Severity scale:  
  (12/100)

Remove Mao1.club (Free Guide) - Removal Instructions

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Mao1.club is the program that causes redirects to dubious websites and fills in-browser search results with advertisements instead of valuable results

Mao1.club

Mao1.club is the fake search engine that aims to trick people into interaction with shady pop-ups and websites by redirecting victims to malware pages. The site changes victims' browser settings and makes homepage, new tab and search engine set to its page, so all searches initiated on Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, or other browsers go to the ad-supported site. Instead of searching the internet via Google Search, this website delivers external links brought by Mao1.club search that also is known as Searchgg Custom Search.

All these results delivered by a hijack show irrelevant pages filled with in-text ads and hyperlinks. Many people claim that this issue, unfortunately, is not easily fixable. It is because potentially unwanted programs like this browser hijacker can install other applications and even change startup preferences or registry entries to ensure the persistence on the targeted machine. This is the reason why Mao1.club removal requires professional anti-malware tools. 

Although it seems that the hijack is not malicious, QxSearch is the company that releases various PUPs to the internet to redirect your traffic and make money. All these hijackers can appear on your screen, additionally to Mao1.club PUP:

Name Mao1.club
Type Browser hijacker[1]
Developer  QxSearch
Category Potentially unwanted program[2]
Symptoms Commercial content coming to the screen, redirects to suspicious pages, all in-browser searches delivering altered results
Purpose Redirect online traffic to sponsored sites
Main danger Tracks data and shares with third-party advertisers, might lead to privacy issues or even identity theft
Distribution Software bundles, promotional content, deceptive advertisements
Elimination Install anti-malware and remove Mao1.club. Try Reimage for system cleaning

Mao1.club virus is the cyber threat that belongs to a category of potentially unwanted programs. This type of intruder has a few features unifying all browser-based threats:

  • changed web browsers' homepage, new tab settings;
  • in-browser search provider set to Mao1.club;
  • modified preferences of the startup;
  • advertisements injected on pages they shouldn't appear;
  • pop-up ads, banners filling up the screen;
  • additional browser content installed without users permission or knowledge;
  • slow running machine and browser freezes.

Although these are the most common Mao1.club features, all of the symptoms can only be noticed when the machine is already infected and affected. However, potentially unwanted programs infiltrate machines using various deceptive techniques, which means that you cannot notice when and where this threat came from.

Since Mao1.club got installed without your knowledge and permission, you cannot delete it yourself. It is possible to remove potentially unwanted programs manually, but there is a risk that other applications get installed too. For this reason, you need to terminate the main PUP and related data with the help of professional anti-malware tools.

Mao1.club virus
Mao1.club is the browser hijacker that frustrates people with its unwanted content and continuous redirects to dubious pages.

When Mao1.club changes various settings and preferences on the machine and does that without your approval or knowledge, it significantly affects the speed and performance of the PC. Additionally, it makes the elimination process difficult too.

You should rely on expert[3] opinion and get professional anti-malware tool for the proper Mao1.club removal. This is the method that we also recommend using since potentially unwanted programs come with other applications and can install them directly on the machine.

Also, another huge reason to remove Mao1.club as soon as possible is the data tracking issue that puts a risk on your personal information like IP address, location, email address, or even a full name. This problem is disclosed in the Privacy policy section of this fake search engine. The tracking cookie policy of the hijack states:

Cookies. When you use the Site, we may assign your computer one or more cookies, to facilitate access to our Site and to personalize your online experience. A cookies is a small piece of data that is stored in a user's computer for record keeping purposes. Through the use of a cookie, we may automatically collect information about you online activity in our Site, suce as the pages you visit, the links you click, and the actions you take within the Site. Most systems automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies. If you choose to decline cookies, please note that you may not be able to sign in or use some of the interactive features offered on or via the Site.

Common web infections are spread across the internet as free software

Various advertisements loading pages online are not uncommon, especially on social media or sites that already relates to advertisers. However, such content is harmless until you start visiting those pages continuously or click on every pop-up ad and banner that appears. Such commercial content can be filled with malicious material or lead to direct installs of rogue tools and potentially unwanted programs.

Nevertheless, the main technique used to distribute browser hijackers, toolbars, adware, or rogue system tools is software bundling. This is a marketing method that allows freeware providers to pack their products with PUPs and deliver those unwanted apps as a part of the installation setup.

Choosing Advanced or Custom installation options during such downloads allows seeing all the included programs and de-selecting unwanted programs when you don't need them. Going for recommended or quick installs automatically download all included apps.

Get rid of this Mao1.club virus and other potentially unwanted programs to reach wanted content online

To remove Mao1.club completely from the machine, you need to find all programs and files installed by the PUP itself or automatically during the infiltration. Unfortunately, doing this manually takes a long time and cannot ensure the full virus damage elimination.

However, automatic Mao1.club removal with anti-malware tools can give you the advantage of cleaning the damage, deleting associated files, and eliminating the main PUP. Download a trustworthy program and scan the system thoroughly to end all suspicious processes.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they 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, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Mao1.club, follow these steps:

Delete Mao1.club from Windows systems

Get rid of the intruder and other related files by performing an automatic Mao1.club removal

  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 Mao1.club and related programs
    Here, look for Mao1.club 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 Mao1.club 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.

Eliminate Mao1.club 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 Mao1.club 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'

Get rid of Mao1.club 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 Mao1.club 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 Mao1.club removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Erase Mao1.club 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, Mao1.club should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Remove Mao1.club from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Check Firefox for suspicious extensions or applications and delete them to end unwanted activitties

  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 Mao1.club 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 Mao1.club removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Uninstall Mao1.club from Google Chrome

Remove additional browser content manually to eliminate Mao1.club completely

  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 Mao1.club 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 Mao1.club removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Delete Mao1.club 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 Mao1.club 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 Mao1.club, 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 Mao1.club removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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