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Remove Better-Search.net virus (Removal Instructions) - Mar 2017 update

removal by Lucia Danes - -   Also known as Better Search Net virus | Type: Browser hijacker

Can I use Better-Search.net virus after it showed up on my computer out of nowhere?

Better-Search.net virus is a browser hijacker[1] which was spotted back in 2014. After these years, it is still trying to hijack computers without being noticed. Who should you blame after discovering this potentially unwanted program on your computer? Unfortunately, but you are the one who follows installation of the free software and decides which components should be installed together with it. For the future installations, make sure that you remember about optional components that can be added to the free software but shouldn’t be let inside your computer. If you can already find Better-Search.net hijack on your browsers (Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari, etc.), make sure you know about its capabilities to spy on its users. While it does not accumulate as much sensitive information as CIA[2], it still collects information about your mostly visited websites, details that you enter there and so on. After doing so, it starts causing annoying activity on your computer which includes redirects to sponsored websites and similar problems. The easiest way to run away from them is to remove Better-Search.net from the system.

The image of Better-search.net hijackerThe main page of Better-search.net virus looks like a typical search engine. Nevertheless, you should not use its search because it is filled with sponsored content

Fortunately, browser hijackers have nothing to do with rogue security software[3] or ransomware[4], so they can hardly pose harm to your personal data. However, they have been involved to various illegal activities that we have already mentioned. You can say that this program has already infiltrated your computer if you can find Better-Search.net instead of your start page, the default search engine and a new tab URL. Besides, you should know that such viruses tend to show people altered search results that they fill with sponsored content. Once you click on one of such results, it acts as a tool redirecting you to a page needed to its developers. Typically, such redirects end up on websites trying to increase their web traffic. In exchange for this service, their owners are ready to pay the money. However, there is no guarantee that each of these redirect sites is safe to use, so we do not recommend staying on them for long. In fact, we highly recommend avoiding these redirects. If this malicious search engine has already infiltrated your computer, you need to initiate Better-Search.net removal right away. For that, run a full system scan with ReimageIntego.

How can this PUP infiltrate my computer?

Better-Search.net redirect is a very annoying issue, so you need to be careful with this browser hijacker. While it can be downloaded from the Internet just like any other application, its victims can hardly remember when did they decide to do that. That’s because this questionable search engine has ability to track PC users. If we haven’t warned you, then you should know that this program has been actively spread in a bundle with freeware and shareware. If you decided to concentrate on avoiding such unwanted downloads, you should start paying more attention to freeware’s installation. We especially recommend choosing Custom or Advanced installation method and unchecking all check boxes that agree to change homepage or default search engine to this or other sites. As soon as Better-Search.net virus enters the system, it affects all web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. However, you can easily remove it from the system with a help of this guide:

Better-Search.net virus removal procedure

If you found Better-Search.net instead of your new tab URL, the start page or the default search engine, you shouldn’t ignore these changes because they can clearly identify the fact that your computer is hijacked. Such changes can lead you to constant redirects, the appearance of annoying pop-up ads and similar issues that have already been discussed. To get rid of these problems, make sure that you initiate Better-Search.net removal on your computer. The easiest way to recover after the infiltration of this hijacker is initiating a full system scan with reliable anti-spyware software. If you don’t want to add anything to your PC system, you can also remove Better-Search.net virus from the system manually. However, keep in mind that this removal option requires attentiveness and attention to details that are revealed below.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. 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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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 Better-Search.net virus, follow these steps:

Delete Better-Search.net from Windows systems

To uninstall Better-Search.net manually, you need to perform these steps that are given below. Don’t forget to remove hijacker’s name from the Target field (Shortcut tab) in each of your web browser.

  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 Better-Search.net and related programs
    Here, look for Better-Search.net 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 Better-Search.net 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 Better-Search.net from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Better-Search.net from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Better-Search.net-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove Better-Search.net, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to Better-Search.net and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Better-Search.net-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Get rid of Better-Search.net from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Better-Search.net and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Better-Search.net removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Remove Better-Search.net virus from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the Better-Search.net-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Eliminate Better-Search.net 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 Better-Search.net 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 Better-Search.net removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase Better-Search.net from Google Chrome

To fix Google Chrome after Better-Search.net virus infiltration, you need to remove all suspicious add-ons that can be found in this hijacker. Also, you can reset the browser to finish your removal process.

  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 Better-Search.net 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 Better-Search.net removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Delete Better-Search.net 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 Better-Search.net 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 Better-Search.net, 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 Better-Search.net removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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