MetaSearch. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

by ,   Also known as MetaSearch hijack, MetaSearch redirect | Type: Browser Hijackers

MetaSearch (also known as MetaSearch Search Engine) is a suspicious search engine, which has been linked to browser hijackers. That's because it works by displaying slightly altered search results and then rerouting its users to predetermined websites. In most of the cases, these domains seek to increase the number of their visitors, page ranks or even sales. Basically, they are connected to this browser hijacker and pay the money for these services. If MetaSearch virus manages to get inside its target PC system, it may not only hijack each of web browsers, including well known Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. It may also try to change your default search engine or the start page without your approval. Once these changes are done, it may start its redirections to, and similar domains. Of course, you can also find yourself on suspicious websites that may be used for spreading questionable programs. That's why you should be very careful with such search sites. This potentially unwanted program runs on every Windows startup, so the only real method that can be used for disabling it is its removal. For that we recommend SpyHunter.

HOW CAN METASEARCH hijack my computer?

MetaSearch doesn't spread like a virus because it is not a virus. It is just a potentially unwanted program that may be installed either manually or in a bundle with other programs. For avoiding this, you should be very careful when installing freeware on your computer. We highly recommend selecting Custom or Advanced installation method that allows seeing what components (browser add-ons, extensions, plugins, toolbars, etc.) are hiding inside. For getting ability to opt out of them you should select Custom or Advanced installation of the freeware and then uncheck all unfamiliar check marks. If MetaSearch hijacks the system, it may initiate such changes as registry's modification, installation of its files, etc. Once these changes are done, you may start suffering from constant redirections to various domains, including or If your Internet Explorer's or other web browser's home page or a default search engine have been replaced by, you should check your computer with the reputable anti-spyware. Otherwise, you may not only be tricked into visiting questionable websites. You may also be tricked into downloading other suspicious programs to your computer. Besides, just like any other suspicious search engine, MetaSearch hijacker may start tracking your browsing sessions and may collect information about search queries, mostly visited websites, data that you enter on each of them and similar details. In addition, it may also copy your PC's IP address, location, etc. 


Fortunately, in order to remove MetaSearch hijacker from your computer, you don't have to be a genius. You can do that either with a help of a reputable anti-spyware or with a help ofthis step-by-step guide that is given below. According to our security experts, you should opt for scanning your computer with reputable anti-malware because it will help you to make sure that all suspicious programs, including adwares, browser hijackers and viruses, are gone. 

MetaSearch properties:
• Changes browser settings
• Connects itself to the internet
• Hides from the user
• Stays resident in background

You can remove MetaSearch automatically with a help of one of these programs: SpyHunter, STOPzilla, 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.

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SpyHunter is recommended to uninstall MetaSearch. 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 SpyHunter malware removal tool.

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

If you decided to select another anti-spyware, uninstall SpyHunter from your computer.
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Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus is recommended remover to uninstall MetaSearch. You should confirm using free trial that it detects current version of parasite.
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MetaSearch screenshot
MetaSearch snapshot

MetaSearch manual removal

Kill processes:
Delete registry values:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Quick Home Search
Delete files:
Delete directories:
C:\Program Files\STLinks
C:\Program Files\STHomePage

Manual MetaSearch Removal Guide

Step 1: Uninstall MetaSearch and related programs

Windows Mac OS X Step 2

from Windows 7 / Vista / XP systems

  • Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).

from Windows 10 / Windows 8 systems

  • 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.
Uninstall MetaSearch and related programs
  • Here, look for MetaSearch or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  • Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes.
Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
Windows Mac OS X Step 2

from Mac OS X system

If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications.

Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'

Wait until you see Applications folder and look for MetaSearch 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'

Step 2: from Windows shortcuts

Step 3
  • Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties.
Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  • Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus.
Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete '' 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.

Step 3: Uninstall MetaSearch from each of your web browsers

Internet Explorer Mozilla Firefox Google Chrome Safari Step 4

from Internet Explorer (IE)

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'
  • You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for MetaSearch and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable:
Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable' 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.
  • 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 Reset Internet Explorer
  • Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  • Here, select Reset.
  • When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete MetaSearch removal.
Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
Internet Explorer Mozilla Firefox Google Chrome Safari Step 4

from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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'
  • Here, select MetaSearch 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 Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
  • Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  • Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  • 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 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'
  • Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete MetaSearch removal.
Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
Internet Explorer Mozilla Firefox Google Chrome Safari Step 4

from Google Chrome

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'
  • Here, select MetaSearch 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 Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
  • Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  • 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'
  • 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
  • Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section.
When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  • When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name.
Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs Reset Google Chrome
  • Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  • 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
  • Click Reset to confirm this action and complete MetaSearch removal.
Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
Internet Explorer Mozilla Firefox Google Chrome Safari Step 4

from Safari

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'
  • Here, select Extentions and look for MetaSearch or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them.
Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons 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.
  • Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by MetaSearch, 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 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...'
  • 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 MetaSearch removal process.
Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Step 4: Complete MetaSearch removal

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 MetaSearch 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: SpyHunter, STOPzilla or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

If this free removal guide helped you and you are satisfied with our service, please consider making a donation to keep this service alive. Even a smallest amount will be appreciated.

Geolocation of MetaSearch

Map reveals the prevalence of MetaSearch. Countries and regions that have been affected the most are: United States, Australia, Germany, Netherlands and Canada.

Information updated:

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