How to remove the hao123 browser hijacker

Browser hijackers, like the sneaky hao123, are a rising threat to your online experience. Beyond its intrusive nature, this hijacker often employs tracking mechanisms to monitor user browsing habits. This unauthorized data collection compromises privacy, potentially leading to identity theft or targeted online attacks.

Many people often fall prey due to unsuspecting downloads or sketchy extensions. The earlier you get rid of this threat, the safer your browsing experiences will be. Luckily, there is an effective solution.

We created this comprehensive guide to show you step-by-step how to remove the hao123 Chrome hijacker easily. But first, let’s understand what the threat is and where it came from.

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What is

Hao123 is an annoying browser hijacker that forcefully alters browser settings without your consent, often sneaking in through malicious extensions. website

While itself is a legit Chinese site, it's pushed through the hao123 program, free software often bundled with other downloads. This program hijacks your browser, causing those annoying redirects.

When installed, it instantly changes the default homepage, search engine, or new tab page to It’s risky because the hijacker might redirect you to harmful websites, inundate browsers with unwanted ads, or trick you into giving away personal info. redirects could affect Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and other browsers. Getting rid of this hijacker fast is important to restore browser functionality, protect sensitive information, and enhance your browsing experience.

Threat namehao123,
TypeBrowser hijacker, PUP, adware
Devices affectedMostly Windows devices
SymptomsChanged browser settings (start page, search engine, and the new tab page), redirects to page, unwanted ads
DamageUnintended redirects, tracking, slower browsing performance, potential lead to harmful sites

Similar browser hijacker examples

There are many more browser hijackers similar to hao123. Beware of, a hijacker pretending to be a legit search engine. is another sneaky intruder, messing with your online privacy. Mac users are vulnerable to the Search Alpha menace, tweaking Bing results for shady gains.

These aren't just annoyances; they can grab your private info like IP addresses and even log-ins. This guide will show you exactly how to get rid of the hao123 hijacker and how to safeguard your browser from future attacks.

Why am I seeing

If is popping up, a sneaky browser hijacker may be at work, changing your browser settings without permission. Here’s exactly how you got it:

  • Bundled downloads. Often bundled with free downloads or software updates, especially from less reputable sources.
  • P2P downloads. Files downloaded through P2P networks can expose users to bundled software, including browser hijackers like hao123.
  • Clicking on ads. Users can inadvertently invite the hijacker by clicking on misleading online ads or pop-ups.
  • Visiting untrusted websites. Infectious links on sketchy websites can lead to the hijacker making its way into your device.
  • Outdated software. Failing to update your device and security software can leave you vulnerable to such hijacking attempts.

How to get rid of the hao123 browser hijacker

Below, you’ll find comprehensive guides on how to remove from your device effectively – both automatically and manually.

Remove hao123 automatically with an antivirus

With trusted antivirus software, you can quickly get rid of hao123 browser hijacker once and for all. This is the quickest and the most effective way. Here are the steps:

  1. Choose a top antivirus program like TotalAV, our top choice TotalAV website
  2. Download and install the antivirus app on your infected device
  3. Launch a full scan to identify and remove the hao123 hijacker from your system totalav-system-scan
  4. Follow the prompts given by your antivirus software during the scanning process TotalAV scanning
  5. Regularly update your chosen antivirus software and enable real-time protection to ensure continuous protection against emerging threats TotalAV real-time protection feature

Manual hao123 removal from your device

It’s also possible to get rid of hijacker manually. However, it’s a bit more complex, including multiple steps. Here's how to remove hao123 from Windows and your web browsers:

Uninstall a suspicious program

  1. Right-click the Windows icon and select settings window start settings
  2. Select Apps and then go to Installed Apps windows apps
  3. Find a suspicious application that appeared right after redirects started. Sort apps by date to check apps installed most recently
  4. Right-click on the malicious app and select Uninstall Windows installed apps uninstall

Clean any registries created by hao123

For Windows devices, most frequently targeted registries are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

To access these registries, open the Windows registry editor and delete any values created by Simply follow these steps to begin:

  1. You can access them through the Run Window which you open while holding Windows Key + R
  2. Type regedit and click OK remove-registries-step-2
  3. You can navigate in the opened Registry Editor window and find the directories mentioned above (Run and RunOnce)
  4. Find a suspicious value and remove it by right-clicking on it and selecting Delete remove-registries-step-3

Reset browser settings

If you can't find any suspicious applications on your device or in your browser, this step is a must. Resetting the browser settings ensures any sneaky extensions are gone. The process varies a bit depending on your browser. Even if you remove any dubious apps from your device, we still recommend resetting your browser just to be on the safe side.

Reset Chrome

  1. Click on the three vertical dots in the top right corner
  2. Click on Settings Open Chrome settings
  3. Find the Reset settings option on he left and click on it reset settings restore
  4. Choose Restore settings to their original defaults
  5. Confirm your changes by clicking Reset settings again Confirm reset settings chrome

Reset Firefox

  1. Click on the three horizontal lines in the top right corner and click Help
  2. Select More troubleshooting information Firefox help
  3. Choose Refresh Firefox and confirm it refresh firefox confirm

Reset Microsoft Edge

  1. In the Edge menu (three horizontal dots in the upper right corner), click on Settings edge settings
  2. Under Reset settings, select Restore settings to their default values to eliminate changes made by the hao123 hijacker Resetting settings
  3. Finally, confirm again by clicking Reset reset confirm

How can I protect my device from the hao123 hijacker?

Removing the hao123 browser hijacker can be tricky (unless you let a reliable antivirus like TotalAV handle it – it does the heavy lifting). But it's crucial to keep your device safe from any cyber threats. Take these steps to protect your device from hao123 hijacker and any other malware:

  • Adopt safe browsing habits. Stay away from risky sites like illegal torrents and adult content; they're hotspots for online threats. Also, don’t click on any unreliable links or ads.
  • Update your software regularly. Keep all software updated to patch vulnerabilities and prevent exploitation by cybercriminals.
  • Avoid shady extensions. Steer clear of suspicious browser extensions, especially from unverified sources.
  • Check installation ToS. Always briefly check the Terms of Service during any installation to avoid undesired bundled components.
  • Install reliable antivirus. Shield your device with a trusted antivirus like TotalAV for real-time protection against the hao123 hijacker and other online threats.

What happens when you remove redirects from your device?

Protecting your computer from malware attacks offers tremendous benefits. The hao123 hijacker can be very annoying and mess up your browsing experience, leading to potential data theft. So, getting rid of it is crucial. Here are the benefits:

  • Browser stability. Removal restores stable browser performance, eliminating disruptions caused by constant redirects and unwanted ads.
  • Enhanced security. Eliminating hao123 reduces the risk of security breaches and potential exposure to malicious websites.
  • Restored settings. Default browser settings are reinstated, bringing back the familiar homepage, search engine, and new tab page.
  • Uninterrupted browsing. Users regain control over their online experience with no more difficulty in reverting changes made by the threat.
  • Reduced intrusiveness. The browser hijacker’s tracking of user activities ends, preventing unwanted insights into browsing patterns and minimizing exposure to excessive online ads.

Final thoughts

Getting rid of the hao123 browser hijacker is crucial for an uninterrupted and secure online experience. This pesky invader not only disrupts your browsing but can compromise your privacy through tracking. We've covered effective steps — from removing suspicious programs to resetting browser settings.

To take control of your digital space, take control of your browser, and stay protected against hao123 and other harmful threats and hijackers, we recommend TotalAV, a reliable antivirus solution. Install it, run a thorough scan, and bid farewell to unwanted guests, ensuring your online space is both secure and comfortable.

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