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How to remove the Plexita browser hijacker from a browser?

Also Known As: plexita.com redirect
Type: Adware
Damage level: Medium

What is Plexita?

Plexita is a hijacker because it modifies browser's settings (forces users to use a fake search engine/visit plexita.com) and does not allow users undo the changes that it has made. It is worth mentioning that most browser hijackers collect browsing data. In some cases, they can access sensitive information.

Another detail about apps of this type is that users rarely download and install them on purpose. For this reason, Plexita and other apps of this type are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

plexita.com browser hijacker

Usually, browser hijackers are promoted fake search engines by changing settings such as default search engine, homepage, and new tab. Plexita changes their addresses to plexita.com - a fake search engine.

It is fake because it shows results generated by Bing (plexita.com redirects to bing.com). It is important to mention that fake search engines can be designed to generate misleading results (promote potentially malicious pages) or show results generated by other untrustworthy search engines.

In one way or another, it is highly advisable to search the web using only legitimate search engines and avoid using plexita.com and similar search engines. As mentioned in the introduction, it is common for browser hijackers to be designed to prevent users from undoing the changes that they have made in the settings of hijacked browsers. As a rule, the address of a fake search engine or another unwanted address promoted by a browser hijacker can be removed from settings only when that PUA is no longer installed. Instructions on how to remove apps like Plexita from browsers and systems are provided below.

Threat Summary:
Name Plexita
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) Plexita
Supposed Functionality Improved browsing experience
Promoted URL plexita.com
Serving IP Address (plexita.com) 104.21.82.89
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.
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It is worth mentioning that browser hijackers can function as data collectors. Usually, apps of this type target IP addresses , entered search queries, geolocations, addresses of visited pages, and other browsing-related details.

What is worse, browser hijackers can be capable of gathering details that could be used to steal identities, online accounts make unauthorized purchases, transactions, or monetized in other ways. Therefore, users who have an app like Plexita installed on a browser or operating system should uninstall it as soon as possible.

More examples of browser hijackers are Quick WordCount, Dark Mode, and Search By QuickNewtab. It is worth mentioning that most browser hijackers are advertised as legitimate programs.

However, it is uncommon for them to be actually useful. Most of them are designed to generate revenue for their developers and can cause their users various problems (e.g., issues related to online privacy, browsing safety, or even more serious problems like identity theft, monetary loss).

How did Plexita install on my computer?

One of the most popular ways to distribute potentially unwanted applications is by using a marketing method called "bundling" (by including PUAs in downloaders, installers for other programs). As a rule, downloaders and installers used to distribute PUAs have "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings, options, or ticked checkboxes.

Users can decline unwanted offers by changing those settings or unticking checkboxes. When users download and install programs without changing any of those settings, they allow for included PUAs to be downloaded and installed too.

Another deceptive way to trick users into downloading or installing PUAs is to design advertisements to execute certain scripts. Users cause unwanted downloads, installations by clicking those ads.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Downloaders and installers with ticked checkboxes or settings like "Custom" and "Advanced" are likely to be bundled with potentially unwanted applications. For this reason, it is recommended not to finish downloads and installations unless all unwanted offers are declined using the aforementioned settings.

Software (and files) should be downloaded only from official pages and through direct links. It is common for other sources to be used to distribute unwanted, potentially malicious programs.

For example, third-party downloaders, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), free file hosting pages. It is important to mention that third-party installers can be used to distribute unwanted software too.

Additionally, it is recommended not to trust advertisements on questionable sites. It is common for those ads to be designed to promote untrustworthy websites or cause unwanted downloads, installations.

Unwanted, unknown, or suspicious extensions, add-ons or plug-ins installed on a browser (or programs of this kind installed on the operating system) should be uninstalled. If your computer is already infected with Plexita, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Plexita.com shows results generated by Bing (redirects to bing.com):

plexita browser hijacker plexita.com redirects to bing.com

Notification asking permission to install Plexita browser hijacker:

plexita browser hijacker notification

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Quick menu:

Plexita 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.

plexita.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

Plexita browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing plexita.com 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 "Plexita" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing plexita.com 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 "Plexita", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.plexita.com) 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 plexita.com 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 "plexita.com", 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 plexita.com 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 plexita.com 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 "Plexita", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing plexita.com 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 "Plexita", remove hxxp://plexita.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing plexita.com 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 plexita.com 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 adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

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 adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the plexita.com 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.

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing plexita.com 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 plexita.com 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://plexita.com 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 plexita.com 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 "Plexita".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the plexita.com 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

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove plexita.com redirect from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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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.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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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.

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