Remove the Coupons Flash browser-hijacking application
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is Coupons Flash?
Coupons Flash is a rogue application that claims to save time and money by providing shopping coupons and information about special deals/offers on various online stores. Judging on appearance alone, Coupons Flash may seem legitimate and useful, however, it is categorized as a potentially unwanted application (PUA) and a browser hijacker.
There are three main reasons for these negative associations: 1) stealth installation without users' consent; 2) promotion of fake search engine, and; 3) tracking of browsing activity.
Coupons Flash promotes a fake search engine (couponsFlash.co) by hijacking the popular browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome) and assigning couponsFlash.co as the new tab URL, homepage, and default search engine options.
These changes may seem insignificant, however, users are unable to revert them, since Coupons Flash reassigns settings (and prevents access) when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, users are forced to visit couponsFlash.co when they open a new browser tab/window or search via the URL bar.
This significantly diminishes the browsing experience. Note that couponsFlash.co is a useless search engine - it simply redirects to search.yahoo.com. Therefore, couponsFlash.co generates no unique results and users merely end up searching via the Yahoo search engine.
Another significant downside is data tracking. Browser hijackers and fake search engines record IP addresses, search queries, URLs visited, web pages viewed, geolocations, and other similar data that usually includes personal details. Developers share the information with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who generate revenue by misusing private data.
Thus, having a data-tracking app installed and visiting such sites can lead to serious privacy issues, including identity theft. We strongly recommend that you eliminate the Coupons Flash browser hijacker and never return to couponsFlash.co
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Coupons Flash|
|Supposed Functionality||Access to various shopping coupons, notifications of discounts/special offers on various e-shops.|
|Serving IP Address (couponsflash.co)||184.108.40.206|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). Users are forced to visit the hijacker's website and search the Internet using their search engines.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.|
|Damage||Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
There are dozens of browser-hijacking applications that share many similarities with Coupons Flash. The list of examples includes TotalRecipeSearch, EasyWay, My Mail Center, and many others.
By offering "useful features", applications such as Coupons Flash attempt to give the impression of legitimacy, however, the purpose of these applications is to generate revenue for the developers. Few PUAs provide the functions promised.
Most of these browser hijackers cause unwanted redirects and gather data, thereby diminishing the browsing experience and posing a threat to your privacy/computer safety.
How did Coupons Flash install on my computer?
Coupons Flash is free for anyone to download on its official website, however, it is likely to infiltrate computers without consent, since developers proliferate browser-hijacking applications using intrusive advertising and "bundling" methods.
Often delivered by adware-type applications already present on the system, intrusive advertisements redirect users to dubious websites and, in some cases, execute scripts that download/install unwanted applications. Meanwhile, "bundling" is stealth installation of third party applications together with regular software.
Developers hide "bundled" apps behind "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes. Furthermore, many users often rush these procedures and skip steps. Additionally, they click various advertisements without understanding the possible consequences. This can lead inadvertent installation of rogue applications.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge of these threats and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay attention when browsing the internet and downloading/installing software. Intrusive advertisements usually seem legitimate.
Once clicked, however, they can redirect to dubious websites (gambling, pornography, adult dating, and similar). If you experience these ads/redirects, check the list of installed applications/browser plug-ins and remove all suspicious entries. Avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since they often include rogue applications.
Software should be downloaded from official sources only, preferably using direct download links. During download/installation, carefully analyze each step and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. If your computer is already infected with Coupons Flash, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Coupons Flash browser hijacker asking for various permissions:
Website promoting Coupons Flash browser hijacker:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Coupons Flash?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Coupons Flash application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove couponsflash.co redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Coupons Flash browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove couponsflash.co homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove couponsflash.co redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Coupons Flash browser hijacker removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
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.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
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.
In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications (for example, "Coupons Flash"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the couponsflash.co website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Coupons Flash browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" 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:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://couponsflash.co 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:
Click the "gear" 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 "Coupons Flash".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the couponsflash.co redirect, 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.
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.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Coupons Flash" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable "Coupons Flash", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.couponsflash.co) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present, click on the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.
Change your default search engine:
To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the 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 "couponsflash.co", and when located, click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the couponsflash.co redirect, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the 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.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "Coupons Flash", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window, disable "Coupons Flash", remove hxxp://couponsflash.co and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change your 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: "couponsflash"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with couponsflash.co redirect removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...
In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
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.
In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage and new tab settings:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section look for the name of the browser hijacker and click "Disable".
Change your default Internet search engine:
To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Privacy and services", scroll to bottom of the page and select "Address bar". In the "Search engines used in address bar" section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the "Disable" button near it. Alternatively you can click on "Manage search engines", in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the couponsflash.co redirect, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
A 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.
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