Gateway-search.net browser hijacker (virus) - Free Guide

Gateway-search.net browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is Gateway-search.net browser hijacker?

Gateway-search.net is a useless extension that hijacks the browser by changing the settings

Gateway-search.netGateway-search.net changes the homepage to a non-functional search page

Gateway-search.net is a browser hijacker that changes the main settings, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. It can also cause an increased amount of commercial content, like pop-ups, banners, and redirects. Crooks often use rogue advertising networks so people can end up on pages that use social engineering techniques to trick them into providing personal information, downloading PUPs (potentially unwanted programs),[1] and malware.

NAME Gateway-search.net
TYPE Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program
SYMPTOMS The main settings of the browser get changed, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine
DISTRIBUTION Shady websites, deceptive ads, software bundling, web stores
DANGERS The extension may lead to dangerous websites; display misinformation, inaccurate search results; track browsing, and collect data
ELIMINATION Remove the extension by going to your browser settings
FURTHER STEPS Use ReimageIntego to fix any remaining damage and optimize the machine

Distribution methods

Gateway-search.net hijacker can appear in the browser after visiting shady websites, clicking on random links and buttons. Even though Google said it would get rid of fake “Download” and “Play” buttons, they still exist. There are also bogus “Downloader” pages that trick people into installing applications that cause erratic behavior.

We always recommend our readers to use only official web stores. Apps that get listed there, go through an extensive review process. However, you should still do your research – read the reviews, look at the ratings and the number of users. It is best to choose those extensions that have plenty of positive feedback and thousands of users.

You should also stay away from freeware[2] distribution, peer-to-peer file-sharing platforms, and torrent websites as they are unregulated. You can never know if the software you want to install is safe to use. Fraudsters can disguise adware[3] as “handy” tools so users would not suspect a thing.

The dangers of hijacking

By having the search engine changed, users have to get used to the new layout and results against their will. The applications can also track the user activity – IP address, geolocation, websites they visit, links they click on, and things they purchase online.

This can all be done with the help of tracking technologies like cookies.[4] They can later be sold to advertising networks or other third parties. That is why security experts recommend clearing them regularly. Because most of the time people forget about this task or do not care about it, there is a maintenance tool, like ReimageIntego that can do it automatically.

This powerful software can clear your browsers with a click of a button, as well as fix various system errors, corrupted files, and registry issues which is especially helpful after a virus infection.

Gateway-search.net browser hijackerGateway-search.net may collect data about your browsing activities

Remove the unwanted extension

You can remove browser add-ons by going to your settings. Find the list of extensions installed in your browser and remove the Gateway-search.net. Follow the guide below for instructions:

Google Chrome

  • Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  • In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

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 extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

MS Edge (Chromium)

  • Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  • Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Mozilla Firefox

  • Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  • Select Add-ons.
  • In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Safari

  • Click Safari > Preferences…
  • In the new window, pick Extensions.
  • Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Potentially unwanted programs

Sometimes removing only the extension is ineffective, and users still continue to experience unwanted symptoms. In that case, you will probably have to scan your machine for adware which is a program that hides in the background of the machine and generates commercial content. If you have it, simply removing the add-on will not be enough, and the settings will keep changing until you completely eliminate it from your machine.

One of the most common ways that these kinds of PUAs are spread is through freeware installation sites. The method is known as software bundling and is very effective as most people rush through the installation process and skip all the steps. If you want to avoid that in the future, it is important to be present during the installation.

Always choose “Custom” or “Advanced” installation methods, read the privacy policy and terms of use to find out what information will be collected and what the application will be allowed to do in your system. The most important part is to check the file list and untick the boxes next to any items that you think are suspicious or unrelated.

Scan the machine for adware

The program that is causing the erratic behavior of the browser could have any name or icon, as crooks often disguise them as “handy” programs. If you are not sure what to do and you do not want to risk deleting the wrong files, we suggest using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes anti-malware tools that will scan your machine, eliminate it, and prevent such infections in the future by giving you a warning before a PUP can make any changes.

If manual removal is what you still prefer, we have instructions for Windows and Mac machines:

Windows 10/8:

  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 the entry of the 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

Windows 7/XP:

  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.

Mac:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all 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 an unwanted app, 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 and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files.Uninstall from Mac 2
Offer
do it now!
Download
Reimage Happiness
Guarantee
Download
Intego Happiness
Guarantee
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix 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.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

If this free guide helped you and you are satisfied with our service, please consider making a donation to keep this service alive. Even a smallest amount will be appreciated.

Contact Olivia Morelli
About the company Esolutions

References