Chrome Redirect Virus

Also Known As: Google Chrome browser hijacker
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to eliminate Chrome Redirect Virus?

What is Chrome Redirect Virus?

"Chrome Redirect Virus" is a generic name for all rogue applications that modify Google Chrome web browser settings. Typically, this is done without users' consent and, therefore, these applications are categorized as browser hijackers. Research shows that, in most cases, browser hijackers infiltrate systems without permission, change settings, and gather various sensitive information.

browser hijacker

Immediately after infiltration, potentially unwanted browser-hijacking programs (PUPs) assign Google Chrome's new tab URL, default search engine, and homepage options to an alternative URL. Some are even designed to append this identical URL to the target of each browser shortcut. Therefore, users are redirected to certain websites when they search the Internet via the URL bar or simply open a browser/new browser tab. In most cases, promoted websites are fake search engines. Google Chrome is one of the targets for these browser-hijacking applications that also target other popular web browsers such as Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Although most browser hijackers are developed for the Windows Operating System, some target the Mac OS as well. Therefore, the Safari web browser is also at risk. The changes may seem insignificant, however, users are unable to revert them. Research shows that most hijackers reassign browser settings when attempts are made to change them and, therefore, users are often unable to return browsers to their previous states. By forcing users to visit certain websites, PUPs significantly diminish the Internet browsing experience.

As mentioned above, browser hijackers (and fake search engines) are very likely to collect sensitive information. The list of recorded data typically includes (but is not limited to) users' geographic locations, Internet service providers (ISPs), Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, keystrokes, and mouse movement. This information typically includes confidential details. In addition, PUP developers collect this data to generate revenue - they sell it to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). These people also have identical intentions and thus there is a high probability that confidential information will be misused. This behavior can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. If you continually encounter redirects to dubious/unwanted websites, we strongly advise you to immediately eliminate all suspicious applications/browser plug-ins and never return to these sites again.

Threat Summary:
NameGoogle Chrome 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 Google Chrome browser hijacker our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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All browser hijackers are very similar. They offer 'useful functions' (e.g., file conversion, system optimization, anti-virus, download performance increase, and so on), however, these claims are merely attempts to give the impression of legitimacy and trick users to install. In fact, PUPs provide no real value for regular users. They cause unwanted redirects and gather private information. In addition, fake search engines often generate false results and intrusive ads. In many cases, users are redirected to malicious sites. Therefore, using fake search engines risks computer infection.

How did browser hijacker install on my computer?

Some browser hijackers have official download websites, however, in most cases, they are distributed using intrusive advertisements and a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" - stealth installation of PUPs together with regular apps. Developers do not disclose this information properly - they hide "bundled apps within "Custom/Advanced" settings or other sections of the download/installation processes. By skipping download/installation steps and clicking various ads, many users expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

The main reasons for computer infections are careless behavior and lack of knowledge. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, to prevent system infiltration by PUPs, be very careful when browsing the Internet and, especially when downloading/installing software. Intrusive ads often look legitimate, but once clicked, redirect to gambling, adult dating, pornography, and other dubious sites. Most are delivered by adware-type PUPs. If you encounter these suspicious redirects, immediately remove all dubious apps and browser plug-ins. Select "Custom/Advanced" settings and closely analyze each step of the download/installation processes. Furthermore, decline offers to download/install additional apps and opt-out of those already included. Using a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite is also paramount.

Instant automatic removal of Google Chrome 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 Google Chrome 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:

Chrome redirect 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.

browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently-installed potentially unwanted applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program that causes browser redirects to the browser hijacker website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Browser hijacker's homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser hijackers (Windows OS):

Video showing how to remove "Chrome Redirect Virus" using Combo Cleaner (Mac OS):

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Remove browser hijacker-related Internet Explorer add-ons:

Removing browser hijacker 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 browser extensions, select such entries and click "Remove".

Fix Internet Explorer shortcut target:

Removing browser hijacker from Internet Explorer shortcut target step 1

This browser hijacker changes the "Target" field of the Internet Explorer shortcut. To fix this, locate the shortcut on your Desktop and click the right mouse button over it. In the opened menu, choose "Properties". In the opened window, locate the Target field and replace the whole text with browser's location (e.g., "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe").

Removing browser hijacker from Internet Explorer shortcut target step 2

Change your homepage:

Removing browser hijacker 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 Browser Hijacker URL and enter your preferred domain, which will open every time you launch Internet Explorer.

Change your default search engine:

Removing browser hijacker 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 "browser hijacker".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the google chrome 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:

Remove browser hijacker-related Google Chrome extensions:

Removing browser hijacker 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 all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Fix Google Chrome shortcut target:

Removing browser hijacker from Google Chrome shortcut target step 1

This browser hijacker modifies the "Target" field of the Google Chrome shortcut. To fix this, locate the shortcut on your Desktop and click the right mouse button over it. In the opened menu, choose "Properties". In the opened window, locate the Target field and replace whole text with the browser's location (e.g., "C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe").

Removing browser hijacker from Google Chrome shortcut target step 2

Change your homepage:

Removing browser hijacker 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 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 browser hijacker 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 the suspicious URL, 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 google chrome 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:

Remove browser hijacker-related Mozilla Firefox add-ons:

Removing browser hijacker 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", in the opened window, remove any recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Fix Mozilla Firefox shortcut target:

Removing browser hijacker from Mozilla Firefox shortcut target step 1

This browser hijacker changes the "Target" field of the Mozilla Firefox shortcut. To fix this, locate the shortcut on your Desktop and click the right mouse button over it. In the opened menu, choose "Properties". In the opened window, locate the Target field and replace whole text with the browser's location (e.g., "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe").

Removing browser hijacker from Mozilla Firefox shortcut target step 2

Change your homepage:

Removing browser hijacker 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 browser hijacker URL and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change default search engine:

Removing browser hijacker 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: "Browser Hijacker URL"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with google chrome 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 google chrome browser hijacker from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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