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Remove Blast Search (Simple Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Blast Search is a browser hijacking application classified as PUP due to controversial behavior

Blast Search

Blast Search is one of many browser hijackers that pretend to provide users with a package of useful features. However, it's yet another potentially unwanted program (PUP) that participates in various advertising campaigns and affiliate marketing. For the sole purpose of money-making, this extension alters the settings on Google Chrome to present people with sponsored content. The latter typically manifests in a form of Blast Search redirects to third-party sites and off-topic ads. A quick overview to make matters clear:

  • The Chrome extension is spread via software packages in the disguise of legit applications. Can also be found on Chrome Web Store and Google Play Store[1] promoted as a useful search tool.
  • Without asking for the user's permission directly, the extension settles down on Chrome and replaces the start page with the Blast Search (find.blast-search.net) virus. 
  • Aside from that, it sets search.yahoo.com (sponsored) as a default search provider and restricts people from using other sources like Google or Bing. 
  • By default, it enables Chrome's “Managed by your organization” feature, so that users could not initiate Blast Search removal easily. Programs like CapitaSearch, Mazy Search, Burst Search, Flare Search, etc. misuse this advantageous setting in the same manner.
  • It does not provide users with Privacy Policy, EULA, and other software guidelines. 
Main facts about Blast Search
 Category Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA), browser hijacker
 Performance Alters web browser's settings (start page, search provider, new tab URL window, notifications, etc.). It also causes redirects and ads that generate income from clicks.
 Distribution Freeware/shareware bundle
 Exceptional traits “Managed by your organization” feature that prevents Blast Search removal from the extensions list
 Danger The application is more intrusive than dangerous. However, it displays pre-selected content brought by third parties, which is not monitored
 Removal options
  • Manual removal (PUP detection and elimination, recovery of browser's settings, and Windows optimization)
  • Automatic removal (running a full system scan with a professional security program and full Windows optimization)
Restoring the system Malware causes damage. It can distort Windows registry entries, delete content from the Temp file, and more. Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego tool can help people to fix such and similar damage

The internet is full of the term “Blast Search virus.” However, we cannot agree that this term is suitable because a virus is too strong. Browser hijackers cannot be equated to malicious entries as they are not capable of infected PC completely behind users' backs, steal credentials, run without being noticed, and so on. 

Nevertheless, Blast Search extension performs some of the unwanted activities that prevent people from removing it. To be precise, one of its first tasks upon the install is to inject certain registry keys within the Windows registry that enable the “Managed by your organization” feature. This corporate-oriented feature prevents users from resetting Chrome, using Google, Bing, or another search provider, air initiating other alterations. 

Even though it's difficult to remove Blast Search from Chrome, do not drop this task. Keeping this browser hijacker installed on the system is not only useless. Its presence means that you don't mind receiving intrusive commercial offers during every search, visiting sponsored third-party sites, seeing intrusive “learn how to lose weight” content, and so on. 

Blast Search redirects may expose you to sites that urge you to allow Push Notifications or answer several questions to claim valuable prices. Anyway, you should not accept those offers because having a browser hijacker running on the web browser means a high risk of being exposed to scams. 

Blast Search virusBlast Search is a redirect virus that can restrict users from using other search engines and enable settings that do not allow removing it

Another thing to discuss is the absence of legal software guidelines (Privacy Policy, EULA, Disclaimer, About, etc.). The start page of the find.blast-search.net does not contain any information at all, except a colorful background, clock, and search bar. Such information shall be provided on all legitimate websites, so missing it is yet another warning sign that should restrain you from using it. 

If you have been dealing with this browser hijacker for some time, do not ignore its presence. Follow the Blast Search removal instructions provided at the end of this article and get rid of the unwanted tools right now. The instructions provide information on how to get rid of potentially unwanted apps from  Macs and Windows, how to disable Managed by your organization restrictions, and then how to completely reset the web browser. 

PUPs cannot be installed without permission, but they don't ask for it properly

People can download PUPs directly if they fall for the engaging promotional content provided on official sites or Chrome Web Store. However, most downloads are indirect. In other words, they get installed with the help of freeware and shareware. The so-called “bundling” distribution is a method that is widely used to spread legitimate software packages. However, a decade ago malware developers found a way to misuse it for the dissemination of potentially unwanted programs, such as adware or hijackers. 

While the process and the apps that are usually involved in bundling distribution are legitimate, the problem is deeper – additional applications are not directly disclosed. People are provided with an option – to install the free application using Express/Quick or Advanced/Custom installation option. The difference between the two is that one discloses “optional download”, while the other automatically installs them. So which one to choose? 

To keep the system malware-free, we recommend selecting the Advanced/Custom installation technique all the time. This option allows users to see all bundle substituents and deselect the unwanted. In addition to that, NoVirus.uk[2] experts recommend keeping a full security package installed to make sure full anti-malware protection. 

Blast Search settingsBlast Search enables Managed by your organization feature and ensures that less experienced users won't remove it easily

Learn how to uninstall Blast Search virus from Chrome and other web browsers

Blast Search virus removal is a tough nut to crack due to the “Managed by your organization” restrictions[3]. Indeed, this management may reject all changes that you try to initiate within your web browser. Luckily, there's a way to bypass this setting via the Registry Editor: 

  • You can download the Chrome Policy Remover
  • Run the executable file to run the tool. Click Keep button if you get a popup warning that a file may be dangerous. 
  • Right-click on the file and select Run as administrator
  • Click Yes to confirm the process. 
  • If a message stating that Windows protected your PC shows up, click More Info and select Run Anyway.
  • After that, run a scan with a professional anti-malware tool. 
  • Finally, check Chrome for unwanted extensions, search engines, and redirect pages. Disable all of them.
  • If unwanted search sites do not go away, you may need to reset the web browser's settings.

If this method did not help, then try a simple Registry tweak as explained in the article about Blast Search sibling. Once you disable this feature, you should scan the system with a professional anti-malware program to eliminate malware and then reset the web browser's settings as explained 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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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 Blast Search, follow these steps:

Eliminate Blast Search from Windows systems

If you do not know how to remove the malware from Windows, try this guide.

  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 Blast Search and related programs
    Here, look for Blast Search 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 Blast Search 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.

Remove Blast Search from Mac OS X system

  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 Blast Search 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'

Get rid of Blast Search 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 Blast Search 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 Blast Search removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Erase Blast Search 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, Blast Search should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Uninstall Blast Search 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 Blast Search 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 Blast Search removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Delete Blast Search from Google Chrome

Google Chrome extensions, such as Blast Search browser hijacker can be removed by resetting the browser.

  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 Blast Search 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 Blast Search removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Eliminate Blast Search 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 Blast Search 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 Blast Search, 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 Blast Search removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various circumstances, malware is also one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. Potentially unwanted programs may clear files that keep the application from running smoothly.

More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, or images get locked. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them. Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system.

In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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