How to remove Softonic hijacker from Google Chrome, Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox? Why your homepage is replaced and your browser is redirected to Search.softonic.com randomly? Follow the guides below to find out an effective manual way, completely removing this nasty Softonic redirect.
Softonic Hijacker (also called Search.softonic.com redirect) is a browser hijacker that gets inside on the infected PC bundled with other software that you usually download from the Internet for free. Once inside, it changes your default search engine and homepage to Search.softonic.com without your permission and doesn’t allow you to change it back. Thus, navigating the Internet and especially performing searches becomes very difficult.
Softonic hijacker complicates usual web surfing, blocks some reputable Internet resources, opens different web sites instead of requested ones. It hijacks your browser (such as Internet Explorer, Google chrome, or Firefox) to its domain which provides fake search results to innocent users. Nowadays, more and more victims complain that Softonic hijacker changes the browser settings and can not be restored easily. Also after scanning the computer for a few hours, they find nothing related to this malware. In addition, this malicious hijacker is suspected of collecting users’ personal information to distribute advertisement or for commercial use. Therefore, you must remove Softonic hijacker as quickly as you can.
It is said that you can easily get infected with this redirect virus when you visit illegal websites, download porno movies and other unidentified programs and open spam emails. You may still do these above activities even if you are aware of their dangers because you think your legitimate antivirus software can take care of the threats. But as a matter of fact, the creators of this browser redirect virus are so familiar with the functions of antivirus tools that they can make it escape from the detection and removal of any virus protectors. Thus, it is suggested users to follow the manual guide to delete Softonic hijacker.
Considering Softonic hijacker can’t be fixed by any security tools, uses can use the manual guide below to fix this issue without any risk.
1. Clear all the cookies of your affected browsers.
Click on the “Tools” menu and select “Options”.
Click the “Under the Bonnet” tab, locate the “Privacy” section and click the “Clear browsing data” button.
Select “Delete cookies and other site data” to delete all cookies from the list.
Open Internet explorer window
Click the “Tools” button
Point to “safety” and then click “delete browsing history”
Tick the “cookies” box, then click “delete”
Click on Tools, then Options, select Privacy
Click “Remove individual cookies”
In the Cookies panel, click on “Show Cookies”
To remove a single cookie click on the entry in the list and click on the “Remove Cookie button”
To remove all cookies click on the “Remove All Cookies button”
2. End the malicious process from Task Manager.
Once this dangerous redirect is installed, computer user may notice that CPU usage randomly jumps to 100 percent, slowing down the computer. If your system’s CPU spike is constant, users should check from Task Manager and see if there is a suspicious process occupying the system resources and then end it immediately.
(The name of the virus process can be random.)
Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc at the same time and it will open up task manager directly. Then change to “Processes” tab.
3. Show hidden files and folders.
Open Folder Options by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personalization, and then clicking Folder Options.
Click the View tab.
Under Advanced settings, click Show hidden files and folders, uncheck Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) and then click OK.
4. Remove all the malicious files manually.
Softonic Hijacker is a typical browser hijacker that mainly attacks browsers such as Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer. It aims to hijack your web browsers and perform malicious tasks to interrupt your browsing activities. Once it is downloaded, it keeps redirecting you to the website you don’t want. You may still be able to use it to search information that match with your interests but it could be harmful if you click ads or links provided by Softonic search. Although it appears as a legitimate search engine, it still does not deliver actual results. It will redirect the user to an advertisement or a content locking page that requires the user to fill out a form or perform some other activity in which the hackers receive compensation for. It is suggested users to get rid of Softonic hijacker quickly before a fully mess.
Published by Sarah Poehler, last updated on May 31, 2013 3:51 am | Browser Hijacker Removal Guide