and fixes policies that stop us from using certain tools.

  1. Download Rkill.

    You can download RKill to your computer from the below link. When at the download page, click on the Download Now button labeled iExplore.exe. We are downloading a renamed version of Rkill (iExplore.exe) because some malware will not allow processes to run unless they have a certain filename.

    RKILL DOWNLOAD LINK

    (The above link will open a new page from where you can download Rkill)
  2. Run RKill.

    After downloading, double-click the iExplore.exe icon to kill malicious processes. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
    The program may take some time to search for and end various malware programs.

    RKILL Window

    When it is finished, the black window will close automatically and a log file will open. Do not restart your computer. Proceed to the next step in this guide.

STEP 2: Uninstall malicious programs from Windows

In this second step, we will manually check if any unknown or malicious programs are installed on the computer. Sometimes adware and browser hijackers can have a usable Uninstall entry that can be used to remove them.

Windows 11Windows 10Windows 8Windows 7
  1. Press the Windows key + I on your keyboard to open the Settings app.

    First, open Windows Settings by pressing Windows+I on your keyboard. You can also right-click your Start button and select “Settings” from the list.
    Windows 11 Open Settings

  2. In the Settings app, click on “Apps” and then “Apps & features”.

    When Settings opens, click “Apps” in the sidebar, then select “Apps & Features”.

    Windows 11 Apps and Feature

  3. Find the malicious program in the list of installed apps and uninstall it.

    In Apps & Features settings, scroll down to the app list and search for unknown or suspicious programs. To make things easier, you can sort all installed programs by their installation date. To do this, click “Sort by” and select “Install date”.
    Look out for any suspicious program that could be behind all the drama – anything you don’t remember downloading or that doesn’t sound like a genuine program. When you find a malicious program, click the three dots button beside it and select “Uninstall” in the menu that appears.

    Windows 11 Uninstall malicious program

    If you have checked your computer for malicious programs and did not find any, you can proceed with the next step in this guide.
  4. Follow the prompts to uninstall the program.

    In the next message box, confirm the uninstall process by clicking on Uninstall, then follow the prompts to uninstall the malicious program.
    Make sure to read all of the prompts carefully, because some malicious programs try to sneak things in hoping that you won’t read them closely.

    Windows 11 Confirm Uninstall

  1. Press the Windows key + I on your keyboard to open the Settings app.

    Press the Windows key + I on your keyboard to open the Settings app. You can also ope the Settings app by clicking the Start button on the taskbar, then select “Settings” (gear icon).
    Windows 10: Click the Start button then click on Settings

  2. In the Settings app, click on “Apps”.

    When the “Windows Settings” window opens, click on “Apps“. By default, it should open “Apps and Features” but if it doesn’t, select it from the list on the left.

    Windows 10: Click on Apps

  3. Find the malicious program in the list of installed apps and uninstall it.

    In Apps & Features settings, scroll down to the app list and search for unknown or suspicious programs. To make things easier, you can sort all installed programs by their installation date. To do this, click “Sort by” and select “Install date”.
    Look out for any suspicious program that could be behind all the drama – anything you don’t remember downloading or that doesn’t sound like a genuine program. When you find a malicious program, click on it and select “Uninstall” in the menu that appears.

    Windows 10: Uninstall malware from Windows

    If you have checked your computer for malicious programs and did not find any, you can proceed with the next step in this guide.
  4. Follow the prompts to uninstall the program.

    In the next message box, confirm the uninstall process by clicking on Uninstall, then follow the prompts to uninstall the malicious program.
    Make sure to read all of the prompts carefully, because some malicious programs try to sneak things in hoping that you won’t read closely.
    Windows 10: Complete the uninstall process

  1. Go to “Program and Features”.

    Right-click on the Start button in the taskbar, then select “Programs and Features”. This will take you directly to your list of installed programs.
    Right click on Start and select Programs and Features

  2. Search for malicious program and uninstall it.

    The “Programs and Features” screen will be displayed with a list of all the programs installed on your computer. Scroll through the list until you find any unknown or suspicious program, then click to highlight it, then click the “Uninstall” button.

    Look out for any suspicious program that could be behind all the drama – anything you don’t remember downloading or that doesn’t sound like a genuine program.

    If you have checked your computer for malicious programs and did not find any, you can proceed with the next step in this guide.

    Select malicious program then click on Uninstall

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to uninstall malicious program.

    In the next message box, confirm the uninstall process by clicking on Yes, then follow the prompts to uninstall malicious program. Make sure to read all of the prompts carefully, because some malicious programs try to sneak things in hoping that you won’t read closely.

  1. Open the “Control Panel”.

    Click on the “Start” button, then click on “Control Panel“.
    Windows 7 go to Control Panel

  2. Click on “Uninstall a Program”.

    When the “Control Panel” appears, click on “Uninstall a Program” from the Programs category.
    Select Uninstall malicious program from Control Panel

  3. Search for malicious programs and uninstall them.

    The “Programs and Features” screen will be displayed with a list of all the programs installed on your computer. Scroll through the list until you find any suspicious or unknown program, then click to highlight it, then click the “Uninstall” button.
    Look out for any suspicious program that could be behind all the drama – anything you don’t remember downloading or that doesn’t sound like a genuine program.

    If you have checked your computer for malicious programs and did not find any, you can proceed with the next step in this guide.

    Uninstall malware from Windows 7

  4. Follow the on-screen prompts to uninstall malicious program.

    In the next message box, confirm the uninstall process by clicking on Yes, then follow the prompts to uninstall malicious program. Make sure to read all of the prompts carefully, because some malicious programs try to sneak things in hoping that you won’t read closely.

