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GamesFriendly Search. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker

GamesFriendly Search – a browser hijacker which promises flawless gaming experience

Example of gamesFriendly Search virus

GamesFriendly Search is a Google Chrome extension,[1] claiming to help users find different types of online games. However, after being added to the system, it can alter the start page, the default search engine and similar settings without their approval. As a result, it has been categorized as a browser hijacker and included in the database of several antiviruses.

Being produced by friendlyappz.com, GamesFriendly Search virus is almost identical to MusicFriendly Search, MoviesFriendly Search, and similar extensions. Unfortunately, none of these apps are beneficial for users. They are created for making money for the developers.

Immediately after GamesFriendly virus infiltrates the system, it sets the homepage and the default search engine to eanswers.com. Then, it drops browser helper objects to prevent these changes from being eliminated. Therefore, we recommend using updated security software to remove GamesFriendly Search from your machine as soon as possible. To do so, you can use Reimage.

After GamesFriendlySearch hijack, users might notice that their machine behavior changed significantly and various suspicious activities are taking place, for instance:

  • Homepage, search engine, and new tab URL are set to play.eanswers.com. It might seem like an insignificant change at the start, but the effects become evident shortly. After placing these configurations, GamesFriendlySearch will not allow you to reset the settings to default.
  • Constant intrusive ads are delivered to your browser, even if you are currently not using it.
  • Suspicious GamesFriendlySearch redirect tendencies. The hijacker might redirect to commercial, phishing[2] or malware-related website where users can suffer from cyber criminals.
  • System slowdowns.
  • Continuously freezing and crashing web browser.

As you can see, GamesFriendlySearch virus can cause numerous browsing-related problems. However, it might pose a risk to your privacy as well. The privacy policy tells that this browser add-on can track information about users and share it with third-parties.

Possible threats to your computer and privacy should motivate you to remove GamesFriendlySearch extension from the browser. However, uninstalling it from Chrome is not enough. You should also look up for other potentially unwanted components and their associated files.

However, you can speed up this procedure with anti-malware software like Reimage. It can quickly complete GamesFriendlySearch removal, and you will need just to reset affected web browser and set your preferred startup page and search engine.

Direct downloads are not the main distribution method of the hijacker

This browser add-on is available on the official developer's website and Google Play Store. However, users rarely decide to install it themselves. Most of the time, it sneaks into the system by taking advantage of bad user’s habits.

Researchers from the viruset.no[3] note that too many users still rely on Standard/Quick/Recommended installers which do not openly disclose about third-party apps that might be attached near the primary program. Thus, in this way PUPs manage to infiltrate the system.

To avoid infiltration of unwanted apps, follow these tips when installing new software the next time:

  • Always use Advanced/Custom settings while using download manager
  • Read through terms and conditions promptly
  • Make sure to opt out of any unwanted programs

Delete GamesFriendly Search virus and get back access to your browser

To remove gamesFriendly Search from Chrome, you have to use anti-malware software or do it manually. However, if you are not an experienced user, you should not choose the latter removal option. You might leave some of the hijacker-related entries and get your browser hijacked again.

If you need help with manual gamesFriendly Search removal, please read our guide below. Please be aware that following each step carefully is crucial, as reinfection might occur right after a browser restart. However, if it happens, we suggest deleting hijacker’s leftovers with an anti-spyware program.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Alternate Software
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To remove gamesFriendly Search, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall gamesFriendly Search from Windows systems

To remove gamesFriendly Search entirely, you have to investigate the system and uninstall questionable programs that might be related to it.

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

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of gamesFriendly Search from Mac OS X system

Before uninstalling malicious components from Google Chrome, look up for hijacker-related entries in the system:

  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 gamesFriendly 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'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase gamesFriendly 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 gamesFriendly 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 gamesFriendly Search removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete gamesFriendly 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, gamesFriendly Search should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate gamesFriendly 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 gamesFriendly 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 gamesFriendly Search removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove gamesFriendly Search from Google Chrome

Uninstall gamesFriendly Search extension from Chrome, as well as othe questionable add-ons. You should reset the browser too. This guide will help you:

  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 gamesFriendly 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 gamesFriendly Search removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall gamesFriendly 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 gamesFriendly 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 gamesFriendly 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 gamesFriendly Search removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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