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

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser Hijackers is a rogue search engine that rendered sponsored Yahoo search to promote affiliate websites virus is a potentially unwanted application (PUA)[1] that is infamous for aggressive modifications of the web browser's settings. It is also dubbed as a browser hijacker as it can change the start page, search provider, and a new tab window without asking for the user's permission. Usually, it is distributed in one pack with freeware and, since the user is not directly warned about the bundle, the extension gets installed by default. 

Although referring to this site as virus is not appropriate, the potential risks that it poses should not be underestimated. The search may be involved in affiliate marketing, meaning that its main goal is to redirect people to the domains of its sponsors and generate pay-per-click revenue[2] from advertising.

In short, people who get tricked by this PUA start experiencing unpleasant activities within the web browser. An attempt to open any preferred website end up with redirects to Yahoo search or other unwanted domains. Random sites exhibit many ads, pop-ups, banners, and in-text links that once clicked reroute you to potentially dangerous websites, rogue online surveys, and other potentially dangerous content. 

Category Browser hijacker / Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA)
Distribution The malware spreads bundled with freeware and shareware via third-party download websites
Targeted OS Windows and Mac OS
Symptoms Altered start page, search engine, new tab window, toolbars. Besides, it may be the culprit of an excessive amount of ads, and regular redirects to related websites
Risks The search site is not dangerous as such. However, the content that it is programmed to deliver may be potentially dangerous, i.e. promote malware, display rogue prize giveaways, or reroute to phishing sites
Affected web browsers This search site can settle on any web browser, including but not limited to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Microsoft Edge, etc. 
Removal options You can select to eliminate this browser hijacker with the help of a professional AV program or follow the step-by-step tutorial submitted by our technicians. You can find the instructions down below this post
Optimization The optimization process is an imminent procedure after a malware attack. Programs like adware or hijacker tend to affect system files and registries leading to intrusive error messages. To prevent that, use a tool like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

Advertising marketing is vast. Third-parties get affiliated with an intention to promote their products and services and sometimes don't mind the techniques used for advertising. Therefore, if you got stuck with redirects, contacting the people behind the is a waste because all they seek is to receive their revenue. 

Besides, the developers of the virus hurry to prevent themselves from being accused of potentially dangerous activities and include suchlike statements on their End User License Agreement:[3]

Links to Other Web Sites

Our Site includes links to other Web sites whose privacy practices may differ from those of If you submit Personal Information to any of those sites, your information is governed by their privacy statements. We encourage you to carefully read the privacy statement of any Web site you visit.

In other words, they reject responsibility that people are forced to visit by redirects. They do not check or monitor the content that their sponsors seek to promote, so no one can guarantee that landing on the suspicious third-party website you won't be tricked into downloading malware or a malicious ransomware virus. 

Apart from redirects, hijack poses difficulties in terms of removal. In order to help itself in keeping persistent, the malware initiates the following alterations on settings:

  • replaces start page to (simple search with an appealing background image)
  • alter homepage and new tab window
  • installs extensions
  • inserts tracking cookies to collect search queries, IP address, geolocation, and similar information
  • sets web browser to display commercial content on random websites
  • commands the search to redirect to the sponsored search site
  • installs related keys in Windows registries
  • can be downloaded with other malware programs
  • diminish PC's performance
  • causes the web browser's freezes, etc. 

Therefore, even though programs like virus cannot steal user's credentials, encrypt files, take screenshots, remotely connect to C2 servers or perform other highly dangerous tasks, they pose a potential danger of redirects to malicious domains where you can get a really malicious cyber infection. Besides, browser hijackers are intrusive due to advertising campaigns and can cause an extremely negative browsing experience. is a misleading search site that can replace web browser's settings in order to display sponsored search results removal is the thing that you should start thinking as soon as your web browser gets hijacked. Do not postpone the elimination of programs that stealthily infiltrate your PC because they may initiate potentially dangerous activities behind your bank. Besides, scan the system with a professional optimization tool, such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego once PUA is removed to recover the system to the previous state. 

Shady websites are not recommended visiting due to possible malware installers

PUPs, namely adware and browser hijacker, are seldom installed by users' choice. Usually, they get installed without being noticed via software bundles, deceptive third-party websites, or freeware installers with pre-selected malware entries. Third-party download websites contain many popular freeware programs that have add-ons or extensions as pre-selected attachments, so people download freeware consciously without realizing that it has additional features. 

However, third-party download sources are not the only place to get malware. Often well-known applications distributed on reputable sources, including official websites can have unwanted applications aside or misleading ads may trick into downloading unwanted tools without realizing that. No matter how a PUPs manage to get installed, it is important for you to know what precautionary measures you can take to avoid suchlike infiltration. Experts from[4] claim that these measures would help to avoid PUPs in many cases:

  • Try to stick to the most reputable freeware download sources;
  • Read the comment section of the app that you have selected for download and make research on it online;
  • Select the Advanced or Custom option during any installation. Keep in mind that Express or Quick option automatically gives permission for additional apps to get installed without notifying you in an explicit way;
  • De-select all extensions, add-ons, toolbars, and whatnot appended to freeware because such tools are usually used for advertising and marketing purposes. virus uses tracking cookies and other material that can collect some pieces of PII

Get rid of virus from the system to prevent damage

Since browser hijackers alter various settings both on the web browser and the system itself, you have to remove as soon as possible, to prevent any damage that it may trigger. Continuous redirects to questionable websites, tricky ads on random websites, and data harvesting cookies are just a few examples of the symptoms when having a browser hijacked. 

Those who do not think of removal may start noticing additional symptoms when browsing the internet, for example, the type of ads displayed may get more aggressive (various rogue online surveys, phishing websites, x-rated domains, etc.). Consequently, you may get tricked into installing additional malware on the system, thus affecting PC's performance, web browsing experience, and expose your PC in real danger. 

It is possible to remove virus with a tool like Malwarebytes or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. Both programs are powerful to deal with malicious cyber infections, so malware elimination is not a big deal. Automatic malware elimination is recommended to make sure that all potentially dangerous programs have successfully been removed. 

Nevertheless, you can also opt for manual removal. The guide submitted below can help you. The first thing you should do is to remove the malware. After that, restore your web browser's settings by disabling extensions or resetting the default settings. Finally, optimize the system with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to fix any damage that malware initiated to the system directly.  

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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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:

Erase from Windows systems

Sometimes browser hijackers have browser helper objects that interfere with security tools and block their scanners. In this case, you may need to restart Windows into Safe Mode with Networking to remove successfully.

  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.

Get rid of from Mac OS X system

System Restore is an alternative solution to get your system back to the previous state.

  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'

Remove from Internet Explorer (IE)

To eliminate extension from the Internet Explorer, follow this step-by-step tutorial

  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.

Delete 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

Eliminate from Google Chrome  virus most frequently affects Google Chrome browsers. To root it out, eliminate malware and then reset web browser's 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

Erase 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

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

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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