All your requests for web pages go through the proxy server instead of being sent directly to the website. Viruses configure your computer to use their own proxy server which will deny you access to the internet but allow them access to ‘call home’ – or download more viruses onto your computer, they’re sneaky that way!
Note: although there are valid proxy servers used in businesses, a typical home user will only have a proxy server if a virus has configured one – if you recognize the name of the proxy server (e.g. for your college to give you access to their network) then it is probably legitimate and you may want to leave it in place.
To remove a proxy server in Internet Explorer:
Open Internet Explorer and click ‘Tools’ in the menu bar then click ‘Internet Options’ to open the ‘Internet Options’ window.
Click the ‘Connections’ tab then click the ‘LAN Settings’ button to open the LAN Settings window.
Under Proxy Server, untick the box labelled ‘Use a proxy server for your LAN’.
Click OK and OK again to return to Internet Explorer.
The proxy is now removed.
To remove a proxy server in Firefox:
Click ‘Tools’ in the menu bar then click ‘Options’ to open the ‘Options’ window.
Click the ‘Advanced’ button then click the ‘Network’ tab.
Click the ‘Settings’ button then click the ‘No proxy’ radio button then click OK then OK again.
The proxy is now removed.
Alternative Way To Remove The Proxy Server – If the above did not remove the proxy server, an alternative is to use the free Hijack This software from antivirus vendor Trend Micro.
Download the Hijack This 2.05 Executable from Filehippo here. Run the Hijack This.exe executable file you downloaded – when it opens the program, click the ‘Scan’ button. You should see a long list of registry and file settings on your computer.
Warning: Do not delete any entries in the list except the one detailed below – many entries are essential for your computer to run properly!
Look to see if the following entry is present (the numbers appearing after 127.0.0.1: can be any numbers – 5555 is just an example)
R1 – HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings,ProxyServer = http=127.0.0.1:5555
If this entry is NOT present you do not have a proxy server – close Hijack This and skip to the end of this article. If this entry IS present you do have a proxy server configured – click the box to the left of the entry to tick it. Do not tick any other entries!
Now click the ‘Fix Checked’ button and Hijack This will delete the proxy server entry (confirm you want to do it if you are prompted). Close Hijack This and the proxy server should be gone.
Hopefully you can access the internet now but make sure you remove any viruses that still remain on your computer – see our series of articles on How To Remove Viruses.