Remove Flare Search (Easy Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Flare Search Removal Guide

What is Flare Search?

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 ReimageIntego 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 ReimageIntego repair tool that is may recover the system's performance after a malware attack.

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

Getting rid of Flare Search. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

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.

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

”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:

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

Remove from Google Chrome

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

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

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 Flare Search 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

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
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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