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Remove Home.searchfreerecipes.com virus (Removal Instructions) - Sep 2017 update

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser hijacker

SearchFreeRecipes – funny site with hidden redirects

The example of Home.searchfreerecipes.com

Home.searchfreerecipes.com may seem to you like a great option to connect your two interests – cooking and browsing the web. When visiting, you can clearly see links to cooking–oriented domains, Facebook, Buzzfeed and similar places.

Initially, it might seem interesting. However, soon you can start noticing redirects to sponsored domains, strange ads and similar inconvenineces.

As a result, Home.searchfreerecipes.com was labeled as a potentially unwanted application and a browser hijacker. It is unlikely to occupy your browser without your approval, but, while using it, you might notice annoying outcomes:

  • redirects to other sites other than your initial request;
  • new tabs opening from time to time;
  • regularly popping up ads;[1]
  • continuous slow downs.

Note that the latter phenomenon might eventually become a true headache during your browsing sessions. If you tend to click on intriguing headlines, such habit might lead you to the site which is infected with virtual threats. 

Furthermore, you may dislike the fact that the domain collects certain information about online browsing habits and shares them with third parties. Such virtual threats are typically interested in people's search terms, clicked links, ads that they find interesting, computer-related information. (IT address, location, etc.) If you value your privacy, you should initiate Search Free Recipes removal. Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego does it for you faster.

The developer does not act alone –  ElementSoft SL has already joined forces other PUPs

While the site may seem practical, further analysis has revealed that the hijacker belongs to a wider network of BlpSearch search tool network. Furthermore, this domain seems to have its counterpart — home.srchfreerecipes.com. It is an identical search tool presenting the same third party links.

What is more, it seems that the company aims to compete with other companies’ releasing questionable PUP-like programs like Polarity technologies and Aztec Media. It seems that ElementSoft SL applies the same technique. For instance, its another product, home.searchfreehoroscope.com, which offers horoscopes as additional service to browsing.
However, note that either of the tools tends to collect non-personal information which is then transferred to partner companies:[2]

Such information is needed by third-party advertising networks and advertisers who help deliver relevant ads when you are on a web page. We only share anonymized or aggregated information and your Search Data with them to improve the relevancy of the ads displayed to you(…)

Such information is highly valued as it helps them create more relevant ads. On the other hand, excessive advertising has never been a pleasant phenomenon. However, it seems that it can also cause home.searchfreerecipes.com redirect problem which might lead you to websites containing more vulnerabilities. The screenshot of Home.searchfreerecipes.comHome.searchfreerecipes.com is only one multiple recently released questionable tools of ElementSoft SL.

Distribution of Search Free Recipes virus

Since this company seems to divert to the same distribution strategy, you may notice its search tools promoted in affiliated sites. Search Free Recipes can be found in cooking-related domains hijack is unlikely to happen as it is still rarely promoted as an add-on to freeware.

However, “bundling” PUPs to free applications is a common practice among developers of unwanted applications. Note that even if carelessly installing Skype or Java might lead you to install unnecessary software. Thus, make a habit to choose “Custom” settings rather than “Basic.” Now let us discuss options to remove home.searchfreerecipes.com.

Uninstall Home.searchfreerecipes.com

This browser infection does not seem to behave aggressively. It does not urge you to install any specific software. Thus, you will be excluded of the burden to uninstall the app. Nonetheless, it is still recommended to remove SearchFreeRecipes virus elements. You can do it manually or automatically.

The tool will also help you deal with more elaborate infections. You can perform manual Home.searchfreerecipes.com removal as well. Besides Internet Explorer, Chrome and Microsoft Edge, Firefox and Safari users will find the respective guides. Pay attention to every detail. Note that the site does not solely target English users, but, for instance, might appear in Bulgarian sites[3] too.

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 Home.searchfreerecipes.com virus, follow these steps:

Get rid of Home.searchfreerecipes.com from Windows systems

To uninstall SearchFreeRecipes from Windows, use the following guide. Make sure you remove all entries that belong to ElementSoft SL, Polarity technologies and Aztec Media.

  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 Home.searchfreerecipes.com and related programs
    Here, look for Home.searchfreerecipes.com 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 Home.searchfreerecipes.com 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 Home.searchfreerecipes.com 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 Home.searchfreerecipes.com 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'

Remove Home.searchfreerecipes.com 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 Home.searchfreerecipes.com 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 Home.searchfreerecipes.com removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase Home.searchfreerecipes.com 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 Home.searchfreerecipes.com-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

Uninstall Home.searchfreerecipes.com 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 Home.searchfreerecipes.com 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 Home.searchfreerecipes.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate Home.searchfreerecipes.com from Google Chrome

  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 Home.searchfreerecipes.com 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 Home.searchfreerecipes.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Get rid of Home.searchfreerecipes.com from Safari

To fix Safari web browser, delete all Search free recipes-related components. You can also reset your web browser.

  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 Home.searchfreerecipes.com 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 Home.searchfreerecipes.com, 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 Home.searchfreerecipes.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

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

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