Removal instructions for the Clean Notifications browser hijacker
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
What is Clean Notifications?
Clean Notifications is the name of a rogue browser extension. It operates by modifying browser settings in order to cause redirects to the cleannotifications.com fake search engine. Additionally, this extension spies on users' browsing activity. Due to this behavior, Clean Notifications is classified as a browser hijacker.
Clean Notifications browser hijacker overview
Browser hijackers assign fake search engines as browsers' default, as well as their homepage and new tab/window URLs. On our testing system, Clean Notifications altered browser settings in this manner.
Therefore, whenever a new browser tab/window was opened or a search query was typed into the URL bar – it resulted in redirects to the cleannotifications.com website. Furthermore, browser-hijacking software tends to use persistence-ensuring techniques to prevent users from recovering their browsers.
Illegitimate search engines are typically incapable of generating search results, so they redirect to genuine ones. When we inspected cleannotifications.com, it redirected to the Google search engine (google.com). Note that this site might land elsewhere, as redirects can depend on various factors (e.g., user geolocation, etc.).
What is more, Clean Notifications has data-tracking capabilities. Browser hijackers typically collect visited URLs, viewed webpages, searched queries, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, finance-related information, etc. The gathered data can be monetized via sale to third-parties or otherwise abused for profit.
In summary, the presence of browser-hijacking software on devices can result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Clean Notifications|
|Detection Names (cleannotifications.com)||Heimdal Security (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (cleannotifications.com)||220.127.116.11|
|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.
Browser hijacker examples
Surf Start, Whiteboard New Tab, and ComedyTab are just a few examples of browser hijackers that we have analyzed recently.
They seldom look suspicious; this software tends to appear legitimate and harmless. Users are enticed into download/installation with promises of "handy" and "advantageous" features. However, these functionalities are usually nonoperational. Even if a browser hijacker operates as advertised – it's not an indicator of its legitimacy or safety.
How did Clean Notifications install on my computer?
Browser hijackers can be bundled with (packed alongside) regular programs. Downloading from dubious sources (e.g., freeware and third-party websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushing installation processes (e.g., skipping steps, using "Quick/Easy" settings, etc.) – increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
Browser-hijacking software is also distributed through intrusive advertisements. Once clicked on, some of these ads can execute scripts to perform stealthy downloads/installations.
Additionally, browser hijackers can have "official" promotional webpages, and they are pushed through deceptive sites. Users typically enter websites of this kind via redirects caused by mistyped URLs, pages that use rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive adverts, or installed adware.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We highly recommend researching software and downloading it from official/trustworthy sources. Another recommendation is to approach installation with caution, e.g., by reading terms, inspecting available options, using "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting-out of additional apps, extensions, features, etc.
We also advise being vigilant when browsing since illegitimate and malicious content typically appears harmless. For example, intrusive advertisements may look legitimate yet redirect to unreliable/questionable websites (e.g., adult-dating, pornography, gambling, etc.).
In case of encounters with such ads/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Clean Notifications, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by Clean Notifications browser hijacker:
Appearance of cleannotifications.com redirecting to the Google search engine (GIF):
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 Clean Notifications?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Clean Notifications application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Clean Notifications browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove cleannotifications.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove cleannotifications.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Clean Notifications 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, "Clean Notifications"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the cleannotifications.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Clean Notifications browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
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 "Clean Notifications" and other recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable "Clean Notifications", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.cleannotifications.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:
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 "cleannotifications.com", when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Delete".
- If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the cleannotifications.com 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 extensions from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate "Clean Notifications", as well as all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Settings", in the opened window disable "Clean Notifications", remove hxxp://cleannotifications.com 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 "Accept the Risk and Continue".
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 cleannotifications.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, 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 cleannotifications.com 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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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users to visit cleannotifications.com website?
Redirects to sites like cleannotifications.com are caused because cyber criminals (i.e., developers of browser hijackers and fake search engines) generate revenue through them.
Is visiting cleannotifications.com a threat to my privacy?
To a certain extent, yes. Websites like cleannotifications.com typically collect (and sell) visitor data.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are most commonly distributed via bundled software installation setups, deceptive promotional webpages, freeware and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, online scams, spam browser notifications, and intrusive advertisements.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Clean Notifications browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your system and eliminate detected browser-hijacking apps. Keep in mind that manual removal (unaided by security software) might be ineffective, especially in cases where multiple browser hijackers are present. Since after one is removed – the others might simply reinstall it. What is more, browser-hijacking software may restrict access to removal-related settings and/or undo user-made changes. Therefore, it is essential to remove browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.
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