CleanHistory browser hijacker Removal Guide
What is CleanHistory browser hijacker?
CleanHistory hijacks the browser by manipulating the settings and causing ads
CleanHistory does not provide any browser history cleaning abilities
CleanHistory can cause unwanted symptoms in your browser. It may change the main settings, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. The name of the extension implies that it can provide some kind of browsing history cleaning functions but that is not true.
In reality, the plugin does not provide any benefits and instead, causes erratic behavior. Users are forced to browse only through selected channels, raising many user privacy and security concerns. The add-on can gather various data about users' browsing habits and interests.
Without the most obvious symptoms, the web-based application can also cause an increased amount of commercial content, like pop-ups, banners, surveys, and redirects. Crooks can generate revenue from users' clicks. They may also use rogue advertising networks that place ads leading to dangerous websites.
People can end up on pages that try to lure out personal information or trick them into downloading PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), and malware. Sometimes browser hijackers can even automatically redirect people to adult, gambling, and scam pages so you should take care of this issue immediately, especially if there are other people using the affected machine.
|TYPE||Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program|
|SYMPTOMS||When a browser gets hijacked, usually the main settings get changed – the homepage, new tab address, and search engine; additionally, users can experience an increased amount of commercial content|
|DISTRIBUTION||Shady websites, deceptive ads, redirects, freeware installations|
|DANGERS||The application might gather various browsing-related information, which raises many user security and privacy concerns|
|ELIMINATION||You can remove an unwanted extension in the settings of the browser; deploying professional security software to scan the machine is recommended|
|FURTHER STEPS||Use ReimageIntego to try to repair any remaining damage and optimize the machine to fix performance issues|
Social engineering methods are used by crooks to distribute browser hijackers
It is important to know about various techniques used by fraudsters to spread apps like CleanHistory on the Internet. This plugin specifically, was found to be promoted on a shady page shown in the picture below. You can see various deception tactics that they use to lure people in.
CleanHistory is spread through shady pages and deceptive ads
“Available in the chrome web store” is a commonly used sentence in these types of websites. This increases legitimacy and trust. But you should not be persuaded by fake icons and claims. If you see such a statement, you should go to the web store and try to find the extension.
Even better, just use official web stores in the first place. They are the safest place you can download web-based apps. To get listed, they go through an extensive review process. Even though it is rare, some browser hijackers can slip through the cracks so you should still do your research.
Read the reviews, look at the ratings and the number of users the app has. It is best to choose those that have plenty of feedback and the number of users in the thousands. You can also put the name of the plugin into the search and see what comes up. You will often find that not many related results pop up if you enter the name of a hijacker.
The removal process
The first thing you should do is go to your browser settings and check if you see any extensions named CleanHistory or suspicious-looking add-ons in general. You can follow our guide if you need help:
- Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
- In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove.
- Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
- From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
- Click on Uninstall at the bottom.
MS Edge (Chromium)
- Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
- Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.
- Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
- Select Add-ons.
- In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove.
- Click Safari > Preferences…
- In the new window, pick Extensions.
- Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.
Now that your machine is free of intruders, you should get rid of all the data that might have been collected about you, while it was in your machine. For this, you need a different tool – ReimageIntego, which is a multi-purpose maintenance software. It will fully clear your browsers from cookies and cache, which will result in better performance of your machine. Besides that, it can fix various complicated system errors that are caused by corrupted files, and registry issues, which is especially helpful after a virus infection.
Get rid of PUPs
Unfortunately, the first removal method may not have worked for everyone. The hijacking could have also been caused by a PUA. This most commonly happens when people do not pay attention during the installation process and browse through shady sites. If the previous removal method did not get rid of the symptoms, you most likely have a potentially unwanted program performing tasks in the background.
In this case, simply removing the plugin from the browser will not help, and the application will keep messing up the settings until you completely eliminate it from your system. However, identifying the program responsible for hijacking your browser might be difficult if you have never done this before.
Crooks often disguise PUPs as handy tools that you would not even suspect. It could look like an antivirus, system optimizer, media player, or else. They get included in the installation process without the users' knowledge. You should avoid installing software from freeware distribution platforms.
If you are unsure what to do and do not want to risk eliminating the wrong files, we suggest using professional security tools. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes can scan your machine, identify suspicious processes running in your machine, eliminate them, and prevent such infections in the future by giving you a warning before a malicious program can make any changes. If manual removal is what you still prefer, we have instructions for Windows and Mac machines:
- Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
- Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.
- From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
- Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
- If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
- Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.
- Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
- In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.
- Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
- At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
- In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
- Click OK once the removal process is finished.
- From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
- In the Applications folder, look for all related entries.
- Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)
To fully remove an unwanted app, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:
- Select Go > Go to Folder.
- Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
- In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries and then delete them.
- Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files.
How to prevent from getting browser hijacker
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.