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Remove (Easy Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Browser Hijackers – a custom search engine with browser-hijacking features is a potentially unwanted program that might show up seemingly out of nowhere is an address that users might see on their Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or another web browser unexpectedly. This is because a Custom Search extension was installed on the browser without asking for permission – potentially unwanted programs are usually spread in deceptive manner, including software bundle packages or misleading advertisements/fake updates.

Once installed, the app will change the settings of the web browser by setting hxxps:// as a homepage and new tab address, and apply a customized search engine. Thus, users who have their browsers hijacked are forced to browse the web via an alternative search provider – redirects all searches to Yahoo. However, unlike genuine Yahoo results, the hijacker will insert multiple sponsored links (marked as “Ads”) at the top for users to click and earn revenue for the developers.

Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program 
Related  Custom Search browser extension 
Distribution  In most cases, users install the PUP unintentionally when downloading other software from the internet (software bundling), although sometimes they might be tricked by an attractive ad or deceptive prompt
Risks  Installation of other potentially unwanted programs or malware, personal information disclosure to unknown parties, monetary losses 
Elimination  You can uninstall potentially unwanted applications by following our manual guide below or by scanning the device with powerful anti-malware software 
Optional steps  If you are unable to eliminate some of the extensions, you can reset the relevant browsers, as explained below. If you found more unwanted apps or malware on your computer, user Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego repair tool to fix performance issues that they might have caused 

While browser hijackers such as are not considered a major security threat, it is important to note that they have plenty to hide. Custom Search toolbar is just another app that was duplicated from Nebula Search, Blast Search, Storm Search, Mazy Search, and many others. In other words, the developer keeps distributing the same app under different names – one of many suspicious (but typical) behaviors.

However, there are many more deceptive features of browser hijacker, which include:

  • Changing users' search provider and homepage without permission;
  • Preventing users from searching the web via the preferred engine;
  • Inserting sponsored links and ads into the top of the search results;
  • Tracking and anonymous, as well as personal, information;
  • Being difficult to eliminate due to various persistence techniques.

Information gathering practices are not uncommon, although absolutely unnecessary when it comes to browser hijackers or other PUPs. Keep in mind that your data is valuable, and it can be sold for profits. In the meantime, you might be targeted by various ad campaigns, and they might be extremely persistent and annoying.

Some people might even refer to the hijacker as the virus, as it can appear unexpectedly. While not technically correct, this term can be understandable, considering that users find their web browser settings completely changed: a new search engine applied, and searches being redirected to Yahoo.

Software bundling or deceptive advertisements are one of the most common methods that browser hijackers are distributed – these techniques typically result in unintentional installation. Without a doubt, you should not tolerate such deceptive behavior and remove from your browser. is a browser-hijacking application that might not be easy to eliminate due to the "Managed by your organization" feature it establishes

However, removal might sometimes be much more complicated than you would expect from a regular browser extension. First of all, the homepage, new tab, and search engine changes might not be directly linked to the Custom Search extension but rather a program installed on the device.

In such a case, instead of performing regular uninstall by right-clicking on the extension, you will have to look for suspicious programs installed on your machine – we explain how below.

Additionally, the PUP might set the “Managed by your organization” function on your browser – it is a new trick used by browser hijacker developers in order to prevent users from removing unwanted extensions. If that occurs, experts[1] highly recommend you scan the device with anti-malware, reset web browsers, and use system repair tools such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego for best results.

Learn to install applications correctly

While potentially unwanted applications can be installed deliberately without knowing about their features, most installations occur behind users' backs. One of the main culprits for such occurrence is software bundling – a technique that is used by most freeware[2] distributors and developers. It allows the pay-per-install[3] monetization principle (which is not always used for dubious purposes, by the way) to be practiced, so third-parties are extremely interested in users installing additional apps. Unfortunately, they are often going out of their ways in order to achieve the desired effect and do not adequately show the optional components within the installer.

Therefore, you should always pay close attention to your downloads – here are a few tips that might help you:

  • If possible, avoid third-party sites and download apps from the official sources only;
  • Do not get tricked by fake “Download” buttons (this is especially prevalent on torrent and other insecure sites);
  • Once the installation wizard shows up, do not click “Next” until you are done with the process;
  • If prompted, always pick Advanced/Custom instead of Recommended/Quick settings to stay in control of the installation process;
  • Read through the instructions carefully and remove ticks from checkboxes, decline all the offers and read the fine print text;
  • Install powerful anti-malware software capable of detecting PUPs. sponsored delivers sponsored search results that advertise suspicious software such as MacKeeper removal instructions 

As mentioned above, removal should not cause major difficulties to most. However, if the app was installed through an insecure source (such as software crack), it could have set the “Managed by your organization” status, which would prevent users from modifying their browser settings. In such a case, you should remove by resetting your web browser – check the instructions below. 

If the hijack was caused by an installed program, you should follow the guide below to eliminate it manually.  Alternatively, you could simply scan your computer with powerful anti-malware software – it will find all the unwanted entries within various folders of your system and uninstall the virus automatically.

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, follow these steps:

Delete from Windows systems

To remove unwanted applications from Windows, access the Control Panel > Programs & Features section:

  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 and related programs
    Here, look for 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 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 '' 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.

Erase from Mac OS X system

If you are using a Mac, follow this guide:

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

Remove from Applications folder:

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

Remove 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 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,
  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 removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Eliminate 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

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

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

Get rid of from Google Chrome

Reset Google Chrome if you are unable to uninstall Custom Search extension manually:

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

Delete 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 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, 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 removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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