How to remove browser hijackers in Windows 10

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • The browser hijacker is a common adware that takes full control of your browser.
  • It's not so easy to deal with it, since it stays even if you reinstall your browser.
  • If you want to explore more browser-related information, check out our extensive Browsers section.
  • Because we live in dangerous times stay informed and visit our Antivirus Hub to learn how to protect your PC.  
Remove browser hijackers in Windows 10

Usually, when people refer to malware, they’re talking about a Trojan32-like virus freely roaming through your system.

However, there are much less dangerous, but still threatening, adware attacks that can create a lot of trouble.

One of the most common adware bugs is a browser hijacker, a remarkably sturdy and resilient annoyance, that takes full control of your browser. And Windows 10 users are not spared.

Namely, what a browser hijacker usually does is:

  • Infiltrates to your PC while installing a third-party program or browser extension.
  • It acts like a toolbar extension that changes your home page and search engine within the affected browser.
  • It’s easily recognizable as it bombards users with pop-ups and ads.

Furthermore, it’s not so easy to deal with it, since it tends to integrate and dig in deep into your system, so even if you reinstall your browser, it’ll still be there.

Because of that, we offer a step-by-step list of instructions you should follow in order to relieve yourself of this digital vermin.

Table of contents:

  1. Scan for viruses
  2. Uninstall toolbars from Control Panel
  3. Reset the browser to default settings

Quick tip: Opera is safe from browser hijackers

Before we list the detailed instructions on how to efficiently remove browser hijackers, you should know there’s an interesting browser out there called Opera that’s protecting your computer from such threats.

Starting with the most efficient Private Browsing mode and continuing with the included VPN, Opera not only is a safe-side browser but it will also protect your privacy.

More than that, Opera also comes with Ad blocker, Tracker blocker, and Cryptojacking protection which means that the Ad blocker also counters cryptomining scripts.

Opera is free and you can try it for yourself for as much time as you like.

Opera

Opera

No more hijacking, ads and abusive tracking! Opera protects you against all threats and it's still faster than most other browsers.
Get it free Visit Website

If you prefer to continue using your current browser, then follow the steps listed below to uninstall browser hijackers.

How can I remove browser hijacker in Windows 10?

1. Scan for viruses

  1. Download Malwarebytes.
  2. Choose Scan and wait for the procedure to finish.
  3. Let Malwarebytes clean your PC and close it.
  4. Restart your PC.
Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes eats browser hijackers for breakfast, along with other virus and malware. After a scan, your computer will run like new!
Free trial Visit website

After that, you should be out in the clear. However, as we already mentioned, a generic browser hijacker will almost always tweak your homepage and additional settings in the browser properties.

Some of those can be quite touchy so you should inspect everything before you use the browser again.


2. Uninstall toolbars from Control Panel

  1. In the Search bar, type Control, and open Control Panel.
  2. From the Category view, select Uninstall a program.
  3. Navigate to one (or multiple) suspicious and untrusted programs.how to remove browser hijacker windows 10
  4. Right-click on a program and uninstall it.
  5. Restart your PC.

3. Reset the browser to default settings

Chrome

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click on the 3-dot menu and open Settings.how to remove browser hijacker windows 10
  3. Scroll down and open Advanced.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and click Reset.how to remove browser hijacker windows 10

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox.
  2. Click on the 3-line menu and open Help.how to remove browser hijacker windows 10
  3. Open Troubleshooting information.how to remove browser hijacker windows 10
  4. Click Refresh Firefox.

Opera

  1. Open the Opera browser.
  2. Unable Hidden files in the Explorer’s toolbar under the View tab.
  3. Navigate to these two locations and delete Opera Stable folders in both:
    • Profile: C:\Users\your username\AppData\Roaming\OperaSoftware\OperaStable
    • Cache: C:\Users\your username\AppData\Local\OperaSoftware\OperaStable

Edge

  1. Start Edge.
  2. Click on the 3-dot menu and open Settings.how to remove browser hijacker windows 10
  3. Choose Clear Browsing data and then Choose what to clear.
  4. Click Show more and check all the boxes.how to remove browser hijacker windows 10
  5. Click Clear and restart Edge.

That should do it. In case you have additional hardships with browser hijacker in Windows 10, or maybe a solution or two that you would like to share, feel free to do so in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in December 2017 and was revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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