How to Manually remove Adware & Browser hijackers (Complete Guide)




When your computer is infected with adware, your web browser might display unwanted advertisements. If your computer is infected with a browser hijacker, the browser hijacker malware might also show advertisement or redirect your default home page and search engine to unknown pages.

In this article, you’ll learn how to remove adware and browser hijackers manually and to protect your computer from further malware infections.

We would like to notify anyone who manually removes adware; there is a chance your computer might get infected again, manual adware removal is a complicated process.

In this article, I’ll help you detect adware, remove the adware and search for adware traces to prevent the computer from getting infected again.

In short: This helpful article shows you how to identify adware and remove browser hijackers, remove unwanted browser helper objects, browser extensions and reset your web browser to default settings to undo any unwanted changes.

How to manually remove adware and browser hijackers?




Uninstall adware application

First, we are going to look for suspicious adware applications in the Windows Applications list. Take a good look and notice suspicious software installations, anything recently installed on your computer.

Choose your Windows version below and follow instructions on how to remove adware from Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7.

windows-8-logoUninstall adware from Windows 10

  • Right-click the Start button in the left bottom corner

windows-10-uninstall-program-control-panel

  • Select Control Panel from the menu

windows-10-uninstall-program-programs

  • Select Uninstall a program
  • Tap or click [any software you don’t know, trust, or need], and then tap or click Uninstall.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen.
    Make sure when you uninstall the adware that there is no extra software is offered during removal and read every pop-up before clicking any button.

Click the column “installed on” to sort installed applications by the installation date. Doing so makes it easier to detect and remove recently installed adware apps. Make sure to review every installed application, adware goes by many different (deceptive) file names which often don’t correspond with the filename you are looking for.

windows-8-logoUninstall adware from Windows 8

  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.)
  • Enter control panel in the search box, and then tap or click Control Panel.

windows 8 control panel

  • Under View by : select Large Icons, and then tap or click Programs and features.
  • Tap or click [any software you don’t know, trust, or need], and then tap or click Uninstall.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen.
    Make sure when you uninstall the adware that there is no extra software is offered during removal and read every pop-up before clicking any button.
  • Click the column “installed on” to sort installed applications by the installation date. Doing so makes it easier to detect and remove recent installed adware apps. Make sure to review every installed application, adware goes by many different (deceptive) file names which often don’t correspond with the filename you are looking for.

windows-7-logoUninstall adware from Windows 7

  • Open Programs and Features by clicking the Start button,Picture of the Start button clicking Control Panel, clicking Programs, and then clicking Programs and Features.

windows 7 programs and features

  • Select [any software you don’t know, trust, or need], and then click Uninstall.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen.
    Make sure when you uninstall the adware that there is no extra software is offered during removal and read every pop-up before clicking any button.

Click the column “installed on” to sort installed applications by the installation date. Doing so makes it easier to detect and remove recently installed adware apps. Make sure to review every installed application, adware goes by many different (deceptive) file names which often don’t correspond with the filename you are looking for.

Step 2 – Check for adware Scheduled Tasks

  • Right click the start button
  • select Run
  • Enter: Taskschd.msc

Run Taskschd.msc windows

  • Select Task Scheduler Library
  • Search for any unknown scheduled tasks and remove them by right click Delete.

Remove unknown scheduled tasks

Step 3 – Delete adware installation folders and files

  • Open Windows, File Explorer
  • Navigate to C:\Program Files\ and C:\Program Files (x86)\ and remove any folder unknown to you.
  • Sort the folders by “Date modified” to easily identify newly created folders.** If a process or exe-file is blocking the removal of the folder **Goto: Start button, right-click, run, enter: cmd.exe.
    Enter in the command prompt window: taskkill.exe /F /IM name-of-the-exe-file.exe
    try again to remove the folder.

Step 4 – Remove adware registry keys

  • Right-click on the start button
  • Select Run
  • Enter: regedit.exe
  • Expand the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • Search for any entries unknown to you. Select the entry, right-click, and select Delete.
  • Expand the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • Search for any entries unknown to you. Select the entry, right-click, and select Delete.
  • Expand the following path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • Search for any entries unknown to you. Select the entry, right-click, and select Delete.
  • Expand the following path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • Search for any entries unknown to you. Select the entry, right-click, and select Delete.

remove adware registry keys

Step 5 – Reset web browser proxy configuration

  • On Windows XP, click Start, or on Windows Vista or Windows 7, click, and then click Run. On Windows 8 or Windows 10, to access the Run command, press the Windows logo key + R. Or, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search (or if you are using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search).  Type Run in the search box and then tap or click Run.
  • In the Run text box, copy (CTRL+C) and paste (CTRL+V) or type the following:
    reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings” /v ProxyEnable /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
  • Click OK.
  • On Windows XP, click Start, or on Windows Vista or Windows 7, click Start button, and then click Run.
    On Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, to access the Run command, press the Windows logo key  + R. Or, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search (or if you are using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search).  Type Run in the search box and then tap or click Run.
  • In the Run text box, copy (CTRL+C) and paste (CTRL+V) or type the following:
    reg delete “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings” /v ProxyServer /f
  • Click OK.

Uninstall browser hijacker

First, we are going to look for suspicious entries in the Windows, Control Panel. Take a good look and notice suspicious entries and anything recently installed on your computer.

