Severity scale:  
  (8/100)

Remove Iiiu.xyz (Removal Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Iiiu.xyz is a homepage address that is set on the installed web browsers as soon as the potentially unwanted program from  QxSearch is installed

Iiiu.xyz by QxSearch Inc.

Iiiu.xyz 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 Iiiu.xyz.

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

Name Iiiu.xyz
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
Symptoms
  • New tab address, homepage, and search engine are set to Iiiu.xyz
  • 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 ) to make sure that no other malicious software is present 

Iiiu.xyz 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 “Iiiu.xyz 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 Iiiu.xyz 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 Iiiu.xyz removal, as not many are happy with web browser changes that result in web surfing difficulties.

Iiiu.xyz hijack
Iiiu.xyz 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 Iiiu.xyz 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 Iiiu.xyz 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 .

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 lesvirus.fr[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.

Iiiu.xyz sponsored search results
Iiiu.xyz displays multiple sponsored links at the top of search results

Uninstall Iiiu.xyz hijacker from your system for a better browsing experience

If you are looking for Iiiu.xyz 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 Iiiu.xyz 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 Iiiu.xyz 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 . 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 Reimage Cleaner, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Reimage Cleaner has a free limited scanner. Reimage Reimage Cleaner 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 Reimage Cleaner, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Iiiu.xyz, follow these steps:

Erase Iiiu.xyz 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 Iiiu.xyz and related programs
    Here, look for Iiiu.xyz 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 Iiiu.xyz 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.

Get rid of Iiiu.xyz from Mac OS X system

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

  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 Iiiu.xyz 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'

Delete Iiiu.xyz from Internet Explorer (IE)

  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 Iiiu.xyz 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 Iiiu.xyz removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Eliminate Iiiu.xyz from Microsoft Edge

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, Iiiu.xyz should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Remove Iiiu.xyz from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

As soon as you remove Iiiu.xyz, 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 Iiiu.xyz 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 Iiiu.xyz removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Uninstall Iiiu.xyz 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 Iiiu.xyz 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 Iiiu.xyz removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

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

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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