Hao123. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Hao123: the basis of numerous browser hijackers

Screenshots of Hao123 main page and search results

Hao123 virus is a infamous search and entertainment site that numerous browser hijackers were built upon. So, you may have seen this redirect virus labeled as hao.123, hao123.com, en.hao.123, br.hao.123, tw.hao.123, jp.hao.123, vn.hao.123, etc. Despite its veneer, it can infiltrate your computer and disturb your browsing sessions.

The virus may alter browser settings and disable your favorite search sites for making you use it for your searches. Remove Hao123 from the device instantly with Reimage or another malware removal utility if you found this page instead of your start page or the default search engine. Otherwise, it can start causing redirects to unsafe websites [1].

As soon as this search site becomes the start page and the default search engine on your computer, it also receives an ability to display its search results. Mostly, these search results will be filled with commercial notifications and links leading people to sponsored websites. The biggest problem here is that you cannot be sure whether some unexpected Hao123.com redirect won't trick you into visiting a dangerous website used to promote malware [2]. Just think about it, why should you put yourself at such risk?

Besides, security experts have already warned users for Hao's ability to track its victims without their approval. In most of the cases, hao123.com 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 [3].

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.

Browser crashes and other interferences have also been reported by its victims. Keep in mind that Hao123.com has been 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.

If you can see this browser hijacker on your web browser, you should waste no time and start Hao123.com removal. 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.

Hao123: the most active versions

Hao123Tab. It is a browser plug-in, which places Hao123.com start page, new tab page and default search engine in user's browsers. It is a potentially unwanted program that you should remove from your computer as soon as you notice signs of its presence. This browser plug-in causes redirects to questionable third-party websites once the user attempts to use Hao123 search. Therefore, if you care about your computer's safety, you should not keep this plug-in in your browser.

Us.Hao123.com virus. Us.Hao123.com is a vague site that presents a search engine and various suspicious clickable content. On this website, you can see a variety of links and ads, which are likely to be insecure, so computer security experts do not advise clicking on them. In fact, this site can appear in your browser when you launch it only if Us.Hao123.com browser hijacker is running on your computer system. If your browser's settings were altered without your consent and if you would like to remove Us.Hao123.com, use instructions provided in this post.

Id.Hao.123 does not stand out much in comparison with other versions of Hao123 browser hijacker. It attempts to hijack your browser and promote the content of third-parties. It tries to attract attention by offering links to social networks, sports, news, and entertainment websites. Do not fall for such bait as there are more drawbacks than advantages. Self-cautious users might get irritated by the fact that the PUP monitors their browsing traffic. in addition, the hijacker promotes websites which are poorly protected from outside threats. Likewise, it would be better to get rid of the hijacker right away.  

Baidu.com has an alternative URL domain name but it operates as the same Hao123 hijacker. Its authors do not intend to step down from the online market and distribute several versions of the same questionable browsing tool. Due to the promotion of fishy websites of its partners, baidu.com is still encountered roaming around the Web. Make sure you pay attention while installing new programs not to facilitate baidu.com hijack. 

Browser hijacker infection: the main principles

This search engine is mostly propagated using several distribution methods. Note that in most cases, an updated anti-spyware, anti-malware or antivirus can prevent prevent Hao123 hijack.

Getting back to the virus distribution, we must first warn you about software distribution technique called bundling which browser hijackers tend exploit to sneak inside computers. Bundling is a technique which allows shareware or freeware packages to be bundled with additional components, such as browser hijackers and install them without user's permission.

That's why experts recommend checking every installation window carefully when setting up such program on your computer. For getting such ability, always 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 [4]. 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.

Hao123 removal techniques

If your computer is affected by this PUP, remove Hao123 virus 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, plugins and complete Hao123 removal. If this task seems too complicated for you or if you have been dealing with continuous assaults of this hijacker, you should think about automatic removal option. All tools that you can use for that you can find down below.

Lastly, keep in mind that you should remain vigilant not only while performing a banking operation but while downloading new apps as well [5].

You can remove Hao123 automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, 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.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove Hao123 you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using 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.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual Hao123 Removal Guide:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Hao123 from Windows systems

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You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
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To uninstall Hao123 virus from your computer, you need to eliminate all components of this browser hijacker. You should run thru the entire programs' list and uninstall each suspicious application, such as baidu, adchoices and others.

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. 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. 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'.
  3. Uninstall Hao123 and related programs
    Here, look for Hao123 or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Remove Hao123 from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' 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 ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Hao123 from Mac OS X system

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

To eliminate the hijacker from your Mac OS X, you will have to go through the list of instructions indicated below:

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. 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 ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Hao123 from Internet Explorer (IE)

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You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
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After completing the steps, reset the settings to ensure complete elimination of all components of the hijacker.

  1. 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'
  2. 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'
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. 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 ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Hao123 from Microsoft Edge

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You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

When you eliminate the pup from you PC, you will also have to reset your browser in order to eliminate the last bits of the virus activity on your PC. You can reset MS Edge browser like explained below:

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Hao123 should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Hao123 from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
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Our experts explain how to reset Mozilla Firefox and regain control of your browser here:

  1. 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'
  2. 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
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. 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
  6. 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'
  7. 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 ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Hao123 from Google Chrome

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Google Chrome is a browser which most likely suffers most of browser hijacker attacks. Hao123 does not go past it either. So, you have to learn how to restore your web engine in case the virus hits.

  1. 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'
  2. 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
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. 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'
  5. 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
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. 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
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Hao123 removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Hao123 from Safari

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

  1. 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'
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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...'
  6. 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
After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of Hao123 registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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Removal guides in other languages

  • Todd

    on chrome you also need to go into settings > startup and remove the hao poop from there too

  • hakim

    I consider your very difficult method to remove your software as an agression

  • zhacz

    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!

  • tea

    is there a free way to remove hao123?

  • Kathy

    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”hao123.com/…., there delete the -hao123…- part. your IE should back to its home start page. it is very tricky.

    • Vannessa

      Been there done that, still the hao123 is still appearing in the ie explorer.

  • Ceci

    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.

  • de_arcana

    Used adwcleaner. Problem resolved. No need manual steps.

  • liltoffee

    Fab! That Hao123 tab opening in Chrome was really annoying me! Cheers, liltoffee

  • Frank

    Simple extortion

  • anonymous

    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.