I wrote this article to help you remove Launchpad.org. This Launchpad.org removal guide works for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
If you have opened your web browser and discovered that your homepage was changed to the Launchpad.org website, don’t blame your browser. You have a browser hijacker infection on board. The Launchpad.org hijacker is a classic in its field. It bypasses the user’s security and sneaks into their machine. Once on board, it will scan the system and infect all installed browsers. This type of infection is not that serious, you can easily remove it, but only if you act promptly. Let it stay and it will wreck your computer.
The Launchpad.org hijacker will modify your browser’s settings. It is not just your homepage, your default search engine is changed, too. Yes, the search results you are seeing do look as if they are coming from a well-known search provider, yet, in reality, they are corrupted. The hijacker adds fake entries among the search results. These, most of the time, are advertisements and are part of a pay-per-click system. All big search engines use such marketing systems, however, unlike them, the Launchpad.org hijacker does not mark the promoted entries as ads. You can never be sure which results are organic and which are paid to be there.
There is nothing bad in the pay-per-click marketing system. Yet, the Launchpad.org hijacker exploits it on a level that can be considered a massive intrusion into your privacy. It will do anything to trick you into clicking on ads. At the most unexpected time, the hijacker will open a pop-up window right under the cursor of your mouse. Thus, tricking you into clicking on it unintentionally. Soon, you will notice that websites that used to be ad-free, are now covered with ads sponsored by Launchpad.org. Well, these pages are still ad-free, you are seeing adverts only because the hijacker forced them on you. The parasite creates an ad-layer which “injects” ads on all opened websites. Soon, the pest will cover your screen with all kinds of coupons, great deals, discounts and so on.
All these ads are annoying and distracting, but they can be dangerous, too. The Launchpad.org hijacker does not have a checking mechanism. Anyone with money can use the utility to promote anything. Thus, if some cyber-criminal is willing to spend some money, they can use the Launchpad.org hijacker to spread malicious ads. Such ads can redirect you to infected websites. There, a drive-by download will be executed. These types of downloads do not require the user’s interaction and are almost completely invisible. For all these reasons, they are often used by hackers for malware distribution. Don’t risk your computer’s health. Detect this pest and remove it on the spot!
Have you noticed that all of the ads you see have something to do with your hobbies, interests or needs? You are not imagining it! The Launchpad.org hijacker is spying on you. It uses the collected data to choose ads that will appeal especially to you. Everything you do online is monitored. Your favorite websites, the pages you view, even your browsing history is no mystery to the hijacker. Be careful where you are logging in to. This malicious utility can steal your user names and passwords. And it won’t keep this information for itself. Every bit of data will be sent to the owners of the hijacker. And they can do whatever they want with that information, including selling it to third parties.
We are talking about the Launchpad.org hijacker being installed on your computer, but do you remember doing it? It is no surprise if you don’t. You were tricked. The hijacker is not a program you chose. It may have arrived as a bundled program to some freeware or shareware you downloaded off the Internet. This method is known as “bundling” and it is often used by developers. They would hide extra apps under a custom/advanced tab or button. When the user starts the installation wizard, they will be urged to use the suggested standard installation, while in reality, the advanced option is the best choice. Only under the custom method can you see all additional applications and deny their installation.
The key to a secure and infection-free computer is caution. Whatever you do online, be careful. Scammers are very imaginative. They use all kinds of techniques to distribute their malicious tools. Be vigilant! When installing a program, especially if it is a free one, opt for an advanced button. Also, read through the terms and conditions/EULA. Abort the installation if you spot anything out of the ordinary. Yes, these steps are a bit time-consuming, but they can save you from many troubles in the future.
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 perform to remove the hijacker 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 Launchpad.org from your browser? Please, leave a comment below, describing what steps you performed. I will answer promptly.