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removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: System tools is behavioral analytics website that provides tracking for website owners is an analytics service that provides website creators with data about users' actions

Hotjar is an analytics provider – a legitimate, GDPR-compliant[1] service that is used by website creators to track various trends about the usage of the site. Website authors install the software on their websites in order to track various statistics, and hence why the visitors might see,, or similar subdomains briefly showing on their web browser URL bar.

However, users also claimed that a “ virus” has appeared on their computers, as the security software started flagging the domain as malicious. This behavior can be the cause of overly-aggressive anti-malware software settings or when a false-positive[2] is detected. However, if you see intrusive ads along with other adware infection symptoms, your problem is not related to – you should uninstall all the potentially unwanted applications from your system.

Type Analytics provider used by website developers to track users 
Causes of concern  Several users complained that their security software started flagging,, and similar domains as malicious. Besides, the functionality of the service might be concerning to users who value their privacy
Related detection  URL:Mal, URL:Mal2
Termination  You cannot eliminate's appearance from your browser if you are visiting websites that use the service. However, you can opt-out of the information tracking and add an exception to your anti-virus so that the pop-ups would stop. Also, ensure your security software is running on the latest version 
Optimization  For the best performance of your machine, we recommend using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego 

The description of the Hotjar service on its official website is as follows:[3]

Hotjar is a powerful tool that reveals the online behavior and voice of your users. By combining both Analysis and Feedback tools, Hotjar gives you the 'big picture' of how to improve your site's user experience and performance/conversion rates.

While the service is legitimate, many users were wondering whether,, and similar sites have something to do with malware. Multiple users complained that their anti-malware software, such as AVG, started flagging some sites that connect to subdomains as malicious.

So, what is going on – is a virus? The truth lies within several components that are present in the activity that users observe. Typically, they might see the site flashing for a short period of time before connecting to the destination, although most were concerned about the security software flagging and other sites as malicious.

However, we can assure you that is not a virus, despite that some scam sites claim the opposite. If you see pop-ups, deals, offers, banners, coupons, auto-play, and other types of ads on your Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, MS Edge, Safari, or another web browser, it means that there is a potentially unwanted program installed on the system, and it has nothing to do with a so-called virus.

Some anti-virus providers might be configured to react aggressively on various online trackers, and might be one of them. The security software might consider the domain as “malicious” because it is used for tracking purposes, and anti-malware is there to stop such behavior. However, the activity of Hotjar is not malicious.

Potentially unwanted applications typically travel within software bundles, so many users install them without initially wanting to in the first place. In other words, they do not pay close attention to the installation process of freeware downloaded from third-party sites and end up installing optional components. These apps, while they should be terminated as soon as possible (they are designed to track user information, deliver ads and redirect to suspicious/scam websites), removal cannot be performed in such a way.

To remove pop-ups, users need to add the URL, along with its subdomains, to an exception list within their anti-malware programs. The process differs based on security software, so if you are not aware of how to do that, you should go to the security provider website and seek instructions there. Additionally, you should make sure that you update your anti-malware to the latest version to ensure that the latest database is used. is a tracking service that analyzes users' behavior on the site. However, cases of anti-malware software flagging it as malicious were spotted as well

However, we should also not forget the principle of service – it is used to track users. If you do not wish for the service to track you, you could opt-out on this page.

When it comes to ads and other issues, you should check your machine for malware/adware. Access the full list of the installed apps and eliminate everything suspicious and then perform a full scan with anti-malware. Optionally, you can also reset the installed browsers and scan the computer with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Protect your machine comprehensively

Cybersecurity is very important is often underestimated by many people, since they believe that no malware will ever access their machines. The truth is, there are so many different methods that the attackers can use to breach systems with the help of such techniques like social engineering, brute-forcing, phishing emails, and much more. However, robust anti-malware software can most certainly protect users from most of the infections. Despite this, online behavior is just as important, as users can overcome the actions of implemented security solutions under certain circumstances.

People are now much more familiar with data breaches, ransomware, and other computer nasties thanks to the publicity these incidents get from the media. Thus, many already take steps to protect themselves from malware to avoid personal information compromise, financial losses, and other ramifications.

Users should also be aware that anti-malware tools are not perfect and sometimes flag an URL or an application falsely due to its suspicious behavioral patterns. However, regular consumers will not know whether the detected item is actually malicious in some cases. Therefore, an investigation always needs to be conducted before adding exceptions, although users should first make sure that their anti-malware has the latest updates installed.

Remove pop-ups from your screen

As mentioned before, removal cannot be performed from your side, per se, as it is not a (malicious) application installed on the system. Instead, website developers use the service on their site, so users might sometimes see the URL flash when accessing those pages. However, the most common way for users to notice or is when their anti-malware solutions begin flagging these addresses on various websites, and they want to simply remove pop-ups once and for all.

For that, you should first try updating your security software to the latest version and then trying to access the websites that were flagged for If the issue still persists, we advise contacting security software developers and the website authors to find out what the issue is. As previously mentioned, the service is not malicious, so it is likely to be a false positive. Once you are sure that the issue is indeed a false-positive, you can add the URL to the exceptions list.

Finally, if you are still experiencing intrusive ads and redirects to suspicious websites, you should check your system for adware, as explained below, and then reset the installed web browsers.

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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Reimage Happiness
Intego Happiness
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:

Get rid of from Windows systems

Eliminate adware from Windows by following these instructions:

  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'

Eliminate 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'

Delete 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

Uninstall 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.

Erase from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Some settings may remain in Firefox after PUP removal. To get rid of them, reset your web browser:

  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. 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'
  4. 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

Remove from Google Chrome

Once you get rid of all the potentially unwanted programs, follow these steps to reset 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. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. 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
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Get rid of 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. 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...'
  4. 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

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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