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Remove Hao123 - Jan 2021 updated

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Hao123 virus might cause unpleasant changes on your browser

The picture of Hao123

Hao123 virus is categorised as a browser hijacker and has two versions – Hao123Tab and Us.Hao123.com virus. Once the virus infiltrates computer’s system, it targets the web browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox) and changes current browser’s settings. You may ask how the virus manages to get into a computer.

Usually, it spreads bundled with freeware. So, when you download and install the software, you might let the virus enter your computer. Of course, you can take some precautions to protect your PC and prevent programs like these from getting on your computer, but we’ll talk about them later.

The main signs that your computer was infected with this browser hijacker are constant redirects to Hao123.com or similar websites, modified search engine aggressive pop-ups, frequently crashing and freezing the browser. Also, you might notice additional toolbars or extensions installed to your browser. If you notice these modifications, you should not hesitate and remove Hao123 immediately. The virus is not dangerous itself, but it can install malware or let other viruses sneak into your computer.

Despite the fact that virus gets into computer secretly and without user’s realisation; it is easily recognisable. Once you launch the browser, you will see a different homepage and a new search engine. This search engine might seem similar reliable and safe to use, but you should not trust it.

Browser hijackers are created for generating revenue from advertising. So, Hao123 virus provides lots of sponsored content in the search results. The biggest issue here is that sponsored websites might be potentially dangerous, and when you enter them, your computer might be infected with dangerous viruses or Trojans. The same problem is with redirects caused by the virus. Any Hao123 redirect can lead to a malicious website that is created for spreading malware.

Finally, the browser hijacker is capable of tracking users. It collects information related to browsing activity and habits; however, it still might lead to some privacy issues. So, if you have noticed that your browser started behaving weirdly, you should consider Hao123 removal. You can eliminate the virus fast and quickly with a reputable anti-malware program such as ReimageIntego.

The image of Hao123 virusHao123 is a browser hijacker that might attack the most popular web browsers.

Versions of Hao123 virus:

Hao123Tab. The creators of the virus present this plug-in as a ‘must-have.’ However, this Chrome plug-in just delivers tons of advertisements, modifies web browser’s settings and might install additional toolbars without asking user’s permission. Moreover, it triggers redirects to various suspicious websites and includes sponsored content into search results. So, it’s definitely not worth keeping!

Us.Hao123.com virus. This browser hijacker forces to use its questionable search engine and provides lots of advertisements. Most of the provided content is potentially harmful and can lead to malicious websites. Moreover, once you have noticed that your web browser was modified, you should scan your computer with professional malware removal program and get rid of the virus until it hasn’t caused more computer-related issues.

Tips to avoid this browser hijacker

Earlier we mentioned that browser hijacker usually spreads with other software that users download from the Internet. So, if you want to protect your computer from Hao123 hijack, you should pay more attention to freeware downloads and installation. You should always download programs from reliable domains and avoid using file-sharing domains.

For software installation always choose ‘Advanced’ or ‘Custom’ installation mode instead of recommended settings. Unfortunately, many computer users are still choosing ‘Quick’ or ‘Basic’ installation mode. So, the creators of potentially unwanted programs use this bad habit for their needs. They add questionable programs as ‘optional installs.’

The only way to stop these programs from sneaking into a computer is to choose advanced installation settings and after seeing the list of ‘optional installs,’ deselect all of these programs. Also, it’s important to read Licence Agreements and the Privacy Policy of the programs you’re going to install. Then, you can be sure that your computer and, especially, your personal information is safe.

Suggestions for Hao123 removal

Users can remove Hao123 manually and automatically. However, we do not recommend choosing the first option. As we mentioned in the article, the browser hijacker can install additional tools and extensions that might be difficult to find. Of course, it’s possible to do it, if you are an experienced computer user and have knowledge in virus elimination process. However, we recommend automatic Hao123 removal. All you need is the reputable anti-malware program and run a full system scan.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Security Tools
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Security Tools
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.
Hao123 screenshot
Hao123 screenshot

To remove Hao123, follow these steps:

Uninstall Hao123 in Windows systems

Follow these steps to remove Hao 123 from the computer entirely:

