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Remove virus (Removal Instructions) - updated Sep 2020

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Browser Hijackers – a Chinese web content delivery service powered by Baidu is a browser hijacker[1] that usually targeted at Chinese internet users, although it does not mean that individuals in other countries cannot get infected as well. Just as many other applications of such types, it is typically distributed via software bundle packages, which guarantees prevalence, as users are less likely to pay close attention during the installation process of new apps acquired from third-party websites. The unwanted app also belongs to the search hijacker family known as Hao123 usually targets English-speaking users with its version.

Questions about virus

Once installed, the virus begins alterations that are applied to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, MS Edge, or another web browser: homepage and new tab URL is altered, and a customized search engine is applied. While it redirects all searches to a legitimate Chinese provider Baidu, it fills the results with sponsored links and ads. Besides, browser hijackers like are programmed to collect various information about users' browsing habits with technologies such as cookies or web beacons.[2]

Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program
Targets This hijacker typically targets Chinese users, although it can also infect users in the U.S., Canada, various European countries, etc. English version of the hijacker is
Distribution  Users can get infected with a browser hijacker during the installation of freeware and shareware that is downloaded from third-party websites (software bundling method). Additionally, PUPs are also distributed via deceptive ads, or fake Flash Player update prompts
  • Homepage, new tab address, and the search engine are set to or
  • Search results redirect to Baidu or Google
  • Search results are filled with sponsored links and ads
  • Unknown browser extension installed without permission
  • Web browser operation slowdowns
Risks  Installation of other potentially unwanted programs or malware; personal information disclosure to unknown parties; monetary loss due to encountered scams, etc. 
Elimination To uninstall potentially unwanted applications, follow the guide we provide below 
Optimization If you notice negative side-effects after malware/PUP termination, you should scan your machine with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to fix virus damage hijack can be seen almost immediately, even if the potentially unwanted application was installed unintentionally. For example, redirects to other Chinese-related websites occur whenever you research any topic.

Taking into account that everything is written in Chinese, users who are less tech-savvy might panic searching for an escape from such redirect web pages. Additionally, a browsing session might become unbearable as troublesome advertisements cram every web page you are reviewing. What is more, it is likely that more unwanted elements will enter your device. If you are cautious about your privacy and cybersecurity, make a rush to remove 

To eliminate the browser hijacker, you should check the detailed instructions we provide at the bottom of the article. In case it is the extension that is causing you troubles, you can reset all the installed web browsers and then perform a full system scan with security software. Finally, to fix virus damage, we suggest using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

A few years ago, a browser hijacker known as Hao123 hit the stage. Since it was quite intrusive and spread to other countries, security experts rushed to warn users to be careful with this Chinese browser hijacker. There is a variety of such PUPs in the market: some quite a plan and do not attract many users except for their hijacking capabilities, while others intentionally fish for potential users by promoting links to other websites and cramming the homepages with intriguing links and photos. is a browser hijacker that displays intrusive ads and alters web browser settings without permission

In this regard, Uc123 does not leave any positive impression. Even if you cannot speak this Asian language, it is not difficult to realize the unreliability of such a website. The gossip-like content has no value, and even the connection is not secured by a valid SSL certificate. You might also notice multiple links to other domains. redirect might have a more negative impact on the entire PC performance. Since the owners of such hijackers do not seem to care about distributing potentially damaging content or improve the security of the very web page, the chances are high that malicious elements cram your PC.

Note that the hijacker may not only collect information about your browsing habits but transfer or sell such data to third parties. As a result, not only your browser becomes the target for tons of ads, but you might find vivid spam messages in your email Inbox as well. Note that ransomware tends to disguise in spam emails as well. Anyway, removal should become your current priority.

Browser hijackers are hidden within software bundle packages

Most likely, you are to encounter a browser hijack if you tend to install freeware[3] frequently. Careless hoping through the settings usually leaves users puzzled after they found out about a hijack. Adware, browser hijackers, and other unwanted stuff often cling onto free file converters, media players, and PC optimization tools.

As users pay little attention after accelerating the installation process, the attached files remain unnoticed. Consequently, unnecessary tools infiltrate the device. As for the prevention means, you can escape similar cyber infections, if you opt for “Custom” settings. Likewise, you will see optional apps – remove the checkmarks on time so that they would not be installed.

Additionally, you should also ensure your computer security by equipping it with powerful security software that would prevent you from accessing malicious websites. In many cases, fraudulent messages that claim virus infections or that the Flash Player is out of date can be the main reason why unwanted programs access your computer. elimination guide

Since the reason why browser-hijacking symptoms are showing up on your browsers may vary, removal needs to be performed in a different manner. For example, we would first like to suggest you check your web browser for extensions and toolbars. Typically these add-ons are shown as small icons that are located at the top-right of the web browser window. If that does not remove virus, there are many more things that you can do. versionThe English version of the hijacker is, and users from all over the world could get infected with it

If the culprit of hijack is not an extension, it might be that an app is installed on your computer. Therefore, you need to find it and uninstall it – we provide the instructions on how to do that on Macs and Windows machines below. If you are not sure about the manual elimination process, you can instead rely on anti-malware software with an enabled PUP detection feature.

Finally, if nothing that was mentioned above works, you should initiate a full browser reset. If the issue is prevalent among all web browsers, reset them all, as explained below.

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
Intego Happiness
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 virus, follow these steps:

Remove from Windows systems

To get rid of virus from Windows, follow these detailed instructions:

  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

To eliminate unwanted applications from macOS/Mac OS X devices, follow these steps:

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

Eliminate 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 virus 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

  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

Remove from Safari

If you are unable to eliminate some Safe extensions manually, you should reset the browsers as follows:

  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
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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