If you are experiencing difficulty while attempting to uninstall a program, you can use Revo Uninstaller to completely remove the unwanted program from your computer.

Now that the malicious programs have been removed from your computer, we can proceed with the next step in this guide.

STEP 3: Reset browsers back to default settings

In this step, we will remove spam notifications,  malicious extensions, and change to default any settings that might have been changed by malware.
Please note that this method will remove all extensions, toolbars, and other customizations but will leave your bookmarks and favorites intact. For each browser that you have installed on your computer, please click on the browsers tab below and follow the displayed steps to reset that browser.

ChromeFirefoxMicrosoft EdgeInternet Explorer
Reset Chrome for Windows to default settings

We will now reset your Chrome browser settings to their original defaults. This will reset your startup page, new tab page, search engine, and pinned tabs. It will also disable all extensions and clear temporary data like cookies. Your favorites, history, and saved passwords will not be cleared.

  1. Click the three dots in the top-right corner and then click on “Settings”.

    Open Chrome and click on the menu button (represented by three vertical dots) in the top right corner of the window. In the dropdown menu that opens, click “Settings“. Click on the Chrome menu button then on the Settings button
  2. Click “Advanced”.

    Chrome’s “Settings” should now be displayed in a new tab or window, depending on your configuration. In the left sidebar, click on the “Advanced” link. Click on the Advanced link
  3. Click “Reset and clean up”.

    In the left sidebar, under the “Advanced” section, click on “Reset and clean up“. Click Reset and clean up button
  4. Click “Reset settings to their original defaults”.

    In the main window, the “Reset and clean up” section is visible, as shown in the screenshot below. Click on “Reset settings to their original defaults“. Click on Reset settings to their original defaults
  5. Click “Reset settings”.

    A confirmation dialog will now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the “Reset settings” button. Click on Reset Settings to restore Google Chrome to its default settings
  6. (Optional) Reset Chrome Data Sync.

    In case a malicious extension reinstalls itself even after performing a browser reset, you have an additional option to reset the data sync for your browser. To do this, navigate to chrome.google.com/sync and click on the Clear Data button. Chrome Sync Reset
Reset Firefox for Windows to default settings

We will now reset your Firefox browser settings to their default. The reset feature fixes many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information like bookmarks, passwords, web form auto-fill information, browsing history, and open tabs.

  1. Click the three horizontal lines in the top-right corner and then click on “Help”.

    Click on Firefox’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled “Help“.
    Click on the Firefox Menu button then select Help button

  2. Click “More troubleshooting information”.

    From the Help menu, click on “More troubleshooting information“.
    Click More Troubleshooting Information

  3. Click on “Refresh Firefox”

    When the “Troubleshooting Information” page opens, click on the “Refresh Firefox” button.
    Click on Refresh Firefox

  4. Confirm that you want to reset your browser settings.

    To finish the reset process, click on the “Refresh Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
    Click again on Refresh Firefox button

  5. Click “Finish”.

    Firefox will now close itself and will revert to its default settings. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click on “Finish“.

    Your old Firefox profile will be placed on your desktop in a folder named “Old Firefox Data“. If the reset didn’t fix your problem you can restore some of the information not saved by copying files to the new profile that was created. If you don’t need this folder any longer, you should delete it as it contains sensitive information.

Reset Microsoft Edge to default settings

We will now reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings to their default. This will reset your startup page, new tab page, search engine, and pinned tabs. It will also disable all extensions and clear temporary data like cookies. Your favorites, history, and saved passwords will not be cleared.

  1. Click the three dots in the top-right corner and then click on “Settings”.

    In the top right corner, click on Microsoft Edge’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal dots. When the drop-down menu appears, click on “Settings“.
    Click the three dots in the top-right corner and then click on Settings

  2. Click on “Reset Settings”.

    On the left side of the window, click on “Reset Settings“.
    Click Reset Settings option

  3. Click on “Restore settings to their default values”.

    In the main window, click on “Restore settings to their default values“.
    Select Restore settings to their default values

  4. Click “Reset”.

    A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the “Reset” button.
    Click Reset to reset your browser
    Microsoft Edge will now erase all your personal data, browsing history, and disable all installed extensions. Your bookmarks, though, will remain intact and still be accessible.

Reset Internet Explorer to default settings

We will now reset your Internet Explorer browser settings to their default. You can reset Internet Explorer settings to return them to the state they were in when Internet Explorer was first installed on your computer.

  1. Go to “Internet Options”.

    Open Internet Explorer, click on the gear icon in the upper-right part of your browser, then select “Internet Options“.

  2. Select the “Advanced” tab, then click “Reset”

    In the “Internet Options” dialog box, select the “Advanced” tab, then click on the “Reset” button.

  3. Click on “Reset”.

    In the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” section, select the “Delete personal settings” checkbox, then click on the “Reset” button.

  4. Click on “Close”.

    When Internet Explorer has completed its task, click on the “Close” button in the confirmation dialogue box.
    Close your browser and then you can open Internet Explorer again.

STEP 4: Use Malwarebytes to remove for Trojans and Unwanted Programs

In this next step, we will we will install Malwarebytes to scan and remove any infections, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that may be present on your computer.

Malwarebytes stands out as one of the leading and widely-used anti-malware solutions for Windows, and for good reason. It effectively eradicates various types of malware that other programs often overlook, all at no cost to you. When it comes to disinfecting an infected device, Malwarebytes has consistently been a free and indispensable tool in the battle against malware. We highly recommend it for maintaining a clean and secure system.

  1. Download Malwarebytes for Windows

    You can download Malwarebytes by clicking the link below.

