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Remove GameSearch (Free Instructions) - Removal Guide

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker

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 ReimageIntego 

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 ReimageIntego.

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 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 Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
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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 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:

To remove GameSearch from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  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 entries related to GameSearch (or any other recently installed 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.

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)

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 plugins that are related to GameSearch and click Remove.Remove extensions from 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

In case GameSearch did not get removed after following the instructions above, 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 – this should complete GameSearch removal.Reset Firefox 2

Eliminate GameSearch from Google Chrome

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

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 GameSearch 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

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the GameSearch-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 to complete GameSearch removal.Reset Chrome 2

Get rid of GameSearch from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to GameSearch 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 GameSearch 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.

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

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To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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