How to Remove Browser Hijacking

By Craig Barney

Browser hijacking occurs when an external source takes control of the Internet browser that you have installed on your computer and amends settings, like changing your homepage to another site or controlling where your searches will be directed. Once you experience the effects of having your browser hijacked, you will need to take steps to remove the hijacker. One step will involve using software like Spybot or any of the Microsoft tools. These instructions will guide you through removing the hijacker from Internet Explorer using Spybot, but the steps will be similar for other tools and browsers.

Step 1

Hold down the Ctrl, Alt and Delete keys at the same time to open the Task Manager.

Step 2

Click on the “Processes” tab and select the “iexplore.exe” file. Click “End Process” to force Internet Explorer to close.

Step 3

Restart Internet Explorer and download Spybot. Install the software on your computer following the installation wizard. Quit IE before installing the software.

Step 4

Open the Spybot Search & Destroy program and click on the button that says “Check for problems.” Let the program finish its check and destroy function.

Step 5

Open Internet Explorer and click on “Tools.” Select the option for “Internet Options.”

Step 6

Choose the tab labeled “Advanced” and open the “Reset” dialog box.

Step 7

Click on the “Reset” button and wait for IE to finish resetting. Turn the browser off when it is finished.

Step 8

Empty your Recycle Bin and restart your browser.

Tips & Warnings

  • A lot of browser hijackers gain access to your computer through browser extensions and add-ons, so remove these things from your browser if you have a frequent hijacking problem.
  • Remove browser hijacking as soon as you notice it before your computer becomes too infected to repair.