Browser hijacker applications and software elements are pieces of software that need a browser such as Chrome, Opera, Safari, Firefox or some other similar browsing program in order to operate. Hijacker app can’t really function on their own since they are quite similar to browser extensions and add-ons. However, what sets them apart from any other regular browser extension or add-on is the fact that they are typically seen as undesirable and unwanted mainly due to their advertising-oriented nature and their tendency to introduce unwanted and unauthorized changes to the user’s browser. The said changes typically include but are not limited to replacement of the starting page and the new-tab page of the browser, modifications to the toolbar as well as changes or full replacement of the default search engine. Additionally, many hijackers also tend to cause redirects to advertised pages and also generate large numbers of irritating banners, pop-ups, blinking boxes and other types of web ads. These activities of browser hijackers might get ignored by some users but the majority of people who get to experience such browsing disturbances caused by a hijacker app tend to seek ways to immediately get rid of the pesky software. Aside from the irritating and obstructive nature of the ads, there’s an even bigger problem associated with hijackers. In its nature, a hijacker isn’t a virus, it isn’t some highly-dangerous malware threat like a Ransomware or a Trojan Horse. However, it is perfectly possible that, due to the big number of ads and page redirects that such a software tend to generate on the user’s screen, the computer might get exposed to various forms of online hazards, especially if the user isn’t cautions and interacts with the different ads that the pesky app generates inside the browser. With all that said, it should be more than obvious that the best and safest course of action when there’s a browser hijacker on the computer would be to quickly remove the undesirable software piece so that the chances of running into some hazardous web ad or page redirect would be minimized.
“Apple wants to make changes”
The reason for writing this specific article is mainly the newly released hijacker app named “Apple wants to make changes” – since a lot of users have made complaints about this particular piece of software that possesses hijacker traits, we have decided that it would be a good idea to inform our readers about its main characteristics. We already told you what hijackers are like in general and that it’s preferable if such apps get removed on time. However, what you should know here is that the removal process could be a bit tricky. For instance, if you are trying to remove “Apple wants to make changes” from your machine, you might find out that it has no uninstallation .exe file, no entry in the Control Panel list of programs and in some cases, even if you disable the app from within your browser, you might find out that it has returned to bother you the next time you start the browsing program. However, it’s still possible to manually take care of this annoyance and we will show how you can do that inside our removal guide for “Apple wants to make changes” available on this page. Aside from the manual instructions for eliminating “Apple wants to make changes”, in the guide, you’d also find a tested professional removal program that could also help you eliminate the undesirable software component from your browser. It really doesn’t matter which removal method you choose as long as you manage to get rid of the unwanted app. Note that you could even use a combination of the manual steps from the guide and the removal tool available in it for best results.
Do not forget about the file bundles!
Most of the users out there make sure to avoid potential sources of undesirable software such as spam messages, sketchy web adverts and online offers, unreliable sites, pirated downloadable contents and so on. However, what a lot of people tend to forget is to also be careful when installing new program on their machines, especially if those new programs are some form of freeware. A lot of freeware installers actually have additional components bundled with them and in many cases hijackers could also get added to such installers. The trick here is to make sure to explore all options of the setup wizard and locate the settings related to the bundled components. Oftentimes, those settings are available under the Advanced/Manual setup options so it’s a good idea to check them out whenever they are available. Once you have figured out if and what has been bundled with the main program from the installer, make sure to uncheck those components that might look unwanted and only then continue with the rest of the installation.
“Apple wants to make changes” Pop-up 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/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.