FlashIt browser hijacker removal instructions
What is FlashIt?
FlashIt is a browser hijacker that operates by modifying browser settings to promote a fake search engine (flashit.xyz). Additionally, this piece of software has data tracking capabilities, which are employed to monitor users' browsing habits. FlashIt has dubious proliferation methods, and hence most users install it unintentionally. Due to these characteristics, it is classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).
Browser hijackers are primarily designed to target Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and other popular browsers. Following successful infiltration, browser hijackers assign the addresses of their bogus search engines as the homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs. These seemingly minor changes diminish the browsing experience, as any search query typed into the URL bar and each new tab/window opened redirects to the address of the fake search engine. FlashIt promotes flashit.xyz in this manner. Furthermore, these bogus search tools are typically unable to generate unique results, and so they redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Google, Yahoo, Bing or other legitimate search engines. In the case of flashit.xyz, it redirects to bing.com. It is therefore impossible to recover the hijacked browser without removal of the browser hijacker, since any changes users try to make to their browsers are automatically undone (if access to the settings is allowed at all). FlashIt can also track data. It records browsing activity (URLs visited, web pages visited, search queries typed, etc.) and gathers personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). This sensitive data is often shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) seeking to misuse it for profit. This data usually contains personally identifiable information. Therefore, the presence of data tracking software can lead to financial loss, serious privacy issues and even identity theft. To protect browser/system integrity and user safety, you are advised to eliminate all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Serving IP Address (flashit.xyz)||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 Malwarebytes.
Search For Directions, Stream Facts, Weather Waves are some examples of other browser hijackers. They may seem legitimate and useful and people are often tempted into downloading/installing browser hijackers with offers of various useful functions, however, these features are seldom operational. This applies to all PUAs - the only purpose of these apps is to generate revenue for the developers. PUAs hijack browsers, cause redirects to untrusted/malicious websites, deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns and track private data.
How did FlashIt install on my computer?
Some PUAs (including FlashIt) have "official" promotional pages from which they can be downloaded, however, these applications are often downloaded/installed together with other products. This deceptive marketing method of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling". Rushing download and installation processes (e.g. using pre-set options, skipping steps and sections, etc.) increases the risk of inadvertent installation of bundled content. Once clicked, intrusive ads can execute scripts designed to download/install PUAs without users' consent.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
All products should be researched prior to download/installation or purchase. Use only official and verified download channels. Unofficial and free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders are untrusted and can offer deceptive or bundled content. When downloading/installing, you are advised to read the terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, functions and so on. Intrusive advertisements typically seem normal and innocuous, however, when clicked, they can redirect to dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.). If you encounter ads/redirects of this type, inspect the system and remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay. If your computer is already infected with FlashIt, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
FlashIt browser hijacker asking for various permissions:
Website promoting FlashIt browser hijacker:
Another website used to promote FlashIt browser hijacker:
Yet another site used to promote FlashIt browser hijacker:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is FlashIt?
- STEP 1. Uninstall FlashIt application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove flashit.xyz redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove FlashIt browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove flashit.xyz homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove flashit.xyz redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
FlashIt browser hijacker removal:
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.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.
Mac 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, "FlashIt"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the flashit.xyz website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
FlashIt 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://flashit.xyz 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 "FlashIt".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the flashit.xyz 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 "FlashIt" 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 "FlashIt", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.flashit.xyz) 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 "flashit.xyz", 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 flashit.xyz 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 "FlashIt", 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 "FlashIt" remove hxxp://flashit.xyz 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: "extensionControlled"
Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the button.
Computer users who have problems with flashit.xyz 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 flashit.xyz 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.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove flashit.xyz redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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