browser hijacker (fake) - Free Guide browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is browser hijacker? is a useless browser tool that generates revenue from your searches can suddenly change the main settings of your browser is a browser hijacker that modifies the settings. It can change the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. Often, hijackers also inject advertisements. Users can experience an increased amount of commercial content, pop-up ads, banners, and redirects.

People are forced to browse only through selected channels, raising many user privacy and security concerns. Injected ads can lead to dangerous pages that try to lure out personal information, trick people into downloading PUPs (potentially unwanted programs),[1] and malware.[2]

The web-based app can also monitor users' activities, and keep track of their interests. This is all done for the purpose of generating revenue. The plugin does not provide any actual benefits, like ad blocking, private browsing, etc. It could cause more harm than good so users should remove it immediately.

TYPE Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program
SYMPTOMS Altered search results, different homepage, and new tab addresses, changed appearance
DISTRIBUTION Deceptive advertisements, freeware installations
DANGERS Altered search results can lead to misinformation, and dangerous pages, the extension can collect various data related to users' habits online
ELIMINATION Remove the unwanted extension via browser settings
FURTHER STEPS Use a maintenance tool FortectIntego to optimize your system and fix any damaged files

The distribution of hijackers

Applications, like have increased in numbers in the past years. The main reason is that they are quite easy to produce. Fraudsters can keep the same appearance, just change the name and domain, and the only thing that is left is to spread them around the Internet for people to find.

Usually, browser hijackers have separate promotional websites that boast about all the non-existent functions and try to convince users to press the “install” button. Deceptive advertising and social engineering methods are the main tools behind these campaigns.

To avoid letting a hijacker into your system, you should not click on random links and visit suspicious websites. Especially, stay away from websites that engage in illegal activities. Another thing that you should do is only download browser extensions from trustworthy sources.

Use official web stores, like the Chrome web store. However, even though the apps that get listed there go through an extensive review process, you should still do your research. Read the reviews, look at the ratings, and the number of users the plugins have. It is better to choose add-ons that have plenty of feedback and the user number in the thousands.

Another way that this uninvited guest could have gotten into your system is through freeware[3] distribution platforms. They often include bundled software in the installers and do not disclose it clearly hoping that most people will not notice. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happens most of the time. But more on this later…

Removal of

The application could have gotten into your browser because you added the extension yourself accidentally or knowingly. Be it a deceptive ad, a redirect from a shady website, and so on. In this case, the removal should be easy by accessing your browser settings.

First, you can change your homepage back to normal.

  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.

Next, you will have to remove the add-on manually. We have guides for the most popular browsers like Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari:

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

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

MS Edge (Chromium)

  • Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  • Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Mozilla Firefox

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


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

The next one of the most important things you should do is clear your browsers from cookies and cache. Cookies are small data files that can contain information, like your IP address, geolocations, websites you visit, links you click on, and items you purchase online.

Shady websites and untrustworthy web-based applications can use this data to make a profit and sell it to advertising networks or other third parties. It is recommended to use FortectIntego maintenance tool to clear your browsers completely, increase the speed and fix any damaged files. browser can monitor your browsing activities

Potentially unwanted applications can cause erratic behavior

If you completed the first part of this guide, but it has not helped, there is a possibility that you downloaded a potentially unwanted application on your system, performing tasks in the background without your knowledge. Software bundling is the most common method to spread apps like this.

Freeware distribution platforms include additional programs in the installers without notice. That is why you should never rush through the installation process. Choose the “Custom” or “Advanced” installation methods, read the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. The most important part is to check the file list and untick the boxes next to any unrelated apps up for installation.

Which program is responsible for hijacking can be difficult to tell if you do not have experience. Crooks often disguise them as “handy” tools to not cause any suspicion. It is best to use anti-malware tools that will scan your machine, locate it, eliminate it, and prevent such infections in the future. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are great and trusted options for the task. If you still want to do this yourself, we have instructions for Windows and macOS users:

Instructions for Windows 10/8 machines:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Instructions for Mac machines:

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

Keep in mind that sometimes manual removal can result in the renewal of infection as some users fail to eliminate all the related files and entries.

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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.

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.


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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
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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