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removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Browser Hijackers is the fake search engine that shows only sponsored content and controls online traffic by redirecting to shady advertising services is the search engine and a questionable domain, in general, that appears on Android devices and causes frustration for users when it starts affecting every online search and browsing session.[1] This intruder is designed to create redirects and inject browsers with advertising material, so the site itself shows only sponsored content, and even though it resembles a legitimate search engine, all searches online get affected by the potentially unwanted program significantly. Intruder affects time on the machine or the mobile device that it infects because the hijacker takes over the web browsing programs and changes default preferences, settings and sets itself as a homepage, new tab, search engine to control every attempt to search on the internet. These unwanted changes and intrusive behavior are the reasons why this domain falls into the category of potentially unwanted programs.

Type Browser hijacker
Category Potentially unwanted program
Symptoms It appears on the web browser every time you launch the tool and try to access the internet and commonly visited pages. However, the intruder significantly affects your time on the browser because it injects advertisements on every page and triggers redirects to shady sites, fills search results with sponsored content and relies on other techniques that help to reroute the online traffic to affiliated sites
Distribution Insecure freeware installations give the PUP developers and opportunity to pack shady applications with free programs and distribute them online without full disclosure. When users skip through steps software bundling method is successfully working, and victims get their apps alongside PUPs
Damage PUPs and advertisers use ad-tracking methods and collect users' data regarding time online, browsing history. This behavior leads to privacy issues and identity theft. Also, online material often includes malicious downloads and malware
Elimination removal can be quick and successful with anti-malware tools designed to terminate PUPs and other shady programs. Get a tool compatible with your device 
Repair Additional processes and programs get loaded on the system when adware, hijackers or PUP get to infiltrate the machine, so changes in the system folders affect the persistence. To repair affected files and settings get a tool like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or another system optimizer and get rid of any virus damage virus is considered to be intrusive and persistent because it causes various problems and makes alterations to your preferences regarding online activities and web browsers. You may experience various symptoms related to this hijacker and don't even notice the program itself that triggers all the unwanted behavior. 

This browser hijacker gets downloaded in a bundle with other PUPs, in most cases, and the domain get set as your search engine and loads on the web browser each time you launch Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Safari. It even hijacks the shortcut of your commonly used browser, so when you want to start the application it automatically goes to this site and all browsing sessions, online searching attempts get redirected through shady sites. ins considered potentially dangerous because it changes other settings and injects files, programs, entries to places that control rebooting and other crucial functions regarding the performance. Browser hijacker tries to keep the PUP more persistent, so people cannot remove it that quickly.

However, you may not even notice the infiltration until the following symptoms occur:

  • homepage, default search engine, and new tab gets set to;
  • search provider, built-in search box redirects to the same domain;
  • toolbars, bookmarks, extensions, and add-ons get installed without additional permissions;
  • speed of the machine suffers significantly due to additional pop-ups and redirects.

You should remove as soon as you notice any of these because the potentially unwanted program can run in the background affecting the particular settings and activities before it shows anything on the screen. The sooner you terminate this intruder the better, so you can avoid additional installations of different PUPs or stay away from malicious sites that hijacker redirects to. [2] hijack is the potentially unwanted program that changes the homepage, default search engine, and new tab settings to affect the time online.
Using this domain as a search provider is not safe, especially on mobile devices where pop-ups or pop-unders fill up the screen and keep the person from controlling the traffic. can expose the user to possibly malicious material and advertising services, so you need to avoid interacting with any redirects or pop-ups as much as possible. removal may be difficult, in general, and when the PUP had more time to affect the machine it makes all the alterations to keep hiding the crucial files and programs around. Get a proper anti-malware program or mobile application compatible with your operating system and run the full scan on the device to find all the PUP-related programs and files. hijacks various browsers, in most cases, all of them regardless if you use the web browsing tool or not. This is how intruder ensures the persistence and keeps affecting the performance, speed, and security of the infected computer or phone. You should go through settings and preferences manually to get the unwanted program completely off of the machine.

However, when it comes to alterations that PUP makes on the system folders, and more crucial parts, experts[3] don't recommend going for the manual interference because lack of knowledge can lead to additional damage and other issues. Get a proper system tool for the PC repair process or a cleaner like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego and search for affected files, registry entries. These tools should fix the parts that need repair and don't affect any other functions. PUP is the program that can install other material on the browser or the machine itself and control what websites you get to visit.

Pay attention to processes happening on the machine

The internet is filled with insecure content, so you should consider that any suspicious site and program, advertisement, the redirect can possibly be dangerous. Pay close attention to the material you visit and sites you rely on for software distribution, for example. Such downloads and installation processes, sharing services, and similar domains are mostly used to spread PUPs like hijackers, adware, and shady tools around.

When you go for the internet source for the program or browser extension, pay attention to Privacy Policy, Terms, and EULA of the site itself. The best option would be to trust only official creators and freeware providers for these processes, but users tend to look for easier options.

However, the most important thing to note is the installation options because by choosing Advanced or Custom installations you ensure that every part of the installation setup is shown to you, and you can control what programs to get. Skipping through steps during recommended installations means that you agree to get all included applications and files, that includes PUPs and even more severe cyber threats.

Clean the device from traces of the suspicious PUP removal process depends on the particular device this potentially unwanted program infiltrates because it cam comes on computers, laptops, and even mobile devices. These redirects most often occur due to PUP infiltration that happens either when you browse on malicious sites or during the freeware installations. 

When you encounter virus on the Android system, you may need to reset the device fully to get rid of the damage and possibly installed malware. However, as for Windows and Mac devices, first, we recommend going for the automatic anti-malware scan that checks for possible intruders.

When you rely on professional anti-malware tools and remove fully from the system, make sure to double-check and be certain that PUP symptoms ended. Then, rely on system tools, optimizing software, and try to repair affected system parts, settings.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove, follow these steps:

Eliminate from Windows systems

Make sure to clean the machine from any traces of the suspicious PUP

  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 and related programs
    Here, look for 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 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 '' 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.

Delete from Mac OS X system

  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 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'

Remove from Internet Explorer (IE)

  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 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 removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Erase from Microsoft Edge

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, should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Uninstall from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  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 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 removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Get rid of from Google Chrome

You may need to reset the Chrome to default, so all the issues regarding the intruder are fixed

  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 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 removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Eliminate from Safari

  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 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, 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 removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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