We write this post because some of computer users complain about a website called Alhea.com. It automatically replaces users’ browser homepage and search engine with its own and doesn’t allow users to set them back to their favorite ones. We don’t mean to say Alhea.com is malware here (it is actually a legitimate website which is rank 2,852nd in the word and is relatively popular among users in the India. See here), so we temporarily classify it as a potentially unwanted program.
A potentially unwanted program is not necessary malicious; however, for some reason, it is still suggested that users get rid of it from their computers as quickly as possible. In the following, we will provide the removal guide, so you can follow the steps to get rid of Alhea.com from your machine completely.
How Can Alhea.com Get into Users’ Computers?
Like many other potentially unwanted programs, it often gets into the targeted computers using a common technique called “bundling”. Users who often download software from download sites may encounter such problem: they want certain software to be installed, but other unwanted program gets installed on their computers as well. This problem usually occurs during the installation process. When installing the desired software, users may neglect what is saying in the dialog box and rashly click Next, Next, Next to finish the installation. Yet this bad habit often leads to installation of some malware or potentially programs. Take the following as example: if users click the Accept button without carefully reading the words in the dialog box, they are agreeing a potentially unwanted program named Vosteran and its related add-on to install on their computers. Therefore, it is necessary that users use caution while installing a piece of software.
Why Alhea.com Replaces Users’ Homepage and Search Engine?
This potentially unwanted program replaces users’ homepage and search engine for the purpose of making money. By making those changes, it can make various ads and sponsored links appear in the search results. More users click on those ads and sponsored links, more advertising revenue creators of this potentially unwanted program can generate. Meanwhile, the advertisers can gain profits if there are any buying behaviors. Besides, by forcing users to use its website to search the internet, this potentially unwanted program can help record users’ online activities and then display ads matching their browsing habits when they browse the web.
Tips for You to Avoid Potenailly Unwanted Programs and Malware
1) Don’t open attachments sent by an unfamiliar sender or click on the suspicious links in the email message.
2) Use cautions when downloading files or software from the Internet. Make sure that the sources are reliable and safe.
3) Always read the privacy policies and end-user license agreements (EULAs) when installing software on your PC.
4) Always choose the Custom installation mode, which may allow you to refuse to install any potentially unwanted program.
5) Be aware of links to websites sent by strangers when you are using instant messaging applications. These links may point to infected downloads.
6) Secure settings of your currently installed browsers.
7) Turn on your firewall while you are online.
8) Update your operating system, web browsers, antivirus program and other software installed in your system regularly.
Guide to Remove Alhea.com from Your Computer in Several Steps
Similar to the removal of other potentially unwanted program, you need to take the three steps to remove Alhea.com from your computer.
Alhea.com may install on your computer as a Windows program which is usually found in the currently installed programs list. To remove its related program, please take these steps:
For Windows XP users:
Click the Start button and select Control Panel.
Then find and double-click Add or Remove Programs. This will open a new window which shows all your installed programs.
Scroll down to find any suspicious program, click it and then click the Remove button.
If a dialog box pops up and asks if you want to remove the program, click Yes to confirm the removal.
For Windows Vista/7 users:
Click on the Windows Start button and click on Control Panel in the right pane.
Under Programs, click on Uninstall a program. Then you will be shown all programs currently installed on your computer.
Look for the program that is associated with Alhea.com, click it and click on the Uninstall/Change button.
In the pop-up dialog box, confirm the removal by clicking on Yes.
For Windows 8&8.1 users:
Windows 8: Hover the cursor in the bottom-left corner of the screen until a small image of the Start Screen appears, then right-click on the icon to open the Start Context Menu. Select Programs and Features.
Windows 8.1: Right-click on the Start icon in the lower left-hand corner to open the Start Context Menu. Select Programs and Features.
Then, a window will open and you can see all your installed programs.
Search for any program related to Alhea.com, select it, and click on the Uninstall button.
When a dialog box appears and requires you to confirm the removal, click on Yes.
When Alhea.com gets installed on your computer, it will change your browser homepage and default search engine to its own. To remove it from your browser, you can follow these steps:
1. Clear the unwanted shortcuts from the affected browsers.
Right click on icon of Internet Explorer, and select Properties.
Locate Target under the Shortcut tab, and remove the website URL located after “…Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe”
Click OK to confirm the change.
