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

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Browser Hijackers – a search hijacker that might appear on your browser unexpectedly is a browser hijacker that changes search results to promote sponsored sites is a fake search engine that can be encountered due to a potentially unwanted program[1] such as Safe Finder installed on Windows or Mac machines. Typically, browser hijackers end up on users' computers without permission, as they are spread via deceptive distribution tactics such as software bundles, misleading ads, or fake Flash Player updates.

Once inside the system, hijack will modify the way Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or another browser works, e.g., it will redirect all searches to Yahoo, all while appending additional links at the top of search results. Behind the scenes, the browser hijacker will also track users' online behavior and display ads on various websites that they visit.

Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program
Distribution Potentially unwanted applications are usually delivered via deceptive methods, such as software bundles or deceptive advertisements 
Danger level  Low. Browser hijackers are considered minor threats to security, although they can seriously disrupt regular web browsing experience 
Symptoms  Unknown browser extensions or applications installed on the system, all searches redirected via to, search results are filled with sponsored links, overall increased number of ads
Elimination  To uninstall potentially unwanted programs from your machine, you should follow manual instructions we provide below. You could also uninstall the PUP automatically with the help of a powerful anti-malware software
System optimization Adware or other malware might damage systems to prevent them from working properly post-infection. In case you are experiencing lag, crashes, errors, or other issues, we recommend you scan your device with ReimageIntego repair software

Unfair distribution tactics are one of the main reasons why many find installed on their systems seemingly out of nowhere. In many cases, users do not pay close attention to the installation process of freeware applications and skip a step that promotes various programs.

Other circumstances that users could install a suspicious app is connected to clicking on dubious content when browsing insecure sites.  For example, you might install the virus after accidentally clicking on an ad. Some sites use background scripts that would also redirect you to malicious websites that promote fake Flash Player updates (one of the main means for malware distribution).[2]

Regardless of how the PUP gains access to your system, its presence can be spotted immediately:

  • Homepage of your web browser might not see visible changes (although the search bar might be missing);
  • All searches performed via the URL bar are rerouted to, and then to Yahoo;
  • Sponsored results appear at the top of the search results;
  • Overall increased amount of advertisements on all sites;
  • Browser extensions, startup items, background processes, and other unwanted components might be present on the device.

To put it simply, redirects are caused by an application that is installed on your machine or a browser extension that is clipped to your web browser. The main purpose of such behavior is to ensure that the infected users would click on promotional links and visit affiliated sites. As evident, the developers of PUPs monetize on users' clicks on ads, so they are highly interested in making more people install the application in the first place. is a potentially unwanted program that specifies in changing web browser settings and redirecting all searches to Yahoo

Besides, to make the most profit, users' information who have the hijacker installed is also collected, analyzed, and then shared with unknown parties. Typically, anonymous data, such as links clicked or websites visited, is collected. However, might engage in inadequate information collection practices, which could compromise users' online privacy.

Those infected with a hijacker will experience negative consequences of the browser takeover – they will be unable to use their default search provider as they used to. The only way to go back to how things were before is to remove from the web browser, along with all its components.

Since the suspicious web browser activity can be related to multiple different applications, removal might be difficult. You can check out the manual guide we provide below or scan the machine with powerful anti-malware software. As optional steps, we also recommend resetting the installed web browsers and performing system checks with ReimageIntego for better computer performance.

Unwanted applications are mostly installed behind users' back

If you are wondering how a browser hijacker ended up installed on your machine, you should check what apps you recently installed. If you are a frequent visitor of third-party sites that distributed freeware/shareware applications, there is a high chance that you got infected by downloading a PUP in a bundle along with the desired application. Keep in mind that even reputable apps might be included in a single installer – it is all about whether it is adequately disclosed to the user.

Unfortunately, most third-party websites are interested in more users installing applications that they most likely did not want in the first place (for monetization purposes). Thus, they use various tricks to make users miss the step where the notification about the additional component is shown. Security experts from[3] want to warn users about the following deceptive techniques:

  • Multiple “Download” buttons are presented on the website in order to make users install different programs than advertised (mostly torrent and similar insecure sites use such deceptive techniques)
  • Since most users pick Recommended/Quick mode during the installation, they hide optional installs under Recommended/Quick settings;
  • Buttons are deliberately misplaced, e.g., the “Skip offer” is shown on the left side instead of the right one (which is usually used for “Accept” or “Next” buttons);
  • Offers are hidden under pre-ticked checkboxes or fine print text.

Keep these tricks in mind next time you install freeware on your computer, and you should avoid unintentional installation of apps via software bundles. hijacker might be distributed via fake Flash Player update prompts

Uninstall virus to return genuine search results removal can be performed easily, as long as it is known what application or browser extension it is tied to. In other words, once you access the install application list, you will not find the entry related to the redirect name. This is especially true if you are a novice computer user and have other browser hijackers/adware/PUPs installed on your system behind your back. For this reason, it might be tricky to find and eliminate the culprit. In such a case, we recommend you download and install a powerful security tool, and then perform a full system scan – it will find and delete all the dubious entries.

However, if you are aware of which apps you installed yourself, you can remove virus by checking your web browser for unwanted extensions or apps installed on the system. In case you cannot find anything suspicious, you should reset the installed web browsers to ensure that all the settings are reset – we explain how in the instructions provided below.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. 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:

Delete from Windows systems

To uninstall browser hijacker from Windows system, please 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.

Uninstall from Mac OS X system

macOS users can perform the following actions to get rid of all unwanted programs:

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

Remove 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

Get rid of 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

Erase from Google Chrome

If you are unable to remove or browser extensions from Google Chrome, reset it:

  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

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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