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Browser was hijacked

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  • Last reply by woodbeth

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My Firefox was hijacked and will not let me open Google for searches. Always takes me to Yahoo Search. I have removed all the search engines in Options except Google but Yahoo Search wasn't one of them. How to I get it back to normal

Chosen solution

Hi woodbeth, sorry to hear about this problem. This kind of hijack usually is caused by an unwanted extension -- a kind of add-on -- or by external malware. Let's start with the extensions:

You can view, disable, and often remove unwanted or unknown extensions on the Add-ons page. Either:

  • Command+Shift+a (Windows: Ctrl+Shift+a)
  • "3-bar" menu button (or Tools menu) > Add-ons
  • type or paste about:addons in the address bar and press Enter/Return

In the left column of the Add-ons page, click Extensions. On the right side, find the "Manage Your Extensions" heading.

Note: If the page is blank, you will need to use Firefox's Safe Mode for this cleanup. Steps below the line.

Assuming there is at least one extension before the next heading -- "Recommended Extensions" -- please continue:

Cast a critical eye over the list below that heading. Any extensions Firefox installs for built-in features are hidden from this page, so everything listed here is your choice (and your responsibility) to manage. Anything suspicious or that you just do not remember installing or why? If in doubt, disable (or remove). For your privacy and security, don't let mystery programs linger here.

Any improvement?


In its Safe Mode, Firefox temporarily deactivates extensions, hardware acceleration, and some other advanced features to help you assess whether these are causing the problem.

If Firefox is running: You can restart Firefox in Safe Mode using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > Restart with Add-ons Disabled
  • (menu bar) Help menu > Restart with Add-ons Disabled

and OK the restart. A small dialog should appear. Click "Start in Safe Mode" (not Refresh).

If Firefox is not running: Hold down the option/alt key when starting Firefox. (On Windows, hold down the Shift key instead of the option/alt key.) A small dialog should appear. Click "Start in Safe Mode" (not Refresh).

That should allow you to use the Add-ons page without interference.

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Chosen Solution

Hi woodbeth, sorry to hear about this problem. This kind of hijack usually is caused by an unwanted extension -- a kind of add-on -- or by external malware. Let's start with the extensions:

You can view, disable, and often remove unwanted or unknown extensions on the Add-ons page. Either:

  • Command+Shift+a (Windows: Ctrl+Shift+a)
  • "3-bar" menu button (or Tools menu) > Add-ons
  • type or paste about:addons in the address bar and press Enter/Return

In the left column of the Add-ons page, click Extensions. On the right side, find the "Manage Your Extensions" heading.

Note: If the page is blank, you will need to use Firefox's Safe Mode for this cleanup. Steps below the line.

Assuming there is at least one extension before the next heading -- "Recommended Extensions" -- please continue:

Cast a critical eye over the list below that heading. Any extensions Firefox installs for built-in features are hidden from this page, so everything listed here is your choice (and your responsibility) to manage. Anything suspicious or that you just do not remember installing or why? If in doubt, disable (or remove). For your privacy and security, don't let mystery programs linger here.

Any improvement?


In its Safe Mode, Firefox temporarily deactivates extensions, hardware acceleration, and some other advanced features to help you assess whether these are causing the problem.

If Firefox is running: You can restart Firefox in Safe Mode using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > Restart with Add-ons Disabled
  • (menu bar) Help menu > Restart with Add-ons Disabled

and OK the restart. A small dialog should appear. Click "Start in Safe Mode" (not Refresh).

If Firefox is not running: Hold down the option/alt key when starting Firefox. (On Windows, hold down the Shift key instead of the option/alt key.) A small dialog should appear. Click "Start in Safe Mode" (not Refresh).

That should allow you to use the Add-ons page without interference.

Helpful?

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Thank you, thank you, thank you! I only had 2 extensions, removed them both & now Google works!

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