The automatic launching of your default Windows browser can be frustrating. It can interrupt your activity on your PC if it happens frequently. This problem is due to several reasons, ranging from malware infestation to simple configuration settings.
Let’s take a look at some possible causes and different ways to address them.
1. Remove Script Viruses In Safe Mode
Removing a script virus from your computer can be very challenging. That’s because most script viruses are capable of slipping through anti-malware scanning when your Windows is still in active mode.
And even if you remove the contaminated folders and files with anti-malware on active Windows, this script can keep running. These viruses contain malicious codes that reinvent the malware files each time you launch your browser.
If your default browser launches incessantly, it’s sometimes caused by malware you picked up by clicking on malicious ad scripts from unsecured web pages. Thankfully, we’ve written comprehensively about the best computer security tools to tackle malware and viruses.
But unfortunately, running an antivirus on active Windows fails sometimes, especially if you’re dealing with a script virus that triggers your browser within certain time intervals.
One way to tackle script viruses is to boot your PC in safe mode and run a scan with either Windows Defender or a third-party anti-malware.
An easy way to boot your device in safe mode is to hold down the Shift key while clicking on Restart at the same time. That takes you to the Choose an option blue screen menu. On that menu, click on the Troubleshoot option.
Next, in the Troubleshoot menu, click on Advanced options. In the next screen that comes up, click on the Startup Settings option, and click on Restart.
Once the Startup Settings menu loads after the restart, press the number 5 key to boot your PC in safe mode with networking. This option allows you to connect to the internet while scanning your PC in safe mode.
As soon as the PC launches in safe mode, scan it with an antivirus to quarantine any malicious file or folder on your PC. While still in safe mode, check the quarantined files and delete their remnants manually. Although the manual deletion process quarantined files can be tasking, it’s worth doing to save your PC.
2. Disable Extensions and Remove Popups In Your Browser
Faulty extensions or malicious popups can cling to your browser and cause it to launch automatically without your knowledge. These types of malicious popups, redirects, and extensions are usually the results of visiting unsecured web pages or downloading untrusted execution packages from the internet.
Popups and redirects are for ad purposes. But those that are malicious can spoof your computer and interrupt the normal functioning of your browser.
Depending on what your default browser is, removing such unwanted popups and redirects can solve your problem. Here’s how to block popups and disable extensions on Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.
If you’re using Google Chrome as your default browser, you can remove popups and redirects by clicking on the three vertical dots at the top-right corner of your browser and selecting Settings.
In the Settings menu, click on Privacy and security, and then select the Site settings option. On the Site settings menu, scroll down and click on Pop-ups and redirects. As a preventive measure, you can also toggle off the Allowed button to block potential redirects and popups.
If the problem persists after disabling popups and redirects on your browser, another option is to disable bad extensions. To access the extensions on Google Chrome, go to Settings > Extensions.
Once in the Extensions menu, you can then remove the extensions to see if it solves the problem. If you don’t want to remove them all at once, you can disable them one after the other to figure out which one causes the browser to launch automatically.
On Firefox, go to Options by clicking the three menu bars at the top-right corner of the browser, and then click on Privacy & Security. Scroll down and check the Block pop-up windows box to disable popups.
To disable or remove an extension on Firefox, go to the Options menu, and click on Extension and Themes. On the next menu, select Extensions.
Next, toggle off the button in front of an extension to disable it. Click on the three dots next to an extension and select Remove to delete it.
You can also block redirects and popups on Microsoft Edge by clicking on the Site permissions option within the Settings menu. Then, click Pop-ups and redirects, and toggle on the Block option.
To disable extensions on Edge, click the three dots in the top-right corner of the screen, and then select Extensions. From there, toggle off unwanted extensions, or hit Remove to get rid of an extension completely.
3. Disable Startup Programs
If your browser launches automatically on startup, you might’ve enabled it as a startup program. To disable startup programs, open your Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
Once in the Task Manager, click on Startup to load the startup programs. If your browser is on the list and marked as Enabled, select it, and click on the Disable button on the lower-right corner of the menu.
Even if you’ve followed the steps for scanning and removing the script viruses in safe mode, you should check for them in your Task Manager startup programs. Make sure to disable them if they’re listed.
4. Reset Your Browser
If the above solutions don’t fix your problem, then losing some saved browser credentials might be unavoidable. Resetting your browser reverts it to its default settings, erasing all of your extensions and cookies.
Let’s go through how to reset your browser for Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.
To reset your Chrome browser, go to Settings, click on the Advanced option, and select Reset and clean up. Next, select Restore settings to their original default to reset your browser.
If you’re using the Firefox browser, click on the three-bar menu icon at the top-right corner of the browser and select Help. Then, select Troubleshooting Information.
On the next menu, click on the Refresh Firefox option. Confirm that step by clicking on Refresh Firefox again to restore your browser to its default settings.
You can reset Microsoft Edge by clicking the three dots on the top-right corner of your browser, and then selecting Settings. After that, select Reset settings, and hit Restore settings to their default values.
5. Restore Your PC
If all other methods fail, your last resort might be to set your PC back to a particular restore point.
To restore your PC, type Restore in the Windows search bar and click on Restore.
Or, as an alternative, right-click on This PC and select Properties. On the left corner of the property menu, select the System Protection option, and click on System Restore.
Resetting your system to a restore point might solve the nagging problem of having your browser automatically launch. Better yet, it’s all without the need to do a major repair on your computer.
Prevention Is Always Better
Although we’ve listed some solutions to the automatic launching of your browser, it’s still an avoidable problem. And while there isn’t just one easy solution for this problem, following some of the steps highlighted here can be of help.
As stated earlier, malicious popups, redirects, or bad extensions are some of the major causes of the problem. So, be careful about what sites you visit and what you click on while surfing the internet.
How can you tell if a virus warning is real or fake? Here’s how to spot the warning signs and identify a fake virus alert.
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