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Remove (Virus Removal Guide) - Oct 2019 update

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser hijacker is a questionable search engine that alters browser settings without permission PUP is a browser hijacker[1] that can affect Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer or other web browsers by altering their settings. These suspicious applications typically invade users' machines without their consent, using software bundling method. Because of that, browser hijackers are also categorized by security researchers as potentially unwanted programs.

Type Browser hijacker/PUP
Affected browsers Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.
Main dangers Stolen personal information and malware infections
Distribution Bundling
Symptoms Altered browser settings, excessive advertisement, browser slowdown, etc.
Elimination For automatic elimination, download and install Reimage. Manual instructions also available

Developers claim that the application applies very strict requirements to the search results, so the links that it provides are most accurately selected. However, it is not precisely the case. The truth is that hijacker creators only want monetary benefit by exposing users to as much sponsored content as possible. Therefore, the claims that the results are accurate are false and users have to deal with excessive advertisement instead.

We do understand why users might be tricked into wanting to keep the PUP. allows users to swap the backgrounds, which show spectacular views and the overall design of the website is simple, yet good-looking.

However, do not get deceived by these beautiful sightings as the dubious app can put your virtual and computer safety at risk. You should remove as soon as you notice it, especially if it entered your machine without permission.

There is a handful of reasons why people should not use this search site. Generally speaking, the search results that it may provide are very unreliable if compared to Google, Bing or Yahoo. Even though Bing is legitimate, you should not rely on it when it's related to virus or another search engine. Bing is only reliable when not in collaboration with third parties. browser hijacker

The following are the aspects of hijack that might cause you trouble:

  • is a browser hijacker.  Therefore, this dubious app alters the startup page, new tab URL, and search engine and sets it to This change might seem minor initially. However, if users decide that they want to navigate to the usual search engine, they will notice that action is impossible, as the hijacker reapplies merely its settings automatically.
  • is related to unknown parties and can cause browser's redirects to unsafe websites. Our security experts have checked search results that this search engine provides and found out that a considerable part of the links provided is sponsored. When we speak of third-party search engines, that is not surprising. However, the redirects raise the alarm because some third-parties may try to misuse this engine for spreading other PUPs or even viruses.
  • In addition to suspicious redirects, the PUP can display an enormous amount of advertisements. Internet browsing sessions might be turned into hell when every single website you visit is covered in pop-ups, hyperlinks, banners, video ads and similar. If you are not willing to receive such third-party content, you should not postpone removal.
  • The unwanted application can use personally non-identifiable information[2] (search terms, pages viewed, clicks, hardware/software information, browser's type, language, IP address, PC's location, etc.). Such data is collected to create an online profile then flood users with targeted advertisements. 
  • Once virus corrupts registries, settles down in Windows startup and starts executing processes on Task Manager, each of the web browsers may slow down, freeze, and crash more frequently then it used to.

If you have already experienced redirects, slowdowns, and other inconveniences, we recommend installingReimage and initiating full system check. After that, your web browser will be PUP-free and perform as smoothly as just installed. potentially unwanted program is a browser hijacker that alters web browser settings and shows non-genuine search results

Easy ways to avoid unwanted programs

Browser hijackers are classified as potentially unwanted programs because they spread using software bundling – an extremely popular marketing campaign used by freeware developers and PUP creators. It is unlikely that users would inject their machines with countless advertisements and system slowdowns.

Therefore, it is crucial to learn to install free software from the internet correctly. Security experts[3] advise to do the following:

  • Never rush the installation by clicking “Next” button without looking;
  • Read through EULA and Privacy Policy before you agree to Terms and Conditions;
  • When prompted, always pick Advanced or Custom installation mode. Avoid Recommended or Quick settings, as they do not adequately disclose the full lineup of programs that are about to be installed;
  • When in Advanced mode, remove any ticks next to add-ons, media players, toolbars, browser extensions and similar useless software. virus

Uninstall from your computer permanently

It goes without saying that removal should be your top priority. Such dubious applications are never a good idea to use. Thus, we recommend using legitimate Bing search engine, as it will not spam you with unwanted advertisements or slow down your browser.

You remove virus either manually or automatically. The latter is more convenient and only takes a few minutes. All you have to do is download a reputable security tool, bring it up to date and perform a full system scan.

Alternatively, you can also get rid of manually. You will find our detailed guide below this article. However, do not pick this method if you are not that computer-savvy individual. 

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they 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, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove, follow these steps:

Delete from Windows systems

To eliminate browser hijacker from Windows OS, follow these steps:

  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

  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)

  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

Erase 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.

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

Eliminate from Google Chrome

Google Chrome's settings must be brought back to default after PUP uninstallation.

  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

Delete 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

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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