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Remove Hoho Search virus (Improved Instructions) - updated Jan 2021

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Stealing programs

All the things wrong with Hoho Search engine

Hoho Search virus is a browser hijacker that infiltrates PCs with an intention to promote sponsored third-party content [1] and bring advertising profit to its creators. The virus is not new. It has been first spotted at the beginning of the year 2016 and was quickly deemed a potentially unwanted program [2] since it started appearing on the users’ browsers against their will. According to the online statistics, the site receives a traffic of around 56,798 unique users a day, most of it originating from countries like India and Indonesia [3]. With such traffic, the site holders can expect advertising revenue of around 454 USD a day. Nevertheless, looking at the site’s distribution strategies and a strong prevalence of Hoho Search redirect issue it is absolutely obvious that these shady advertisers are aiming for the maximum profit even if this involves working against the user. Unfortunately, this is mostly what this browser hijacker does, so it is not surprising why so many users are inquiring about the Hoho Search removal tool. Though some sites may offer you to obtain such a utility, don’t get fooled. No specialized hijacker extermination program exists. Instead, your whole computer system must be scanned with universal virus-detections software, say ReimageIntego, which locates all of the scattered malicious components and deletes them automatically. Then you can proceed by resetting the browser and finally getting rid of the last bits of the Hohosearch malware.

Hoho Search hijack begins with the PUP’s stealthy arrival on the system. The virus implements itself on Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browsers and after settling in, immediately replaces their default search engines with the bogus one and the ad generating may begin. As we have already mentioned, redirects to the sponsored websites is a common problem to experience while browsing through Hohosearch results. These redirects may be utilized by randomly appearing pop-ups, links, banners and similar items used for advertising [4]. What is most worrying, though, is that these ads are presented in a context familiar to the users — custom Google search [5]. Hence, the potentially dangerous links may look completely reliable and safe. Nevertheless, the fact that you are accessing Google results after being redirected through some shady website should not be ignored. You never know what dangers may lie ahead. So, why not remove Hoho Search and use the legitimate search engine instead?

Questions about Hoho Search virus

A screenshot of the Hoho Search virus websitePreviously, Hoho Search included links to popular social networks and domains, now the developers seem to have changed their tactics.

Protection against hijackers: is it possible?

Protecting your computer against browser hijackers like Hoho Search does not differ from protecting your PC against any other viruses. You have to obtain a reputable antivirus system and be careful not to click on suspicious links, software updates or ads while browsing online. However, what is typical to the hijackers is that they spread in software bundles, together with completely legitimate software. The tricky part is that antivirus software is not always capable of detecting the bundled programs, so you have to take the matter into your own hands. To make sure that your downloaded software packages do not contain malicious components like Hoho Search, choose the “Advanced” installation mode in the program setup. In the following windows, opt out the unnecessary or suspicious programs and proceed with the installation of the desired software only.

Strategies of Hoho Search removal:

In case you are wondering whether you will manage to uninstall Hoho Search virus or not, we can assure you that it is fairly easy. There are two ways you can do it. You can either scan your computer with a reliable antivirus software and remove the threat automatically, or you can remove Hoho Search yourself. Either method you go for will require professional assistance. If you chose to delete the virus automatically, make sure you choose only the professional tools which are capable of eliminating the virus effectively. If you opt for the manual Hoho Search removal, you should closely follow the instructions provided at the end of this article. If you are having any difficulties removing the virus, please contact us and we will try to help.

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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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 Hoho Search virus, follow these steps:

Uninstall Hoho Search from Windows systems

Though the official virus site claims that the program can be easily uninstalled via any program manager, the user reports beg the differ. Thus, we have provided instructions below which will help you eliminate the program from the computer successfully. Make sure you remove all entries of Hohosearch.

To remove Hoho Search virus 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 Hoho Search virus (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.

Remove Hoho Search from Mac OS X system

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

Remove Hoho Search virus from Applications folder:

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

Eliminate Hoho Search 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 Hoho Search virus 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 Hoho Search virus removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase Hoho Search 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 Hoho Search virus-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

Delete Hoho Search from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Mozilla Firefox is one of the unlucky browsers that the Hoho Search hijacker attacks. Below, we explain how to reset the browser after the virus infiltration and regain the control. Nevertheless, you should also remember to check your browser for additional extensions or add-ons before the reset. In case suspicious add-ons from unknown developers emerge, eliminate it unhesitatingly.

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 Hoho Search virus and click Remove.Remove extensions from 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

In case Hoho Search virus 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 Hoho Search virus removal.Reset Firefox 2

Get rid of Hoho Search from Google Chrome

You can get back the control of your Google Chrome browser fully, only after resetting the browser and rolling back the settings that the virus has altered. But you should not forget to search your browser for potentially dangerous add-ons and browser helper objects that the Hohosearch virus may have installed. After you delete them you can then reset the browser.

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 Hoho Search virus 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

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the Hoho Search virus-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 Hoho Search virus removal.Reset Chrome 2

Uninstall Hoho Search 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 Hoho Search virus 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 Hoho Search 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.

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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References
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  1. Herman Loop says:
    May 27th, 2016 at 1:18 am

    I managed to remove the threat pretty easy. The instructions were clear and comprehensive, thanks!

  2. Alister Grey says:
    May 27th, 2016 at 1:19 am

    It looks like a nice addition to your browser, too bad its fake

  3. leo says:
    October 26th, 2016 at 11:17 am

    nice article further more for chrome
    it is because your pc has any backdoor services installed so just identify unknown services and delete them and this malware set chrome default search engine with any unknown search engine so delete this search engine from chrome and change your desire search engine

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