There are several reasons why you may experience a browser redirect,however the most likely cause it’s a computer virus.
Browser redirect viruses are not something new and malware developers have been using this technique for years to generate traffic to their sites,gathering search terms and redirect users to websites from where they’ll receive a commission or some sort of revenue.
Your browser can be redirected while you do a Google, Yahoo or Bing search and in this case the malicious programs will hijack you search results and redirect you to similar websites.And in other cases will redirect you while you are trying to load a webpage ,will instead redirect you to a tracking websites and only afterwards allow you to go to your desired site.
So what type of infections can cause this browser redirects? TDL4 rootkits ,bootkits which will infectyour Master Boot Record and malicious browser add-ons are known to cause this malicious behavior.
This type of infections are designed specifically to make money. It generates web traffic, collects sales leads for other dubious sites, and tries to fool the victim into paying for useless software. If those tricks don’t work it can kick up the threat level by downloading additional malicious or misleading programs.
How to remove browser redirect malware (Complete Guide)
This article is a comprehensive guide, which will remove any browser redirect infections that may reside on your computer. And if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, then we strongly advise you follow this guide to check and remove any infection that you might have on your computer.
OPTIONAL: Some forms of malware will not allow you to start some of the below utilities and on-demand scanners, while running Windows in Normal mode. If this happens, we recommend that you start your computer in Start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, and try from there to perform the scan.
We recommend that you first try to run the below scans while your computer is in Normal mode, and only if you are experiencing issues, should you try to start the computer in Safe Mode with Networking.
To start your computer Start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, you can follow the below steps:
- Remove all floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs from your computer, and then restart your computer.
- If you are using Windows XP, Vista or 7 press and hold the F8 key as your computer restarts.Please keep in mind that you need to press the F8 key before the Windows start-up logo appears.
Note: With some computers, if you press and hold a key as the computer is booting you will get a stuck key message. If this occurs, instead of pressing and holding the “F8 key”, tap the “F8 key” continuously until you get the Advanced Boot Options screen.If you are using Windows 8, press the Windows key + C, and then click Settings. Click Power, hold down Shift on your keyboard and click Restart, then click on Troubleshoot and select Advanced options.
- In the Advanced Options screen, select Startup Settings, then click on Restart.
- If you are using Windows XP, Vista or 7 in the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode with Networking , and then press ENTER.
If you are using Windows 8, press 5 on your keyboard to Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
Windows will start in Safe Mode with Networking.
STEP 1: Remove bootkits and trojans with Kaspersky TDSSKiller
In this first step, we will run a system scan with Kaspersky TDSSKIller to remove any malicious software that might be installed on your system.
- Please download the latest official version of Kaspersky TDSSKiller.
KASPERSKY TDSSKILLER DOWNLOAD LINK(This link will automatically download Kaspersky TDSSKiller on your computer.)
- Double-click on tdsskiller.exe to open this utility, then click on Change Parameters.
- In the new open window,we will need to enable Detect TDLFS file system, then click on OK.
- Next,we will need to start a scan with Kaspersky, so you’ll need to press the Start Scan button.
- Kaspersky TDSSKiller will now scan your computer for malware.
- When the scan has finished it will display a result screen stating whether or not the infection was found on your computer. If it was found it will display a screen similar to the one below.
- To remove the infection simply click on the Continue button and TDSSKiller will attempt to clean the infection.A reboot will be require to completely remove any infection from your system.
STEP 2: Run RKill to terminate any malicious process
RKill is a program that will attempt to terminate all malicious processes associated with “Windows Update can not continue as your Software copy is Expired/Corrupt” infection, so that we will be able to perform the next step without being interrupted by this malicious software.
Because this utility will only stop “Windows Update can not continue as your Software copy is Expired/Corrupt” running process and does not delete any files, after running it you should not reboot your computer as any malware processes that are configured to start automatically will just be started again.
- While your computer is in Safe Mode with Networking, please download Rkill from the below link.
RKILL DOWNLOAD LINK (his link will open a new web page from where you can download “RKill”)
- Double click on Rkill program to stop the malicious programs from running.
- RKill will now start working in the background, please be patient while this utiltiy looks for malicious process and tries to end them.
- When the Rkill tool has completed its task, it will generate a log. Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.
STEP 3: Remove Trojan Horses with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free uses industry-leading technology to detect and remove all traces of malware, including worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware, and more.
It is important to note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware works well and should run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.
- You can download download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the below link.
MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free”)
- Once downloaded, close all programs, then double-click on the icon on your desktop named “mbam-setup” to start the installation of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
- When the installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.
To install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.