    MALWAREBYTES FOR WINDOWS DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes)
  2.  

    Install Malwarebytes

    After the download is complete, locate the MBSetup file, typically found in your Downloads folder. Double-click on the MBSetup file to begin the installation of Malwarebytes on your computer. If a User Account Control pop-up appears, click “Yes” to continue the Malwarebytes installation.

    MBAM1
  3. Follow the On-Screen Prompts to Install Malwarebytes

    When the Malwarebytes installation begins, the setup wizard will guide you through the process.

    • You’ll first be prompted to choose the type of computer you’re installing the program on—select either “Personal Computer” or “Work Computer” as appropriate, then click on Next.

      MBAM3 1
    • Malwarebytes will now begin the installation process on your device.

      MBAM4
    • When the Malwarebytes installation is complete, the program will automatically open to the “Welcome to Malwarebytes” screen.

      MBAM6 1
    • On the final screen, simply click on the Open Malwarebytes option to start the program.

      MBAM5 1
  4. Enable “Rootkit scanning”.

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now start, and you will see the main screen as shown below. To maximize Malwarebytes’ ability to detect malware and unwanted programs, we need to enable rootkit scanning. Click on the “Settings” gear icon located on the left of the screen to access the general settings section.

    MBAM8

    In the settings menu, enable the “Scan for rootkits” option by clicking the toggle switch until it turns blue.

    MBAM9

    Now that you have enabled rootkit scanning, click on the “Dashboard” button in the left pane to get back to the main screen.

  5. Perform a Scan with Malwarebytes.

    To start a scan, click the Scan button. Malwarebytes will automatically update its antivirus database and begin scanning your computer for malicious programs.

    MBAM10
  6. Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.

    Malwarebytes will now scan your computer for browser hijackers and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check the status of the scan to see when it is finished.

    MBAM11
  7. Quarantine detected malware

    Once the Malwarebytes scan is complete, it will display a list of detected malware, adware, and potentially unwanted programs. To effectively remove these threats, click the “Quarantine” button.

    MBAM12

    Malwarebytes will now delete all of the files and registry keys and add them to the program’s quarantine.

    MBAM13

  8. Restart your computer.

    When removing files, Malwarebytes may require a reboot to fully eliminate some threats. If you see a message indicating that a reboot is needed, please allow it. Once your computer has restarted and you are logged back in, you can continue with the remaining steps.

    MBAM14

STEP 5: Use HitmanPro to remove Rootkits and other Malware

In this fifth step, while the computer is in normal back, we will download and run a scan with HitmanPro to remove Trojans, rootkits, and other malicious programs.

HitmanPro is a second-opinion scanner that takes a unique cloud-based approach to malware scanning. HitmanPro scans the behavior of active files and also files in locations where malware normally resides for suspicious activity. If it finds a suspicious file that’s not already known, HitmanPro sends it to its clouds to be scanned by two of the best antivirus engines today, which are Bitdefender and Kaspersky.

Although HitmanPro is shareware and costs $24.95 for 1 year on 1 PC, there is no limit on scanning. The limitation only kicks in when there is a need to remove or quarantine detected malware by HitmanPro on your system and by then, you can activate the one-time 30-days trial to enable the cleanup.

  1. Download HitmanPro.

    You can download HitmanPro by clicking the link below.

    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
  2. Install HitmanPro.

    When HitmanPro has finished downloading, double-click on “hitmanpro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “hitmanpro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows) to install this program on your computer. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.

    Double-click on the HitmanPro file

    You may be presented with a User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow HitmanPro to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.

    Windows asking for permissions to run the HitmanPro setup

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts.

    When HitmanPro starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below. Click on the “Next” button to perform a system scan.

    Click Next to install HitmanPro on your PC

    HitmanPro final installer screen

  4. Wait for the HitmanPro scan to complete.

    HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malicious programs.
    HitmanPro scans your computer for any infections, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that may be present

  5. Click on “Next”.

    When HitmanPro has finished the scan, it will display a list of all the malware that it has found. Click on the “Next” button to have HitmanPro remove the detected items.

    HitmanPro scan summary. Click Next to remove malware

  6. Click on “Activate free license”.

    HitmanPro may now require to activate the free 30-days trial to remove the malicious files. To do this, click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    Click on the Activate free license button

    When the malware removal process is complete, it will display a screen that shows the status of the various programs that were removed. At this screen, you should click on the Next button and then if prompted you should click on the Reboot button. If HitmanPro does not prompt you to reboot, please just click on the Close button.

STEP 6: Use AdwCleaner to remove Malicious Browser Policies and Adware

In this next step, we will use AdwCleaner to remove malicious browser policies and unwanted browser extensions from your computer.

AdwCleaner is a free popular on-demand scanner that can detect and remove malware that even the most well-known anti-virus and anti-malware applications fail to find. This on-demand scanner includes a lot of tools that can be used to fix the side effects of adware. browser hijackers and other malware.

  1. Download AdwCleaner.

    You can download AdwCleaner by clicking the link below.

    ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK

    (The above link will open a new web page from where you can download AdwCleaner)
  2. Double-click on the setup file.

    Double-click on the file named “adwcleaner_x.x.x.exe” to start AdwCleaner. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
    Download AdwCleaner on your computer

    AdwCleaner program will now open and you will be presented with the program’s license agreement. After you read it, click on the I agree button if you wish to continue. If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.

    Windows ask if you want to run AdwCleaner

  3. Enable “Reset Chrome policies” to remove malicious browser policies.

    When AdwCleaner starts, on the left side of the window, click on “Settings” and then enable “Reset Chrome policies“.

