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removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser Hijackers – a browser hijacker that offers to surf the web via its unique search engine is a browser-hijacking application that travels via third-party apps such as APP and SDL, developed by QxSearch Inc., is categorized as a browser hijacker regarding its ability to apply suspicious search engine, homepage, and new tab URL changes to web browser apps. This suspicious program holds the IP address as its serving IP and can touch web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Explorer, and Safari. When the default search provider and other browser settings are altered, the user is encouraged to surf the Internet via the new engine. By using services, you risk ending up on bogus websites with altered search results. Additionally, the browser hijacker might start redirecting you to unknown locations and risking your privacy. Nevertheless, you might not be able to avoid other suspicious activities such as targeted advertising and collection of browsing-related information.

Type Potentially unwanted program
Sub-type Browser hijacker
Danger level Low. Even though the PUP itself is not dangerous, it might cause indirect danger by taking you to infectious sources or providing with surveys that prompt to enter personally-identifiable or credential information
Distribution The browser hijacker has been found to spread via third-party software such as SDL, APP, and other programs. Also, you can enter the suspicious program on networks filled with odd hyperlinks and adverts
IP address The potentially unwanted application uses the IP as its serving Internet Protocol address
Detection names According to VirusTotal URL identification information, has been detected as a suspicious domain by Forcepoint ThreatSeeker AV engine
Elimination Employ reputable tools to eliminate the virus. Also, you can try out the manual instructions placed to the end of this article
Repair You can download Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego and try repairing some corrupted entries or files that might have been affected by the approach of the browser hijacker

According to research, virus might be distributed via third-party applications such as SDL, APP, and similar ones. This product is likely to enter the targeted computer system unknowingly and starts inserting modifies entries and files in the Task Manager, Registry, and other sections.

This way can perform a big variety of activities and be sure that its automatical startup process will run within every computer and browser boot-up process. Even though this PUP is not currently detectable by many AV engines, Forcepoint ThreatSeeker already finds it as suspicious, according to VirusTotal file information.[1]

Continuously, might insert suspicious browser helper objects such as extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons. Also, some types of tracking objects such as browser cookies, beacons,[2] or pixels might appear and start recording your browser sessions, searching history, and habits for targeted advertising.

Even though developers of state in their Privacy Policy that they take serious security measures regarding personal information safety, there still is a risk that some private data of yours might get leaked during the activity period of the browser hijacker. The creators of this PUP tend to know that and again, they try to drop the responsibility of any incidents that still have a chance of occurring:

The security and confidentiality of you information is very important to us, thus we take the appropriate security measures (including physical, electronic and procedural measures) to help safeguard your Personal Information from unauthorized access and disclosure. Please know that, despite our best efforts, no security measures are perfect or impenetrable. might get you involved in various advertising campaigns, fake reward claims, and surveys. If you are asked to enter some private information about yourself or provide some credential information in order to win some type of prize, DO NOT do that as you might easily end up a victim of a scam. virus - a browser hijacker that sets the default search provider, homepage, and new tab URL address bar to its own

Besides, you might end up with your sensitive information misused in a breach or put up for sale on the dark web if some dangerous criminals manage to track the data. Another potentially dangerous feature of might be redirecting. Even though redirects are using to take the user to other sponsored websites, this might not be the only case.

Some browser hijackers, including, might redirect you to infectious sources that can be filled with damaging content and malware such as trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency mining threats, worms, etc. Denying to use the browser hijackers services is the best thing you can do to prevent potential danger.

Afterward, removal is the next step you should take. Go to the end of this article where you will find step-by-step guidelines that might help you with the elimination process. However, you can always employ reputable software if you have any doubts about your virus removal skills.

When you opt to remove from your computer system, make sure that you clean all infected locations, otherwise, the potentially unwanted program might return. Besides, try using a tool such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego for repairing corrupted entries that might have been left after the browser hijacker attack.

Keep in mind that if bothers you only occasionally, you might have a chance of stopping its intruding advertising processes with the help of AdBlock[3] or similar ad-blocking tool. If this does not help, you can try finding and eliminating the hijacker's domain in the Notifications list by completing the following steps:

  • Open the browser that has been loading you with ads.
  • Locate the three dots (alternatively, three lines or arrow sign) on your upper right.
  • Open the menu and continue with Settings > Advanced.
  • Afterward, you should find Notifications under the Site Settings option.
  • Click Notifications and scroll through the list until you discover or other suspicious domains.
  • Remove all bogus URLs with the remove/disable/block button. browser hijacker

Most common distribution sources of browser hijackers

Potentially unwanted programs, including browser hijackers, are often found in bundles of third-party software. If you are a frequent visitor of websites such as,,, and, you might receive a PUP by downloading programs (e.g. APP, SDL) and services from there.

However, this mostly happens for users who do not pay attention to what type of downloading/installing mode they are using. If the Quick/Recommended configuration is set as the default one, there is a big chance that you might receive potentially suspicious content on your computer system unknowingly.

You should change the installation mode to a more reliable once such as Advanced or Custom. These options provide the user with an ability to track all incoming objects and opt-out products that come with a suspicious look. Besides, you should get all of your software only from original and trustworthy developers.

Continuously, browser-hijacking products might come inserted into vulnerable hyperlinks or advertisements and target users that do not mind Internet security. Regarding this fact, you should be careful while entering a third-party website as you might be loaded with suspicious content there.

You can remove manually or automatically removal can be carried out by the user himself or by employing reputable security software. The first method has been described at the end of this article. There you will find instructions on how to clean your operating system and web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Safari.

However, if you have run into a lack of time or just do not have enough elimination skills, you can use automatical computer tools for completing the entire task. After you remove from your computer and web browsers, try downloading system repair software that might help you repair some damaged components on your machine.

Ensure that no content related to virus is left on your computer system, otherwise, the browser hijacker might boot itself up within the next machine or browser startup process. According to experts from,[4] the PUP might place suspicious products in locations such as Task Manager and Windows Registry.

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
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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, follow these steps:

Remove from Windows systems

To remove the browser-hijacking product from your Windows computer system, use the following guiding 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'
  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.

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'

Uninstall from Internet Explorer (IE)

To clean Internet Explorer from suspicious products and changes, complete the below-provided steps.

  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

Erase 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.

Eliminate from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To eliminate bogus changes from Mozilla Firefox, try completing the instructing steps that have been provided by our security experts below.

  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

Get rid of from Google Chrome

To delete suspicious components from Google Chrome, carry out the following guiding lines.

  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

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

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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