BetterSearch Default Search browser hijacker (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge) - spam

BetterSearch Default Search browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is BetterSearch Default Search browser hijacker?

BetterSearch Default Search is the application considered a browser hijacker due to the manipulation of particular browser settings

BetterSearch Default SearchThe browser hijacker is annoying and intrusive because it affects the performance quality

BetterSearch is the browser extension that can be found installed on your browsing application after continuous visits to streaming sites, advertising pages, other shady platforms. This is the fake search engine that promotes other advertising pages and leads to the installations of additional tools on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari browsers. The threat is not dangerous or malicious, but the program can lead to issues with privacy and identity theft if you allow the PUP to run on the machine and collect various details.

The potentially unwanted program[1] controls these symptoms and allows the intruder to behave intrusively. BetterSearch Default Search browser hijacker operates by altering preferences on browser settings, so all searches get rerouted through better-search.xyz engine.

These searches get injected with sponsored material and random commercial content, so the exposure to various advertising pages and redirects to other suspicious sites can be the first symptoms of the browser hijacker infiltration. otherwise, the program causes serious speed problems and interferes with the performance of the PC. Therefore, it should be removed as soon as you notice those reroutes and the BetterSearch Default Search extension added.

Name BetterSearch Default Search
Type Browser hijacker, browser extension
Category Potentially unwanted program
Issues The threat causes redirects to other shady pages, installation of browser-based tools, leads to exposure to possibly malicious content
Distribution Freeware installations, deceptive sites, damaging platforms, misleading ads[2]
URL better-search.xyz
Elimination Try anti-malware tools for the proper system cleaning because PUP can cause additional installs behind your back
Repair Rely on ReimageIntego for the virus damage removal and make sure to clear any issues related to the intruder by recovering system files

The hijacker is the threat that annoys people and can appear out of nowhere, but there are opportunities when people add the program on purpose because of the promotional messages and advertisements that get distributed online. The intrusive behavior and third-party involvement, however, make ures calling the BetterSearch Default Search browser hijacker a virus.

The problem with these browser-based applications starts with the redirects and applications appearing out of nowhere. However, over time these intruders interfere with other processes and programs. PUPs can affect startup preferences to keep the program running and ensure that it is launched with every system reboot. This is why experts[3] recommend terminating those PUP as soon as you notice any of the symptoms:

  • extension BetterSearch Default Search added on the browser app;
  • homepage, new tab, new window settings altered;
  • better-search.xyz set as a default search engine;
  • search results injected with banners, links, and other types of ads;
  • constant redirects expose users to commercial content.

Eliminating the threat

There are many things that come from browser-based programs. First of all, this is not a virus, but there are things that potentially unwanted programs can cause because it runs in the background and only keeps users visiting sponsored pages and ad-filled sites.

BetterSearch Default Search browser hijackerThe potentially unwanted program can cause various issues and even interfere with the content you see online

BetterSearch Default Search browser hijackers can promote other programs and lead to various platforms where you get exposed to suspicious and possibly malicious details. Those sites can contain malware and trigger downloads of additional programs. It is dangerous, and these PUP developers are not controlling the behavior. Nor do the third-party advertisers.

You need to remove the infection fully since you cannot avoid the content entirely and try to eliminate the PUP that controls this behavior of the browser-based infection. You can run SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes and find all possible threats to stop the intrusive application fully. However, you might need to manually alter those settings. BetterSearch Default Search mainly affects Google Chrome browser, but steps for other browsers are also listed below.

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings.Reset Chrome 2

Fraudulent search engines and the issues related to PUPs

These fake search engines cannot generate search results and mainly reroutes searches via legitimate pages, but the use of Bing, Yahoo, Google engines does not mean that content included there is safe and not even potentially dangerous. BetterSearch Default Search browser hijacker manages to inject various links, ads, banners on the results.

Redirects and pop-ups fill up the screen and show ads instead of the results that people expect to get. There is nothing useful about this, so make sure to ignore those ads to avoid additional issues and remove the app that is causing these issues. Those redirects can be based on your geolocation, and this personalization is the start of data tracking.

Not only the browser hijacker itself can track and record various details about users' habits online, but all the third-party apps and services can rely on BetterSearch Default Search browser extension for the tracking procedures. Such activities target browsing activity details like viewed pages, search query results, and viewed ads. Personalized malvertising campaigns come from this shady activity.

This is not the worst thing that can happen online, but using any shady services, visiting those dangerous pages, and relying on applications like BetterSearch Default Search browser hijacker can lead to data-stealing malware injections. If data related to your personal accounts, banking information is shared with hackers or sold to criminals, you might suffer identity theft.

It is possible to avoid financial losses, privacy issues, and the infiltration of these potentially unwanted programs. Mainly these intrusive apps spread using freeware installations and deceptive online sites, torrent platforms. You can choose official sources, avoid deceptive ads and choose Advanced or Custom program install options to control these processes. During the installation, it is possible to select what apps from the list get added, so you don't install any shady apps like BetterSearch Default Search browser hijacker.

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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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
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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.
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Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of BetterSearch Default Search browser hijacker. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK. Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Delete from macOS

Remove items from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all 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 an unwanted app, 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 and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files. Uninstall from Mac 2

Remove 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 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

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the 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 Delete Advanced 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” -Verbose Advanced 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

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall. Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

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 BetterSearch Default Search browser hijacker 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: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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