How To Remove Launchpage.org Browser Hijacker

Launchpage.org is a browser hijacker which changes your homepage and search engine. Unlike other malware of this type, it adapts to various browsers and displays different layout. However, the website and the search function does not give any additional value to the user since it simply redirects to custom Google search and litters your browser with unwanted links.

The unwanted program is designed to look like a default new tab. It has a search field, new tab icon and several links to most popular websites. A less experienced user might never notice that the homepage is hijacked as the only giveaway is launchpage.org address in the address bar (which should be empty when a new tab is opened).

Since the looks are almost identical to original browser components it helps the hijacker to stay unnoticed and silently drive traffic to the creators’ website. Even if you try to remove it, the homepage comes back because it has a backup program hidden in the system. This lets the adware revert browser settings and modify shortcuts after every change.

You should remove this unwanted program in order to regain control of your browser settings. Use our recommended automatic removal tool or follow the manual guide below. The automatic tool will also protect your computer from threats in the future.


Recommended Method: Download Launchpage.org Hijacker Removal Tool

Version:   All Updated:   2 days ago Compatible OS:   All
This is the most suitable program for automatically removing the threat and repairing your PC.
Works with: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP. Read instructions here
File name Size
mb3-setup.exe 56.5 MB

Click here to download alternative tool

What is Launchpage.org browser hijacker?

This hijacker differs from others because it imitates individual browsers. It has different page designs for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer and so on in order to look as close to the original new tab design as possible. It even imitates icons and titles like “Where to next?” from Microsoft Edge. Despite a few differences from original homepages it is really hard to distinguish between this hijacker and a legitimate “speed dial” page. Therefore, many users might not even notice that they have this unwanted program present on their system.

The main giveaway that this adware has been installed is the address bar. It should empty when a new tab is launched while here it displays launchpage.org URL. Also, users will quickly notice that for some reason they are unable to change the homepage to their preferred one and that the quick links cannot be customized.

Usually the only purpose of such hijackers is to generate traffic from infected browsers and earn from displaying advertisements. However, at the moment of testing we were unable to find any advertisements or affiliate links in the page source code. Therefore, we suspect that it might only earn from custom search function and does not want to compromise the fake reliability that the uncluttered looks currently give. Another guess that the hijacker is still in early distribution stage and tries to infect as many browsers as possible before starting to aggressively advertise. It might also collect your personal browsing statistics first and display advertisements later based on this. Finally, it might act as a doorway for other infections and suggest installing various malicious browser addons and software.

The website already receives a steady traffic on a daily basis and this means that there are many computers infected. Currently there are more than 10 000 views per day and this number is projected to grow substantially in the future.

Currently known domains associated with this hijacker:

launchpage.org
adminsikdd.info

This adware installs itself silently and is usually unnoticed until it starts appearing as a homepage. It uses a common bundling technique and has its files attached to a legitimate freeware. When you install a free software from various download sites and skip through installation steps the unwanted adware remains selected and ends up on your computer. It places backup files in the system in order to come back if a user makes any changes to browser settings or tries to remove it. Therefore, simply changing homepage or deleting shortcuts does not help as you firstly need to remove the source of this unwanted program.

Even though this hijacker looks relatively harmless at the moment it has potential to be very dangerous. The intentions of its creator are unclear as he hides behind a layer of anonymity. Launchpage.org might lead to further infections and it has taken over the control of your browser settings. Therefore, you need to remove it as soon as possible in order to protect your personal data.

We recommend simply using the automatic removal and protection tool listed at the beginning of this page. You will also find a manual removal guide below. However, we still recommend securing your PC after you finish eliminating the source of this threat.

Screenshots of launchpage.org hijackers on different browsers:

   


 Manual Removal Instructions:

NB: A computer or browser restart might be required during the launchpage.org removal process. Therefore, remember to bookmark this page or simply open it on another device while working.

Make sure you understand the risks of editing important Windows files and settings before continuing. If you are not an experienced user we recommend simply using the removal tool listed above.

Step 1:

Remove any suspicious programs that might contain the adware.

Start by opening the Programs and Features window using the following method:

Hold Windows () key and click R key while holding.

Enter the following in the field:

appwiz.cpl

Click OK.

You might have to wait a bit before the list of all programs is loaded as it displays a list of all programs installed on your PC.

We recommend sorting the programs by “Installed On” column (simply click on the column name in order to sort by this value).

Look for any recently installed suspicious programs that might contain the adware as a bundle or could be the adware itself. If you have never seen or used an app chances are that it is an unwanted software.