Right click on icon of Mozilla Firefox, and click Properties.
Under the Shortcut tab, find Target and remove the website RUL located after “…Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe”.
Then, click OK to implement the change.
Right click on icon of Google Chrome, and choose Properties.
Find Target under the Shortcut tab, and then remove the website URL located after “…Application\chrome.exe”.
Finally, click the OK button.
2. Remove unwanted homepage and search engine from the affected browsers.
Open Internet Explorer browser.
Access a website that you’d like to set as your homepage, for example: www.google.com.
Click on the Tools menu and click Internet options.
Under General tab, locate the Home Page section, click on Use current button, and finally click OK.
Then, click on Settings button under the Search section. This will open a window which shows all search providers installed on your browser.
If you find a search provider named “Alhea” has been set as the default, you first need to set another search provider you prefer as the default, and then remove the unwanted one by right clicking it and clicking the Remove option.
1) If you think it is time-consuming by taking the above steps, you can consider directly restoring Internet Explorer browser to its default settings.
2) If you still cannot reset the homepage to your favorite website, you can follow this guide.
Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
Type the URL of the website you like into the address bar and press Enter.
click on the Open menu at the right top corner and then click on Options.
Locate Startup in the open window, select Show my home page option from the When Firefox starts field and then click on Use Current Page.
Click Search tab on the left, and then you will be shown the default search engine as well as other alternative search engines in a list.
Now you can select the unwanted search engine, and click the Remove button to remove it from your browser.
Tips: If you think it is time-consuming by taking the above steps, you can consider directly restoring Mozilla Firefox browser to its default settings.
Open Google Chrome browser.
Click on Chrome’s menu button and click Settings.
Under On startup, click Set pages, remove the unwanted website URL, enter your favorite website URL and click OK.
Under Appearance, Check the box labeled Show Home button option and click Change.
When a dialog box appears, delete the unwanted website URL from the Open this page filed, and click OK to confirm your change.
Then, locate the Search section, and click on Manage Search Engines…
Under Default Search Settings, you first need to set your preferred search engine as default (mouse over it and click Make default).
Then, mouse over the search engine you don’t like and click on the X button to remove it from your browser.
Tips: If you think it is time-consuming by taking the above steps, you can consider directly restoring Google Chrome browser to its default settings.
Even though you have accomplished the step 1 and step 2, it may not mean that you have completely remove all components of Alhea.com from your computer. There are always some residual files left in your system when you remove/uninstall a program. So, you need to use a tool to detect and remove those files. Why need a tool? This is because that it is not an easy task for a user, especially a novice user, to find out and delete those files deep hidden in the computer system.
Which tool should you choose?
Option 1: SpyHunter (Download Now)
Option 2: Malwarebytes (Downlaod Now)
Option 3: Max Spyware Detector (Download Now)
Tips: To be able to use the full functionality of the tools recmended above, it is a good idea for you to buy the paid version. This peid version contains more features and you can remove the leftover files or any other potentially threats from your computer more effectively.
Steps to remove the residual files with SpyHunter:
1) Download and install SpyHunter on your PC.
2) Launch the program and click on the Scan Computer Now button to perform a full system scan.
3) Once the scan is done, remove all detected threats by clicking on the Fix Threats button.
Steps to remove the residual files with Malwarebytes:
1) Download and install Malwarebytes on your PC.
2) Run the program and click the Scan Now button to start scanning your system.
3) Upon completion of the scan, click the Remove Selected button to remove all found threats.
Steps to remove the residual files with Max Spyware Detector:
1) Download and install Max Spyware Detector on your PC.
2) Launch the program and start scanning your whole system for malicious threats.
3) Once the scan finishes, click the Fix Issues button to remove the detected threats.
Tips: If you like to use Alhea.com to search the internet, but don’t want it to record your online activity, then you can choose to control or delete cookies. Most browsers allow you to change your cookie settings. Typically, these settings can be found in the “options” or “preferences” menu of your browser. For more information, please visit the following:
Also, you can follow this guide to manage your online privacy.
If you have other malware issues that still can’t be resolved, then you can try using SpyHunter to help you out of the trouble. If, unluckily, this tool is unable to fix the issues autoamtically, you can get help from the tech support.
The following video offers a complete guide for Alhea.com redirect virus removal. You’d better watch it in full-screen mode!