    Enable Reset Chrome policies to remove malicious browser policies

  4. Click on the “Scan” button.

    On the left side of the AdwCleaner window, click on “Dashboard” and then click “Scan” to perform a computer scan.

    Click on Scan to start a AdwCleaner scan

  5. Wait for the AdwCleaner scan to finish.

    AdwCleaner will now scan your computer for malware. This process can take a few minutes.

    AdwCleaner scanning for adware and other malware

  6. Click on “Quarantine” to remove malware.

    When the AdwCleaner scan is completed it will display all of the items it has found. Click on the “Quarantine” button to remove the malicious programs from your computer.

    Click on Quarantine to remove malware

  7. Click on “Continue” to remove the malicious programs.

    AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or data as the program will need to close any open programs before it starts to clean. Click on the “Continue” button to finish the removal process.
    Click Continue to remove malicious files

    AdwCleaner will now delete all detected malware from your computer. When the malware removal process is complete, you may be asked to restart your computer.

STEP 7: Perform a final check with ESET Online Scanner

This final step involves installing and running a scan with ESET Online Scanner to check for any additional malicious programs that may be installed on the computer..

ESET Online Scanner is a free second-opinion scanner, designed to rescue your computer from malware (viruses, trojans, rootkits, etc.) that have infected your computer despite all the security measures you have taken (such as anti-virus software, firewalls, etc.).

  1. Download ESET Online Scanner.

    You can download ESET Online Scanner by clicking the link below.

    ESET ONLINE SCANNER DOWNLOAD LINK

    (The above link will open a new web page from where you can download ESET Online Scanner)
  2. Double-click on esetonlinescanner.exe to run the installer.

    When ESET Online Scanner has finished downloading, double-click on “esetonlinescanner.exe” to install it program on your computer. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
    Image - Double-click on the ESET Online Scanner setup file

  3. Install ESET Online Scanner.

    When ESET Online Scanner starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below. Select your desired language from the drop-down menu and click Get started.

    Image - Click Get Started to install ESET Online Scanner

    In the Terms of use screen, click Accept.
    Image - Accept Terms to Install ESET Online Scanner

    Select your preference for the Customer Experience Improvement Program and the Detection feedback system and click Continue.
    Image - Follow the on-screen prompts

  4. Start a Full Scan with ESET Online Scanner

    Click on Full Scan to perform an in-depth inspection of the entire computer.

    Start a Full Scan with ESET Online Scanner

    Select Enable for Detection of Potentially Unwanted Applications, then click Start scan.

    Image - Enable PUA Detection and Start Scan

  5. Wait for the ESET Online Scanner scan to finish.

    ESET Online Scanner will now begin to scan your computer for malware. This process can take quite a while, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.

    Image- Wait for the ESET Online Scanner scan to finish

  6. ESET Online Scanner will automatically remove the malicious files.

    At the end of the scan, the Found and resolved detections screen will be displayed. You can click View detailed results to view specific information. Detected threats are automatically cleaned and quarantined.
    Image - ESET Online Scanner malware removal


Your computer should now be free of Browser Hijackers and other malware.

If your current antivirus allowed this malicious program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow one of the steps:

Removal Instructions for Mac

Remove Browser Hijackers from Mac

To remove Browser Hijackers and other malware from your Mac, follow these steps:

STEP 1: Remove malicious profiles

Profiles are used by IT admins in businesses to control the behavior of their Macs. These profiles can configure a Mac to do many different things, some of which are not otherwise possible.
When it comes to home users, adware and browser hijackers are using the configuration profile to prevent users from removing malicious programs from the computer. This also prevents the user from changing that behavior in the browser’s settings.

In this first step, we will check your computer to see if any configuration profiles are installed. To do this, follow the below steps:

  1. Open “System Preferences”

    From the Apple menu, select System Preferences.

  2. Search for “Profiles”

    When the System Preferences window opens, search for the Profiles icon.
    Search for Profiles in System Preferences

    If there isn’t a Profiles icon, you don’t have any profiles installed, which is normal and you can continue with the next steps.
  3. Remove the malicious profiles

    If there’s a Profile icon, click on it and select any suspicious profile that you want to remove, and then press the – (minus) button. Click Remove to remove the profile.
    Remove malicious profiles from your Mac

STEP 2: Delete malicious apps

In this second step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious apps and files that might be installed on your computer. Sometimes redirects or adware programs can have usable Uninstall entries that can be used to remove these programs.

  1. Quit the malicious programs

    On the Apple menu bar, in the top-right corner, if you see any unknown or suspicious icon, click on it and then select Quit.

  2. Open “Finder”

    Click the Finder application on your dock.
    Open Finder

  3. Click on “Applications”

    In the Finder left pane, click on “Applications“.
    Click on Applications

  4. Find and remove the malicious app.

    The “Applications” screen will be displayed with a list of all the apps installed on your device. Scroll through the list until you find the malicious app, right-click it, and then click “Move to Trash”.

    Look out for any suspicious program that could be behind all the drama – anything you don’t remember downloading or that doesn’t sound like a genuine program. Here are some known malicious programs: SearchMine, TakeFresh, TopResults, FeedBack, ApplicationEvents, GeneralOpen, PowerLog, MessengerNow, ImagePrime, GeneralNetSearch, Reading Cursors, GlobalTechSearch, PDFOnline-express, See Scenic Elf, MatchKnowledge, Easy Speedtest, or WebDiscover.

