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Remove GameSearch (Free Instructions) - Removal Guide

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

GameSearch is a potentially unwanted application that attaches itself to the web browser to hijack users' searches

GameSearchGameSearch is a potentially unwanted program that is usually installed via software bundles

GameSearch is a browser extension that offers users various links to free online games and other popular services like Gmail. However, the application is also known for its browser-hijacking[1] traits and is often detected as PUP.Optional.SearchManager.BITSRST by trusted security tools. Besides, this potentially unwanted program (also called PUP) is often spread via shady techniques such as software bundle packages or can be installed unintentionally when tricked by a fake notification on a random website.

Once installed, GameSearch hijacker will change the settings of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, MS Edge, or another web browser: the homepage and the new tab address are swapped to gamsrch.com, and a customized search engine is added. This ensures that users' searches will be redirected via a particular way – the results will be shown via the Yahoo provider and also include multiple sponsored links. Additionally, GameSearch would also spy on users' online activities by using cookies and other tracking technologies.

Name GameSearch
Type Potentially unwanted program, browser hijacker
Detection PUP.Optional.SearchManager.BITSRST
Infiltration While the browser extension can be downloaded from official sources, users usually end up installing it unintentionally after downloading freeware from third-party websites. Also, users might be deliberately tricked into downloading the PUP via fake update prompts or similar deceptive ads 
Symptoms
  • GameSearch browser extension installed on the web browser
  • Homepage and the new tab URL are set to gamsrch.com
  • All searches are redirected to Yahoo
  • Search results are littered with sponsored ads
  • Web browser works slower and might sometimes fail to load certain pages
Dangers Users might be misguided into installing other unwanted applications that might, in some cases, be dangerous; risk of suffering from financial losses due to scams and fraudulent websites
Termination You can eliminate the hijacker by following our manual guide below or scanning the device with a reputable anti-malware software 
Optimization You can fix any type of registry or other damage done to the computer due to infections with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego 

To begin the analysis of the GameSearch virus, we should first explore its infiltration techniques, which are often deceptive. In most cases, users would not install apps that would redirect their searchers and show them ads, so the developers come up with distribution tactics that would ensure a large number of the installs.

Software bundles and deceptive ads are perfect choices for browser hijackers and similar potentially unwanted programs. Bundled software is often placed on various third-party websites that use freeware as the main monetization method, and deceptive ads can trick users into installing GameSearch voluntarily, even though they do now know much about its functionality in the first place.

Once installed on the system, GameSearch would alter web browser settings in order to deliver users sponsored search results. Most browser hijackers do not use their engines to deliver search results but rather employ established sources such as Yahoo or Bing (they use affiliate program). However, the results are not genuine, as the links placed at the top are ads – essentially, websites that paid to be there. This way, users' web browsing experience can be changed drastically, and some might not even realize that of that happening.

The only way to stop these activities is to remove GameSearch hijacker from the computer, as the settings changed by the PUP will remain unchanged, and users will have to face inaccurate search results, suffer from an increased amount of advertisements, and end up being tracked in the background.

GameSearch hijackGameSearch is a browser hijacker that insert sponsored links into search results

Speaking of data tracking, all browser hijackers, including GameSearch, use technologies like cookies or web beacons to collect information about users' online experiences and habits. In most cases, the following information is tracked:

  • IP address;
  • Location (if enabled via the mobile device);
  • Internet Service Provider (ISP);
  • Websites visited;
  • Duration of the visit;
  • Ads and links clicked;
  • Cookies, etc.

To stop the data tracking and other revert browser changes, you should perform a full GameSearch removal from the web browser. To do that, simply right-click on the extension and select uninstall. However, it is also important to check for other PUPs or malware, so you should perform a full system scan with powerful anti-virus software. If something is detected, eliminate unwanted apps and then fix virus damage with tools like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

PUP.Optional.SearchManager.BITSRST detection

PUP.Optional.SearchManager is a detection name for a number of potentially unwanted applications that belong to the search hijacker category. These unwanted apps typically come as a browser extension/add-on for Chromium or Chrome web browsers. In most cases, users can see the icon of the extension at the top-right corner of the browser window.

PUP.Optional.SearchManager.BITSRST can be downloaded from the official web store, users can also encounter advertisements on various gaming websites. These ads typically advertise the hijacker as a useful tool with particular functionality, for example:

Play hundreds of FREE online games

Step 1: Click “Continue”
Step 2: Click “Ad to Chrome”
Step 3: Enjoy!

Such an ad might sure sound promising, as users might be tempted to play games seemingly for free. However, a reputable anti-malware solution is installed on the system, the extension will be detected as PUP.Optional.SearchManager.BITSRST and the installation will be stopped, as it is a search hijacker in disguise.

GameSearch adsGameSearch can be installed after seeing an attractive ad on the internet

Prevent installation of potentially unwanted programs

Potentially unwanted applications such as browser hijackers can be extremely deceptive, as users might be tricked with attractive slogans or cleverly presented ads. In most cases, people are unaware that the browser extension or standalone application is a PUP, and install it due to its functionality. However, users can soon notice an increased number of ads across all web browsers, system slowdowns, browser redirects, and other issues that might be caused by an unwanted program.

In most cases, browser hijackers are relatively harmless, although they do harvest unnecessary amounts of information for marketing purposes and display ads that might be disruptive and prevent users from finding relevant information online. Therefore, it is best to avoid unwanted applications by being attentive online, mainly when searching for new apps to install. It is easy to do, especially if precautionary measures provided by experts[2] are followed.

Most PUPs are stored on less secure third-party websites that focus on freeware distribution. For this reason, you can reduce the risk of being infected by a great margin if you would pick official sources for your downloads. Nonetheless, even Google allows some browser hijackers on its web store, so being vigilant is important.

Before installing an app you know nothing about, you should read its reviews online – forum posts, blogs, and other information that can easily make you decide whether the program is secure. Once you are sure that the app is safe, you can proceed with the download, although keep in mind that optional components can be included within the installer. Thus, never rush through the installation steps, watch out for pre-ticked boxes, and always opt for Advanced settings instead of choosing Recommended ones.

Get rid of GameSearch browser hijacker quickly

GameSearch removal should not be that difficult, as already mentioned above. All you have to do is to right-click the extension on the web browser or visit chrome://extensions/ to get rid of it.

However, since browser hijackers often perform various changes within the web browser, the unwanted ads and redirects can still occur, even after you eliminate GameSearch virus from your Chrome browser.

Therefore, you can employ reputable anti-malware software which could remove GameSearch related settings and other data. Besides, scanning the device with a powerful security program would also allow you to check your device for such threats like trojans,[3] spyware, worms, viruses, and other invisible malicious software.

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 GameSearch, follow these steps:

Get rid of GameSearch from Windows systems

To get rid of potentially unwanted applications that could be installed along GameSearch on Windows, follow these steps:

  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 GameSearch and related programs
    Here, look for GameSearch 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 GameSearch 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 GameSearch from Mac OS X system

Users should perform the following actions if they want to eliminate adware and browser hijackers from their macOS computers:

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

Remove GameSearch from Applications folder:

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

Uninstall GameSearch 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 GameSearch 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, Google.com).
  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 GameSearch removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase GameSearch 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 GameSearch-related 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

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

Eliminate GameSearch from Google Chrome

In case intrusive ads remain after PUP elimination, reset Google Chrome as explained below:

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

Get rid of GameSearch 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 GameSearch 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 GameSearch, 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 GameSearch 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 reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. 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
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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