Why did we send you here?

During your last scan, we found some infections that have caused changes on your system, which may need to be manually altered. We’ll show you how to do that on this page.

Our instructions are divided into three chapters:

How to restore start pages, search engines, and other settings in Firefox

Click the “Open menu” button and choose "Options."

Restore Browser: Firefox settings

On the "General" tab under "Startup," use one of the buttons or manually change the URL in the "Home Page" field.

Restore Browser: Firefox

On the “Search” tab, you can choose your default search engine and which search providers should be displayed as alternate engines.

Restore Browser: Firefox

On the “Sync” tab, you can click on “Unlink this device” if you don’t want other devices to inherit the changes from the one you are working on (and vice versa).

In extreme cases, it might be necessary to uninstall Firefox and make a fresh start. If you do that because of the effects of an infection, we advise you to follow the “Remove user data and settings” instructions. If you want to transfer your bookmarks to the new setup, you can follow these directions.

How to restore start pages, search engines, and other settings in Google Chrome

Restore Browser: Chrome

Click the button that opens the “customize and control” menu in Chrome.

Then click “Settings.” Scroll down in the Settings menu to “On startup.”

Under “On startup,” you can change the pages that Chrome opens with by clicking the “Set pages” link next to the “Open a specific page or set of pages” option.

Restore Browser: Chrome

Under “Appearance,” click the “Change” link beside the “Show Home button” option to alter the URL that will open when that button is used.

Restore Browser: Chrome

You can edit the URL in the resulting pop-up screen.

You can edit the URL in the resulting pop-up screen.

Under “Search,” you can decide which search engine to use when you search from the omnibox.

search engine

Click the “Manage search engines…” button to select the default search engine. Remove unwanted entries by clicking on the (X) next to an entry.

search engine settings

If an (orphaned) extension is left behind, you can remove it manually under “Tools” / “Settings” / “Extensions.”

Chrome Extension

Deselect the checkmark next to “Enabled,” and click on the trash bin next to the offending entry.

In extreme cases, it might be necessary to do a fresh install. Once you decide it is better to uninstall Chrome, you may want to back up your bookmarks first. To avoid the effects of an infection from carrying over to the new install, you should use the "Also delete your browsing data" checkbox.

Read the instructions for synced data to avoid the spreading the infection to other devices or receiving additional infections from other devices.

How to fix browser shortcuts for Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer

Sometimes browser hijackers alter the shortcuts on your desktop, taskbar, and start menu in order to make sure you visit their sites or view their advertisements. They do this by adding extra information to the existing shortcuts. Unfortunately, we can’t remove the extra information for you, so we’ll show you how to create new, clean shortcuts.

If the infected shortcuts are pinned at the taskbar, right-click the icon and choose "Unpin this program from taskbar."

Unpin taskbar

If the "Unpin" method does not work, you can remove the shortcuts from your taskbar in the hidden folder. First, you need to show your hidden files. Go to “Control Panel” / “Folder Options” / “View,” and then select “Show hidden files, folders, and drives.”

unpin

The taskbar entries are stored in a hidden folder. The location of the hidden folder (on Windows 8) is as follows:
C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

Taskbar

Select the shortcuts you’d like to remove and delete them. (Or right-click and delete.) Removing shortcuts from this location may require a reboot for the removal to take effect.

Once the altered shortcut is removed, right-click your desktop and choose "New" then "Shortcut."

New shortcut

Then browse to the location of the program you want to start with the shortcut.
Common locations for browsers are:
"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe”
"C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe"
"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe"
"C:\Program Files\Opera\launcher.exe"

"Program Files" may be "Program Files (x86)" if you are running a 64-bit operating system.
Please note that the quotes are necessary for these shortcuts to work.

IE Shortcut

Once you find the target of your shortcut, click "Next" and "Finish."

Check if the shortcut is working properly and drag it to the taskbar, which will offer you the option to pin it.

Pin IE Taskbar

You can use the same procedure to pin the shortcut to the Start menu by dragging the icon to the start button.

Pin IE Start Menu

Existing shortcuts on the desktop can also be cleaned by right-clicking them, then choosing "Properties." In the "Target" field, remove everything after the path to the program. Remember to leave the quotes.

Alter shortcut target

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