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MaskSearch.com virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser hijacker
12

Things to consider before using MaskSearch.com

Google Chrome users who are looking for new search engine might encounter MaskSearch.com virus. It’s a suspicious tool created by FreshTab Technologies that is presented as a “privacy-enhanced” search engine and browser extension[1]. According to the developers, it protects user’s privacy and does not share any personal information. While other search engines collect non-personally identifying information, such as IP address, user agent, browsing-related information, this search tool, according to their Privacy Policy, may do not collect this kind of information. However, there are some other issues why we are talking about it today. MaskSearch.com browser hijacker[2] has one incredibly annoying feature – it infiltrates the system secretly, bundled with various free programs users download from the Internet. Once inside, it alters browser’s settings and sets its domain as the default homepage. Since then users are forced to use this search engine and cannot get back to their old habits to use well-known and reliable search tools such as Google or Yahoo. Only MaskSearch.com removal can help to set preferred homepage and search engine. We recommend to do it as soon as you see this website on your browser. Speed up hijacker’s elimination with Reimage and avoid other unpleasant features.

MaskSearch.com virus needs to take control over the browser because it has to deliver sponsored content to the users. Commercial content might come in every form and shape[3]: pop-ups, banners, in-text ads, redirects to promotional websites and modified search results. The latter activity is quite annoying because instead of relevant results you might find sponsored links. Searching for information and regular browsing might be disturbed by eye-catching ads and sudden redirects as well. MaskSearch.com redirect problems might lead to even bigger problems that annoyance and inability to spend hours online without being distracted by commercial content. The problem is with delivered third-party content – when you click on the ad or link provided in the search results, you take full responsibility for what happens there. Keep in mind that you might enter phishing or infected website[4] where you can encounter ransomware and lose personal data. Browser hijacker can let you explore the world of potentially dangerous content, so if you value your safety, you should remove MaskSearch.com without hesitation.

The illustration of MaskSearch.com virus

Why did this search engine appear on my browser?

The reason why your browser has been hijacked is that you didn’t take proper attention to recent software installation. Browser hijackers, as well as other potentially unwanted programs[5], spread bundled with freeware and shareware. So, you can expect MaskSearch.com hijack every time you install a new program using “Basic” or “Recommended” settings. This setup hides all optional applications that are added to the software package and installs them by default. Bear in mind that installer does not inform you about this activity. However, if you want to know what PUPs might be installed on your device, you have to opt for “Advanced” or “Custom” installation. This setup allows “unpacking” the program and adjusting installation settings. Only choosing this installation mode is not enough, you have to monitor each step carefully and read all provided information because you might unnoticed and skip some important step. For example, you might leave a pre-selected statement that you agree to make MaskSearch.com as your default homepage. This little mistake might cause you unpleasant experiences in the future, so don’t rush and take your time with software installation.

MaskSearch.com removal methods

For MaskSearch.com removal you have two options. You can opt for manual or automatic elimination. If you think about the first method, before making a decision, check our prepared instructions below. If they don’t look complicated and hard to follow, we wish you patience and good luck. Once you finish, we recommend scanning the computer with the reputable anti-malware tool just to make sure that you managed to delete all hijacker-related files. However, if you want to succeed from the first time, choose to remove MaskSearch.com automatically. This method requires running a full system scan with malware removal program.

You can remove MaskSearch.com automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove MaskSearch.com virus you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall MaskSearch.com virus. 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.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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Manual MaskSearch.com virus Removal Guide:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove MaskSearch.com from Windows systems

If you got infected with MaskSearch.com virus, you have to identify the program that is responsible for installing hijacker and remove it along with the virus. Don’t forget to check and fix your web browser’s as well. Hijacker designed to target Google Chrome; however, you should check all web browser installed on your PC.

  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 MaskSearch.com and related programs
    Here, look for MaskSearch.com 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 MaskSearch.com 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.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove MaskSearch.com 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 MaskSearch.com 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'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove MaskSearch.com 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 MaskSearch.com 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 MaskSearch.com removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove MaskSearch.com virus 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, MaskSearch.com should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove MaskSearch.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  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 MaskSearch.com 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 MaskSearch.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove MaskSearch.com from Google Chrome

MaskSearch.com virus might have installed its browser extension and other third-party plugins, so you have to uninstall all suspicious applications. Then, reset Google Chrome’s settings as shown below.

  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 MaskSearch.com 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 MaskSearch.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove MaskSearch.com 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 MaskSearch.com 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 MaskSearch.com, 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 MaskSearch.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button
After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of MaskSearch.com registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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  • Henrieta

    This search engine looked so innocent!

  • Firefox

    Why does developer lie? I thought it was a genuine search engine… But after using it for a while, I figured out that these redirects are not normal.