ExactSearch.org virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Browser hijacker
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ExactSearch.org – a search engine that might alter search results and include sponsored links

ExactSearch.org is a questionable search engine that is promoted as a legitimate search tool. Due to its negative features, it has been classified as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and a browser hijacker.

Nevertheless, this search engine may look innocent; you should not be hypnotized by the view of floating clouds. This program should be avoided because of its suspicious distribution method, ability to take control over the browser, providing lots of commercial content and tracking information.

The image of ExactSearch.org

So-called ExactSearch.org virus might enter the system with the help of freeware or shareware. Once it sneaks into the computer, it might alter browser’s settings, shortcuts, and Windows Registry in order to make its removal complicated.

After the hijack users may find this search tool set as their default homepage and search engine. Switching back to your favorite search provider and customizing the start page may be forbidden. To solve this problem, you may need a professional anti-malware/anti-spyware, for instance, Reimage. Scanning the system with security program will help you to remove ExactSearch.org entirely.

One of the key reasons why ExactSearch.org removal is necessary is that this search engine does not perform its main task properly. There’s no doubt that the primary purpose of all search tools is providing accurate search results. Unfortunately, developers had a different vision and made it a marketing tool.

Once you type your keywords, you will find tons of ads and sponsored links in the results page. The problem is that commercial content barely differs from organic links. Thus, you might be easily tricked into browsing through useless and insecure websites. While you won’t be able to find useful information, developers of the ExactSearch.org will be making pay-per-click revenue. Undoubtedly, such behavior should not be tolerated.

ExactSearch uses aggregated information about users for advertising

According to the Privacy Policy, ExactSearch.org uses cookies[1] to collect particular information about users. It may be interested in your IP address, browser type, ISP, visited websites and similar browsing-related information. Fortunately, it does not track personally identifiable data.

However, some of the aggregated details might be shared with advertising companies. Thus, soon you might notice an increased amount of online ads. The main problem is related to potentially dangerous ExactSearch.org redirect tendencies. Some of the commercial content might be misleading or trick into visiting a dangerous website. Nevertheless, ads might look credible and provide a great offer; you should not click them. Within one click you might end up on the Internet site that has been created for spreading malware or other cyber threats.

Careless installation of freeware might end up with hijacked web browser

ExactSearch is promoted in software bundles. Thus, users usually agree to set this search engine as default one without realization. This search tool might be added as an optional component in freeware or shareware packages.

In order to avoid installation of PUPs, you have to read EULA and Privacy Policy to find out that you do not agree to install third-party software. Secondly, you have to choose Advanced/Custom installation settings.[2] Bear in mind that Quick/Standard setup does not prevent from ExactSearch.org hijack. These settings do not openly disclose about third-party applications and install them by default.

When installing new programs under advanced setup, make sure that you have not left any pre-selected third-party apps or agreements to make unknown search engine as your default one.

Suggestions for ExactSearch.org removal

ExactSearch.org removal requires eliminating all hijacker-related components from the computer. You can do this by following our prepared instructions at the end of the article or by letting the professional anti-malware program to do this job for you.

If you consider choosing the first method, you have to be attentive. Uninstall all suspicious programs from the Programs’ list in Control Panel and remove suspicious add-ons from each of the browsers. It’s important to delete all suspicious entries in order to avoid re-hijack.

In order to be 100% sure that hijacker is gone for good, you should remove ExactSearch.org automatically with the help of updated security software.

You can remove ExactSearch.org automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove ExactSearch.org virus you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall ExactSearch.org virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual ExactSearch.org virus Removal Guide:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove ExactSearch.org from Windows systems

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

So-called ExactSearch.org virus might have shown up in the computer in the form of the program. Thus, open the list of installed software and look up for unknown applications. Once you find them, uninstall without any delay.

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall ExactSearch.org and related programs
    Here, look for ExactSearch.org or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Remove ExactSearch.org from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove ExactSearch.org from Mac OS X system

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You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for ExactSearch.org or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash.Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove ExactSearch.org from Internet Explorer (IE)

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Follow the steps below to get rid of hijacker-related entries from Internet Explorer entirely.

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for ExactSearch.org and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete ExactSearch.org removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove ExactSearch.org virus from Microsoft Edge

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You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

You will be able to set your preferred search engine as soon as you reset Microsoft Edge.

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, ExactSearch.org should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove ExactSearch.org from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

First of all, you need to remove all browser extensions that might be related to ExactSearch.org browser hijacker. Then reset Firefox in order to get rid of tracking cookies.

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select ExactSearch.org and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete ExactSearch.org removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove ExactSearch.org from Google Chrome

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Check the list of Chrome's extensions. Uninstall ExactSearch or other suspicious entries that might responsible for hijacking the browser. Then reset browser by following instructions below.

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select ExactSearch.org and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete ExactSearch.org removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove ExactSearch.org from Safari

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for ExactSearch.org or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by ExactSearch.org, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete ExactSearch.org removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button
After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of ExactSearch.org registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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