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How to Restore Hijacked Hosts File Back to Default in Windows

Though, it has no common usage, HOSTS files included with Windows and other operating systems are important files and are using to redirect TCP/IP traffic in special situations. In simple words, it can be used to prevent opening some web sites from your computer, or redirect a web URL to another site.

Because of this, malware can use the HOSTS file to hijack your PC to redirect domains names to their own malicious sites or block users from visiting some sites.
If you have any similar situation, i.e., if you are unable to access some web sites, or requests to one site are redirected elsewhere, here is how to restore your hosts file back to default in Windows.

You can restore HOSTS file in two ways – automatically and manually. Just visit at Microsoft support site here and click ‘Fix it’ button to download the tool (Fix it 50267). Just run the tool and follow the instruction and then Restart Windows.
For manual method, just follow as described here. It is very simple and easy to understand. To reset the hosts file back to the default, follow these steps:
  1. Going to C – Windows - system32 – drivers – etc – hosts.
  2. Rename the hosts file to hosts.bak. Then create a new default hosts file. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click an open space in the etc folder, point to New, click Text Document, type hosts, and then press ENTER.
  2. Click Yes to confirm that the file name extension will not be txt.
  3. Open the new created hosts file in a text editor, for example, in the Notepad.
  4. Copy the text shown here (for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7) to the file.
Save and close the file.


  1. If malware has locked the HOSTS file, you may need to use FileAssassin to delete it first. FileAssassin is one of the tools in Malwarebytes as well.


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