In case you’ve been greeted by a new homepage or a new search engine, and your favorite browser (it could be Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, or another one) has started to spam you with dozens of advertisements, banners, page-redirects, and pop-ups, then it might be a good idea to check your system for a Browser Hijacker such as Leadnote.me. This type of software is not malicious, but you are probably eager to learn how to deal with it, and with all the associated browser changes, and ads, that it has brought. If that’s the question that got you here, you’ve just come to the right place. In this removal guide, we will show you how to detect, and manually remove the browser hijacker that is causing the disturbance. Not only that, but we’re going to inform you about the potential risks of keeping browser hijackers like Leadnote.me on your PC, and how to avoid them. So, let’s start.
Browser hijackers are software instruments commonly used by advertisers and programmers. They redirect the web users to specific sites, and show huge numbers of sponsored advertisements, banners, pop-up boxes, and redirect links on the user’s screen. Leadnote.me is a typical representative of this type of software, and as such it has been developed to generate as many of them as possible. The program’s ad-generating activity is actually a legal one, and despite being referred to as annoying by the users, it is effectively used by many software developers as a method for gaining huge profits from the displayed ad clicks.
How you could install Leadnote.me
Many people may think that Leadnote.me or Bigclicker.me is some sort of a sneaky programs that installs itself without their consent. In reality, however, the majority of web users download and install this, and other browser hijackers, via software bundling. This mostly happens when they get a software setup installer for free and agree with the installation, without first checking the advanced/custom settings. Such carelessness is a common mistake the users make during the setup. First of all, they don’t really read the EULA carefully, and secondly, they don’t pay the needed attention during the setup phase in order to choose the advanced/custom options instead of the standard/quick installation. And most commonly, all kinds of adware, browser hijackers, and other potentially unwanted programs can be found and disabled under the advanced/custom options, which get overlooked. Therefore, we recommend checking those options whenever you install new programs on your PC, as this would save you from dealing with potentially unwanted programs later.
Does Leadnote.me represent any danger?
The constant flow of ads and automatic page-redirects, as well as the unauthorized browser changes that seemingly cannot be uninstalled, can make you believe you have been infected with some malicious virus. Indeed, this aggressive activity can be confusing, but the truth is this is just the result of the browser hijacker running on your computer rather than the presence of some real malware.
In their nature, the browser hijackers are not threats to the computer’s health. In fact, unlike Ransomware or Trojans, such programs do not contain malicious code in most cases. They are simply designed to show advertisements, redirect users’ searches to sponsored sites, and promote different products, and services during the regular web browsing.
However, some users may get really irritated by the hijacker’s unwanted activities, and may prefer to uninstall it, and restore their browser’s settings. This may also eliminate the chance of clicking on misleading advertisements, that might indirectly infect you with some real viruses, or even Ransomware and Trojan Horse threats. If you decide to do so, the removal guide below will certainly assist you. Just make sure you detect and remove the correct Leadnote.me files, or simply use the professional Leadnote.me removal tool for best results
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Hijackers are easily-noticeable due to their intrusive adverts.|
|Distribution Method||Hijackers are distributed through the help of other program’s installers.|
How To Remove Leadnote.me Pop up “Virus”
The following guide is only for windows users, it will help our readers get rid of the unpleasant Leadnote.me software. Follow the instructions and complete each step for best results. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them using our comment section down below.
Preparation: Entering Safe Mode and Revealing Hidden Files and Folders
Before you proceed with the actual removal instructions, you will need to take two extra steps in order to ensure that the guide has maximum effect.
For best results, we advise our readers to boot into Safe Mode prior to attempting to remove Leadnote.me. If you do not know how to do that, here is a separate How to Enter Safe Mode guide.
Also, in order to be able to see any potentially undesirable files, you should reveal any hidden files and folders on your PC – here is how to do that.
Removing Leadnote.me From Windows
Step 1: Checking the Task Manager
Before we start deleting files related to Leadnote.me we want to make sure that all services related to the viruses are killed before we proceed.
