Flash-Search browser hijacker (virus) - Free Instructions

Flash-Search browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is Flash-Search browser hijacker?

Flash-Search is a plugin created by crooks that changes the main browser settings

Flash-Search browser hijackerBrowser hijackers take control by changing key settings

Flash-Search is a browser hijacker that can alter important settings such as the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. More specifically, it redirects to flash-search.xyz and its bogus search engine. The hijacker's developers want to force people to use only specific channels for browsing in order to generate revenue through PPC advertising and data collection.

The browser extension provides no additional benefits to users that are not available in the default browser. The add-on exists solely to allow fraudsters to profit. Users may notice an increase in commercial content as well as pop-ups, banners, and surveys while the machine is affected.

The app may also cause redirects to dangerous websites, which may trick users into providing personal information or downloading PUPs (potentially unwanted programs)[1] and malware. This is because the creators are unconcerned about user privacy or security and rely on rogue advertising networks to deliver advertisements.

You should be concerned about more than just modified settings. The application may also use cookies[2] to collect information about your browsing activities. This information can then be sold to the same advertising networks or other third parties and used to target you with even more advertisements. Use a maintenance tool like FortectIntego to automatically clear your browsers' cookies and cache.

NAME Flash-Search
TYPE Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program
SYMPTOMS The main settings of the browser get changed, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine
DISTRIBUTION Shady websites, deceptive ads, software bundling, web stores
DANGERS The extension may lead to dangerous websites; display misinformation, inaccurate search results; track browsing, and collect data
ELIMINATION Remove the extension by going to your browser settings
FURTHER STEPS Use FortectIntego to fix any remaining damage and optimize the machine

Distribution dangers

You may have downloaded the add-on on your own, believing it would assist you with daily tasks, or you may have added it by accident without realizing it. Leaving that aside, how could you have discovered it? Users are frequently infected with hijackers while browsing shady websites that engage in illegal activities. Because they are unregulated, such pages are full of deceptive ads and sneaky redirects.

You may have come across a Flash-Search promotional page that talked about all the amazing functions and features, and you believed it. Fraudsters have learned how to create professional-looking websites and write persuasive messages, so it is now up to users to determine whether the programs they want to use are safe. That is why it is critical to conduct thorough research.

Enter the name of the promoted plugin into the search box and see what results you get. You may have noticed that when you search the names of hijackers, there aren't many results. Check to see if the add-on is listed on official websites, and look for reviews, ratings, and how many users it has. If you cannot find any of this information, it is best to be cautious and instead select an extension with a lot of feedback.

Your browser could also have been hijacked by a PUA that is hiding in your system and making all of the changes invisible. These programs are typically downloaded from freeware distribution platforms. They make money by including additional programs in the installers and failing to disclose this clearly on the website, hoping that most people will not notice.

Flash-Search browser hijackerDownload apps only from reputable sources and do your research

Remove the unwanted extension

You can remove browser add-ons by going to your settings. Find the list of extensions installed in your browser and remove the Flash-Search. We show how to do that in the guide below:

Google Chrome

  • Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  • 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

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

MS Edge (Chromium)

  • Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  • Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Mozilla Firefox

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


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

PUP elimination process

Occasionally, removing only the extension is ineffective, and users continue to experience unwanted symptoms. In that case, you'll need to scan your machine for adware, which is a program that runs in the background and generates commercial content. If you have it, simply removing the add-on will not suffice; the settings will continue to change until you completely remove it from your machine.

One of the most common ways for these PUAs to spread is via freeware installation sites. Software bundling[3] is a very effective method because most people rush through the installation process and skip all of the steps. It is critical to be present during the installation if you want to avoid this in the future.

Always use “Custom” or “Advanced” installation methods, and read the privacy policy and terms of use to determine what information will be collected and what the application will be permitted to do in your system. The most important step is to go through the file list and untick any items that appear suspicious or unrelated.

The program causing the browser's erratic behavior could have any name or icon, as crooks frequently disguise them as “helpful” programs. If you are unsure what to do and do not want to risk deleting the wrong files, we recommend using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes anti-malware tools that will scan your machine, remove it, and prevent future infections by warning you before a PUP can make any changes. If you still prefer manual removal, we have instructions for both Windows and Mac machines:

Windows 10/8:

  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

Windows 7/XP:

  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.


  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
do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

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