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Remove (Improved Instructions) - updated Aug 2016

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: System tools – a search engine which is misused by browser hijackers system tool

Questions about is a search engine[1] which might appear in your web browser if you install a program like TypingFanatic, ReadingFanatic, or another product of this company. However, this search engine appears due to a secret installation of a browser-hijacking app and modifies the homepage, new tab URL, and search section by setting them to Because of its ability to install secretly and modify browsers against the user's will, some people call this system tool virus.

Type System tool
Sub-type PUP
Symptoms Homepage, new tab URL, and search zone are set to 
Related to TypingFanatic, ReadingFanatic, and other similar programs
Annoying activities Can provide misleading search query results, can produce unwanted content, etc.
Distribution Through bundles or rogue Internet sites
Prevention Avoid using secondary installers, stay away from unrecognizable websites
Removal Install Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to delete the PUP

We have decided to take a closer look at this program and find out why computer users claim that this search engine did hijack their browsers without their knowledge. Furthermore, we have opened its Terms of Use document and Privacy Policy document as well, and we have discovered that it collects a certain type of data about computer user’s activity on the Internet. According to the developers of this search engine, search products can collect:

your IP address, your browser type and language, and other browser-related information, a time-stamp, the keyword query, search query text, search results clicked, pages viewed, search history” and similar information. According to them, we or these third-parties may use the collected information to provide advertisements of interest to you.

As we have tested the indicated search engine, we have noticed that it provides a significant number of sponsored search outcomes, which are marked as ads. You have to scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the actual search results on every individual results page. Such amount of promotional content can be annoying, especially if you are looking for certain information in a hurry. fake engine - a system tool which modifies the browser homepage, new tab URL, and search engine.

If you do not want to keep this search engine as default on your browser, you have to remove the application that has set it as your homepage. removal can be completed with a help of guidelines that are provided below or you can download and install a reliable anti-malware program such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to perform the elimination in a more effective way.

Moreover, you need to remove virus because it does not bring any true value for the user and only overloads your web browser with unwanted additional content. Nevertheless, this fake search engine can provide misleading search query results each time you search via the new engine. Avoid such annoying and unwanted activity by getting rid of the components from your computer and browser. PUP - an unwanted component which enters the system through "bundling".

Unwanted components can reach your computer very easily

According to IT researchers from[2], various system tools as search engines are a result of a browser hijacker installation. Such dubious components have more than one distribution technique. PUPs like this can spread through:

  • Bundles. You can get your browser homepage and search engine modified if you download and install a browser-hijacking app through a deceptive marketing method called “bundling”. PUPs often come together with regular programs and are permitted to install when users carelessly complete downloading and installing steps;
  • Rogue websites. There are many websites which you can find filled with dubious-looking content. Some of them might include various potentially unwanted programs[3] and their components which get installed into the system due to an accidental click on a questionable link.

Typically, dubious software suggestions are included within Default/Standard installation settings, and if you want to refuse to install additional apps, you have to opt them out via Custom/Advanced settings. Moreover, avoid visiting unknown websites and immediately eliminate those which you have accidentally entered.

Remove search engine - a search engine which appears in a browser due to an installation of a browser-hijacking app.

If you have encountered a new dubious search engine in your web browser and decided to remove virus permanently, you will need to perform some actions on your own. Go to your affected browser and eliminate all questionable browser extensions and plug-ins you manage to discover. However, if this sounds too complicated for you, you can also choose to perform the elimination automatically.

Proceed with the removal by using reliable anti-malware tools. You can choose from our suggested list or one that you are likely to use. Note that this method is way faster and more suitable for less-experienced users. However, after the elimination is completed, make sure you refresh all browsers that had the dubious component installed. 

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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Reimage Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
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, follow these steps:

Get rid of from Windows systems

Get rid of from Windows OS by following these steps:

  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 and related programs
    Here, look for 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 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 '' 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.

Uninstall from Mac OS X system

If this system tool appeared in your Mac OS X, follow these instructions to complete the elimination:

  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 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'

Eliminate from Internet Explorer (IE)

Internet Explorer can be cleaned by performing this guide:

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Delete from Microsoft Edge

Eliminate all PUP-added components such as dubious browser extensions and plug-ins from your Microsoft Edge web browser:

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Follow these instructions to clean Firefox:

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

Erase from Google Chrome

According to research, Google Chrome is the most commonly used browser which increases the risk of attempts made on this web browser. If it got hijacked, follow this guide:

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

Get rid of from Safari

Eliminate all unwanted content from Safari with the help of these steps:

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

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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  1. Sofy says:
    August 2nd, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I could not remove this with my antivirus program. The one you recommend worked well and removed the virus. Thanks for the help.

  2. Katkov says:
    August 3rd, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Thanks, deleted this in like 5 minutes. I dont want to use this search engine ever again.

  3. Serpentine says:
    August 3rd, 2016 at 8:50 am

    These instructions seem easy, but when I tried to delete it, I couldnt. why 🙁

  4. sNZ89 says:
    August 3rd, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I found it hard to delete, too; finally, i just used an automatic tool to remove it. believe me – it is waaaay easier than trying to delete it manually!

  5. Vaden says:
    March 23rd, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    in safari go to preferences and click on the extensions tab and you will find the one click uninstall for

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