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Hao123. How to Remove? (Uninstall Guide)

removal by - -   | Type: Browser Hijackers

Hao123 overview:

Hao123 is a browser hijacker, which can also be found under such names: hao.123,, en.hao.123, br.hao.123, tw.hao.123, jp.hao.123, vn.hao.123, etc. No matter that this search engine looks harmless, it can infiltrate your computer without your approval. Also, it can alter its settings and disable your favourite search sites for making you use it for your searches. We do NOT recommend using because it may cause these problems:

  • Causing redirects to unsafe websites. As soon as this search site becomes the start page and the default search engine on your computer, it gets an ability to show its search results. Mostly, these search results are filled with commercial notifications and links leading people to sponsored websites. The biggest problem here is you cannot be sure that one redirect won't trick you into visiting a dangerous website used to promote malware. Why should you put yourself at such risk?
  • Tracking PC users without their approval. In most of the cases, spreads in one pack with various components. Some of them are browser helper objects, browser add-ons, extensions and plugins that can be used for tracking PC users and collecting different information. As soon as these components are added to the system, they start collecting such data as people's search terms, mostly visited websites, data that is added by them on their favourite sites and so on. This information is considered non-personally identifiable, but we highly recommend keeping it private.
  • Initiating browser crashes and other issues. is propagated using illegal/unfair distribution methods. Besides, it can easily add its components to your PC system without your permission asked. Hao123 Toolbar is one of these components. No matter that such activity may seem harmless, you should keep in mind that it may cause slow downs on each of your web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Also, you may notice browser crashes and similar problems that can be eliminated only by removing this hijacker from the system.

The main page of a browser hijacker called Hao123

If you can see this browser hijacker on your web browser, you should waste no time and remove virus. The easiest way to do that is to run a full system scan with the reliable anti-spyware, such as Reimage. This program will help you to remove ALL programs that are considered malicious and suspicious. Also, it will help you to avoid them in the future.

How does this search engine hijack computers?

This search engine is mostly propagated using several distribution methods. Note that you should install updated anti-spyware if you want to prevent Hao123 hijack. Also, you should avoid freeware and shareware, or carefully check every installation window when downloading such program on your computer. For getting such ability, we highly recommend you to select Custom or Advanced installation of the freeware and then uncheck all questionable check marks. If this potentially unwanted program manages to get inside its target PC system, it may alter your PC's settings. Typically, you may discover changes in your start page, default search engine and new tab page. Besides, you may also find Hao123 Toolbar on your computer and receive annoying pop-up advertisements when searching on the Internet. If you think your PC may be infected with this redirect virus, you should not wait for its redirects to questionable websites. In this case, you should check your computer with updated anti-spyware or follow the detailed Hao123 removal guide given on the next page of this post.

Removal of Hao123 virus:

If your computer is affected by redirect virus, you should try to fix it without wasting your time. Otherwise, you may find yourself on a suspicious website seeking to infect your computer with malware. How can you eliminate this hijacker? First of all, you should find its entries in your Task Manager. Beware that it may use different names for preventing its elimination from the system! Besides, you should try to fix each of your web browsers by removing malicious browser add-ons, extensions and plugins and complete the removal of Hao123 virus. If this task seems too complicated for you or if you have been dealing with a continuous reappearance of this hijacker, you should think about automatic removal option. All tools that you can use for that you can find down below:

You can remove Hao123 automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

It might be that we are affiliated with any of our recommended products. Full disclosure can be found in our Agreement of Use. By downloading any of provided Anti-spyware software you agree with our Privacy Policy and Agreement of Use.
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Compatible with Microsoft Windows
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Hao123. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
Reimage is recommended remover to uninstall Hao123. You should confirm using free trial that it detects current version of parasite.
Not using OS X? Download a remover for Windows.
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We are testing Reimage's efficiency (2015-12-28 03:53)
Malwarebytes Anti Malware
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Hao123 screenshot
The main page of a browser hijacker called Hao123 snapshot
Quick menu: Manual Hao123 Removal Guide
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Hao123 from Windows 7 / Vista / XP systems

  • Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).

