Browser Redirect “Malware” Removal

To introduce the topic of today’s article, we would like to point out that the discussed software type – the browser hijackers, are not malicious programs in the sense of viruses. “Malware” is a typical member of this software category. As a common hijacker, it could integrate itself into the most popular browsers out these – Opera, Explorer, Chrome and Firefox. All of them and all the other browser apps might get affected and altered by this program, and may start behaving in a different way: 
* some possibly irritating redirection to various web addresses, which are being promoted may occur;
* several unwanted modifications in the way your browsers appear are possible – for instance – changes of your current homepage and search engine;
* a kind of intensive process of production of pop-ups and other online ads is also one of the probable consequences.

What kind of a contamination is the one, caused by “Malware”?

Tough such hijackers may infect your PC, the caused infection is not malicious in the general sense of the word. Oftentimes, it is simply too irritating to bear. In contrast, the typical contaminations, caused by malware like Trojans or Ransomware, are indeed dangerous (not like those caused by browser hijackers), and usually inflict file encryption or activities like spying and data theft. 

If hijackers are not versions of malware, why do they act in such an annoying way?

The hijackers we are aware of may cause lots of annoyance thanks to their capability of sending the victim user to locations which do not match the ones the user intended to go to. They can also be quite irritating due to their ability to change the current homepage and/or search engine of the browser; and to invoke the broadcast of an awfully big number of diverse ads. In spite of that, this could happen as they are normally programmed to perform such irritating activities in general: because of the need and willingness of their programmers to earn better profits. Typically, some developers might earn more money when their hijackers are able to invoke larger and more intensive ad campaigns (more redirecting, more ads, more promoted search engines and homepages).

How do most of the hijacker-based infections occur?

Generally speaking, browser hijackers could be lurking inside almost everything that you can find on the Internet. Some of them may be inside torrents;  others might be components of  web pages. Other versions may get spread via spam or fake advertisements. However, the most common way of getting contaminated by “Malware” is via downloading and improperly installing any free software bundle from the web. If you still haven’t heard of such creations, bundles are combinations of plenty of various kinds of software which get distributed together. Inside such a software set you might find various games, apps, Adware, hijackers, etc. Nonetheless, bear in mind that the mere act of accessing a bundle is never the real reason for any recorded infection. However, getting such a software bundle installed in an incorrect way is what lands you the infection.

Performing an installation process like a PRO and thus – avoiding  the programs like “Malware”:

Completing a safe installation process could really be incredibly tricky as you may simply be interested in using a particular product from the bundle to be installed. Furthermore, you may want it as soon as possible. If this is your actual case, you may end up having all of the components of a bundle installed on your computer. The needed safe installation process can only be achieved if you always choose and use the Customized feature of any installer that you have decided to run on your PC. All the other probable choices – the Quick, Default or Automatic options, are not really suitable when it comes to your personal computer’s safety and health. As a result, you had better really strive to stay away from them. Only the Custom manner of installing all the programs/bundles you download from the Internet can give you the chance to opt out of all unwanted pieces and settings of any piece of software.

The process of removing browser hijackers such “Malware”:

If you really need to get rid of “Malware” in a quite easy and safe way, we have managed to create a Removal Guide with detailed instructions to assist you in doing that. It is available for free below the table. “Malware” Removal

Before you begin completing the steps from the following guide, we advise you to place a bookmark on this page or have it opened on a separate device since some of the following steps will require you to close your browser.

Enter Safe Mode. If you don’t know how to do it, use this guide.


Open the Task Manger by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc. Go to the processes/details Tab and take a look at the resulting list. If you see a process with the name of the unwanted program or looks shady, right-click on it and select Open File Location. If you believe it is part of the infection, delete the files.


Use the Winkey+R key combination to open the Run window and in the search field type appwiz.cpl. Hit Enter and in the resulting list, look for recently installed programs that look potentially unwanted. If you find anything – uninstall it.


Re-open Run and this tie type msconfig. Hit Enter again and in the resulting window, go to the Startup tab. See if there are any shady programs there and if anything looks suspicious uncheck it and then select OK.

In the Start Menu search field, copy-paste the following line: notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts . Open the first result and look at the bottom of the file where it says “Localhost”. If there are any IP addresses below that, tell us what they are in the comments since they might be coming from the unwanted software.


Type Network Connections in the Windows search field and click on the first result. Right-click on the adapter that you are using at the moment and go to Properties > Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP) > Properties.

If the DNS line is not set to Obtain DNS server automatically, make sure to check that option.

Now go to Advanced > DNS tab and remove everything in DNS server addresses, in order of use.


Right-click on your browser’s icon and select Properties. Delete everything in Target that is after .exe”.

For Chrome users

Close Chrome and go to this folder: C:/Users/*Your username*/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. Change the name of the Default folder to Backup Default. Re-open Chrome.

For Firefox users

Open Firefox and click on the Main Menu > Add-ons > Extensions. If you see anything suspicious there, remove it.

For IE users

When you open the browser, go to Tools > Manage Ad-ons and remove the unwanted software if you see it there. Next, go to Tools > Internet options and change the homepage URL to whatever you are normally using.


Open Run (Winkey+R), type Regedit and click on OK. Next, press Ctrl+F and type the malware name. Hit Enter and delete everything that gets found.

If there are no results from the search, manually visit those folders in the Registry Editor.

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main

If you find there any suspicious keys that have names with a lot of random letters and numbers, delete them or if you are not sure, tell us in the comments what you saw.

About the author

Adrian Bitterson

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