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Remove Browser Bleach (Removal Instructions) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Browser Bleach – a browser hijacker collaborating with suspicious third parties

Browser Bleach hijacked web browser

Browser Bleach is yet another potentially unwanted program (PUP)[1] which exhibits the traits typical to browser hijacker. Apart from the ability to infiltrate random PCs without requiring permission, it is also capable of initiating severe modifications of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Safari web browser’s settings.

Name Browser Bleach
Type of malware Browser hijacker
Danger level Medium (can deliver potentially dangerous websites)
Symptoms Corrupted web browser's settings (new tab URL, search site, start page), web browser's redirects, intrusive ads among search results, unusual web browser's performance
Distribution Software packages (Bundling)
Browser types Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Safari

The installation Browser Bleach extension triggers unusual web browser’s behavior. The new tab URL and primary search engine are replaced by browserbleach.com, while the default search engine is set to Browser Bleach by default. The developer of the tool claims that the service they offer is trustworthy and useful. The supposedly Google related search site allows:

access [to] privacy-related features from your New Tab page.
Delete tracking cookies, browse incognito, and clear your cache and history, all without digging into complicated settings menus.

However, cybersecurity experts express a different viewpoint towards this app. Based on various test results, the Browser Bleach virus might expose the system to the risk of malware infection and privacy leakage.

Promised services are just a trick used to trick as many Internet users as possible into using this third-party service. The real goal of this dubious search site is to drive visitor’s traffic to partners’ websites and generate pay-per-click revenue by displaying intrusive ads. Dieviren.de[2] cybersecurity experts want that the following types of ads generated via Browser Bleach servers can expose you to potentially dangerous or even malicious content:

  • Prize giveaways asking to participate in online surveys;
  • Fake software updates;[3] 
  • Offers to check the system online for free;
  • Ads featuring catchy slogans;
  • Counterfeit warnings about Trojan, Spyware, Worm, etc. infections.

Officially, Browser Bleach hijacker spreads Google-based search results. However, that does not prove evidence that the results are genuine. Since this tool participates in affiliate programs, it may display links to third-party websites to generate income by redirecting people to sponsor’s websites.

This search can also gain profit with the help of tracking cookies. It is capable of collecting Search Data (browsing history, search queries, clicks, IP address, etc.). However, it may also gather personally identifiable information. The fragment from the Privacy Policy illustrates that:

Your Search Data is collected and stored and may include personally identifiable information, depending on your search query. For instance, if you search your own name, personally identifiable information would be included in the search query. By using the services, you are consenting to grant browser bleach permission to collect your URLs and search data, including search queries that may contain personally identifiable information, share them with third parties, and use search-related cookies.

To protect yourself from identity theft, you should initiate Browser Bleach removal as quickly as possible. You can get a reliable service by using legitimate search engines like Google.

Browser Bleach virus exampleBrowser Bleach is a potentially malicious web browser extension which seeks to generate profit by displaying compromised search results and displaying third-party ads.

There are two possible methods to remove Browser Bleach virus from the system. One of the easiest ways to eliminate PUPs that triggered web browser’s hijack is to run a scan with a professional anti-malware, like ReimageIntego. After that, reset web browser’s settings to disable the Browser Bleach extension.

Alternatively, Browser Bleach removal can be performed manually. In this case, you should navigate to Programs & Features or Apps section depending on the OS type that you use and delete all suspicious/unknown entries. Anyway, you should not forget to reset web browser to undo the non-permitted changes.

Web browser hijackers are promoted via freeware

This particular extension is promoted by several means. It can be downloaded from the official website as a free web browser’s extension that is supposed to enhance the browsing experience. Alternatively, people can find its installer on the official Google Chrome Web Store.

Nevertheless, the ration of direct downloads is low. Most frequently people get tricked into installing this app as an extra component of freeware. It may be disguised under Quick or Recommended setup of freeware installation setup and pre-marked as the default component. Consequently, by clicking the Next button people inadvertently permit this extension and other potentially unwanted programs to get inside the system.

Luckily, there’s a way to prevent this kind of scenario. All you have to do is to monitor the installation procedure and opt out of additional components.

Learn how to get rid of Browser Bleach virus easily

Manual and automatic – there are the two methods that can be applied to Browser Bleach removal. Neither of them requires having in-depth knowledge of IT. However, by initiating the uninstall process manually, you take the risk of skipping malware-related components, which can later reassign the Browser Bleach virus.

The quickest and most reliable way to remove Browser Bleach from any web browser is to perform a deep scan with professional security tool. Select one of the programs listed below and launch it. Finally, follow the steps at the end of this article to eliminate the extension from Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. 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 Browser Bleach, follow these steps:

Get rid of Browser Bleach from Windows systems

Eliminate PUPs from Windows with the help of this tutorial:

  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 Browser Bleach and related programs
    Here, look for Browser Bleach 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 Browser Bleach 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.

Uninstall Browser Bleach from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Browser Bleach from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Browser Bleach-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove Browser Bleach, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to Browser Bleach and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Browser Bleach-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Remove Browser Bleach from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Browser Bleach and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Browser Bleach removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Eliminate Browser Bleach from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the Browser Bleach-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Erase Browser Bleach from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Disable Browser Bleach virus on Firefox by resetting its original parameters.

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

Delete Browser Bleach from Google Chrome

If this PUP hijacked Chrome, the following steps will explain how to revert the changes:

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

Get rid of Browser Bleach 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 Browser Bleach 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 Browser Bleach, 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 Browser Bleach removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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