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How to Get Rid of Browser Hijackers

Safeguard your personal information and online experience by removing suspicious software or unknown extensions.

What is Browser Hijacking?

Browser hijacking is a form of untrustworthy software that modifies your browser settings without your permission in order to show you unwanted advertising. This type of software can change your web browser homepage or search engine, and display pop-up ads over any website you may visit.

Oftentimes, browser hijackers are downloaded under the disguise of a free browser extension that performs a useful function. If you have recently downloaded free software or browser extensions and are now experiencing an influx of pop-up ads, you may be a victim of malicious software. Read the security tips below to learn how to remove and avoid harmful browser extensions and programs. 

Signs of a Browser Hijacker

  • Unwanted changes to your browser
  • Annoying pop-up ads that display over your browsing sites
  • Slow loading web pages
  • Redirects to unwanted sites
  • Browser crashes
  • Hyperlinks on web page text that take you to suspicious sites

How to Remove Browser Hijackers

Check Visual Cues > Determine Source > Remove source by Uninstalling

Extensions designed to hijack your browsing experience can show legitimate content from real businesses in pop-up ads, making it difficult to immediately recognize the source of the ads.

One quick way to visually identify an ad source is to look in the lower corners, or edges of the ad. If you see disclaimers such as "ads by (company name)" you can determine the source of your pop-up ads.

Once you've determined the source, make sure to remove the associated software by uninstalling the browser extension and removing any downloaded files.


See Example

Popup scam: Urgent message for visitors and account holders

In this example there is a very small message on the lower left-hand edge of the ad, stating "Ads by yourpdfconverter-online," indicating the ad is originating from the Free PDF Converter extension.

Uninstall Common Ad Sources

These sites provide detailed instructions on how to remove specific commonly found browser hijackers from your various web browsers.

Uninstall Free PDF Converter

Uninstall Babylon Search Tool

Remove Additional Toolbars or Browser Extensions

Safeguard Your Personal Information
  • Be careful downloading free software
  • Before downloading anything, verify it comes from a legitimate source
  • Be sure you trust a source before you click it
  • Never input your personal information on a website you don't know and trust
If you ever have questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Read more on the topic: PC & Browser Security by Microsoft. Browse How to Remove a Chrome Virus MacPaw. More on Browser Hijacking by NortonSee How Extension Malware has Evolved on Wired. Read What Is Adware by Panda Security.

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