Universalsearch.co virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Browser hijacker
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Should you rely on Universalsearch.co search engine?

Universalsearch.co virus is an irritating browser hijacker that aims at various web browsers. It usually comes inside the computer bundled with freeware or shareware. On the affected computer it alters web browsers’ settings and forces people to use Health New Tab search engine developed by Upwords Publishing. This website becomes default browser’s homepage and search engine. What is more, users are often prevented from getting rid of it easily. Browser hijackers are often capable of altering Windows shortcuts and registry or install helper objects[1] that help to remain on the system. Moreover, Universalsearch.co browser hijacker might be called advertising tool. In the Terms of Website Use, the developers reveal that they might deliver third-party ads and promotions in various forms and methods. Often commercial content shows up as pop-ups, banners, in-text ads or other types of online ads. Furthermore, the hijacker might initiate unwanted redirects to the promotional websites. Unfortunately, Universalsearch.co redirect tendencies might not be pleasant. You may end up on a malicious site where you can get infected with ransomware[2] or tricked to reveal personal information.[3] Also, we want to mention that sometimes hijackers might alter search results and replace organic links with sponsored third-party links. Though at the moment this search engine provides results from Bing, the situation might change at any time.

The developers of so-called Universalsearch.co virus are not responsible for any damage that might be caused by the third-party content. Thus, you should be extremely careful when browsing the Web because even one accidental click might cause you serious problems, such data loss or identity theft.[4] Browser hijacker cannot harm you or your PC itself; though its redirect tendencies are worth paying attention. However, it’s not the only one reason to remove Universalsearch.co from the machine. This little cyber parasite might also collect information about the users. This information is mostly related to the browsing history and habits; however, the hijacker might access other details as well. Usually, aggregated information is used to build users’ profiles to deliver targeted ads. However, in some cases collected data might be shared with third-parties or advertising networks. As a result, your browser and inbox might be filled with commercial offers, shopping deals, newsletters and other annoying stuff. Thus, if you found this website on your browser, scan the computer with Reimage and start Universalsearch.co removal right now.

Why was my browser hijacked?

The only one reason why was your browser hijacked is that you have chosen “wrong” installation settings when installing freeware or shareware.[5] All programs that you can download from the Internet might be hiding third-party applications. Thus, if you installed a particular program under Basic or Recommended mode, the Universalsearch.co hijack might have occurred. These settings do not disclose about extra downloads and install them by default. However, Advanced or Custom setups allows rejecting their installation. Carefully follow each installation step and look for the list of pre-selected toolbars, programs, extensions or agreements to make Health New Tab or another suspicious search engine as your homepage. Deselect these settings to prevent from negative features of the potentially unwanted programs.

How to remove Universalsearch.co from the browser?

Browser hijackers are not hard to remove manually. Thus, you can investigate the system on your own and remove Universalsearch.co browser hijacker along with its components manually. Our instructions presented below will guide you through this process. If you choose this method, don’t forget that you need to reset all web browsers that are installed on your PC as well. However, we want to suggest an easier Universalsearch.co removal option. Employ reputable anti-malware program and remove browser hijacker automatically. All you need to do is to scan the computer with one of the programs suggested below and wait for a couple of minutes.

You can remove Universalsearch.co 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 Universalsearch.co 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 Universalsearch.co 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 Universalsearch.co virus Removal Guide:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Universalsearch.co from Windows systems

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You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
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Make sure you follow the instructions carefully. If you leave some programs or files related to the Universalsearch.co virus, you might encounter another hijack soon.

  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 Universalsearch.co and related programs
    Here, look for Universalsearch.co 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 Universalsearch.co 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 Universalsearch.co from Mac OS X system

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If your Mac was hijacked, please follow the instructions below to fix this problem.

  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 Universalsearch.co 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 Universalsearch.co from Internet Explorer (IE)

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You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
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Sometimes hijackers install suspicious add-ons on the affected browsers. Thus, you should check, whether any questionable entries haven’t been added to the Internet Explorer.

  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 Universalsearch.co 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 Universalsearch.co 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 Universalsearch.co virus from Microsoft Edge

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You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
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Microsoft Edge might have also been affected by the Universalsearch.co hijacker. To reject all its modifications, please follow these steps:

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, Universalsearch.co should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Universalsearch.co from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
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From the list of extensions remove all questionable toolbars, extensions, plugins or add-ons. They might be responsible for reinstalling Universalsearch.co browser hijacker.

  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 Universalsearch.co 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 Universalsearch.co removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Universalsearch.co from Google Chrome

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

Follow the instructions to fix Google Chrome after Universalsearch.co hijack.

  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 Universalsearch.co 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 Universalsearch.co removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Universalsearch.co from Safari

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

Safari might have suffered from the hijack as well. Follow the steps below to reset the browser.

  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 Universalsearch.co 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 Universalsearch.co, 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 Universalsearch.co 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 Universalsearch.co 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

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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References


  • Sorcha

    Ohh! I thought I was crazy or something when found this search engine on my Chrome. I guess it came along with one of the graphic designed programs Ive recently installed.. But thanks for the instructions. The hijacker is gone for good!

  • Effie

    Is there a search engine that does not collect information about us??

  • nasir

    My browser was hijacked too. Thanks for the instructions. Indeed, easy to follow!