Choose your Windows version below and follow instructions on how to uninstall browser hijacker software from Windows, Control Panel.

windows-8-logoUninstall a browser hijacker from Windows 10

  • Right-click the Start button in the left bottom corner

windows-10-uninstall-program-control-panel

  • Select Control Panel from the menu

windows-10-uninstall-program-programs

  • Select Uninstall a program
  • Tap or click [any software you don’t know, trust, or need], and then tap or click Uninstall.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen.
    Make sure when you uninstall the browser hijacker that there is no extra software is offered during removal and read every pop-up before clicking any button.

Click the column “installed on” to sort installed applications by the installation date. Doing so makes it easier to detect and remove recently installed browser hijacker apps. Make sure to review every installed application, browser hijackers go by many different (deceptive) file names which often don’t correspond with the filename you are looking for.

windows-8-logo

Uninstall a browser hijacker from Windows 8

  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.)
  • Enter the control panel in the search box, and then tap or click Control Panel.

windows 8 control panel

  • Under View by select Large Icons, and then tap or click Programs and features.
  • Tap or click [any software you don’t know, trust, or need], and then tap or click Uninstall.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen.
    Make sure when you uninstall the browser hijacker that there is no extra software is offered during removal and read every pop-up before clicking any button.

Click the column “installed on” to sort installed applications by the installation date. Doing so makes it easier to detect and remove recently installed browser hijacker apps. Make sure to review every installed application, browser hijackers go by many different (deceptive) file names which often don’t correspond with the filename you are looking for.

windows-7-logo

Uninstall a browser hijacker from Windows 7

  • Open Programs and Features by clicking the Start button,Picture of the Start button clicking Control Panel, clicking Programs, and then clicking Programs and Features.

windows 7 programs and features

  • Select [any software you don’t know, trust, or need], and then click Uninstall.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen.
    Make sure when you uninstall the browser hijacker that there is no extra software is offered during removal and read every pop-up before clicking any button.

Click the column “installed on” to sort installed applications by the installation date. Doing so makes it easier to detect and remove recently installed browser hijacker apps. Make sure to review every installed application, browser hijackers go by many different (deceptive) file names which often don’t correspond with the filename you are looking for.

Remove browser hijacker scheduled tasks

  • Right click the start button
  • select Run
  • Enter: Taskschd.msc

Run Taskschd.msc windows

  • Select Task Scheduler Library
  • Search for any unknown scheduled tasks and remove them by right click Delete.

Remove unknown scheduled tasks

Cleanup web browser shortcuts

Browser Hijackers are known to change the browser shortcuts on your desktop or in your Windows Taskbar. Check and clean them before resetting your browser to default settings in the next step.

  • Select any shortcut you have on your Windows Desktop or in your Windows Taskbar.
  • Right-click, select Properties
  • Go to tab “Shortcut”.
  • Remove any entry after the executable, see our example. Remove “http://www.yeadesktop.com” (this is an example, there are many others).
  • Do this action for any browser installed.

clean shortcuts hijacked by browser hijackers

Remove unwanted extensions

internet-explorer-logo Internet Explorer

  • Start Internet Explorer
  • On the Tools menu, tap or click Manage add ons. If you don't see the Tools menu, press Alt.
  • In the menu select Toolbars and Extensions
  • Change Currently loaded add-ons under Show: to All add-ons
  • Select the Browser Helper Object you would like to remove by double-clicking it.
  • Select Remove. If the Remove button is greyed out, reset Internet Explorer to default settings (see below).

google-chrome-logo Google Chrome

  • Start Google Chrome
  • In the top-right corner of Google Chrome select the menu
  • Select Settings
  • On the left side select Extensions
  • Review all Google Chrome extensions installed, remove any unknown or unwanted Browser Extension using the trashcan icon on the right next to the Browser Extensions name.
    If the browser extensions cannot be removed, reset Google Chrome (see instruction).

mozilla-firefox-logo Mozilla Firefox

  • Start Mozilla Firefox
  • Click the menu button
  • Select Add-ons from the menu
  • On the left side select Extensions
  • Review all Mozilla Firefox extensions installed, remove any unknown or unwanted browser extension using the remove button on the right next to the Browser Extensions name.
    If a browser extension cannot be removed, reset Mozilla Firefox.

Reset your web browser to default settings

Sometimes the easiest and fastest method to get rid of unwanted settings in your web browser is to reset the browser to default settings. With the following guides, you can reset your web browser.

Reset Google Chrome, Reset Firefox, Reset Internet Explorer, Reset Microsoft Edge.

MalwarebytesRemove adware with Malwarebytes

Get rid of annoying adware with Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes is free to use, detect and remove the pop-up ads and deceptive homepage from the Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge web browser.

 

Run the Malwarebytes program installation file. Click here for Malwarebytes installation instructions.
Click Scan Now to start searching for the adware responsible for the Go.searchgenieo.com search engine in the web browser.

malwarebytes main

Malwarebytes will start scanning for malware, please wait for Malwarebytes to finish the malware scan.
Malwarebytes usually takes between 2 to 5 minutes to complete.

malwarebytes scanning for malware

Once the malware scan is completed, Malwarebytes will present the results of the adware scan.
Remove the adware found by Malwarebytes using the Quarantine Selected button.

malwarebytes scan results

Wait for Malwarebytes to move all adware to quarantine.

malwarebytes quarantine

Malwarebytes needs to perform a system reboot to finish the adware removal process.
Save and close any working documents or open web pages and click Yes to reboot your PC.

malwarebytes reboot

After the system reboot, your web browser is free from adware & browser hijackers.

Stay protected with Malwarebytes against future browser hijacker and other types of malware.

Malwarebytes stops adware, browser hijackers, potentially unwanted programs, malicious web pages, suspicious downloads, viruses, spyware and ransomware from infecting your web browser.


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