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GamesSearch.co. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser hijacker

GamesSearch.co is a browser hijacker that makes browsing the web an unbearable activity

Image of GamesSearch.co

GamesSearch.co is a domain that might become your default homepage, default search engine or new tab URL address after infiltration of the browser hijacker.[1] Security experts warn that this shady application can be spread bundled with any free program.

After the Gamessearch.co hijack, users might find unwanted changes in Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer which cannot be reverted. One of them is search redirects to Yahoo search result page via http://www.gamessearch.co/yhs/search?p= domain. Developers of the hijacker are most likely to participate in Yahoo affiliate program; however, you should not tolerate this activity.

The problem is that browser hijacker is a nasty application that can alter system and browser’s settings. For this reason, users cannot simply replace GamesSearch.co with a reliable search engine easily.

Gamessearch.co removal requires finding and uninstall all components related to this potentially unwanted program (PUP). It might be programs, browser extensions, plugins, browser helper objects and many other entries that might be residing on the system.

If you noticed GamesSearch set as your browser’s startup page, you should obtain a reputable anti-malware software and run a full system scan. Programs like Reimage will protect you from possible problems and dangers that can be caused by the browser hijacker.

Indeed, potentially unwanted applications are not dangerous itself. However, it might cause indirect harm by displaying third-party ads or redirecting to commercial websites. We want to stress out that cyber criminals might be exploiting browser hijackers for their needs.

You should be aware of Gamessearch.co redirect tendencies and avoid clicking ads or links that might be delivered by the hijacker. They might lead to infected, phishing[2] or tech support scam website. Therefore, your chances to let malware on the system or reveal personal information to criminals increase significantly.

Another reason to remove Gamessearch.co is possible data tracking activities. Potentially unwanted programs often can collect information related to your browsing history, visited websites, clicked ads, recent search queries, location, etc.

The aggregated information allows delivering targeted ads. According to marketing research, interest-based ads are more likely to receive user’s clicks. It means that authors of the GamesSearch can generate per-click-revenue.

As you can see, this search engine is useful only for the developers. For this reason, you should remove GamesSearch as soon as it hijacks your browser. Detailed removal guidelines are given at the end of the article.

Browser hijack might occur after incorrect freeware installation

Experts from NoVirus.uk[3] report that developers of PUP rely on bad users habits. The majority of people install software from unknown sources and do not pay attention to this procedure. They rely on “Recommended” settings without realizing that they might be installing not a single program, but a package full of PUPs.

Therefore, GamesSearch hijack may have occurred during the installation of one of the recent programs you downloaded from a P2P network or file-sharing website. However, you could have avoided this situation. All you had to do is to switch to “Advanced” settings and opt out all pre-selected “optional downloads.”

Remove GamesSearch virus from your machine

Depending on your computer skills and how much time you to dedicate to Gamessearch.co removal, you can choose either manual or automatic hijacker’s removal. At the end of the article, you can find detailed and illustrated manual removal guide. If it’s clear, do not hesitate and get rid of this PUP!

However, if you are looking for a quicker solution to remove gamessearch.co, you should take advantage of security software. You have to choose reliable anti-malware tool and run a full system scan with an updated program.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes 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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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove GamesSearch.co, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove GamesSearch.co from Windows systems

Follow these guidelines to eliminate GamesSearch from the computer:

  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 GamesSearch.co and related programs
    Here, look for GamesSearch.co 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 GamesSearch.co 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

Delete GamesSearch.co from Mac OS X 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 GamesSearch.co 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

Uninstall GamesSearch.co 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 GamesSearch.co 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 GamesSearch.co 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

Erase GamesSearch.co 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, GamesSearch.co should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of GamesSearch.co from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Some of Firefox extensions might be responsible for keeping your browser hijacked. Therefore, you have to look through installed extensions and reset the browser as shown below:

  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 GamesSearch.co 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 GamesSearch.co removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate GamesSearch.co from Google Chrome

Google Chrome reset will help to clean all suspicious components, such as browser extensions or tracking cookies, and set legitimate search engine instead of GameSearch.

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

Remove GamesSearch.co 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 GamesSearch.co 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 GamesSearch.co, 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 GamesSearch.co removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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