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Remove (Removal Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser Hijackers is a homepage address that is set on the installed web browsers as soon as the potentially unwanted program from  QxSearch is installed by QxSearch Inc. is a potentially unwanted program that specializes in a full takeover of the installed web browsers. Unlike genuine applications, this browser hijacker is usually installed without asking for users' permission and initiates settings changes on Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and other browsers. This way, the search engine is replaced by a customized one, and the homepage, as well as the new tab address, is swapped to

Upon typing and looking for a search query, users are then redirected to hxxps://, where they can see multiple sponsored links at the top instead of organic search results that other engines like or would present. Additionally, is known to gather several types of information about users' web browsing habits to spam them with targeted ads.[1]

Type Browser hijacker
Category Potentially unwanted program
Developer QxSearch Inc.
Installation Users typically install a potentially unwanted program via bundles software packages without realizing it. In other cases, the app may be installed deliberately without fully knowing its functionality
  • New tab address, homepage, and search engine are set to
  • Search results are littered with sponsored links that may not always be accurate or even safe
  • Increased amount of ads on all sites that you visit
  • Slow operation of the web browser
  • Additional browser extensions or applications installed on the machine without permission (this is due to software bundling, as multiple apps may be deceptively offered within one installer)
Risks Users may be led to potentially dangerous sites that incorporate phishing, scam or other deceptive techniques in order to acquire their personal information or make them install bogus applications
Detections Virus Total report shows that one engine marks the site as “Phishing”
Termination  Browser hijackers are relatively easy to remove – simply follow our guide below this article; nevertheless, it is always recommended to scan your machine with anti-malware software (such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego) to make sure that no other malicious software is present does not only influence which websites users visit but may also lead them to places that are deemed inappropriate or even dangerous from a security point of view (scam, phishing). Therefore, it is better to get rid of the potentially unwanted program developed by QxSearch Inc. and revert the web browser modifications.

As a general rule, browser hijackers are not considered to be a major security threat, so calling the PUP “ virus” is quite a bit of an exaggeration (viruses infect internal OS files and propagate further that way, hijackers do not possess such functions).[2] However, as users' online complaints and security scandals that relate to high-profile organizations piling crapware into brand new laptops[3] show, unwanted programs may also be a huge cause of concern.

QxSearch, the developer of the browser hijacker has other multiple PUP releases, including:

Such companies are leading a successful business, all by installing unwanted applications on unsuspecting users' computers and exposing them to sponsored content. Nevertheless, users sometimes may struggle with removal, as not many are happy with web browser changes that result in web surfing difficulties. is a website that gets established on the hijacked web browsers as soon as the potentially unwanted program is installed

The main problem with browser hijackers like is that their usability and benefits are highly questionable, as reputable search engines can do the job much better, without interrupting web browsing activities with ads and, while both parties collect browsing data, high-profile companies like Google can be trusted with it.

To remove hijack, you will have to locate the unwanted program that is located on your Windows or Mac computer and uninstall it. Check out the instructions below. If you are still having trouble, you can get rid of the unwanted app with the help of security software such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Watch out for optional components inserted into the installation wizards

In most of the cases, users are exposed to deceptive behavior of software installers when they download them from third-party websites. While many sites that host applications do have certain security procedures in order to prevent malware from being distributed on their sites, it does not mean that they do not try to insert and adware or a browser hijacker into your machine – and they do it in a manner that is not considered fair.

A lot of times, software installers are filled with optional installs, and the developers or third-party sites try to hide them from users' eyes deliberately. Of course, a major role is also played by users as well, as they are the ones that do not look at the installation process carefully. However, software bundling practices are long known to be unfair and also sometimes result in adware, other PUP, or even malware installation (the latter is particularly relevant for sites that host pirated software).

Security experts from[4] advise users to be vigilant and spot unfair marketing practices:

  • If the app is available on official stores, always opt for it instead of third-parties' hosted version;
  • Check if Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy and other relevant documents are provided;
  • Before installing the application, make sure it is not deceptive – check out the comments or reviews online;
  • During the installation, watch out for pre-ticked boxes, file print text, misleading button placements, etc.
  • When prompted, always select Advanced or Custom installation settings and get rid of optional programs. sponsored search displays multiple sponsored links at the top of search results

Uninstall hijacker from your system for a better browsing experience

If you are looking for removal options, you cant to the right place. Luckily, browser hijackers are relatively easy to terminate in most of the cases. The main problem inexperienced users may encounter is that they might not know which app is related to the hijack. Nevertheless, if you are well aware of which application does not belong on your computer, you can check our uninstallation guide below.

You can also try to remove with security software. Besides, this method will assure you that your computer is clear from much more serious infections such as Trojans, rootkits, RATs, cryptojackers, and other malware. Note that you should perform a full browser reset after you eliminate the unwanted app, as the hijack may come back otherwise.

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:

Erase from Windows systems

To get rid of potentially unwanted programs on Windows, you should enter the installed program list as follows:

  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.

Get rid of from Mac OS X system

If you have been struggling with browser hijackers on Mac, follow these steps:

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

Delete 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 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

Eliminate 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 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)

As soon as you remove, make sure you reset Mozilla 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

Uninstall 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 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

Erase 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 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

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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