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  (8/100) How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - -   Also known as Hao123 by Baidu, Baidu.Hao123 | Type: System tools

Review of operates as a Chinese search provider. It has developed into one of the biggest domains[1]. Naturally, its emergence has inspired crooks to take advantage of it. However, not all services of this website are safe to use. There have been various discussions on the web about Hao123 by Baidu, which is a browser plugin provided by this search engine. Not every of its versions is reliable and safe to use! Some of them have been categorized as PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) and adware programs. After being installed on the system, Hao123 by Baidu virus takes control over each of web browsers and alters the default search provider, the start page, and a new tab window by force. This way, third parties that sponsor this malicious plugin version get the chance to present their sponsored links to PC users[2]. That’s why you may start noticing these redirects to the websites that are certainly irrelevant to the search terms that you’ve entered. Due to Hao123 redirect tendency, you might land on an infected website as well[3]. At the moment of writing, it commonly redirects people to Hao123, and similar sites that are used for affiliate marketing purposes. This browsing tool may also hardly meet your expectations for an objective search engine as well. Make a rush to remove Hao123. 

Redirects to sponsored domains and bombarding you with commercial content are primary features of a browser hijacker. By doing so, these potentially unwanted programs aim to identify particular users’ preferences and create more relevant and personalized advertisements, apps, and websites. Unfortunately, the US Senate approved the legislation for online advertisers to trade and sell your browsing data among themselves and partners[4]. Needless to say, that the line between users’ privacy and its violation becomes more than transparent. Likewise, similar laws only encourage crooks and users of various ilk to engage in the activities of creating browser hijackers. Though the privacy policy of commits to protecting your privacy, there is no applicable privacy policy provided on the page of Hao 123. In relation, this Hao123 hijacker may collect such information as well. The suspicious and disturbing content provided on the main page only enforces such assumptions. That’s why you are strongly advised to remove this questionable browser plugin called Hao123 by Baidu with the help of Reimage. Of course, you can also use an alternative anti-spyware.

Skype virus redirecting to Baidu link sparks users’ worries

A couple of weeks ago, the Skype community bustled about when users in different regions reported of a suspicious Baidu link being sent from their Skype contacts[5]. What is more, the link contained the skype name of the recipient contact. Such feature might have tempted more credible users to click on the link. According to the behavior of this malware, it operates as a computer worm: when a user clicks on the link, all of his or her contacts receive the fraudulent link as well. The specifications’ of this malware also resembles Facebook video virus. After receiving the video file with a personal profile picture, users would curiously click on the link without having the slightest suspicion of the virtual infection. If you receive this Skype virus redirecting to Baidu link, do not click on it, ignore it. It might be beneficial to change your password as well. Check your system whether it does not contain any questionable applications. 

How did Hao123 occupy my browser?

If you have run into a browser hijacker for the first time, it is crucial to know how it spreads in order to escape it in the future. Such potentially unwanted programs are pinned to freeware. Since users pay little attention to the installation wizards, they often end up installing questionable optional software along with the primary one. Next time you download a new program, make sure you choose “Custom” settings. They disclose optional attachments. Watch for irrelevant add-ons and remove the checkmarks from them. Note that such well-known apps such as Skype and Java may also contain shady attachments, so your vigilance while installing new programs is of utmost importance. It will reduce the risk of experiencing the annoying after-effects of Hao123 hijack.

Removing Hao123 by Baidu from my computer

Before learning the method that can be used for Hao123 hijacker removal, you should learn how to prevent its installation. Keep in mind that it spreads by ‘bundling’, just like adware and other PUPs. In fact, has also been using this quite aggressive distribution technique, that is closely related to freeware and all file sharing websites. Even the most reliable download sources can be involved in the distribution of software packages, so downloading a freeware always puts you at the risk of ending up with various adware, browser hijackers, and similar PUPs. That’s why you have to start checking Advanced/Custom settings of each freeware, reading all notifications, and opting out of ‘additional components’.

Speaking about Hao123 virus removal, we want to stress that the most reliable way to get rid of it is a full system check with a reliable anti-malware. Here are all tools that can be used for eliminating it: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. FAQ:

Question: I have been using for a while. Can I trust this search engine? It seems reliable for me.

Answer: is a legitimate search engine, so if you understand Chinese, you can use it without any risks. However, if you have discovered Baidu Toolbar or Hao123 by Baidu plugin on your computer, you should remove these apps because they have been added to PUP category.

You can remove 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 you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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Manual Removal Guide:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove from Windows systems

  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.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove Hao123 and its related toolbars and plug-ins carefully.

  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
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate 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.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase from Google Chrome

  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
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove 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
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 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

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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  • Tom

    By bye to baidu browser hijacker. Time to employ the anti-virus app.

  • bonyoceans

    Ah..not going to meddle with…

  • ClumsyFireP

    Too many questions and only few answers…