Severity scale:  
  (11/100)

Remove Greatsearch.org virus (Improved Instructions) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Should I trust Greatsearch.org search?

Greatsearch.org virus does not offer such a great search function, believe us. In fact, this potentially unwanted program (PUP) has been ranked as a browser hijacker[1], which means that it is that kind of program that changes your homepage with a suspicious search engine that serves paid results instead of organic ones[2]. If GreatSearch Homepage hijacked Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and other browsers, it means that you’re in trouble. However, usually the problem can be fixed by performing a single system scan using an up-to-date anti-spyware or anti-malware program like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. It can be a little hard to remove Greatsearch.org redirect virus manually, but if you use instructions given below the article, it shouldn’t be a big problem to you.
Greatsearch.org virusResearcher shows sponsored ads incorporated in Greatsearch.org search results.

Questions about Greatsearch.org virus

First of all, after hijacking the computer system, this PUP employs tracking cookies[3] to record websites that the user visits, browser type, IP address, search queries and similar information. Although such information is not considered to be personally-identifiable[4], we still recommend you to avoid such PUPs that collect it because pieces of information such as your search queries can contain some identity-revealing details. Finally, we must add that the company shares aggregated data with third-party advertisers and content companies. As a result, you will start receiving third-party offers in the form of search results or even pop-up ads shortly, but we highly suggest you stay clear of them because you can never know what websites are trying to lure you into visiting them. There’s a chance to come across dangerous websites, too. We heartily suggest you stay away from sites that ask you to enter personal information or download something from them. Such sites are likely to be untrustworthy, so do no fall for their trickeries used to swindle sensitive data from you or convince you to install more spyware or malware on the system. As we said, if you noticed that your browsers act suspiciously and cause unwanted redirects to the indicated website, a full system scan is required to complete Greatsearch.org removal professionally.

How to avoid Greatsearch.org hijack?

Browser hijacking is a problem that many computer users are still unaware of. If you do not know how this technique works, you might get convinced to install programs you don’t want without noticing, too. To prevent PUPs from hijacking the computer silently, pay close attention to software setup settings every time you download something to your computer. Even legitimate software provides can try to trick you into installing bundled programs without allowing you to know, so stay alert at all times[5]. Software developers make money by including additional programs in their installers and presenting them as “recommended” ones, but do not let yourself be fooled – they’re marked as recommended only because they’re paid to do so. We highly recommend you to remove all checkmarks granting your permission to install additional software. In some cases, it can only be done via Custom/Advanced installation mode.

How can I block Greatsearch.org redirects?

If you are tired of continuous redirects that the Greatsearch.org virus forces you to experience, do not waste your valuable time and take actions to suspend the activity of it. We highly recommend using anti-malware software like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego for Greatsearch.org removal, however, you do not necessarily need to use an automatic malware removal program to get rid of the hijacker. You can also try to delete it manually using these guidelines:

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. 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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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove 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.

To remove Greatsearch.org virus, follow these steps:

Remove Greatsearch.org from Windows systems

First of all, you will need to find shady programs and browser extensions associated with Great Search homepage. To begin with, look for shady programs in the Programs and Features Panel and uninstall them according to these instructions. Do not forget to fix browser shortcuts afterward!

  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 Greatsearch.org and related programs
    Here, look for Greatsearch.org 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 Greatsearch.org 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.

Delete Greatsearch.org from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Greatsearch.org from Applications folder:

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

Get rid of Greatsearch.org 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 Greatsearch.org 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 Greatsearch.org removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Uninstall Greatsearch.org virus 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 Greatsearch.org-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

Eliminate Greatsearch.org 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 Greatsearch.org 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 Greatsearch.org removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase Greatsearch.org from Google Chrome

If Chrome browser repeatedly opens greatsearch.org without your request to do so, it means that Chrome browser has been hijacked. To fix the issue manually, find and remove all vague extensions from Chrome browser. One of them might be called GreatSearch or similarly.

  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 Greatsearch.org 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 Greatsearch.org removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Remove Greatsearch.org 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 Greatsearch.org 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 Greatsearch.org, 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 Greatsearch.org removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

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
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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References

  1. Janine says:
    March 31st, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    That search engine isnt great at all. word!

  2. formidable says:
    March 31st, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    how do such viruses manage to install themselves on computers without being noticed?????? i cannot believe it! it is so impudent!!!!!!

  3. Mina says:
    March 31st, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    i found this removal tutorial useful! I am so glad that someone dedicated some time to prepare these instructions. I can not afford anti-malware program; these instructions helped me to delete the infection without using it. 🙂 thanks.

  4. Fredo0y says:
    March 31st, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    I swear, this search engine is annoying as hell. you cant even use it. it starts pushing sponsored content in various ways – i do not recommend using it for your searches…

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