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Remove (Removal Instructions) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Browser hijacker – a virus that triggers browser-related problems virus is another potentially unwanted program (PUP)[1] classified as a browser hijacker. Despite the fact that it uses a legitimate Yahoo search engine to provide people with the search results, it initiates redirects to questionable web domains most of the time. Besides, it spreads bundled with freeware and attacks PC users unexpectedly. virus compromises a start page, search engine, and a new tab page on the default web browser to display sponsored search results and, therefore, generate revenue from affiliate marketing. 

Developer Polarity Technologies Ltd
Classification Browser hijacker
AV detection PUP or PUA
Symptoms set as a default start page;
Google or another search engine replaced by Yahoo;
Instant Directions toolbar installed;
Common browser's redirects to questionable websites;
Excessive amount of ads;
Danger level Low. It won't harm the system directly. Nevertheless, it's not recommended due to a delivery of misleading search results and third-party ads
Removal guide Although manual removal is possible (guide given below), a full system scan with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego is highly advisable to get rid of all malicious entries. 

This browser hijacker uses legitimate search engine Yahoo,[2] but that doesn't mean it can be trusted. Yahoo is implied to prove credibility and mask unreliability. The search results that it displays are altered, and you can easily check that by using a genuine Yahoo search on a browser that was not hijacked and then initiate a search with virus. 

After looking on the website itself, we can determine that this is another product by Polarity Technologies. This company offers a long list of unwanted programs that cause internet browser problems for users and mainly focuses on the new tab modification.

If the hijacker manages to enter the system, you will be automatically redirected to or the next time you open a new tab on your Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari or other internet browsers. Besides, you won't be able to set Google or another search engine as default, as well as replace the start page from to the one that you prefer. 

Besides, any connection while this third-party search engine is set as default is not secure. That's because your activities are tracked and each piece of information is harvested. Browser hijacker tends to collect personally non-identifiable information, so it becomes easier to introduce potential advertisements to your browser in the future. IP addresses, geo-location, searched phrases and viewed websites is the most useful information to a hijacker. This can be illustrated by an excerpt from extension's Privacy Policy:

[…]we may collect personally-identifiable information through the use of our Services upon your contacting us so that we may respond to your questions or comments, such as your name, email or mailing address, or other information you include when contacting us. […]We may also collect, use and store information about your search activity when you use web search services (such as search queries) (“Search Data”). This information may be shared with third-party applications that use Search Data to function, or to offer you more customized information, advertising and services.

It's important to stress the fact that this hijacker is distributed alongside freeware as a hidden, though optional, component. If PC's user agrees to download a freeware without removing such components, it's automatically treated as an agreement to set the redirect virus as your preferred engine.

This search platform is not valuable to the user. Its primary goal is to open third-party sites and advertisements, collect and use information from its users. Therefore, we recommend people to remove from Chrome or any other web browser immediately. 

Those who prefer manual removal can find a detailed guide explaining the elimination peculiarities on each of the web browser individually. Nonetheless, automatic malware elimination is a much better choice as it ensures a full system's recovery. browser hijacker is a misleading browser hijacker that can take over your search engine and deliver sponsored links to make you visit affiliated domains.

Questionable freeware – a bait for downloading PUPs

There are various sources where you can unconsciously download a browser hijacker. One of the more universal ways is skipping through essential installation steps during downloading of software. Bundling distribution technique is often used to spread unwanted programs like adware or browser hijackers. They come with other programs as parasites and spreads throughout the computer.

Therefore, cybersecurity experts from[3] recommend people to download programs from known sources and install them with caution. Be careful with advertisements of such infamous companies as Polarity Technologies because they are usually used for spreading malware. Instant Direct toolbar is one of the examples used to spread browser hijackers. People keep reporting how struggling it is to remove this one from their web browsers. 

You could be offered to download this browser extension as a stand-alone installer in a pop-up ad as well. Thus, you should be careful when installing any freeware since you can accidentally allow third parties to hijack your browser. In general, do not install any programs from suspicious or potentially dangerous websites. Besides, stay away from ads that raise your suspicions. 

Get rid of virus 

Even one time redirection to potentially dangerous site may lead to malware infiltration that can subsequently cause another redirection and possibly virus-packed pop-up ads. Since malware causes vulnerability of the system in general, having a hijacker installed poses a risk of significant issues with your computer in the future.
You can try to remove along with suspicious extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons from your browser manually. However, there may be a lot of related components, which may keep this dubious search installed and set as a default start page. 
Therefore, we recommend people to use a reliable security software. You can see the list of anti-malware programs that we recommend using for a full scan of your computer's system. However, if you want to avoid this from happening again, you need to be aware of what you agree to when installing any freeware to your system.

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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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:

Uninstall from Windows systems

If you need a guide on how to eliminate malware from Windows, you can take advantage of a step-by-step guide submitted by our research team.

  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'

Erase 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

Get rid of 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)

Mozilla Firefox is attacked by this dubious by far the most frequently. Thus, if you are struggling with PUP removal from Chrome, you can take advantage of these directions:

  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

Remove from Google Chrome

Google Chrome users infected with virus should follow this tutorial to reset settings and get rid of related entries.

  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

Uninstall 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

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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