History-Cleaner browser hijacker (Free Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

History-Cleaner browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is History-Cleaner browser hijacker?

History-Cleaner is a browser-hijacking app that can read your browsing history

History-CleanerHistory-Cleaner is a potentially unwanted browser extension that inserts ads into search results

If you have found the History-Cleaner browser hijacker on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, MS Edge, or another web browser unexpectedly, you are not alone. Several people reported that they experienced a strange redirect phenomenon as soon as they try to use the search function of their browser, as their search results are no longer the same. To be more precise, each time a new tab is used or the “home” button is pressed, users keep getting redirected to history-cleaner.xyz.

While the new homepage might seem like nothing unusual, the impact on web browsing is quite significant. First of all, by appending the new search box, it may force users to use an alternative search provider, such as Bing, Google, Yahoo, or something else (this usually depends on users' location and other parameters).

These providers are completely legitimate, although unexpected changes to your default provider should be taken seriously. Not only does this alter which search results you are being shown, but it also ensures that the primary results are sponsored – they are not organic. Paid search results are not something new, although potentially unwanted applications tend to abuse them and flood users' searches with ads.

Besides unwanted advertisements, History-Cleaner may also initiate extensive web browsing tracking activities. For example, cookies,[1] search queries, IP address,[2] operating system type and version, language preferences, and much more can be collected by the hijacker.

Name History-Cleaner
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted application
Distribution Software bundles, third-party websites
Symptoms A new extension installed on the browser; homepage and new tab address are set to something else; a customized search engine is appended to the homepage; search results may include sponsored links and ads
Risks Installation of other potentially unwanted programs or even malware, privacy risks due to information gathering practices, monetary losses
Removal You can uninstall the unwanted browser extensions via settings – we provide details below. Use SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner security software to check your system for infections
Other tips Once you eliminate all unwanted and malicious programs from your system, make sure you clean your web browsers and repair system files. You can do that automatically with FortectIntego or refer to our manual guide

History-Cleaner: how did it end up on my browser?

If you did not install the extension intentionally for its functionality, it means you were tricked into doing so in other ways. There are two primary methods how hijackers and similar PUPs are distributed:

  • Software bundles;
  • (Misleading) advertisements on various websites.

If you have not heard of software bundling before, it is not a coincidence. Users are known to download software from third-party sources; it is also common knowledge to security experts that these third-party websites bundle software into packages. Without realizing, users might not notice optional apps and proceed with the installation process, ending up with the desired application and several other ones they never wanted.

This happens because people tend to rush the installation process of new apps and choose the Recommended/Quick settings when prompted. To avoid being a victim of this scheme, you should always be aware that optional apps might be offered to you, and your job is to find these offers and decline them. Pick Advanced/Custom settings and watch out for pre-ticked checkboxes, fine print text, misplaced buttons, and similar tricks.

History-Cleaner privacy policyThe hijacker gathers certain information about users as long as the app is installed

We have also seen a rise in apps that are being distributed thanks to misleading notifications or statements online. Once redirected to a suspicious website, users might be told that they need to update an already existing extension. Please ignore these claims, as you might even install malware on your device this way. Always download software updates from official, legitimate websites.

Other browser hijackers

Browser hijackers are among the most prevalent forms of potentially unwanted software – they have been around for decades by now. The principles of these apps' operation drastically changed from that time, as back then they used to be described as “spyware” and were a nightmare to deal with. Toolbars such as Ask were very difficult to remove.

Thanks to various cybersecurity implementations and tech companies treating security more seriously, these once dangerous apps evolved and are now considered more of nuisances than real infections. That being said, it does not mean that they should be completely disregarded.

Some browser hijackers still managed to keep some of the malicious traits – the “Managed by your organization” setting is one such example. When installed, a program modifies certain Windows settings, such as Group Policy, in order to prevent users from uninstalling it. We have previously talked about apps with such operational traits, including Routes virus, AnywhereSearch, or Flare Search. Luckily, History-Cleaner does not possess such a function and is relatively easy to remove.

How to remove History-Cleaner correctly

Regardless of which infection you are dealing with – be it serious or not – you should always start from a scan with powerful anti-malware, for example, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. Security software can find and remove all the malicious components at once, so you don't have to worry that a Trojan is stealing your data in the background.

Once you are sure there's no malware on your device, you should remove the unwanted extension. If you have never dealt with this process before, proceed with the following steps:

Google Chrome

  • 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.Remove extensions from Chrome

Your next step is to ensure that your browser is not using the hijacker's search engine:

  1. Click the menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Finally, make sure you clean the web browser caches to stop unwanted browser tracking. This step would also reduce the probability of a dangerous session hijacking[3] attack and prevent errors related to bugged caches. If you want to do this effectively for all browsers at once and also repair damaged system files if such help is required, employ FortectIntego instead of relying on manual steps.

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

If you are using Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari, refer to the instructions below.

You may remove virus damage with a help of FortectIntego. 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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Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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.

Getting rid of History-Cleaner browser hijacker. Follow these steps


Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Remove 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 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

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the 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 Delete Advanced 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” -Verbose Advanced 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, search 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

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall. Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

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 History-Cleaner browser hijacker 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: FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.


Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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