- Once installed, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will automatically start and you will see a message stating that you should update the program, and that a scan has never been run on your system. To start a system scan you can click on the “Scan Now” button.
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for virus. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is scanning it will look like the image below.
- When the scan has completed, you will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes Anti-malware has found, click on the “Remove Selected” button.
Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now quarantine all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. When removing the files, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot your computer, please allow it to do so.
After your computer will restart, you should open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and perform another “Threat Scan” scan to verify that there are no remaining threats
STEP 4: Remove rootkits with HitmanPro
HitmanPro is a 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.). HitmanPro is designed to work alongside existing security programs without any conflicts. It scans the computer quickly (less than 5 minutes) and does not slow down the computer.
- You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “HitmanPro”)
- Double-click on the file named “HitmanPro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “HitmanPro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
Click on the “Next” button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.
- HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malicious files.
- When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the “Next” button, to remove viruses.
- Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
STEP 5: Remove adware and browser hijackers with Zemana AntiMalware
emana AntiMalware is a powerful utility which will remove malicious browser extensions and other malware from Windows.
- You can download Zemana AntiMalware from the below link:
ZEMANA ANTIMALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new website from where you can download “Zemana AntiMalware”)
- Double-click on the file named “Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup.exe” to install Zemana AntiMalware on your computer. When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as seen below.
Click on the “Next” button, to install Zemana AntiMalware on your computer.
- When Zemana AntiMalware will start, click on the “Scan” button.
- Zemana AntiMalware will now scan computer for any malicious files. This process can take up to 10 minutes.
- When Zemana AntiMalware has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found. Click on the “Next” button, to remove the malicious files from your computer.
- Zemana AntiMalware will now remove all the detected malicious files, and at the end a system reboot may be required to remove all traces of malware.
(OPTIONAL) STEP 6: Remove adware from any browser with AdwCleaner
The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer and web browser for the malicious files, browser extensions and registry keys, that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge.
- You can download AdwCleaner from the below link.
ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “AdwCleaner”)
- Before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.
If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
- When the AdwCleaner program will open, click on the “Scan” button as shown below.
AdwCleaner will now start to search for malicious files that may be installed on your computer.
- To remove the malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the “Clean” button.
- AdwCleaner will prompt you to save any open files or documents, as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the OK button.
(OPTIONAL) STEP 7: Remove redirects from Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge
If you are still experiencing issues with any browser hijacker in Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome, we will need to reset your browser to its default settings. This step needs to be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.
Reset Internet Explorer
You can reset Internet Explorer settings to return them to the state they were in when Internet Explorer was first installed on your PC.
- Open Internet Explorer, click on the “gear icon” in the upper right part of your browser, then click again on Internet Options.
- In the “Internet Options” dialog box, click on the “Advanced” tab, then click on the “Reset” button.
- In the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” section, select the “Delete personal settings” check box, then click on “Reset” button.
- When Internet Explorer has completed its task, click on the “Close” button in the confirmation dialogue box. You will now need to close your browser, and then you can open Internet Explorer again.
Reset Mozilla Firefox
If you’re having problems with Firefox, resetting it can help. 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.
- In the upper-right corner of the Firefox window, click the Firefox menu button (), then click on the “Help” () button.
- From the Help menu, choose Troubleshooting Information.
If you’re unable to access the Help menu, type about:support in your address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting information page.
- Click the “Refresh Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
- To continue, click on the “Refresh Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
- 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“.
Note: 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 Google Chrome
The Chrome Cleanup Tool application will scan and remove software that may cause problems with Chrome, such as crashes, unusual startup pages or toolbars, unexpected ads you can’t get rid of, or otherwise changing your browsing experience.
- You can download Chrome Cleanup Tool from the below link.
CHROME CLEANUP TOOL DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “Chrome Cleanup Tool”)
- When Chrome Cleanup Tool has finished downloading, start this program by double-clicking on the chrome_cleanup_tool icon as seen below.
- Chrome Cleanup Tool will now scan Google Chrome for adware and browser hijackers. The scan should take less than 1 minute, and will report whether it found any malicious programs or not. If any malicious programs were detected, click on the “Remove suspicious programs” button and wait for the tool to tell you it has completed the process.
If Chrome Cleanup Tool has not detected anything suspicious, then you can click on the “Continue” button and move to the next step.
- Next, a new tab in Google Chrome will open, prompting you to reset Chrome to default settings. We recommend that you perform this reset as usually this will remove any browser hijackers that might affect your browser.
Reset Microsoft Edge
- In the upper-right corner of the Microsoft Edge window, click the “More actions” icon (three dots), then click on the “Settings” option.
- Under the section labeled “Open With“, select the option “Start page“.