Remove Hao123 from Windows 10 / Windows 8 systems

  • If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program.
Uninstall Hao123 and related programs
  • Here, look for Hao123 or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  • Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes.
Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall' Remove Hao123 from Windows shortcuts
  • Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties.
Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  • Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus.
Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete '' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Hao123 from Mac OS X system

If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications.

Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'

Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Hao123 or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash.

Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Hao123 from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons
  • Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons.
Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  • You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Hao123 and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable:
Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable' Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
  • Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  • Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes.
Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes Reset Internet Explorer
  • Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  • Here, select Reset.
  • When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Hao123 removal.
Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Hao123 from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions
  • Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions.
Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  • Here, select Hao123 and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries.
Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
  • Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  • Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  • Click OK to save these changes.
When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes Reset Mozilla Firefox
  • Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information.
Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  • Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Hao123 removal.
Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Hao123 from Google Chrome

Delete malicious plugins
  • Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions.
Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  • Here, select Hao123 and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries.
Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
  • Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  • Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages.
After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  • Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage.
Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  • Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section.
When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  • When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name.
Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs Reset Google Chrome
  • Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  • Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings.
When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  • Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Hao123 removal.
Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Hao123 from Safari

Remove dangerous extensions
  • Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences.
Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  • Here, select Extensions and look for Hao123 or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them.
Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
  • Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  • Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Hao123, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page.
When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name Reset Safari
  • Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari....
Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  • Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Hao123 removal process.
Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

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Geolocation of Hao123

Map reveals the prevalence of Hao123. Countries and regions that have been affected the most are: China, Egypt, Macau, Vietnam and Brazil.

Removal guides in other languages

Information updated:

Comments on Hao123

Hao 123 began on Firefox, which I rarely use, but then spread to IE after I had used it (not just opened it). After IE was affected, an IE-based browser began acting differently when I used it but did not have a changed homepage. So to minimize the damage/hassle, it might help not to use any other browsers before addressing the first infected browser.

Probably the most conservative solution is to reset the settings of each infected browser -- and write down your personalized settings beforehand. (If some of the infected browsers are superficial -- e.g., IE-based -- just reset their primary browser.) This worked for IE (uninstalling is impossible with Windows) & the IE-based browser. For FF, I just erased all of the programs files and reinstalled it. So far, no more hao 123.

Hao 123 is not considered to be genuine malware by some people nor apparently by some reputuble antivirus programs; it is seen as more annoying than harmful. But its best to be safe.

Ironically, browser speed seemed faster with hao 123.
Simple extortion
Fab! That Hao123 tab opening in Chrome was really annoying me! Cheers, liltoffee
Used adwcleaner. Problem resolved. No need manual steps.
I looked into settings of my Firefox, IE, and Chrome. None of apps or plug-ins in the nature of "Hao123" or "Conduit" or "Babylon" show up. However, only my Firefox has hao123 as the start page. Chrome & IE are fine.

Any idea on why this happen? I tried to clean up everything but no help.
I have experienced that hao123 attached in IE and I did everything to clean it but still it show up as start page.
I did uninstall, reset browser, clean registration keys. And finally I found that the hao123 was written after the ie dot exe file in property link target.
if you right click on IE icon > property> target, you will see "C:/program file/internet explore", there delete the -hao123...- part. your IE should back to its home start page. it is very tricky.
Been there done that, still the hao123 is still appearing in the ie explorer.
is there a free way to remove hao123?
On Firefox, Ive tried removing hao123 using adwcleaner, to no avail. Ive disabled plug-ins and extensions and uninstalled recently installed apps, all to no avail. Very frustrating!
I consider your very difficult method to remove your software as an agression
on chrome you also need to go into settings > startup and remove the hao poop from there too

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