A particularly annoying software issue that a huge number of users are at some point forced to deal with is the so called Browser Hijacker programs. They get onto the user’s Chrome, Firefox, IE or Edge browser and take control over some of its settings. For example, Hijackers oftentimes change the homepage of the browser or its default search engine. Another common issue is their tendency to cause sudden and unwanted page redirects to other sites (which can sometimes turn out to be potentially harmful).
One of the most recent entries to the Browser Hijacker family is a program called Cse.google.com “Virus”, which will be the focus of our current article. A lot of users have already complained about having landed the unpleasant piece of software and are currently trying to have it removed. Unfortunately, more often than not, getting rid of a Hijacker requires more than simply uninstalling it. That is why we have made sure to provide our readers with a detailed removal guide that contains a number of different methods that, when used in combination with one another, will almost certainly ensure the removal of Cse.google.com “Virus”. Therefore, if you too have had the bad luck of getting the invasive Hijacker installed onto your machine, be sure to visit our removal guide once you’ve read this article.
Differences between viruses and Hijackers
A common misconception that you have probably already encountered is when programs such as Cse.google.com “Virus” are regarded as malicious PC viruses due to their unpleasant and intrusive behavior. Even though Browser Hijackers can indeed be a major pain in the neck, it is still important to give you a general idea why they are different from actual harmful forms of malware such as, for example, Trojans, Ransomware, Spyware, etc.
- Real viruses, in contrast to Hijackers, are always trying to remain undetected and hidden. On the other hand, programs like Cse.google.com “Virus” are all about being as noticeable as possible due to the simple reason that they are usually used for the purposes of online advertising. This leads us to the second main difference that we will be focusing on…
- Because Hijackers are typically used for internet marketing, even though their promoting methods are oftentimes quite aggressive, they are generally not aimed at harming your system or meddling with personal data. This, of course, cannot be said for a big number of real viruses, most notably, Trojans and Ransomware.
- Last but not least, we must inform you that a number of programs categorized as Hijackers are actually legitimate programs created by well-known developers. In contrast to that, viruses like Trojans and Ransomware are undoubtedly illegal and solely used for illegal purposes.
Browser Hijackers are not innocent!
The fact that Cse.google.com “Virus” is not a malicious virus should by no means be a reason for you to let your guard down. The next short list of examples of other potential issues should give you a better grasp of why exactly Browser Hijackers are considered unwanted:
- They tend to generate a lot of online ads that can fill your browser and obstruct your online experience to the point where you have no other choice but to either click on them or close the browser. Also, interaction with those ads might sometimes cause a redirect to shady and sketchy websites.
- Another problem with programs such as Cse.google.com “Virus” is that they tend to gather personal user info through the browser history. They later use that data to make their adverts seem more relevant and appealing to you, but that information might also be sold to third parties as well.
- To add to all that, oftentimes a Hijacker would attempt to mess with your Registry so as to make your internet settings more susceptible to unauthorized advertising such as the ads we mentioned. Such changes to the Registry can potentially make your machine vulnerable to virus threats without you realizing it.
Learning how to defend your computer
Every user should know how they can make sure that no Hijackers get installed onto their PC. Use the following list of tips to improve your machine’s security.
- Do not use sites with a shady reputation when you are about to download something.
- Avoid web addresses that are filled with ads or ones that look generally shady.
- Do not open any new e-mails if you cannot be sure that they are not spam since such junk mail is commonly used for spreading Hijackers.
- Always take a second look at the pages/windows of program installers prior to launching the installation. You must make sure that there are no applications bundled with the main piece of software that can turn out to be potentially unwanted. If you see an custom installation option – make use of it. In case you find out that there’s some sketchy bundled application, be sure to uncheck it so as to leave it out of the installation process.
How to Remove Cse.google.com “Virus”
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/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.