I wrote this article to help you remove Hotleaf Virus. This Hotleaf Virus removal guide works for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
Hotleaf is a classic member of the browser hijacker family. Have you been infected with a hijacker before? If yes, you know exactly why you should remove the intruder ASAP. If not, we are certain we can convince you. Hijackers may not be the most dangerous type of parasites out there but this doesn’t mean they cannot cause you harm. On the contrary. If given the time, this pest could cause you some irreversible damage. Just take a few minutes to read this article in order to understand more about the infection you currently have on board, how it managed to enter your PC and, most importantly, how to remove it and how to prevent future infections.
As soon as the pest enters, your browsers get hijacked (hence the parasite`s name). The infection adds to them a brand new pesky extension thus taking complete control over them. These include the three most popular web browsers – Mozilla, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. But any other browser that you might have installed on your machine is also infected. How that you are no longer in charge, your entire browsing experience changes significantly. In fact, it turns into a nightmare. You cannot even spend a minute online without being interrupted. Because of the hijacker, you are now constantly redirected to shady pages which are probably brimming with infections.
Also, your previous homepage and search engine disappear all of a sudden and a new malicious domain gets their places. Of course, none of these reshuffles require your permission. The hijacker is perfectly able to act as it sees fit. And this is what it is doing. It hijacks your online activities and you cannot surf the web normally anymore. Moreover, you are also buried in an avalanche of annoying commercials on daily basis. Coupons, deals, offers, best prices, comparison, pop-ups, etc. cover your whole screen all the time.
The hijacker bombards you with so many ads because this is how crooks gain effortless profits. They use the pay-per-click mechanism to earn money at your expense. And while you somehow may be okay with that (which you shouldn’t), you cannot ignore the fact that while you are sponsoring them, you are exposing yourself to more malware. These advertisements are sponsored and you cannot trust sponsored links. They can easily lead you to pages full of infections or they can conceal infections themselves.
Either way, a single click is all it takes for you to compromise your computer even more. It is already underperforming because of this single hijacker. Can you imagine what could happen if you invite more parasites on board? You will get to the point where using your PC becomes impossible. Put an end to this now. Use our removal guide below and delete the Hotleaf hijacker on the spot. This is the best course of action you can take.
But the Hotleaf infection didn’t appear out of this air. It was allowed in. Hijackers are bound to seek your approval on their installment. Without it, they cannot get it. However, no one would agree to such annoying pest entering their machine, so hackers turn to the oldest trick in the book. The most popular infiltration method among hijackers is freeware bundling where crooks attach their malware to another program as a “bonus” and if you are not careful enough, you get this bonus together with the original program. This is why experts recommend using the Custom settings in the Setup Wizard instead of the Basic ones. This why you are able to see the entire bundle and deselect all the additional apps. Other tactics include spam messages, fake updates, corrupted pages, illegitimate torrents, etc. Be vigilant. None of the techniques is good enough to work without you providing your carelessness. It is what hackers need the most.
Before starting the real removal process, you must reboot in Safe Mode. If you are familiar with this task, skip the instructions below and proceed to Step 2. If you do not know how to do it, here is how to reboot in Safe mode:
For Windows 98, XP, Millenium and 7:
Reboot your computer. When the first screen of information appears, start repeatedly pressing F8 key. Then choose Safe Mode With Networking from the options.
For Windows 8/8.1
Click the Start button, next click Control Panel —> System and Security —> Administrative Tools —> System Configuration.
Check the Safe Boot option and click OK. Click Restart when asked.
For Windows 10
Open the Start menu and click or tap on the Power button.
While keeping the Shift key pressed, click or tap on Restart.
Here are the steps you must follow to permanently remove from the browser:
Remove From Mozilla Firefox:
Open Firefox, click on top-right corner
, click Add-ons, hit Extensions next.
Look for suspicious or unknown extensions, remove them all.
Remove From Chrome:
Open Chrome, click chrome menu icon at the top-right corner —>More Tools —> Extensions. There, identify the malware and select chrome-trash-icon(Remove).
Remove From Internet Explorer:
Open IE, then click IE gear icon on the top-right corner —> Manage Add-ons.
Find the malicious add-on. Remove it by pressing Disable.
Right click on the browser’s shortcut, then click Properties. Remove everything after the .exe” in the Target box.
Open Control Panel by holding the Win Key and R together. Write appwiz.cpl in the field, then click OK.
Here, find any program you had no intention to install and uninstall it.
Run the Task Manager by right clicking on the Taskbar and choosing Start Task Manager.
Look carefully at the file names and descriptions of the running processes. If you find any suspicious one, search on Google for its name, or contact me directly to identify it. If you find a malware process, right-click on it and choose End task.
Open MS Config by holding the Win Key and R together. Type msconfig and hit Enter.
Go in the Startup tab and Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer.
Still can not remove Hotleaf Virus from your browser? Please, leave a comment below, describing what steps you performed. I will answer promptly.