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Remove Flare Search (Easy Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Flare Search – a browser hijacking extension that enabled “Managed by your organization” feature to prevent removal

Flare Search hijackFlare Search is a browser hijacker that sets Chrome's settings that protect it from being removed

Flare Search is a potentially dangerous search site that spreads bundled with freeware and pretends to display the most accurate search results. However, it is considered to be a browser hijacker or a redirect virus, which is extremely persistent due to the in-built “Managed by your organization” feature. 

The so-called Flare Search virus exhibits high activity at the moment, so users should take precautionary measures during the installation of freeware. According to NoVirus.uk[1] cybersecurity experts, this browser-based extension is spread as a pre-selected component of applications like converters, download managers, and similar. If the user accepts its install, the application automatically gets permission to replace a default start page and search provider with flaresearch.com or find.flaresearch.net and enables the mentioned Managed by your organization feature. 

Browser hijackers work in such a way for several reasons. First of all, they seek to inject sponsored content among regular search results. Consequently, the web browser displays intrusive pop-ups, ads, and triggers unexpected redirects to third-party sites. Aside from unwanted content, it is used for statistics. It renders tracking cookies and web beacons to harvest browsing history and share it with third parties. Last, but not least, Flare Search removal becomes a tough nut to crack due to the organization management[2]

Name Flare Search
Type Browser hijacker / Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP)
Related Sets “Managed by your organization” feature to make itself difficult to remove
Distribution It spreads bundled with freeware/shareware as an additional component
Symptoms Altered start page, search provider, new tab URL, and other web browser's settings
Uncontrollable web browser's redirects to suspicious domains (many of them ask to enable Push Notifications)
Commercial ads placed on random websites (usually corresponding to user's latest search queries)
Inability to reset the web browser's settings
Danger The search is not dangerous on its own. However, the content that it displays is potentially dangerous as it is prepared by suspicious third parties
Removal The best way to get rid of this hijacker is to run a scan with a professional anti-malware. Nevertheless, you may have to change the settings of the web browser manually (a full elimination guide is provided below)
System damage Malware like this can inject multiple entries on random locations, including Windows Registry or Temp folder. To fix deleted, replaced, or corrupted system files, use Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego tool

Flare Search extension seems to be a reliable tool that may improve the web browsing experience. Its start page demonstrates a nature-related colorful background and a simple search bar. There's nothing suspicious, for instance, ads or links positioned there. However, the feeling of untrustworthy arises right after a failure to remove the flaresearch.com start or search. 

Upon the infiltration of this search hijacker, users are restricted from using Google or another preferable search. Instead, the results are always loaded from the sponsored search.yahoo.com engine. The search results contain banner ads on the top-right corner of the screen, which redirects to online shops or download websites. 

The biggest problem with the Flare Search redirects is that users can never know if the end-site is reliable. This search hijacker is basically used for affiliate marketing, but it does not monitor or control the content that its affiliates generate. Thus, there's a risk of being exposed to porn sites, malware-laden domains, or phishing/scam sites. 

People keep reporting that unsuccessful Flare Search removal and, therefore, equate the search to a virus. The reason why the hijacker cannot be eliminated in a regular way is “Managed by your organization” feature. Developers of this malware-type extension managed to take advantage of a legitimate Chrome's feature, which is typically used by corporations to establish unified Chrome's settings and ensure that employees use/not use certain functions. 

Even if the user tries to remove Flare Search virus from Chrome, the browser displays a notification saying that it's impossible to remove the extension because it is managed by the organization. If you are not a part of the organization, but a home user, all you have to do is to eliminate malware and alter the registry. 

Disable Managed by your organization to regain permission to remove Flare Search hijacker

Flare Search download Flare Search virus is disseminated via freeware bundled as an optional component, which is why it occurs on machines without being noticed before

As long as the management settings on Chrome will be enabled, you won't be allowed to remove Flare Search redirect virus. Nevertheless, the protection can be disabled by initiating a registry tweak, but before that, we recommend running a scan with a professional anti-malware program to get rid of all unwanted applications. Then perform the following setting changes:

  • Open the Registry Editor. For that, press Windows key + R simultaneously. 
  • When the run dialog box opens, type regedit in it, and hit Enter to run the command. 
  • Then navigate to the below-given directory using the left pane: 
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome 

  • Remove the Extensions section is there is such.
  • Eliminate all non-default entries installed by third-parties. 
  • Close the Registry Editor and reset Chrome's settings. 

Freeware and shareware installation risks

Browser hijackers, adware, and potentially unwanted programs usually enter PCs without being noticed. Although they cannot misuse vulnerabilities, exploits, or other insecurities, malware developers take advantage of a legitimate software distribution method called bundling. 

That's a controversial method allowing freeware and shareware distributors to pack their products with additional programs. While those additions can sometimes be useful, most of them are ad-supposed[3] tools used by third parties to promote their services and sponsored content. 

That's why every time you download an application from websites like soft32, softpedia, brothersoft, cnet, download, and others, make sure to pay close attention to the freeware installation setup as you may be negatively surprised finding a bunch of preselected additional components. 

To unpack the bundle and install only the application that you want, opt for Advanced or Custom installation technique and remove the checkmarks saying that you give your consent to install add-ons, toolbars, extensions, and other suspicious applications. We highly do not recommend using them as most of the browser-based apps initiate intrusive activities during web browsing. 

Flare Search sponsored resultsFlare Search malware promoted sponsored content and seeks to reroute visitors to the websites the sites of affiliates

Tips on how to uninstall Flare Search from Chrome 

Flare Search removal is a thing that may continuously end up with failure if you perform the process incorrectly. As it is capable of altering the web browser's settings in an aggressive manner, you may encounter difficulties and restrictions to reset the changes. 

Thus, we'll help you to remove Flare Search successfully. First of all, you should perform a full system scan to delete all PUPs or virus that might have entered the system during freeware installation. After that, alter the Windows registry entries as explained above. Finally, reset Google Chrome's settings ( a full reset guide is given below). The last thing that you should do – optimize the system with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego repair tool that is may recover the system's performance after a malware attack. 

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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Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Flare Search, follow these steps:

Remove Flare Search from Windows systems

Browser hijackers target Windows users in particular. They spread bundled with Windows apps and get installed afterward without asking for permission. If you aim at removing PUPs manually, the following tutorial might help you navigate the procedure.

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

Delete Flare Search from Mac OS X system

”Managed by your organization” feature has been developed for macOS in particular, so there's a high risk that Flare Search virus targets Chrome installed on Macs. If you have already installed it, here's how to perform its removal:

  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 Flare 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 Flare 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 Flare 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 Flare Search removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Uninstall Flare 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, Flare Search should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Erase Flare 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 Flare 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 Flare Search removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate Flare Search from Google Chrome

To delete Flare Search extension from Chrome, follow these steps:

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

Remove Flare 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 Flare 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 Flare 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 Flare Search 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 various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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