Open your Task Manager by using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys and go to the Processes tab. Look for any suspicious processes. For example, any unfamiliar process that uses high amounts of RAM and/or CPU. If you aren’t sure if a certain process comes from malware, tell us in the comments.
Right-click on any process that you consider shady and select Open File Location. Delete anything from the file location of the process.
Step 2: Disabling Startup programs
Use the Winkey + R keyboard combination to open the Run search bar and type msconfig. Hit Enter and in the newly opened window, go to the Startup tab. There, look for suspicious entries with unknown manufacturer or ones that have the name Leadnote.me on them. Right-click on those, and select disable.
Step 3: Uninstalling unwanted programs
Go to Start Menu > Control Panel > Uninstall a Program. Click on Installed On to sort the entries by date from most recent to oldest and look through the programs that come at the top of the list. Right-click on any entries that appear shady and unwanted and then select Uninstall to remove them from your PC. If you see the name Leadnote.me in the list of programs, be sure to remove the software without hesitation.
Step 4: Checking for shady IP’s
Open your Start Menu and copy-paste notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts in the search bar. In the notepad file, look below Localhost and see if there are any IP addresses there. If there are some, send them to us in the comments and we will tell you if you should take any action. [add_forth_banner]
Step 5: Cleaning-up the browsers
You will also have to uninstall any undesirable browser extensions from your browser programs. Here’s how to do that for some of the more popular browsers:
Getting rid of Leadnote.me from Chrome
Open Chrome and open its main menu. Go to More Tools > Extensions. Look through the list of extensions and uninstall any that you think could be suspicious. To remove them – click on the trash can icon next to each extension.
You can also use a specialized Chrome CleanUp tool if you cannot manually remove a certain extension. Here is an article where you can learn more about the CleanUp tool.
Removing Leadnote.me From Firefox
Open Firefox and go to its Menu. Select the Add-ons button.From the left panel, select Extensions and take a look at the different entries. Remove any of the that might be unwanted.
Removing Leadnote.me From Windows Internet Explorer
Once you open your IE browser, click on the Tools button at the top-right corner of the program and from the drop-down menu select Manage Add-ons. Check each one of the four different groups of add-ons and search for anything that seems undesirable. If you find anything, click on it and them select Remove.
Removing Leadnote.me From Windows Edge
Open the main menu of Microsoft Edge and go to Extensions. Find the extensions that you believe could be unwanted and right-click on them. Then, select Uninstall.
Step 6: Checking the Registry Editor
Open the Run search bar again and type regedit in it. Hit Enter and once the Registry Editor opens press Ctrl + F. In the search field type Leadnote.me and click on Find Next. Tell us in the comments if any results came up when you searched for Leadnote.me in your PC’s Registry.
Step 7: Deleting recent entries
For this step, you will have to open your Start Menu and copy-paste the following lines, one by one:
Hit Enter after each one to open a file directory. In the directories, delete the most recent entries that you find there. In the Temp folder, delete all files.
Step 8: System Restore
In order to be fully sure that the unwanted software has been removed from your machine, you can also try using a Restore Point to roll back your system its last stable configuration. However, in order to do that, you would have to previously had had a restore point created. On most systems, such points get created automatically but this isn’t always the case.
- If you want to learn how to configure System Restore and how to manually create Restore Points, follow this link.
- Open your Start Menu and type System Restore.
- Click on the first result – a setup wizard should open.
- Read the brief description of the process and select Next.
- Now, choose a restore from the presented list. You can also check the Show more restore points option in order to reveal any other restore points that might be saved on your PC.
- Click on Scan for affected programs to see what programs will get deleted or restored after you use the Restore Point. (optional)
- Click on next and take and then select Finish.
- A warning window will appear telling you that once the process starts, it shouldn’t be interrupted. Select Yes and be patient as this might take some time. Do not do anything on your PC throughout the duration of the process.
Step 9: Windows Refresh/Reset
Use this method only if nothing else has worked so far as it is a last resort option. If you do not know how to do it, this separate guide will give you the information that you need.