  1. Go to Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, open Add/Remove Programs). Go to 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, open 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, click on Windows icon in the lower left corner of the screen to open Quick Access Menu. Then click Control Panel and select Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, click on Windows icon in the lower left corner of the screen to open 'Quick Access Menu'. Then click 'Control Panel' and select 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Remove Hao123 and programs related to it
    Now, take a look at the list of programs and find Hao123 or other programs that you do not remember installing.
  4. Right-click on these programs and select "Uninstall." Then click OK to save changes. Right-click every suspicious program and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Delete Hao123 from Windows shortcuts
    Right-click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and click Properties. Right-click on web browsers' icon and click 'Properties'
  6. Now, go to Shortcut tab and find Target field. Then delete the URL that is associated with your virus. Open 'Shortcut' tab and erase 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other shady URL

Follow the same steps as explained above with all other shortcuts of Internet browsers, including Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. Please check Start Menu, Desktop, and taskbar to find all shortcuts.

Uninstall Hao123 in Mac OS X system

These guidelines will give you an explanation on how to wipe out all suspicious components from Mac OS X:

  1. Users who use OS X should click on Go button, which can be found at the top left corner of the screen and select Applications. Click on 'Go' to open a drop-down menu and select 'Applications'.
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Hao123 or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on each malicious application and select 'Move to Trash'

Delete Hao123 from Internet Explorer (IE)

Follow the instructions to clean Internet Explorer after the hijack:

  1. Delete suspicious browser add-ons
    Launch Internet Explorer, and then open IE by clicking on the Gear icon, which is located at the top right corner of the Internet browser. Then, click Manage Add-ons. Open browser menu and go to 'Manage add-ons'
  2. Manage Add-ons window will appear on your screen. Now, search for Hao123 and other questionable browser add-ons. Right-click them on each of them and select Disable. To eliminate malicious applications, right-click on each of them and click 'Disable'
  3. If virus altered your homepage, change it:
    Click the Gear icon at the top right corner of the Internet browser and then click Internet Options. Stay in General section.
  4. Now, delete malicious URL and enter Delete suspicious URL, type in your preferable site name and click 'Apply' to save
  5. Reset all Internet Explorer settings
    Click on Gear icon and then opt for Internet options. Then go to Advanced section.
  6. Click Reset.
  7. A new window appears, and then you have to tick Delete personal settings and click Reset to finalise Hao123 removal. In 'Advanced' tab, click 'Reset'. Then tick 'Delete personal settings' and click 'Reset'.

Delete Hao123 from Microsoft Edge

In order to delete hao123.com or similar domain from Microsoft Edge, follow these steps:

Reset settings in Microsoft Edge (Technique No.1):

  1. Open Microsoft Edge browser, then click on More button, which is situated at the top right edge of the screen
  2. Select Settings from the drop down menu.
  3. When the Settings panel appears, find Clear browsing data section and hit Choose what to clear button. Open Settings and click on 'Choose what to clear' button
  4. Then mark all components that you wish to delete and after that hit Clear. Click 'Clear'
  5. Right-click the Start button (that has Windows logo on it) and choose Task Manager. Right-click the Start button again and choose 'Task Manager'
  6. Go to Processes tab and look for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and select Go to details. If there is no Go to details option, select More details and carry out previous instructions. Right-click on 'Microsoft Edge' and choose 'Go to details' option If 'Go to details' option does not show up, choose 'More details' instead
  8. Once Details tab appears, look for entries that contain Microsoft Edge name. Right-click on such individual entries and choose End Task option to terminate them. Locate all entries that relate to Microsoft Edge and click 'End Task'

Reset Microsoft Edge (Technique No.2):

In case the Technique No.1 did not help you to fix the problem, use advanced Edge reset option.

  1. Important: you must backup your files before you use these tips
  2. Locate this folder on your PC: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select all items in this folder and right-click with your mouse. Select Delete. Open Microsoft Edge folder on your PC, click every entry with the right mouse button and select 'Delete'
  4. Click on the Start button (that has Windows Logo on it) and in Search my stuff field, type in window power.
  5. With the right button of your mouse, click on every entry and select Run as administrator. Locate where Windows PowerShell is, right-click on it and click on 'Run as administrator' option
  6. Once you get Admin's rights, Windows PowerShell window should show up shortly. Paste this line:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and hit Enter. Copy and then paste the necessary command and hit 'Enter'

After completing these steps, Microsoft Edge should be Hao123-free.

Delete Hao123 from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Uninstall suspicious add-ons from Firefox to get rid of Hao 123.

