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Remove hijack (Improved Instructions) - Sep 2016 update

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Is safe to use? virus is a program which acts like a regular Internet search engine but is primarily designed for affiliate marketing purposes. According to the statistics, the site receives somewhere around 25,000 unique visitors and normally earns up to $300 of advertising revenue a day. As you can see, that is quite an easy and profitable business. And The Smart Search developers seem to be working to make an even greater fortune. Currently, they are gathering a database of new potential users by spreading this program via online marketing technique called “bundling.” Unfortunately, this means that hijack default search engines and home pages if the users aren’t attentive enough when installing free software, such as various download managers, audio or video players and PDF creators. Due to this fact, this application has been categorized as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and a browser hijacker. It is highly recommended to remove as soon as you notice it on your computer. The most reliable way to do that is by running a full system scan with Reimage Reimage Cleaner antivirus scanner.

Image of the browser hijacker may not only disrupt your web browsing activities but may also pose harm to your cyber security. First of all, you have to know that it is mainly employed by various third parties who seek to promote their websites and increase their page ranking or sales. malware may even deliver altered search results solely for this purpose. What is especially concerning is that you can never be sure if those third parties seek to promote reliable content. Always keep in mind the fact that developers of this add-on do not monitor the content they advertise, so there is a high probability that some redirect may send you to a site filled with questionable content. In addition to that, this misleading search site is capable of slowing down your web browsers, including such well-known applications like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer. It does that by filling your search results with sponsored advertisements, which naturally increases the system’s vulnerability. On top of it all, we should also mention that site creators may also be interested in tracking your online activity and sharing the gathered information with other third parties. If you want to stay safe and maintain your cyber security, you should avoid using such search engines. However, if it invades your browser without permission, do not hesitate and proceed to the removal immediately.

How do browser hijackers infiltrate computers?

This misleading browser add-on commonly travels as an additional component along with free software and gets inside unnoticed when people unconsciously accept to install it. If you are installing free software from time to time, then it’s not surprising that you may have inadvertently allowed to change your default homepage and search engine. For example, if you tend to install free software by selecting “Quick” or “Basic” installation option and constantly accelerate the process by clicking the “Next,” you may not even be informed about additional components and may end up installing them automatically. To avoid this, you should start looking at the software installation more responsibly. Otherwise, you may start experiencing various inconveniences, such as system slowdowns, modification of DNS setting, redirects and so on. That’s why you should always select “Advanced” or “Custom” installation option when installing freeware, carefully inspect every check box and deselect all additional components, if you find any. If you have already been tricked into installing or any other PUP, do not waste your time and eliminate it as soon as possible.

How to remove virus?

If you want to maintain your cyber security and avoid being tracked by some questionable third parties, you should stay away from programs, such as virus. If it has already hijacked your web browsers, we highly recommend you to select the removal method that you prefer and get to work! There are two options to choose from: manual and automatic. Previously in the article, we have already introduced an antivirus utility which should remove without difficulty. But if you need additional options, check out the recommendations below. Manual removal (if you decide to go for this method) will be a longer process, but if you are good at following instructions, you should be able to eliminate it just as successfully. You will find the whole tutorial below.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner . 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 Reimage Cleaner, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Reimage Cleaner has a free limited scanner. Reimage Reimage Cleaner 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 Reimage Cleaner, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove hijack, follow these steps:

Remove from Windows systems

If you are looking for a program which might have brought the virus into your computer, you should look through the programs you have recently installed. Yontoo, Browser Defender or Vplay are just a few potentially unwanted applications that you should remove if you find them installed. If you come across some other suspicious components, check their reliability on trusted sources and remove from the computer if needed.

  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 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

Eliminate hijack 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.

Erase 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

Get rid of from Google Chrome

  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

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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