Photorito.me Redirect

Also Known As: Photorito browser hijacker
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Photorito.me redirect removal instructions

What is photorito.me?

photorito.me is a fake Internet search engine that falsely claims to generate improved results. It is promoted using a deceptive application called Photorito, which supposedly allows users to change their homepage wallpaper. Photorito often infiltrates systems without permission. In addition, it stealthily modifies web browser options and continually records various information. For these reasons, Photorito is categorized as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and a browser hijacker.

photorito.me browser hijacker

Following infiltration, Photorito hijacks Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, stealthily assigning the new tab URL, default search engine, and homepage options to photorito.me - a fake Internet search engine. These changes may seem insignificant, however, users are unable to revert them. Research shows that Photorito continually reassigns browser options when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, returning browsers to their previous states becomes impossible and users are forced to visit photorito.me when they open a new browser tab or search via the URL bar. This significantly significantly diminishes the web browsing experience. In addition, photorito.me causes redirects to alphashoppers.co and searchroute-1560352588.us-west-2.elb.amazonaws.com. Another downside is information tracking. Photorito and photorito.me continually record various user-system information (mostly relating to Internet browsing activity). There is a high probability that collected data will contain personal details. Developers commonly sell this information to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). Therefore, information tracking can lead to serious privacy issues and/or even identity theft. For these reasons, uninstall the Photorito browser hijacker immediately and never return to photorito.me.

Threat Summary:
NamePhotorito browser hijacker
Threat TypeBrowser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
SymptomsManipulated Internet browser(s) settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). User's are forced to visit hijacker's website and search the Internet using their search engines.
Distribution methodsDeceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.
DamageInternet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites.
Removal

To eliminate Photorito browser hijacker our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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The Internet is full of fake Internet search engines that share similarities with photorito.me. combo-search.com, hdmoviesearch.com, and nowsearch.info are just some examples from many. All claim to enhance users' Internet browsing experience by generating improved search results and, potentially, providing other useful features. These claims are merely attempts to give the impression of legitimacy. In fact, fake search engines are designed only to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than delivering any real value for regular users, they cause unwanted redirects and gather sensitive information. In some cases, fake search engines also generate false results and intrusive advertisements (coupons, banners, etc.) In most cases, the generated results and ads lead to malicious websites. In addition, they might run scripts designed to infect the system by downloading and installing malware/PUPs. Therefore, using a fake Internet search engine can result in high-risk computer infections.

How did photorito.me install on my computer?

As mentioned above, photorito.me is promoted via the Photorito browser hijacker. This PUP is free for anyone to download on its official website, however, it frequently infiltrates systems without permission. This is due to lack of knowledge and careless behavior by many users. Research shows that criminals proliferate browser hijackers by employing a deceptive marketing method called "bundling", and vis the aforementioned intrusive advertisements. "Bundling" is stealth installation of third party applications together with regular software/apps. Developers do not adequately disclose these installations - they hide "bundled" apps within "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections of the download/installation processes). The main problem is that many users rush download/installation processes and skip steps. Furthermore, they click advertisements without considering the possible consequences. In doing so, they expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, it is very important to pay close attention when downloading/installing software and, especially, browsing the Internet. Carefully analyze each download/installation step and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. We also recommend that you avoid using any third party downloaders/installers, since these tools are monetized using the "bundling" method (they promote rogue software). Furthermore, criminals invest many resources into intrusive ad design and, for this reason, they seem legitimate. In fact, these ads are distinguishable for their redirects - most lead to gambling, adult dating, and other dubious websites. They are invariably delivered by adware-type applications, and so if you encounter these ads, immediately eliminate all suspicious applications and browser extensions.

Photorito extension promoted through fake flash player update pop-ups:

photorito extension promoted through fake flash player update pop-ups

Deceptive pop-up ad promoting this browser hijacker:

photorito promoting pop-up ad

Website promoting Photorito browser hijacker:

Website used to promote Photorito browser hijacker

IMPORTANT NOTE! Photorito installs its Google Chrome extension as Administrator (read more here), thereby preventing removal. Therefore, before taking any further removal steps, perform these actions:

1) Open the Command Prompt by clicking the start menu button and typing "command prompt". Right click the "Command Prompt" result and select "Run as Administrator":

Photorito Run Command Prompt

2) Execute the following commands:

  • rd /S /Q "%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicyUsers"
  • rd /S /Q "%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicy"
  • gpupdate /force

Photorito  Command Prompt commands

After performing these actions, you can proceed with further removal steps for this browser hijacker.

Instant automatic removal of Photorito browser hijacker: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Photorito browser hijacker. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Photorito browser hijacker removal:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

photorito.me browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently-installed suspicious applications (for example, "Photorito"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted programs that cause browser redirects to the photorito.me website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Photorito browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing photorito.me related Internet Explorer extensions

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Change your homepage:

Removing photorito.me from Internet Explorer homepage

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://photorito.me and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter about: blank to open a blank page when you start Internet Explorer.

Change your default search engine:

Removing photorito.me from Internet Explorer default search engine

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window, select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing", or any other preferred search engine as your default and then remove "photorito".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the photorito browser hijacker, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing photorito.me related Google Chrome extensions

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Photorito" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Change your homepage:

Removing photorito.me from Google Chrome homepage

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.photorito.me) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present, click the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.

Change your default search engine:

Removing photorito.me from Google Chrome default search engine

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list, look for "Photorito", and when located, click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the photorito browser hijacker, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing photorito.me related Mozilla Firefox extensions

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions" and remove "Photorito", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing photorito.me from Mozilla Firefox homepage

To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://photorito.me and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing photorito.me from Mozilla Firefox default search engine

In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
Click "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: "photorito.me"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with photorito browser hijacker removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...

removing browser hijacker from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 3 - changing homepage

In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker - change it.

removing browser hijackers from safari step 4 - changing the default Internet search engine

In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge logoRemove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Change your homepage:

Changing homepage in Microsoft Edge

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings", in the opened tab, click the "+ Add new page" link, after entering your preferred URL, remove the link of browser hijackers by clicking the "X" button next to the associated URL.

Change your default search engine:

Changing default Internet search engine in Microsoft Edge

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". Click the "View advanced settings" button and select "Change search engine". In the opened tab, select your preferred Internet search engine and click "Set as default".

Optional method:

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 1

In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 2

Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sampleA browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove photorito browser hijacker from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on photorito browser hijacker or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Photorito browser hijacker QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Photorito browser hijacker on your mobile device.
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