HijackThis doesn't work like standard antivirus software by searching for specific virus or malware files. Instead, the program inspects the settings for both the user's Internet browser and operating system. HijackThis creates a log file containing all of the programs and plugins that are active in the browser or OS at the time the scan is run, allowing users to see exactly which programs are running and identify programs that may be causing redirection or other computer problems. The HijackThis log includes all running processes, including programs that are hidden from the Windows Task Manager.
Browser hijacking occurs when a virus or other malicious file causes a user's Internet browser to redirect Web searches or navigation commands to Web addresses other than the ones the user originally intended to visit. HijackThis by Trend Micro allows you to see which programs are running on your computer so you can identify the malicious program causing the redirection and delete it.
How HijackThis Works
HijackThis 2.0.2 is a legacy version of the program, meaning that it is not the current release as of the date of publication. Therefore, it may not contain all of the features available in the latest release. Since HijackThis doesn't use a central database for malicious file identification like an antivirus program does, you can still effectively use legacy versions such as 2.0.2 if you do not wish to upgrade.
Installation and Use
You need to download two separate files -- the installer and executable -- to install and use HijackThis. Once downloaded, run the installer file first to install necessary HijackThis components, then delete the installer file. To use the program, run the executable file to launch the initial HijackThis interface. You then have options to run a system scan, run a system scan and save a log file of the scan, or skip the scan and open the HijackThis program without scanning. After a scan, you can select individual processes by clicking the empty checkboxes next to their listings. Clicking "Fix Checked" stops and deletes all selected processes.
A number of important programs and operating system processes may not be immediately recognizable when viewed in a HijackThis log because they are not processes that OS users deal with directly. Stopping and deleting processes indiscriminately can cause programs or the OS itself to function incorrectly or crash completely. If you do not recognize a running process and aren't sure if it is malicious, research the process before deleting it.
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