Here are some unwanted programs, but you might see different ones:

Search Protect
Browser Protect
Launchpage

Uninstall all suspicious programs by right-clicking on them and choosing Uninstall…

Repeat this process until no more suspicious programs are left.

Step 2:

Delete registry values created by this adware.

Press and hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:

regedit.exe

Click OK.

 

Search for virus entries by pressing keyboard buttons CTRL + F and entering the virus domain. You need to enter the virus name depending on the version you got installed. Here is an example:

launchpage

Click Find Next.

Delete any registry entries associated with the virus.

Repeat the search until all entries are cleaned.

Step 3:

Clean up Windows temporary files.

You can safely remove all temporary files without posing any risk to your computer.

Hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:

%Temp%

Click OK.

All temporary files will be listed in the directory.

Select all temporary files by simultaneously pressing CTRL + A and delete them.

Step 4:

Check for any recent changes in all the other important system files.

Hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:

%AppData%

Click OK.

Do not delete anything here! Search for any recent changes (by “Date Modified”) in the files first. Only if you see that a file has just been changed scan it with virustotal.com. Remove only files marked as dangerous. Otherwise you might remove critical system files and Windows might stop working.

Repeat this step with the following three directories while being very careful:

%LocalAppData%
%ProgramData%
%WinDir%

Remember that these directories contain many important system files! Be very careful!

Step 5:

Remove suspicious programs from your startup config so they would not launch as soon as you boot your computer.

Hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:

msconfig.exe

Click OK.

Go to the Startup tab and uncheck all suspicious entries.

The infected or fake startup items usually have “Unknown” listed as Manufacturer. However, sometimes they might pretend to be legitimate programs.

Check process location by hovering your mouse over the “Command” column. Navigate to the location and scan the file using virustotal.com if it looks suspicious but you are not sure.

Click OK when you are finished unselecting all potentially dangerous processes.

Step 6:

Restore your system settings to the ones before the infection happened.

Sometimes you might not have restore points or they might be too old so this step might be unsuccessful.

Press and hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:

rstrui.exe

Click OK.

A System Restore wizard will open.

Click Next.

Check Show more restore points.

If you see any restore points, restore the system. Make sure you select a point that has been created before the hijacker infiltrated your system.

Step 7:

Delete the shortcuts for all browsers on your computer as they might have been changed by the virus.

Remember that there are shortcuts not only on your Desktop but also in other places (for example, Start Menu).

Then create them again in order to have clean browser start.

Alternatively, you can click Properties on each of the shortcuts and remove any additions (usually a link to http://launchpage.org) made to the Target field by the virus.

Step 8:

IMPORTANT: Now you will have to reset browser settings for each browser individually that you have installed on your computer. Alternativelly, you could simply reinstall them.

 Google Chrome:

Launch the browser and select More Tools, then click Extensions.

Check for any suspicious extensions.

Click Remove From Chrome for each unwanted or suspicious toolbar or extension (the trashcan icon on the right).

Go to Settings.

Scroll to the very bottom of the settings page and click Show advanced settings…

Scroll to the very bottom again and click Reset settings.

Click Reset.

 Mozilla Firefox:

Launch the browser and go to Add-ons.

Search for any suspicious toolbars and add-ons and Remove them.

We recommend going to Options (input about:preferences in your address field and press Enter) and clicking Restore to Default near the Home Page field.

You can also completely refresh the browser settings by entering the following in the address (URL) field:

about:support

Press Enter.

Click Refresh Firefox… and then click Refresh Firefox again.

 Microsoft Edge:

Since Microsoft Edge is not a separate program and is a core component of Windows 10 you should backup your computer or at least create a Restore Point before continuing.

Navigate to the following folder (where %username is your computer user name):

C:\Users\%username\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Clear all contents of the folder. Click CTRL + A to select everything and delete the contents.

Click Start (Windows logo).

Search for Windows PowerShell.

Right-click on the result.

Choose Run as administrator.

Paste the following command:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}

Press Enter.

The settings should now be reset to default.

 Internet Explorer:

Press and hold Windows () key and click R key.

Enter the following in the field:

cmd

Click OK.

Enter the following command in the appeared window:

RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ResetIEtoDefaults

Press Enter.

Check Delete personal settings.

Click Reset.

Alternatively you can run this command to delete all caches and settings:

RunDll32.exe InetCpl.cpl,ClearMyTracksByProcess 4351

After removing the virus

When you have finished removing the Launchpage.org adware and reverting your browser settings make sure to protect your computer by installing a good antivirus suite that would identify the threats online and in programs you have downloaded. Also, never install suspicious programs. If you are installing a new software, make sure it has nothing bundled in it by following the install wizard as well as searching for user reviews online.


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