    Find malicious programs and Remove It

  5. Click “Empty Trash”

    On the dock, right-click on the trash icon and select “Empty Trash”. Doing so deletes the Trash’s contents, including the program that you just sent to the Trash.
    Empty Trash

  6. Find and remove the malicious files

    1. Click the desktop to make sure you’re in the Finder, choose “Go” then click on “Go to Folder“.Go to Folder mac
    2. Type or copy/paste each of the below paths into the window that opens, then click Go.
      • /Library/LaunchAgents
      • ~/Library/LaunchAgents
      • /Library/Application Support
      • /Library/LaunchDaemons
      Type the commands in the Go to Folder window

    3. Look out for any suspicious files that could be behind all the drama – anything you don’t remember downloading or that doesn’t sound like a genuine program. These are some known malicious files: “com.adobe.fpsaud.plist” “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, or “com.myppes.net-preferences.plist”. When you find a malicious file move it to the Trash.

STEP 3: Reset browsers back to default settings

In this third step, we will remove spam push notifications and malicious extensions, and change to default any settings that might have been changed by malware.
For each browser that you have installed on your computer, please click on the tab below and follow the displayed steps to reset that browser.

Safari BrowserChrome for Mac BrowserFirefox for Mac Browser
Remove malicious extensions and settings from Safari

To remove malware from Safari we will check if there are any malicious extensions installed on your browser and what settings have been changed by this malicious program.

  1. Go to Safari’s “Preferences”.

    On the menu bar, click the “Safari” menu and select “Preferences”.
    On the Menu bar Click on Safari then Preference

  2. Check Homepage.

    This will open a new window with your Safari preferences, opened to the “General” tab. Some browser hijackers may change your default homepage, so in the Homepage field make sure it’s a web page you want to use as your start-up page.

    Change Homepage in Safari

  3. Click “Extensions”

    Next, click on the “Extensions” tab.
    Click on Extensions MacOS

  4. Find and uninstall malicious extensions.

    The “Extensions” screen will be displayed with a list of all the extensions installed on Safari. Look out for any suspicious browser extension that could be behind all the drama – anything you don’t remember downloading or that doesn’t sound like a genuine extension. By default, there are no extensions installed on Safari so it’s safe to remove an extension
    Click on Uninstall to remove malicious extension

  5. Remove spam notifications ads

    Click Preferences, click Websites, then click Notifications. Deselect “Allow websites to ask for permission to send push notifications”.

    Deselect Allow websites to ask for permission to send push notifications

  6. Remove all data stored by websites on your computer.

    In the Safari menu, choose “Preferences…”, select “Privacy” at the top of the new window that appears, and then click the “Manage Website Data” button.
    Click Manage Website Data

    In the next dialog box, click “Remove All“. It will ask you if you are sure you want to remove all data stored by websites on your computer. Select “Remove Now” to clear data that could be used to track your browsing.

    Click Remove All Website Data

  7. Empty Safari Caches.

    From your Safari menu bar, click Safari and select Preferences, then select the Advanced tab. Enable the checkbox to “Show Develop menu in menu bar“.
    Show Dev Bar

    From the menu bar select Develop, then click on Empty Caches as seen in the image below.
    empty cache

Remove malware from Chrome for Mac

To remove malware from Chrome for Mac we will reset the browser settings to their default. Doing these steps will erase all configuration information from Chrome such as your home page, tab settings, saved form information, browsing history, and cookies. This process will also disable any installed extensions. All of your bookmarks, though, will be preserved.

  1. Click on the three dots at the top right and go to Settings.

    Click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three dots at the top right corner. Now click on the menu option labeled Settings as shown by the arrow in the picture below, which will open the basic settings screen. Click on the Chrome menu button then on the Settings button
  2. In the left sidebar, click on the “Reset and Cleanup” option.

    In the left sidebar, click on “Reset and clean up“. Click on Reset and Cleanup
  3. Click “Reset settings to their original defaults”.

    Now click on the “Reset settings to their original defaults”. link as shown in the image below.  Reset Chrome
  4. Click “Reset Settings” button.

    A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the “Reset Settings” button. Confirm Reset Chrome browser
  5. (Optional) Reset Chrome Data Sync.

    In case a malicious extension reinstalls itself even after performing a browser reset, you have an additional option to reset the data sync for your browser. To do this, navigate to chrome.google.com/sync and click on the Clear Data button. Chrome Sync Reset
Remove malware from Firefox for Mac

To remove malware from Firefox for Mac we will reset the browser settings to its default. The reset feature fixes many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information like bookmarks, passwords, web form auto-fill information, browsing history, and open tabs.

  1. Go to the “Help” menu.

    Click on Firefox’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled “Help“.
    Image - Click on the Firefox Menu button then select Help

  2. Click “Troubleshooting Information”.

    Next click on the “Troubleshooting Information” option as indicated by the arrow in the image below. This will bring you to a Troubleshooting page.

    Image - Troubleshooting Information option in Firefox Mac

  3. Click on “Refresh Firefox”

    Click the “Refresh Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
    Image - Click on the Refresh Firefox button Mac

  4. Confirm.

    To continue, click on the “Refresh Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
    Image - Click again on Refresh Firefox button

  5. Click on “Finish”.

    Firefox will close itself and will revert to its default settings. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click on the “Finish“.

Your old Firefox profile will be placed on your desktop in a folder named “Old Firefox Data“. If the reset didn’t fix your problem you can restore some of the information not saved by copying files to the new profile that was created. If you don’t need this folder any longer, you should delete it as it contains sensitive information.

STEP 4: Run a scan with Malwarebytes for Mac to remove malware

In this final step, we will scan the computer with Malwarebytes for Mac to find and remove any malicious programs that might be installed on your Mac.

Malwarebytes for Mac is an on-demand scanner that can destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss without costing you absolutely anything. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free, and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.

