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Remove (Virus Removal Guide) - updated Jun 2020

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser Hijackers is a Mindspark LLC browser hijacker that can settle down on any web browser and start delivering sponsored content system - a search engine which might provide false search query results. is a search engine[1] which spreads bundled with untrustworthy Mindspark Interactive Network, Inc. and APN, LLC apps, including TypingFanatic, ReadingFanatic, MyAudioTab Toolbar, MyDocsHere Toolbar, and tens of others. 

The Mindspark company has been considered as a virus as it has been developing potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) for many years and spreading them bundled with freeware. Most of its products are set to promote the search provider. Unfortunately, the latter may alter web browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Opera, etc.) without requiring for user's permission properly. 

Questions about

Because of its ability to install secretly and modify browsers against the user's will, some people call this system tool virus. Nevertheless, it does not work as a malicious cyber infection. Its primary function is to boost traffic to the sites of the affiliate parties and, for that, it displays preselected search results and generates intrusive third-party ads. 

Previously knew as
Type Browser hijacker
Sub-type Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP)
Symptoms Homepage, new tab URL, and search zone are set to It may interchanged by or
Related to TypingFanatic, ReadingFanatic, Total recipe search, DictionaryBoss Toolbar, Internet Speed Tracker, EasyPDFCombine Toolbar, HowToSimplified, EasyHomeDecorating Toolbar, MyAudioTab Toolbar, MyDocsHere Toolbar, EasyPDFcombine, From Doc to PDF, EasyHomeDecorating, PDFconverterHQ, MergeDocsNow, HowToSimplified, GardeningEnthusiast, MapsGalaxy, MyScrapNook, CryptoPriceSearch, Your Template Finder, TaxInfoHelp, BitcoinPriceSearch, GetPoliticalNews, My Forms Finder, TaxCenterNow, StudyHQ, HoroscopeBuddy, ConvertersNow, MyEasyLotto, HolidayPhotoEdit, AstrologySearcher, ConvertDocsOnline, FormFetcherPro, EasyPackageTracker, GetFlightInfo, SimplePictureEdit, MyTransitGuide, FileConvertOnline, CalendarSpark, FileShareFanatic, EasyDirectionsFinder, etc. 
Annoying activities It can provide misleading search query results, can produce unwanted content, generate sponsored ads, initiates redirects, etc.
Distribution Through bundles or rogue Internet sites
Prevention Avoid using secondary installers, stay away from unrecognizable websites
Removal PUPs can be eliminated with a proper anti-malware tool or manually examining the apps installed on the machine. 
Maintenance  Regardless of which removal method is selected, the system requires additional maintenance. Unwanted malware remnants from Windows registries and other directories can be deleted with ReimageIntego tool

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 - 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 ReimageIntego 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. - an unwanted component which enters the system through "bundling".

The activity of the related apps has increased in 2020

Mindspark’s apps have been most actively distributed within 2016 and 2018. The year 2019 has been seen as a decrease in the release of browser hijackers owned by this company for unknown reasons.

Nevertheless, people started reporting virus attacks pointing out the newly released browser-hijacking applications. While most of them are non-malicious, experts recommend staying away from them due to misleading behavior and potentially dangerous domains that they may be promoted. site promoted sponsored Ask search is a rogue site that seeks to promote the content of the affiliate parties

Besides, each of the Mindspark’s apps has an in-built set of cookies and other tracking software that is aimed at recording users’ browsing activity logs. Note that these PUPs are often distributed via Chrome Web Store, Google Play Store, or other legitimate sources, including professional-looking official websites. At the moment, redirects are most actively triggered by the following toolbars:

MyAudioTab Toolbar

MyAudioTab is one of the latest Mindspark’s toolbars that is used for spreading browser hijacker. People can fall for downloading this browser toolbar believing that it will convert AIFF and WAV files to MP3 or MP3 files to OGG for free. Besides, it claims to provide users with the latest music news and videos. can be set by MyAudioTab hijacker spreads alongside MyAudioTab toolbar

It’s not clear whether the service the MyAudioTab redirect virus triggers is bogus. It may work. However, the toolbar initiates a handful of additional activities, including:

  • alters web browser’s settings without requiring permission properly;
  • can create artificial web traffic by presenting users with the sponsored content;
  • can generate sponsored ads during web browsing, which can reroute users to doubtful websites;
  • may cause difficulties when trying to remove MyAudioTab toolbar from Chrome and other browsers;
  • can use tracking cookies in order to harvest users’ IP addresses, search queries, websites visited, clicks, geolocation, and similar personally non-identifiable details.

Although it's non-malicious, MyAudioTab removal is the first thing that you should take care of if the web browser started redirects to highly questionable sites. 

MyDocsHere Toolbar

MyDocsHere by Mindspark LLC is yet another intrusive browser hijacker that has been found circulating on various freeware download sites as a stand-alone installer and secondary freeware installer. The developers employ tricky tactics to increase the downloads, i.e. they represent it as a “Free “Work From Home” Office Tool”,  so having in mind the constraints due to Coronavirus pandemic, many people keep looking for tools to improve their work from home experience. relationship with MyDocsHereMyDocsHere is a Mindspark's toolbar that injects search without permission

However, we do not recommend installing this toolbar and believe in those who call it a MyDocsHere virus. The toolbar is basically used as an advertising platform, which is why it initiates various browser-based modifications and make people see the content that it wants them to see. 

Upon the success of the MyDocsHere toolbar injection into Chrome and other web browsers,,, or becomes a default start page and the sponsored Ask search delivers the results. In addition, you may notice unfamiliar toolbars injected, extensions enabled, and other features that you haven't required. 

Despite being intrusive, the MyDocsHere removal is highly recommended as people may get exposed to intrusive third-party content. As pointed out in the EULA[2]

The Ask Apps Products may integrate, be integrated into, bundled, or be provided in connection with third-party services, feeds and/or content. If you are installing an Ask Apps Product that includes third party services and third party content, such services and content are subject to such third party's terms of services and privacy policies, which may be found on the relevant Third Party Partner's website. Ask Apps Products may provide access to search results or other links to Third Party Partner websites or resources. 

The infiltration of PUPs may be the consequence of reckless freeware installation

According to IT researchers from[3], 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[4] 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.

Get rid of search site and the associated applications search engine

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 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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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:

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

Remove from Applications folder:

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

Eliminate from Internet Explorer (IE)

Internet Explorer can be cleaned by performing this guide:

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 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,
  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 removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete from Microsoft Edge

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

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 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

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

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
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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