Cookie Muncher browser hijacker removal instructions
What is Cookie Muncher?
Cookie Muncher is a browser hijacker which assigns certain browser settings to cookiemuncher.org, the address of a fake search engine. As well as promoting fake search engines, these apps also collect browsing-related (and other) data. Browser hijackers are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs), since people often download and install them unintentionally.
Like most browser hijackers, Cookie Muncher promotes its associated fake search engine by changing settings such as the address of the default search engine, homepage, and new tab. In this case, it assigns them to cookiemuncher.org. Therefore, users who have browsers hijacked by Cookie Muncher are forced to visit cookiemuncher.org when they open a browser/new window, new tab or search by entering search queries into the URL bar. Most fake search engines do not generate unique search results, and simply provide results generated by other, often legitimate, search engines. When used, cookiemuncher.org displays results generated by Yahoo (it redirects to search.yahoo.com). Browser hijackers often prevent users from changing/undoing the aforementioned settings unless they uninstall the rogue software. To remove cookiemuncher.org from the settings, users must remove Cookie Muncher. Furthermore, browser hijackers often collect browsing data and other information. In most cases, they gather details such as IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of visited websites, entered search queries, and so on, however, some browser hijackers might be capable of accessing private, sensitive details. Developers sell the information to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue in other ways. Therefore, users might experience problems relating to browsing safety, online privacy or even become victims of identity theft. For these reasons, you are advised against trusting apps such as Cookie Muncher and you should uninstall all browser hijackers immediately.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Browser Extension(s)||Cookie Muncher|
|Supposed Functionality||Cookie Muncher supposedly removes cookies in one click.|
|Serving IP Address (cookiemuncher.org)||188.8.131.52|
|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.
Examples of other browser hijackers are Fantasic Movies, History Hide and Translations Instant. Rather than being useful and operating as advertised, most browser hijackers promote fake search engines and gather information. These apps are useless and simply cause problems.
How did Cookie Muncher install on my computer?
Frequently, unwanted apps such as Cookie Muncher are downloaded and installed through dubious advertisements, which users intentionally (or unintentionally) click, or during download/installation processes of other software. It the latter case, this happens when developers include unwanted apps into set-ups of regular programs and do not disclose the information properly. Generally, offers to download and install additional apps are hidden in "Custom", "Advanced", and other similar settings of the set-ups. When people fail to check and change the aforementioned settings, they allow PUAs to infiltrate, This distribution method is called "bundling". If clicked, untrusted ads also cause unwanted downloads and installations when they execute certain scripts.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are advised to download software from official websites and via direct download links. Other sources and tools such as third party downloaders and installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., eMule, torrent clients), unofficial websites should can be used to distribute PUAs or even malicious software. Check all download/installation settings such as "Custom" and "Advanced" and decline offers to download or install various potentially unwanted apps. Do not click advertisements that are displayed on dubious web pages, since they tend to open other dubious pages or cause unwanted downloads and installations. These ads might also appear on legitimate pages. If there is reason to believe that a PUA is already installed, check the browser for unwanted, unknown extensions, add-ons and plug-ins, and remove them. The same should be applied to programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with Cookie Muncher, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Website promoting Cookie Muncher browser hijacker:
Another screenshot of a page promoting Cookie Muncher browser hijacker:
Fake chat promoting Cookie Muncher:
Notification from y2mate.com promoting Cookie Muncher:
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 Cookie Muncher?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Cookie Muncher application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove cookiemuncher.org redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Cookie Muncher browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove cookiemuncher.org homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove cookiemuncher.org redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Cookie Muncher 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, "Cookie Muncher"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the cookiemuncher.org website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Cookie Muncher 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://cookiemuncher.org 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 "Cookie Muncher".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the cookiemuncher.org 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 "Cookie Muncher" 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 "Cookie Muncher", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.cookiemuncher.org) 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 "cookiemuncher.org", 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 cookiemuncher.org 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 "Cookie Muncher", 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 "Cookie Muncher", remove hxxp://cookiemuncher.org 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 cookiemuncher.org 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 cookiemuncher.org 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 cookiemuncher.org redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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