  1. Download Malwarebytes for Mac.

    You can download Malwarebytes for Mac by clicking the link below.

    MALWAREBYTES FOR MAC DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes for Mac)
  2. Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.

    When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the setup file to install Malwarebytes on your computer. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.

    Double-click on setup file to install Malwarebytes

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.

    When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes for Mac Installer which will guide you through the installation process. Click “Continue“, then keep following the prompts to continue with the installation process.

    Click Continue to install Malwarebytes for Mac

    Click again on Continue to install Malwarebytes for Mac for Mac

    Click Install to install Malwarebytes on Mac

    When your Malwarebytes installation completes, the program opens to the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen. Click the “Get started” button.

  4. Select “Personal Computer” or “Work Computer”.

    The Malwarebytes Welcome screen will first ask you what type of computer are you installing this program, click either Personal Computer or Work Computer.
    Select Personal Computer or Work Computer mac

  5. Click on “Scan”.

    To scan your computer with Malwarebytes, click on the “Scan” button. Malwarebytes for Mac will automatically update the antivirus database and start scanning your computer for malware.
    Click on Scan button to start a system scan Mac

  6. Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.

    Malwarebytes will scan your computer for adware, browser hijackers, and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
    Wait for Malwarebytes for Mac to scan for malware

  7. Click on “Quarantine”.

    When the scan has been completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the malware that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine” button.
    Review the malicious programs and click on Quarantine to remove malware

  8. Restart computer.

    Malwarebytes will now remove all the malicious files that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.
    Malwarebytes For Mac requesting to restart computer

Your Mac should now be free of Browser Hijackers and other malware.

If your current antivirus allowed a malicious program on your computer, you might want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove a malicious program from your computer, please ask for help in our Mac Malware Removal Help & Support forum.

Removal Instructions for Android

Remove Browser Hijackers from Android

To remove Browser Hijackers and other malware from your phone or tablet, follow these steps:

STEP 1: Uninstall malicious apps

In this first step, we will check if any malicious apps are installed on your phone. Sometimes browser hijackers or adware apps can have usable Uninstall entries that can be used to remove these apps.

  1. Open the “Settings” menu.

    Tap on the “Settings” app from your phone menu or home screen.
    Settings app in Android

  2. Tap on “Apps”.

    When the “Settings” menu opens, tap on “Apps” (or “App Manager”) to see all the installed applications on your phone.
    Tap on Apps

  3. Find the malicious app.

    The “Apps” screen will be displayed with a list of all the applications that are installed on your phone. Scroll through the list and look out for any suspicious app that could be behind all the drama – anything you don’t remember downloading or that doesn’t sound like a genuine program.
    Most often, cyber criminals hide malware inside video or photo editing apps, weather apps, and camera apps.

    Search trough the Apps list for the malicious app
  4. Uninstall the malicious app

    When you find a suspicious or malicious app, tap on it to uninstall it. This won’t start the app but will open up the app details screen. If the app is currently running press the “Force stop” button, then tap on “Uninstall”.
    Uninstall malicious app from Android

    A confirmation dialog should be displayed to confirm you want to uninstall the app, tap on “OK” to remove the malicious app from your phone.

    Confirm uninstall app from Android phone

STEP 2: Reset browsers back to default settings

In this second step, we will reset your browser to its default settings to remove spam notifications, unwated search redirects, and restore its factory settings

Resetting the browser settings to their default it’s an easy task on Windows or Mac computers; however, when it comes to Android, this can’t be done directly because it’s not an option built-in into the browser settings. Restoring the browser settings on Android can be done by clearing the application data. This will remove all the cookies, cache, and other site settings that may have been saved. So let’s see how we can restore your browser to its factory settings.

Chrome for AndroidFirefoxOperaSamsung Internet BrowserMicrosoft Edge

Remove malware from Chrome for Android

To reset Chrome for Android to its default settings, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the “Settings” menu.

    Tap on the “Settings” app from your phone menu or home screen.
    Settings app in Android

  2. Tap on “Apps”.

    When the “Settings” menu opens, tap on “Apps” (or “App Manager”) to see all the installed applications on your phone.
    Tap on Apps

  3. Find and tap on Chrome.

    The “Apps” screen will be displayed with a list of all the apps installed on your phone. Scroll through the list until you find the Chrome app, then tap on it to open the app’s details.
    Tap on Chrome

  4. Tap “Storage”.

    When Chrome’s app info menu is displayed, tap on “Storage“.
    Tap on Storage

  5. Tap “Manage Space”.

    Under the storage settings, you will get two options — Manage Space and Clear Cache. Tap on “Manage Space“.
    Tap on Manage Storage

  6. Tap “Clear all data”.

    Tap “Clear all data” to delete all Chrome’s data including accounts, bookmarks, and your settings to reset the default settings.
    Tap on Clear All Data

  7. Confirm by tapping “Ok”.

    A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, tap “Ok“.
    Tap Ok to restore default settings

Remove malware from Firefox for Android

To reset Firefox for Android to its default settings, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the “Settings” menu.

    Tap on the “Settings” app from your phone menu or home screen.
    Settings app in Android

  2. Tap on “Apps”.

    When the “Settings” menu opens, tap on “Apps” (or “App Manager”) to see all the installed applications on your phone.
    Tap on Apps

  3. Find and tap on Firefox.

    The “Apps” screen will be displayed with a list of all the apps installed on your phone. Scroll through the list until you find the Firefox app, then tap on it to open the app’s details.
    Search trough the Apps list for the malicious app

  4. Tap “Storage”.

    When Firefox’s app info menu is displayed, tap on “Storage“.
    Firefox - Tap on Storage

  5. Tap “Manage Space”.

    Under the storage settings, you will get two options — Manage Space and Clear Cache. Tap on “Manage Space“.
    Firefox - Tap on Manage Storage

  6. Tap “Clear all data”.

    Tap “Clear all data” to delete all Firefox data including accounts, bookmarks, and your settings to reset the default settings.
    Firefox - Tap on Clear All Data

  7. Confirm by tapping “Ok”.

    A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, tap “Ok“.

