How to remove Mountains browser hijacker?

Also Known As: mountainsext.store redirect
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Mountains browser hijacker removal instructions

What is Mountains?

Mountains browser hijacker is designed to change certain browser's settings to mountainsext.store - an address of a fake search engine. Typically, apps of this type are designed not only to modify settings but also to collect various data. Browser hijackers are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). It is because most of the times users download and install them unknowingly.

mountainsext.store browser hijacker

Mountains is designed to set mountainsext.store as a homepage, default search engine and address of a new tab so that users would visit when they open a browser, new tab and enter search queries into URL bar. When used to search the web, mountainsext.store redirects to google.com. Simply said, it is a fake search engine which displays results generated by Google. It is common that browser hijackers do not allow users to modify the aforementioned settings unless they are no longer installed. Therefore, to remove mountainsext.store from browser's settings it is required to uninstall Mountains first. Another issue with most browser hijackers is that they tend to be designed to collect information related to user's browsing habits. For example, IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations. Although, an app of this type can be designed to record sensitive details as well. What is worse, collected information may be misused by its developers to generate revenue. For instance, developers could sell it to third parties (potentially cyber criminals). It is possible that installed browser hijacker may be the culprit of problems related to browsing safety, online privacy, or even identity theft. It is not recommended to trust (download and install) Mountains or any other browser hijacker.

Threat Summary:
Name Mountains
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) Mountains
Supposed Functionality This app is advertised as an add-on which customizes the look of a homepage and new tab
Promoted URL mountainsext.store
Serving IP Address (mountainsext.store) 104.27.188.248
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)

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Most browser hijackers supposed to include some features, improve browsing experience and/or be useful in some other way. Although, more often than not apps of this type are useless and designed only to promote some fake search engine (and gather various data). If an app of this type is installed on a browser and/or computer, then it should be uninstalled as soon as possible. Some examples of other browser hijackers are My Email Checker, HideMeFast and Image Seeker.

How did Mountains install on my computer?

Typically, users download and/or install PUAs when they download and/or install some other programs. To be more precise, when such apps are included in download and/or installation setups as additional offers. This distribution method is known as "bundling". Unwanted downloads and/or installations happen when users download and/or install programs without checking and changing setup's settings and declining offers to download and/or install included apps. Typically, the aforementioned offers can be found in "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual" settings. Also, in some cases unwanted downloads and installations are caused by clicking deceptive advertisements that are designed to execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is important to always check "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual" and other similar settings of any download or installation setup and decline offers to download and/or install unwanted software. Also, it is not recommended to download (and install) software from untrustworthy, unofficial websites, through torrent clients, eMule (or other Peer-to-Peer networks), third party downloaders, installers, etc. Such tools, channels can be used to distribute unwanted, even malicious applications. Files and programs should be downloaded only from official websites and through direct links. Additionally, sometimes unwanted downloads and/or installations can be caused by clicking deceptive ads. As a rule, such ads appear on shady, unofficial pages. Therefore, ads on such pages should not be trusted. If there are any unwanted or suspicious apps (extensions, add-ons or plug-ins) installed on a browser, then they should be removed as soon as possible. The same should be applied to programs of this kind that are installed on a computer. If your computer is already infected with Mountains, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Mountainsext.store redirects to google.com (GIF):

mountainsext.store redirects to google.com

Website promoting Mountains browser hijacker:

Website used to promote Mountains browser hijacker

Notification saying that Mountains can read and change certain data (on Chrome):

mountains notification

Notification saying that Mountains can access certain data (on Firefox):

mountains notification

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Quick menu:

Mountains 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.

mountainsext.store browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the mountainsext.store website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Mountains browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing mountainsext.store 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 mountainsext.store 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://mountainsext.store 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 mountainsext.store 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 "Mountains".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the mountainsext.store 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.

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 mountainsext.store 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 "mountains" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing mountainsext.store 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, disable "mountains", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.mountainsext.store) 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:

Removing mountainsext.store 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 "mountainsext.store", 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 mountainsext.store redirect, 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 plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing mountainsext.store related Mozilla Firefox extensions

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

Change your homepage:

Removing mountainsext.store 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 disable "mountains", remove hxxp://mountainsext.store and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing mountainsext.store 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: "extensionControlled"
Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the Mozilla Firefox switch about:config entry button button.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with mountainsext.store redirect 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 (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 3

To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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 Microsoft Edge (Chromium) puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the mountainsext.store redirect, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset 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 mountainsext.store redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on mountainsext.store redirect 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.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
mountainsext.store redirect 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 mountainsext.store redirect on your mobile device.
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