Severity scale:  
  (8/100)

Remove App Discovery Tools (Removal Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

App Discovery Tools is a browser hijacker that might lead to to sites you wouldn't initially visit

App Discovery Tools
App Discovery Tools is a browser hijacker that is usually installed via software bundle packages

App Discovery Tools is a browser extension compatible with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and MS Edge web browsers. While the application can be downloaded and installed from various official sources, it is also often bundled with third-party applications, also known as freeware. Software bundles often operate deceptively, as they do not adequately disclose all the apps that will be installed, making users miss the point of entry of browser hijackers, adware, and other potentially unwanted programs[1] – including App Discovery Tools.

As soon as the browser hijacker is installed, the web browsers will warn about the changes it is trying to make to the homepage, new tab URL, and the search engine. If approved, App Discovery Tools hijack will be successful, and users will notice changes performed to browser components instantly. The browser hijacker will redirect their searches to Yahoo (although they will be populated with sponsored links coming from the App Discovery Tools), track users' web browsing information, record browsing history, share personal data with third-parties and lead to potentially unsafe sites.

Name App Discovery Tools
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program
Associated website Tappdiscovery.tools
Distribution Official web stores (Google, Mozilla, Opera, Edge), software bundle packages downloaded from third-party sites
Bundled with  users might be deceptively offered to install Encrypted Search along the application
Symptoms 
  • The new tab address, homepage, and a new search engine assigned to the web browser;
  • All searches lead users to https://search.yahoo.com/
  • Search results are filled with sponsored links
  • The homepage is filled with links leading to suspicious websites
  • Search terms are pre-determined based on popular keywords
Removal  Follow our manual guide provided at the bottom of the article; some anti-virus programs might detect the extension and get rid of it for you 
Optimization For best results, we recommend scanning the machine with repair software Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego and resetting all browsers the extension was installed on

Browser hijackers like App Discovery Tools are deceptively dangerous. While they are allowed into the system by users themselves, there are many aspects to these PUPs that make them potentially unsafe, although most don't bother reading lengthy policies, so, essentially, they don't know what they sign up for. 

Nevertheless, there are many useful browser extensions that do provide useful functionality, such as anonymous browsing, ad-blocking feature, etc. Unfortunately, App Discovery Tools is not one such app, and you should not use it. In general, there are very few browser hijackers that will not track your online activities, so their usage is highly discouraged by security advocates. Thus, if you found the app on your system unexpectedly, remove App Discovery Tools as soon as possible.

When it comes to App Discovery Tools, it states in the privacy policy that, if you install the app, you agree that your personal (if provided) and anonymous information will be collected:[2]

We may collect information from you based on information collected resulting from your use of our Services and information that you provide to us. The information collected may include both Non-Personal Information and Personal Information.

App Discovery Tools collects and shares the following information with third-parties:

  • IP address;
  • Geo-location;
  • Browser type and browser's user agent;
  • Various technical data: hardware settings, browser language, system activity, crashes, timestamp of request and referral URL;
  • Diagnostic information about installed extensions;
  • Internet Service provide information, including its domain name;
  • Time and date of certain browser events.

Exerts highly discourage personal information (email, name, home address, etc.) sharing with third-parties, as these details can be sold for marketing purposes. As a result, you might be targeted by ad campaigns that promote various services, products, and other goods to you.

App Discovery Tools hijack
App Discovery Tools is a potentially unwanted program that tracks and shares your information with third parties

Because App Discovery Tools PUP will change your homepage, it is highly likely that you will remain on it when looking for the information on the internet. However, the search results that will be returned to you will not be organic, which means that they have been paid to stay at the top.

As a result, you might start visiting sites that you never intended to in the first place, changing the way you browse the internet altogether. Note that even though App Discovery Tools redirects to Yahoo (legitimate search tool), the sponsored links do not come from it, but rather profit the browser hijacker authors for each click made.

To sum up, you should proceed with App Discovery Tools removal and rather pick well-established companies to guide you through the web, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. If you want more privacy, there are plenty of alternatives that can be trusted – for example, DuckDuckGo.

Note that you might want to reset the web browser that the App Discovery Tools plugin was installed on – it is not necessary but highly recommended. Finally, if you think that your system might be infected with other PUPs or malware,[3] we recommend scanning the system with anti-malware software and Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego repair tool.

Choose extensions that don't share your information with third parties

With the rise of the internet, users' privacy has been put at risk, as people do many things online: purchase products online, share their daily stories on social networks, enter their very sensitive data online to be able to use various services. Data is extremely valuable, as it can be used for various purposes that can earn third parties money.

Unfortunately, we have seen more and more data breaches that access this information, and many outrages were also caused by inadequate information-sharing practices.[4] Thus, keeping in mind that your browsing history an tell a lot about you, you should think twice before tantalizing extensions that actively track you and read the information you type on particular websites.

To avoid being deceived by companies who seek to your data for profit, you should always take a peek at the Privacy Policy before you agree to install browser extensions, media players, PDF converters, download managers, and other useless applications.

You should also be aware of unfair software distribution practices that PUP developers like so much – software bundle packages. These are typically acquired from third-party and torrent sites; the installers are often deceptive, as they incorporate such tricks as fine print text, pre-ticked boxes, misleading offers, etc. Also, make sure you always opt for Advanced/Custom settings when prompted, as it could be the only chance of stopping unwanted apps from being installed with software you initially wanted.

App Discovery Tools bundle
App Discovery Tools displays sponsored links at the top of search results in order to make users visit sponsored sites

Get rid of App Discovery Tools hijack

It is important to note that the App Discovery Tools browser extension might not be the only culprit related to the hijacking of your browser. Quite often, users have multiple PUPs installed on their system, and they are usually clueless to knowing where they came from. Thus, if you are a less proficient computer user, we highly recommend scanning the machine with reputable anti-malware software for automatic App Discovery Tools removal, as well as the termination of other apps that are considered to be PUPs.

If you do not have any other unwanted programs or malware installed on your system, you should be able to remove App Discovery Tools easily via the web browser. If you are not successful for some reason, you might want to reset the installed browser – it will get rid of all the extensions installed. If you are not sure how to do that, please follow the instructions provided below.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove App Discovery Tools, follow these steps:

Eliminate App Discovery Tools from Windows systems

Get rid of App Discovery Tools app from Windows via the Control Panel:

  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 App Discovery Tools and related programs
    Here, look for App Discovery Tools 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 App Discovery Tools 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.

Uninstall App Discovery Tools from Mac OS X system

macOS users should follow these steps:

  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 App Discovery Tools 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'

Remove App Discovery Tools from Internet Explorer (IE)

  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 App Discovery Tools 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 App Discovery Tools removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Erase App Discovery Tools from 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, App Discovery Tools should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Delete App Discovery Tools from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  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 App Discovery Tools 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 App Discovery Tools removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Get rid of App Discovery Tools from Google Chrome

Reset Google Chrome if you are having troubles with termination of unwanted extensions:

  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 App Discovery Tools 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 App Discovery Tools removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Eliminate App Discovery Tools from Safari

  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 App Discovery Tools 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 App Discovery Tools, 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 App Discovery Tools removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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