Have you recently been experiencing automatic redirects to pages that you never wanted to visit in the first place? Is your Chrome, Explorer or Firefox browser behaving strangely and flooding your screen with different ads? Have your homepage or search engine settings been recently modified without your approval? If yes, then these are sure signs that you have a Browser hijacker on your system. In the text that follows, you will learn more about this type of software and all the methods you can use to deal with it. We will tell you what the difference between a Browser Hijacker and a virus is and how you can uninstall a hijacker app from your system without any negative consequences. Our “How to remove” experts have also prepared a short review of an application called Yahoo Search Redirect “Virus” which seems to operate as a hijacker and has recently been reported as a source of browsing disturbance for some web users. You can find its detailed Removal Guide below as well as some tips on protection and prevention.
Browser hijackers and their specific traits:
As the name suggests, the Browser hijackers are pieces of software that typically target the users’ browsers and make them operate in a certain unusual way. These pieces of software normally initiate page-redirects to specific sponsored web pages, sales platforms or links and fill the browser’s screen with various promotional messages such as ads, pop-ups, banners, new tabs, blinking boxes, download notifications, etc. Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, Opera – there is pretty much no browser which is fully immune against getting hijacked. Applications such as Yahoo Search Redirect can easily alter a browser’s settings, set some new homepage domains, install some new search engines or sponsored toolbars without necessarily asking for an approval from your side. This type of software is typically created to serve the online advertising needs of various marketers and online-based businesses and , therefore, all of its modifications would be normally be related to more ads generation, more page-redirects and more exposure to sponsored commercials. The overly excessive generation of advertising materials may also be explained with the strive of the hijacker’s developers to earn profit from Pay-Per-Click ads. This is a commonly employed remuneration and advertising method which serves the needs of both the people who create applications like Yahoo Search Redirect and the marketers who need their ads to be displayed on the users’ screen.
Is this aggressive form of advertising illegal?
Some of the people who end up with such page-redirecting and ad-generating software on their computers may find its activities quite irritating and potentially unwanted. In fact, there are users who refer to the Browser hijackers as viruses and this is quite understandable. Nobody likes getting interrupted with dozens of pop-ups every time they open their browser. Moreover, trying to remove the nagging ads and banners by clicking on the “X” button may not actually close them down but may instead redirect you to more pop-ups or different unfamiliar web pages, the safety can’t be guaranteed.
Still, it is relieving to know that the hijackers, generally, are not supposed to access your personal data, hack your system or encrypt your files. These are specialties of real malware threats such as Trojan horses, Ransomware or Spyware. An application like Yahoo Search Redirect is very unlikely to carry out any malicious activities on your computer or to perform anything which is against the law. That’s why, most reputed security experts would not consider such an application as a virus. However, it’s still advisable that you uninstall the hijacker because its potentially unwanted activities may cause browsing disturbances, undesired redirects and even unexpected exposure to possible security hazards or insecure web locations.
How to protect your browser against getting hijacked?
Normally, the way a Browser hijacker gets installed onto the system can be a bit sneaky. This software is normally distributed as an additional or optional component in a bundle with other attractive and mostly free applications. This means that a lot of application installers that contain free games, free software optimization tools, audio/video players, different converters or file readers may come along with components like Yahoo Search Redirect. And the moment you run the installation package, you will end up with both the additional hijacker and the free application on your system. You can, however, prevent that from happening by simply using the advanced installation options (look for the Advanced/Custom/Manual settings) and disable the additional components from the setup.
How to successfully uninstall Yahoo Search Redirect from your browser?
The effective removal of a Browser hijacker is not as complicated as removing a Ransomware or a Trojan-based virus but it still requires some attention. That’s why, we highly recommend you follow the instructions in the Removal Guide below or use the assistance of the professional Yahoo Search Redirect removal tool posted on this page.
Yahoo Search Redirect “Virus” 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.