  1. Delete suspicious browser extensions
    Launch Mozilla Firefox, and then open menu (click a button at the top right corner). Then, go to Add-ons Extensions. Open browser menu and go to 'Add-ons'
  2. Now, locate Hao123 and other suspicious extensions. Click Remove to eliminate them. Go to 'Extensions' and locate malicious browser add-ons. Hit 'Remove' button to delete each entry
  3. If virus altered your homepage, change it:
    Open Firefox menu (click the button at the top right corner), and go to Options General.
  4. Delete malicious URL and then enter the address of the website that you want to set as your homepage.
  5. Click OK to save the changes. Open 'General' tab and delete the URL from 'Home Page' field or just simply click 'Restore to Default'. Then click on 'OK' button to apply changes.
  6. Reset all Mozilla Firefox settings
    Click on the Firefox at the top left corner and then click the question mark. Then, select Troubleshooting Information. Open menu by clicking on the indicated icon and on '?'. Then select 'Troubleshooting Information'.
  7. Reset Firefox to its default state message should appear then. You will see Reset Firefox button. Click this button a few times and finalise Hao123 removal. Hit 'Reset Firefox' button a few times

Delete Hao123 from Google Chrome

Hao123 elimination guidelines are presented below:

  1. Remove malicious extensions
    Launch Google Chrome, and then open menu (click a button at the top right corner). Then, go to Tools Extensions. Open browser's menu, then click 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Now, look for Hao123 and other suspicious extensions and then click the trash icon to remove them. Find malicious extensions and click on the Trash bin icon to remove them
  3. If virus altered your homepage, change it:
    Open menu and select Settings.
  4. Find Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup section and click Set pages. Open browser's menu, then go to 'Settings' and select 'Set pages' under 'On startup' section
  5. An additional window should pop-up. Here, remove dubious URLs and add a new page that you wish to set as a homepage. Remove malicious search sites by clicking 'X'
  6. Open Chrome menu and go to Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. Once you open browser's 'Settings', click on 'Manage search engines...' button
  7. In Search Engines..., configure default search engine settings. Remove untrustworthy ones. We advise you to leave only Google or another reputable website of your choice. Remove malicious search sites by clicking 'X'
  8. Reset all Google Chrome settings
    Open menu by clicking the button at the top right corner of Google Chrome, and go to Settings.
  9. Scroll down to find Reset browser settings button. Click on it. When in 'Settings', click Show advanced settings and then find 'Reset browser settings' button. Click on it.
  10. Click Reset to approve this action and finish Hao123 removal. Click 'Reset' to finish the removal process.

Delete Hao123 from Safari

Fix Safari after the hijack:

  1. Delete suspicious browser extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and then select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Hao123 or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and remove untrustworthy extensions
  3. If virus altered your homepage, change it:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Hao123, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. Go to 'General' section and find Homepage field. Delete suspicious URL and replace it with a URL of your choice.
  5. Reset all Safari settings
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and then select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Hao123 removal process. Select all checkboxes and click 'Reset'

Prevent the government from spying on you

As there is a growing debate in government about collecting users' data and spying on citizens, you should take a closer look at this issue and find out what shady ways of gathering information can be used to collect information about you. You need to browse anonymously if you want to avoid any government-initiated spying and tracking of information. 

You can enjoy secure internet browsing and minimize the risk of intrusion into your system if you use Private Internet Access VPN program. This VPN application creates a virtual private network and provides access to the required data without any content restrictions.

Control government and other third party access to your data and ensure safe web browsing. Even if you do not engage in illegal activities and trust your ISP, we recommend being careful about your security. You should take extra precautions and start using a VPN program.

Recover files damaged by a dangerous malware attack

Despite the fact that there are various circumstances that can cause data to be lost on a system, including accidental deletion, the most common reason people lose photos, documents, videos, and other important data is the infection of malware.

Some malicious programs can delete files and prevent the software from running smoothly. However, there is a greater threat from the dangerous viruses that can encrypt documents, system files, and images. Ransomware-type viruses focus on encrypting data and restricting users’ access to files, so you can permanently lose personal data when you download such a virus to your computer.

The ability to unlock encrypted files is very limited, but some programs have a data recovery feature. In some cases, the Data Recovery Pro program can help recover at least some of the data that has been locked by a virus or other cyber infection.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - Expert in malware removal

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