How to remove the Bottle browser hijacker
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What kind of software is "Bottle"?
While investigating suspicious websites, our researchers discovered an installer (commonly detected as Valyria) that contained the Bottle browser hijacker. Unlike most software within this classification, it does not modify browser settings to promote its fake search engine – oldforeyes.com.
Bottle browser hijacker overview
Typically, browser hijackers assign promoted websites as browsers' homepages, default search engines, and new tab/window URLs. Bottle does not operate in this manner.
When we launched its installer – the Bottle extension was present while the script was running. Additionally, when we closed/opened the Chrome browser – Bottle disappeared for a time and then reappeared.
Furthermore, the hijacker was only visible in the Chrome extension list if it was open before the installer was executed. Otherwise, Bottle denied access to the extension list.
At the time of research, this browser hijacker redirected to oldforeyes.com and then to the Bing search engine (bing.com) – when an attempt to search the Web was made. However, the oldforeyes.com fake search engine might land elsewhere since that may depend on certain factors, such as user geolocation.
Bottle can be removed by simply ending the script's process – Windows PowerShell via Windows Task Manager. Alternatively, the script ends, and the browser hijacker is essentially eliminated – when the operating system is restarted.
However, should Bottle be updated – we strongly recommend running a full system scan to detect any additional threats that may be present. Additionally, it is pertinent to mention that any later iterations of Bottle could modify browser settings.
Should ending the script's process on Task Manager or rebooting the system fail to eradicate this browser hijacker – use the removal steps provided below.
What is more, browser-hijacking software typically has data-tracking abilities. Targeted information may include: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, Internet cookies, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, finance-related data, and so forth. The collected information can be shared with and/or sold to third-parties.
To summarize, generally, the presence of browser-hijacking software on devices can result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Detection Names (installer)||Avast (Script:SNH-gen [Drp]), Combo Cleaner (VB:Trojan.Valyria.8026), ESET-NOD32 (PowerShell/TrojanDownloader.Agent.FVN), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.VBS.SAgent.gen), VIPRE (VB:Trojan.Valyria.8026), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Detection Names (oldforeyes.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (oldforeyes.com)||22.214.171.124|
|Rogue Process Name||Windows PowerShell (process name may vary)|
|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).|
|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
We have analyzed thousands of browser hijackers; Movie Searcher, Cosmos Extension, and Daily Jokes are merely a couple of our newest finds.
Browser-hijacking software usually appears legitimate and harmless. Users are often lured into downloading/installing this software with promises of various "handy" features. However, these functionalities seldom work as advertised, and in most cases – they do not work at all.
It must be mentioned that even if an extension or an app operates as indicated by its promotional material – that is not proof of its legitimacy or safety.
How did Bottle install on my computer?
We downloaded Bottle's installer from a deceptive webpage. In addition to various scam sites, browser hijackers can have "official" promotional pages. Most users access such pages via redirects caused by websites using rogue advertising networks, misspelled URLs, spam browser notifications, intrusive adverts, or installed adware.
Intrusive advertisements proliferate browser-hijacking software as well. When clicked on, some of the ads can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user permission.
"Bundling" – packing regular program installation setups with unwanted/malicious additions – is also used to distribute browser hijackers. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., used "Quick/Easy" settings, etc.) – increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the device.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We strongly advise researching software and downloading it from official/verified channels. Furthermore, installation must be treated with caution, e.g., by reading terms, studying available options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting out of all supplementary apps, extensions, features, etc.
We also advise being careful when browsing since fake and malicious content typically appears legitimate. For example, while intrusive advertisements may look harmless, they redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., adult dating, pornography, gambling, etc.).
In case of encounters with such ads/redirects, check the device and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Bottle, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Deceptive website promoting an installer containing Bottle browser hijacker:
Appearance of Bottle browser hijacker preventing access to the Chrome extension list (GIF):
Appearance of oldforeyes.com redirecting to the Bing search engine (GIF):
Ending Bottle browser hijacker's script through the Windows Task Manager:
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 Bottle?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Bottle browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove oldforeyes.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove oldforeyes.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Bottle 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, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Bottle 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 "Bottle" 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 "Bottle", look for a browser hijacker URL (e.g., hxxp://www.oldforeyes.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 the URL you're being redirect to (e.g., hxxp://www.oldforeyes.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 bottle 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 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 the browser-hijacking extension, remove the browser hijacker's URL 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 bottle 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 bottle 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 oldforeyes.com website?
Cyber criminals (e.g., developers of browser hijackers and fake search engines, etc.) generate revenue through redirects to sites like oldforeyes.com.
Is visiting oldforeyes.com a threat to my privacy?
Most likely, yes. Websites like oldforeyes.com usually collect (and sell) information about their visitors.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
We downloaded an installer containing oldforeyes.com from a deceptive software-promoting webpage. In addition to such sites, browser hijackers are commonly spread via untrustworthy download sources (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.), bundled installers, online scams, spam browser notifications, and intrusive adverts.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Bottle browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your system and eliminate all browser-hijacking applications present. Keep in mind that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be an ideal solution, particularly in cases involving multiple browser hijackers. Since after one is removed – the others may reinstall it. Furthermore, browser-hijacking software may be capable of denying access to removal-related settings and/or undoing user-made changes. Therefore, it is crucial to eliminate browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.
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