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Remove GamesSearch.co (Easy Removal Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Stealing programs

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 ReimageIntego 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.

The picture of GamesSearch.co virusGamesSearch.co is a browser hijacker that is actively being spread in freeware or shareware packages.

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 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 GamesSearch.co, follow these steps:

Remove GamesSearch.co from Windows systems

Follow these guidelines to eliminate GamesSearch from the computer:

To remove GamesSearch.co 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 GamesSearch.co (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.

Delete GamesSearch.co from Mac OS X system

Remove GamesSearch.co from Applications folder:

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

Uninstall GamesSearch.co 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 GamesSearch.co 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 GamesSearch.co removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase GamesSearch.co 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 GamesSearch.co-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

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the 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

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:

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 GamesSearch.co and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla 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

Reset Mozilla Firefox

In case GamesSearch.co 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 GamesSearch.co removal.Reset Firefox 2

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.

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 GamesSearch.co 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

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site like GamesSearch.co in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the GamesSearch.co-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 GamesSearch.co removal.Reset Chrome 2

Remove GamesSearch.co 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 GamesSearch.co 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 GamesSearch.co 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.

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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