Launchpage.org “Virus” is a newly released piece of software that falls under the category of Browser Hijacker. Those are programs that are known to invade browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and IE and modify them by changing the starting page, installing new search engines or causing unpleasant redirects to other pages. When faced with Launchpage.org “Virus”, the user has two possible options: either get rid of the unpleasant piece of software or put up with its intrusiveness. Here, we believe that the first possible course of action is much more valuable which is why we will attempt to show you how you can remove the unwanted program on your own, without the need to seek professional assistance. We have a detailed removal guide that you can read at the bottom of the current article so as to acquaint yourself with the different methods and steps of uninstalling and fully eliminating Launchpage.org “Virus”. However, it is important that you first obtain a better grasp of what the program is capable of and what its purpose is. Also, you need to learn how to protect your machine from any future applications with similar traits which is why you are strongly advised to read everything we have to offer on this page.
Level of danger
Although we oftentimes see Browser Hijackers being regarded as malware, it is important to keep in mind that they are not actually some type of malicious viruses similar to Trojans and Ransomware. There are quite a few differences between Hijacker and viruses and if you are faced with Launchpage.org “Virus”, there’s probably no reason to be overly concerned with your machine’s safety.
- One major difference that we ought to mention is that unlike actual viruses and harmful malware, the most common use of Browser Hijackers is advertising. Almost everything those programs do is in some way connected with online advertising. Even though more often than not, the promoting methods might get out of hand and be way too aggressive, for the most part a program the likes of Launchpage.org “Virus” would not actually attempt to mess with your system or personal data. When talking about Ransomware and Trojans, it is quite the opposite.
- Another important distinction that needs to be made is that Hijackers do not really try to remain unnoticed by the user. Viruses, on the other hand, are all about staying hidden during the time they are trying to complete their malicious task.
- Lastly, unlike viruses, programs of the Hijacker type are oftentimes legal and legit pieces of software. In some cases, even certain big software companies do indeed develop programs that have certain traits that are typical for Hijackers.
Of course, all of what we just mentioned is not to say that you should allow the Hijacker to stay on your machine even if it is not Ransomware or a dangerous Trojan horse. Be sure to get rid of the unpleasant software as soon as you’ve read the current article.
What problems can Hijackers cause?
To add to the unwanted browser changes and sudden and unpleasant page redirects, most Browser Hijackers can also have a number of other negative traits that our readers need to be well aware of.
- Oftentimes, applications such as Launchpage.org “Virus” would attempt to make modifications to the PC’s Registry so as to make the browser changes more difficult to revert as well as to make the browser itself more susceptible to unwanted changes. This can potentially leave your system open to other, more dangerous types of software and make it vulnerable that way.
- To make the advertising even more intrusive, some Hijackers tend to fill the browser with unpleasant online ads, banners and pop-ups that are not only making it difficult to surf the internet but also have the potential to redirect to shady and potentially harmful web addresses.
- A common technique used by Browser Hijackers is when they gather personal user data through the browser history. The data obtained that way can later be used to modify the displayed ads making them appear more attractive or it can also be sold to third party marketing companies.
What ways are there to protect your PC against Launchpage.org “Virus”?
As was said in the beginning of this article, apart from removing the Hijacker, it is also extremely important that you know how to keep your PC safe from any future invasions by this type of unwanted software. The next few tips will help you greatly achieve that as long as you remember to sue the from now on.
- Never allow your browsers to automatically download files on your PC. Be sure to disable the automatic downloads function so that you are always asked for a permission when a file is about to be downloaded.
- Stay away from websites that contain big and obnoxious banners or sites that redirect you to other addresses every time you click on something.
- Do not fall for internet scams, which promise you that you will win a big amount of money, an iPhone or something else.
- Try to avoid shady file-sharing and torrent sites.
- Be careful not to open any spam emails when checking your inbox.
- Be on the lookout for file bundles when installing new programs. To see if some piece of software has been added to the main program that you are trying to install, carefully look throughout the setup wizard’s pages and if there is an Advanced installation setting, go for it. Once you find what’s been added, look up the bundled applications so as to determine whether or not they are okay to be allowed into your machine. If you think that any of the added installs looks suspicious, be sure to uncheck before you click on the installation button.
How to Remove Launchpage.org “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.