Remove malware from the Opera browser

To reset the Opera browser to its default settings, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the “Settings” menu.

    Tap on the “Settings” app from your phone menu or home screen.
    Settings app in Android

  2. Tap on “Apps”.

    When the “Settings” menu opens, tap on “Apps” (or “App Manager”) to see all the installed applications on your phone.
    Tap on Apps

  3. Find and tap on Opera.

    The “Apps” screen will be displayed with a list of all the apps installed on your phone. Scroll through the list until you find the Opera app, then tap on it to open the app’s details.
    Search trough the Apps list for the malicious app

  4. Tap “Storage”.

    When Opera’s app info menu is displayed, tap on “Storage“.
    Opera - Tap on Storage

  5. Tap “Manage Space”.

    Under the storage settings, you will get two options — Manage Space and Clear Cache. Tap on “Manage Space“.
    Opera - Tap on Manage Storage

  6. Tap “Clear all data”.

    Tap “Clear all data” to delete all Opera’s data including accounts, bookmarks, and your settings to reset the default settings.
    Opera - Tap on Clear All Data

  7. Confirm by tapping “Ok”.

    A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, tap “Ok“.

Remove malware from Samsung Internet Browser

To reset the Samsung Internet Browser to its default settings, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the “Settings” menu.

    Tap on the “Settings” app from your phone menu or home screen.
    Settings app in Android

  2. Tap on “Apps”.

    When the “Settings” menu opens, tap on “Apps” (or “App Manager”) to see all the installed applications on your phone.
    Tap on Apps

  3. Find and tap on Samsung Internet Browser.

    The “Apps” screen will be displayed with a list of all the apps installed on your phone. Scroll through the list until you find the Samsung Internet Browser app, then tap on it to open the app’s details.
    Search trough the Apps list for the malicious app

  4. Tap “Storage”.

    When the Samsung Internet Browser’s app info menu is displayed, tap on “Storage“.
    Samsung Internet Browser - Tap on Storage

  5. Tap “Manage Space”.

    Under the storage settings, you will get two options — Manage Space and Clear Cache. Tap on “Manage Space“.
    Samsung Internet Browser - Tap on Manage Storage

  6. Tap “Clear all data”.

    Tap “Clear all data” to delete all Samsung Internet Browser’s data including accounts, bookmarks, and your settings to reset the default settings.
    Samsung Internet Browser - Tap on Clear All Data

  7. Confirm by tapping “Ok”.

    A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, tap “Ok“.

Remove malware from Microsoft Edge for Android

To reset the Microsoft Edge for Android to its default settings, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the “Settings” menu.

    Tap on the “Settings” app from your phone menu or home screen.
    Settings app in Android

  2. Tap on “Apps”.

    When the “Settings” menu opens, tap on “Apps” (or “App Manager”) to see all the installed applications on your phone.
    Tap on Apps

  3. Find and tap on Microsoft Edge.

    The “Apps” screen will be displayed with a list of all the apps installed on your phone. Scroll through the list until you find the Microsoft Edge app, then tap on it to open the app’s details.
    Search trough the Apps list for the malicious app

  4. Tap “Storage”.

    When the Microsoft Edge’s app info menu is displayed, tap on “Storage“.
    Microsoft Edge - Tap on Storage

  5. Tap “Manage Space”.

    Under the storage settings, you will get two options — Manage Space and Clear Cache. Tap on “Manage Space“.
    Microsoft Edge - Tap on Manage Storage

  6. Tap “Clear all data”.

    Tap “Clear all data” to delete all Microsoft Edge’s data including accounts, bookmarks, and your settings to reset the default settings.
    Microsoft Edge - Tap on Clear All Data

  7. Confirm by tapping “Ok”.

    A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, tap “Ok“.

STEP 3: Use Malwarebytes for Android to remove malicious apps

In this final step, we will install Malwarebytes for Android to scan and remove malicious apps from your phone or tablet.

Malwarebytes for Android automatically detects and removes dangerous threats like malware and ransomware so you don’t have to worry about your most-used device being compromised. Aggressive detection of adware and potentially unwanted programs keeps your Android phone or tablet running smooth.

  1. Download Malwarebytes for Android.

    You can download Malwarebytes for Android by clicking the link below.

    MALWAREBYTES FOR ANDROID DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes for Android)
  2. Install Malwarebytes for Android on your phone.

    In the Google Play Store, tap “Install” to install Malwarebytes for Android on your device.

    Tap Install to install Malwarebytes for Android

    When the installation process has finished, tap “Open” to begin using Malwarebytes for Android. You can also open Malwarebytes by tapping on its icon in your phone menu or home screen.
    Malwarebytes for Android - Open App

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the setup process

    When Malwarebytes will open, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through a series of permissions and other setup options.
    This is the first of two screens that explain the difference between the Premium and Free versions. Swipe this screen to continue.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen 1
    Tap on “Got it” to proceed to the next step.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen 2
    Malwarebytes for Android will now ask for a set of permissions that are required to scan your device and protect it from malware. Tap on “Give permission” to continue.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen 3
    Tap on “Allow” to permit Malwarebytes to access the files on your phone.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen 4

  4. Update database and run a scan with Malwarebytes for Android

    You will now be prompted to update the Malwarebytes database and run a full system scan.

