How Do I Remove a Website from My Computer?

I get this question surprisingly often.

Unfortunately, it reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of exactly how things work. Unless you’re an actual website developer, websites aren’t on your computer.

I’m not saying there isn’t a problem or something annoying going on – there probably is. But a website “on” your computer isn’t it.

Let’s look at why the difference matters, and what kind of problem this might really be.

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How Do I Stop My Homepage from Changing?

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How do I stop my homepage from changing?

The Home page is nothing more than the web page that automatically opens when you launch your web browser or hit the Home button in that browser.

Now, I’m going to assume that you’ve actually set this page to what you want it to be. If you haven’t set this up, I can’t really give you the steps as they’re different for each browser program. (Though How do I change my browser home page back to what I want? has instructions for a couple.)

For our purposes here, let’s say that you already set the homepage, but something is changing it. There are a couple of reasons why this might be happening.

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How do I get rid of this advertising popup that keeps coming back?

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I use Windows Vista and my browser is IE9. I have an annoying window that pops up whenever I search for a website. It briefly comes up as (and there’s a domain name here) and then morphs into a window that seems to correspond with a website I searched for and selected. It’s typically advice that I’ve won a prize of some sort. I’ve tried many ways to remove this issue: malware removal, pop-up blocker, and full virus scan. The full virus scan got rid of it briefly but it returned very quickly. How can I get rid of this problem?

The fact that the virus scan fixed this problem at least for a little while tells me a lot. This sounds like a browser hijack.

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Why Is My Browser Being Redirected?

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When I type in some URLs, such as google.com or yahoo.com, instead of getting the real website, I appear to be redirected to some other site ending in .ru. But the site I typed in still stays displayed in the address line. Is this a virus or someone trying to take over my computer? How do I clean this up?

In a word: malware.

This is a fairly classic case of a browser hijacking.

There are many variations on the theme, but the idea is very simple: you try to go somewhere and you land … somewhere else.

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