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How to remove software that causes redirects to exploreahoy.com

Also Known As: exploreahoy.com browser hijacker
Damage level: Medium

What kind of website is exploreahoy.com?

Exploreahoy.com is the address of a fraudulent search engine. Websites of this kind typically cannot provide search results, so they redirect to genuine Internet search engines. These fake sites are commonly promoted by browser hijackers.

It is noteworthy that users who experience redirects to exploreahoy.com may also be forced to visit search-boss.com – another illegitimate search engine.

Exploreahoy.com redirecting (via searchgo.org) to the Bing search engine (GIF)

How do browser hijackers promote exploreahoy.com?

Browser-hijacking software modifies browser settings, e.g., homepages, default search engines, new tabs/windows, etc. Due to these modifications, users can get redirected to the promoted webpage, such as exploreahoy.com. Fake search engines are rarely able to provide search results, so they redirect to legitimate ones.

At the time of research, exploreahoy.com generated a redirection chain leading to searchgo.org and landing on the genuine Bing search engine (bing.com). It must be mentioned that exploreahoy.com could land elsewhere, as redirects might be impacted by factors like user geolocation.

It is pertinent to mention that browser hijackers commonly use persistence-ensuring techniques to complicate their removal and prevent users from restoring their browsers.

Additionally, software within this classification usually has data-tracking functionalities; information collection is not uncommon for fraudulent search engines as well.

Browser hijackers primarily target browsing and search engine histories, browser cookies, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, credit card numbers, etc. The gathered data can be monetized via sale to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).

To summarize, the presence of browser-hijacking software on devices may lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name exploreahoy.com browser hijacker
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Affected Browser Settings Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine
Detection Names N/A (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address 3.33.130.190
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.
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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Fake search engine examples

We have investigated countless fake search engines; vently.comqimp.netsearchersgood.com, and search-quickly.com are merely some examples.

Usually, these sites and the software endorsing them appear legitimate and harmless. They can also promise a wide variety of useful and advantageous functions. However, these features seldom work as advertised, and in most cases – they do not work at all.

It must be stressed that even if a website or a piece of software operates exactly as indicated by its promotional material – that is not a guarantee of legitimacy or safety.

How did exploreahoy.com promoting software install on my computer?

Browser hijackers can have "official" promotional webpages, and they are pushed through scam sites. Users mainly access these pages via redirects caused by intrusive ads, websites employing rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, misspelled URLs, and installed adware.

Browser-hijacking software can also be bundled with ordinary programs. The risk of unintentionally permitting access for bundled content into the system is increased by downloading from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and by treating installations with negligence (e.g., ignoring terms, using "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.).

Browser hijackers are proliferated by intrusive advertisements as well. Once clicked on, some of these adverts can execute scripts to perform sneaky downloads/installations.

How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?

It is important to always research software before downloading or purchasing. All downloads must be made from official and verified channels. When installing, it is essential to read terms, explore possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt out of all additional apps, extensions, features, etc.

We also advise exercising caution while browsing, as fake and malicious online content usually appears legitimate and innocuous. For example, while intrusive ads may look harmless – they redirect users to unreliable and questionable websites (e.g., scam-promoting, gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.).

In case of continuous encounters with advertisements and/or redirects of this kind, inspect the device and immediately remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

Exploreahoy.com redirect removal:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

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:

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.

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.

macOS (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.

Browser-hijacking application uninstall via Control Panel

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.

Exploreahoy.com redirect removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing exploreahoy.com related Google Chrome extensions

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Extensions" and click "Manage Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Change your homepage:

Removing exploreahoy.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 the malicious extension (if present), look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.exploreahoy.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 exploreahoy.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 "exploreahoy.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.

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the exploreahoy.com browser hijacker, 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 exploreahoy.com related Mozilla Firefox extensions

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (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:

Removing exploreahoy.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 "Settings", in the opened window disable malicious extension (if present), remove hxxp://exploreahoy.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing exploreahoy.com from Mozilla Firefox 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 Mozilla Firefox switch about:config entry button button.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with exploreahoy.com browser hijacker 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 exploreahoy.com browser hijacker, 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.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on exploreahoy.com browser hijacker or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the purpose of forcing users to visit exploreahoy.com website?

Redirects to webpages like exploreahoy.com are generated because cyber criminals (i.e., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers) profit through them.

Is visiting exploreahoy.com a threat to my privacy?

Most likely, yes. Sites classed as fake search engines (e.g., exploreahoy.com, etc.) typically gather information about their visitors. The collected data may then be sold to third-parties.

How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?

Browser hijackers are most commonly distributed via deceptive promotional webpages, bundled installation setups, freeware and free file-hosting websites, online scams, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, intrusive ads, and spam browser notifications.

Will Combo Cleaner help me remove browser hijackers?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan computers and eliminate installed browser-hijacking applications. Manual removal (performed without security tools) might be ineffective, especially when multiple browser hijackers are present. In these instances, after one is removed – the others may reinstall it. Furthermore, removal-related settings might be unmodifiable when browser-hijacking software is installed. Therefore, browser hijackers must be eliminated thoroughly and all at once.

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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.

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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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