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removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser Hijackers falls for browser hijacker category due to aggressive takeover of the Google Chrome's settings browser hijacker virus is a term used to refer to a browser hijacker and potentially unwanted application (PUA) that supposedly aims at optimizing web searching experience. However, it's yet another tool managed by an unspecified New York-based company that owns and hijackers. From the initial inspection, the search site does not raise suspicions as it contains a user-friendly interface (search bar, private search on/off button, background changer, and search by category options). However, cybersecurity experts condemned it for misleading behavior, intrusive online traffic alterations, delivery of click-bait ads, and lack of user's choice to control setting preferences. If this PUP gets installed, it replaces Google Chrome's settings so that becomes a default search engine and the Search emerges as a default start page. 

Although such and similar browser-based tools can hardly be called dangerous, they initiate potentially dangerous activities and, therefore, we highly recommend people to remove from the system without a delay. Otherwise, the browser hijacker may start loading tons of commercial content in forms like pop-ups or hyperlinks. Besides, it may generate sponsored Yahoo-based[1] search results that may contain unreliable links in priority. 

Type Browser hijacker / Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA)
Distribution The technique used to spread it is known as Bundling. In other words, this hijacker relies on freeware and shareware that carry it in the form of an additional installer
Symptoms The goal of the PUA – earn profit from affiliate marketing. For that, it replaces the start page, search engine, new tab window, and focuses on redirecting users to sponsored websites. Yahoo-based search results can also generate loads of commercial ads
Danger All PUAs used by advertisers are considered dangerous due to tracking possibilities, misleading commercial content, push notifications, and promotion or malware
Removal methods removal requires the anti-malware program no matter that it is not as malicious as a virus. However, it is closely related to other PUPs and may have tens of supportive files that can only be detected automatically. 
Fix malware damage Those who suffered PUA attack and managed to get rid of the head program are strongly recommended to scan the machine with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or a similar utility to fix the damage that malware might have caused is a rogue search engine that can reroute visitors to affiliated websites by displaying intriguing commercial online content or positioning sponsored links among your search results in the initial positions. If you have already noticed suchlike behavior within Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, or any other web browser that you are used to using, double-check the list of recently installed apps as you most probably been tricked into installing a software bundle. 

You should remove virus from the system as soon as you notice the following symptoms:

  • replaced search engine, new tab, and search provider;
  • sponsored Yahoo search results are delivered been if you search using Google;
  • random websites are covered with commercial content;
  • questionable processes can be recognized in Task Manager using too much CPU;
  • extension cannot be disabled or is absent from the extensions list on the web browser, etc. 

At the moment of writing, this dubious search engine is not recognized as potentially dangerous by the AV engines. It means that you will neither be warned when the malware attempts to hijack your web browser, nor when it is installed and initiates suspicious activities.

However, people have to be cautious and do not fall for redirects as you can never know if this program cooperates with reliable third parties or shady companies that seek to spread malware or boots traffic of websites that contain potentially dangerous or useless content. As pointed out in the Terms of Use[2] of the app, its developers do not carry responsibility for the third-party websites that it is programmed to promote:

The Site may contain links to third parties' websites. The links are included for users/members convenience only. The site does not monitor such websites and/or assumes no liability whatsoever for the content or opinions expressed on those websites. Users/members access and use any linked website at their own risk.

Therefore, it is not advisable to search the web while this intruder is on the system. virus may display links to potentially dangerous sites, such as phishing websites, rogue online surveys, malware download sites, etc. However, even though you click on them accidentally, visiting rogue websites and, for example, getting infected with malware, will be considered as your own fault. 

Last, but not least, if you are concerned about your privacy, remove search from your web browser immediately. It renders tracking cookies for harvesting browser-based information, including your IP address, browser type, the Internet service provider (ISP), cookie information, and the webpage that you are visiting. Such entries are important for advertisers so that they could provide people with more appealing ads. Thus, after disclosing your browsing history to this dubious search, you may expect a flow of individualized pop-ups and banners whenever you go. is a shady search site that is engaged in affiliate marketing and primarily used for increasing visitors' rate into affiliated websites

The simplest way to get rid of browser hijacker is a full scan with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes, or similar automatic malware removal tool. Automated tools will ensure smooth malware decontamination and elimination of the unwanted software bundle. 

Besides, security experts from[3] claim that it's very important to have a reliable repair tool that would be capable of fixing the damage that the malware, PUA, or virus tend to initiate on the host machine. We recommend using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego for restoring the Registries, apps, files, and processes. 

The reason why people get caught on malware hook frequently

People install freeware recklessly. That's the main reason why so many potentially unwanted programs manage to reach end-users. We keep warning netizens that third-party download websites are monetizing their free services by using bundling. Freeware distributors fill their products with additional add-ons, extensions, or plug-ins as pre-selected components and disguise them under Express or Basic installation setup. 

As a consequence, if the user does not opt for an Advanced setup, which discloses all windows of the installation wizard, unwanted browser-based programs get installed by default. To prevent this from happening, pick out the extended installation process of freeware and remove checkmarks saying that you agree with the changes of a web browser. 

Besides, having a reliable anti-virus program that is capable of detecting and blocking malware, disabling malicious ads, and preventing dangerous redirects is yet another precautionary measure that should be minded. The unprotected system is vulnerable to various cyber threats, so don't leave it open to malware. redirects can expose people to potentially dangerous content

Easy virus removal guide removal is a process that has to be initiated in certain stages. This PUP is usually installed in a company with other unwanted programs and may be actively promoting apps of its affiliates. Besides, it installs settles down within web browsers as an extension, search engine, and new tab, which is why web browser requires maintenance as well. 

This is why we recommend people to remove virus using an automatic tool designed to fight against such and similar malware. Automatic removal with utilities like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner will ensure a full cleaning of the machine. Nevertheless, manual removal of this dubious search is also possible, except that the process requires restarting the system into Safe Mode and eliminating each suspicious entry separately. 

Upon removal, do not forget to reset your web browser's settings[4]. Otherwise, an extension may keep initiating browser's redirections to potentially dangerous domains. Besides, restore the damage that your machine might have been suffering with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego repair software.  

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:

Eliminate from Windows systems

If you are a tech-savvy person and tend to delete programs like malware manually, restart your PC in Safe Mode to ensure successful elimination of this PUP

  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.

Remove from Mac OS X system

Mac OS X can get infected with virus as well. In case of an attack, initiate these steps to get rid of the malware.

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

Remove from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for 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, 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 and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Get rid of 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 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,
  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 removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase 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

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

Uninstall from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  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

Delete from Google Chrome

Google Chrome is a primary target of the virus. If you see its settings altered and pointing to this hijacker, eliminate the PUP and reset settings as explained below. 

  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

Eliminate 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

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

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

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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