    Malwarebytes fix issue

    Click on “Update database” to update the Malwarebytes for Android definitions to the latest version, then click on “Run full scan” to perform a system scan.

    Update database and run Malwarebytes scan on phone

  5. Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.

    Malwarebytes will now start scanning your phone for adware and other malicious apps. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
    Malwarebytes scanning Android for Vmalware

  6. Click on “Remove Selected”.

    When the scan has been completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes for Android has detected. To remove the malicious apps that Malwarebytes has found, tap on the “Remove Selected” button.
    Remove malware from your phone

  7. Restart your phone.

    Malwarebytes for Android will now remove all the malicious apps that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your device.

Your phone or tablet should now be free of Browser Hijackers and other malware.

If your current antivirus allowed a malicious app on your phone, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your phone after completing these instructions, then please follow one of the steps:

Protecting Your Browser From Future Hijackings

Completely removing an existing browser hijacker is the first step. Next, you should take measures to reinforce browser security and prevent future hijackings.

Here are some best practices:

  • Avoid suspicious downloads: Carefully vet programs before you install them. Download only from trusted sources. Avoid free media files, cracks, or pirated software that could contain malware bundles.
  • Don’t click random links: Check the actual URLs before you click. Never download from unfamiliar sites. Avoid clicking ads and pop-ups outright.
  • Use an ad blocker: Ad blockers like uBlock Origin help block malicious ads used to distribute browser hijackers. Disable ads for improved security.
  • Close suspicious tabs: If a browser tab is slow, laggy, or has weird activity, close it right away. Isolate and shut down potential infections fast.
  • Install a pop-up blocker: Pop-up blockers stop unwanted new tabs and windows that can contain attacks. Browsers like Firefox block pop-ups by default.
  • Make backups: Backup your computer periodically to preserve important data and configs. Having backups allows you to fully reset infected systems if needed.
  • Update everything: Running the latest software is critical. Updates patch security holes and boost protection against browser hijacker techniques.

Proactive precautions like these can go a long way toward keeping your browsers free of unwanted changes. Paying attention to what you click and download is one of the best defenses.

Frequently Asked Questions on Browser Hijackers

Browser hijackers can be confusing and concerning for many users. Below we answer some of the most common questions on what browser hijackers are, how to remove them, and how to stay protected.

What are some examples of browser hijackers?

Some well-known browser hijackers include:

  • MySearch – Changes default search engine and tracks browsing
  • WebCake – Injects pop-ups and advertisements
  • PriceMinister – Redirects searches to earn affiliate revenue
  • Yontoo – Displays extra advertisements and sponsored links
  • ByteFence – Pretends to be security software and pushes fake malware alerts

What damage can a browser hijacker cause?

Potential impacts include slow web browsing, unwanted pop-ups, redirected searches, home page changes, new toolbars, privacy violations, page loading errors, crypto mining, and increased malware risk.

What are symptoms of a browser hijacker?

Signs of a hijacker include a changed homepage, different default search engine, new extensions, more pop-ups, page redirects, slow browsing, high CPU usage, browser crashes, and modified security settings.

How do browser hijackers get installed on my device?

Common infection methods are bundled software installs, compromised sites, malicious ads/pop-ups, pirated content, fake “virus scan” offers, and spam email attachments.

How can I check if my browser has a hijacker?

Inspect browser extensions, reset your browser to see if problems persist, scan with antivirus and malware tools, check hosts file for redirects, and monitor for suspicious activity when browsing.

How do I remove a browser hijacker?

Run antivirus scans, delete unwanted extensions, reset browser settings to default, use malware removal tools, restore altered security settings, update your software, and check for leftover infections.

Is completely removing a browser hijacker difficult?

Some basic hijackers are easy to remove, but more advanced ones bury themselves and require antivirus scans, malware cleaning, and browser resets to fully eliminate. Persistence and multiple tools are key.

What is the best way to protect my browser from future hijackings?

Avoid suspicious downloads, don’t click random links, use an ad blocker, close shady tabs quickly, install a pop-up blocker, make backups, update your software regularly, and run frequent antivirus scans.

Can browser hijackers infect Macs and mobile devices too?

Yes, browser hijackers can infect Macs, iPhones, Androids, and any device that accesses the web. The same precautions apply across platforms.

Are browser hijackings the same as phishing scams?

No, browser hijacking is the modification of browser settings by malware. Phishing employs social engineering to trick users into disclosing login credentials and sensitive information.

What should I do if antivirus scans don’t detect the browser hijacker?

Try alternative malware scanners like Malwarebytes, reset your browser, check extensions and hosts file manually, reinstall your browser if needed, and ensure your security software is up-to-date.

Carefully following these FAQ tips and using multiple removal techniques can help free up your browser and reclaim peace of mind when browsing. Paying close attention to software downloads and online activity provides the best hijacker prevention.

The Bottom Line

Browser hijackers are a major nuisance that can bombard you with ads, slow your browsing, spy on your activity, and prove difficult to eliminate without the right removal approach.

Identifying the signs of an infection quickly and then using a combination of antivirus scans, browser resets, malware cleaners, and manual removal steps allows you to successfully clean even persistent hijackers and reclaim a safe, hassle-free browsing experience again.

Prevention moving forward comes down to avoiding suspicious downloads, staying updated, making prudent security settings, and just being cautious whenever you browse and install new software.

With the right toolkit and some diligence, you can both fix browser hijacker problems and avoid having them happen in the first place. Don’t let these obtrusive programs ruin the convenience of your web surfing.

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