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Remove Mazy Search (Virus Removal Guide) - updated Sep 2020

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Mazy Search is a browser hijacker that can be difficult to remove due to changed Chrome's policies

Mazy SearchMazy Search is a potentially unwanted application that sets the browser status to "Managed by your organization".

Mazy Search is a search tool that is applied as soon as a browser extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or MS Edge is installed. While such apps can be downloaded from legitimate sources such as Chrome Web Store, users might be misled into installing them in deceptive ways – by using software bundle packages, or obscure ads/update prompts.

Once installed, Mazy Search changes the profile of the web browser in various ways. For example, it setsbrowser.mazysearch.com as the homepage and the new tab URL, appends a customized search engine that directs all results to Yahoo, and also controls the browser by applying the “Managed by your organization” feature. The latter prevents users from Mazy Search removal and the retrieval of default browser settings. Besides, this browser hijacker uses various tracking technologies to collect information about users.

Name Mazy Search, otherwise known as MazySearch
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program 
Distribution  Official app stores, software bundle packages, deceptive advertisements on various websites (e.g., fake Flash Player update prompts) 
Symptoms 
  • New tab address and homepage set to browser.mazysearch.com
  • All searchers redirect to Yahoo
  • Searches are filled with sponsored links and ads
  • The browser says “Managed by your organization”
  • Overall increased amount of advertisements
Dangers  Users might install additional potentially unwanted programs on their computers due to various ads; additionally, the search provider also tracks a lot of various information about users, which might lead to privacy risks
Elimination  You can employ anti-malware application for automatic elimination process of follow our guide provided at the bottom section below 
Optimization  To optimize your system and revert the damage done by the infection, scan your computer with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego 

Generally, browser hijackers are by far the least dangerous computer/browser infections around, as they typically do not engage in intensive computer system file modifications. However, the developers of potentially unwanted programs like Mazy Search are constantly developing new techniques to ensure that the app remains on users' computers for as long as possible.

Once the Mazy Search virus is installed, it changes web browser settings automatically – it provides an alternative search engine that users use for their web browsing activities. While all the search results are directed to a legitimate provider Yahoo. PUPs often do not have their own engines, so they employ ones provided by industry giants like Google or Yahoo, although the search results are not genuine – they are often filled with sponsored links and various ads.

When users browse the web by using the Mazy Search engine, the top search results are ads, which can not always be differentiated by inexperienced users. As a result, users access websites they normally would not, although developers of browser hijackers receive pay-per-click revenue for such practice. In other words, they present fake search results at the top to acquire profits from users' clicks. This also artificially increases the visibility of particular services or applications, artificially increasing site rankings.

Mazy Search hijackMazy Search is a browser hijacker that comes in a form of an extension/add-on

To provide search results that are more appropriate to end-users, Mazy Search tracks users' online activities with the help of cookies, web beacons, and other technologies. The following data might be collected automatically:

  • Personal information provided voluntarily (email, phone number, name, username/password)
  • IP address 
  • Browser-related information (language, browser type, time stamps, etc.)
  • Search queries
  • Links/ads clicked
  • Visited websites
  • Installed applications, etc.

As evident, data tracking is extremely important for browser hijackers likes Mazy Search, as this information is typically used to increase profits. In this case, however, the developer is also sharing this information with business partners, affiliates, and other related sources:

We may share your information with our authorized service providers that perform certain services on our behalf. <..>

As described above under “Information Collected By Third Parties and Behavioral Advertising”, third party advertisers and ad networks, data management platforms, and other third parties may collect information themselves from the DefaultSearch Services and/or we may provide them with the information described above for purposes of delivering relevant ads.

Besides extensive data tracking and sharing practices, the developers of this browser hijacker employ the “Managed by your organization” trick that is applied as soon as the browser plugin is installed. As a result, users who want to remove Mazy Search from their machines might be unable to do so, as the browser is controlled by the PUP.

“Managed by your organization” is a prompt that users can see once Mazy Search infiltrates their web browsers, which performs changes to Google Chrome's policies. To reset this status, a prompt PUP elimination must be completed. For that, you can refer to the bottom section of the article.

Finally, we also highly advise scanning the device with anti-malware software that would detect not only potentially unwanted applications but also malware. If you found that your system was infected with multiple threats, you should also reset all the web browsers and fix system damage with the help of repair tools like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Mazy Search virus changes Chrome's policies by setting “Managed by your organization” feature

“Managed by your organization” is a notification that shows up at the top of the Google Chrome web browser to notify the user that Chrome policies are managed by the organization that you are working in. This way, employers can set specific policies to make Chrome function in a preferred wat. However, the same notification may occur on home PCs, Mac, Macbooks, and any other device. 

Mazy Search virus is one of the third-party applications that are capable of gaining administrators' control over Chrome browser settings. Therefore, this misleading third-party website provides itself with the following possibilities:

  • can set a homepage that the user is unable to change (setsbrowser.mazysearch.com);
  • control blacklisted/whitelisted web addresses;
  • force-install required Chrome browser extensions via policy;
  • disable Chrome's incognito mode;
  • prevent the elimination of Mazy Search related extensions;
  • enable tracking cookies;
  • hide certain sections of Chrome settings, etc.

While this help of policies management is useful to Enterprise users to set unified Chrome's functionality for all employees, “Managed by your organization” can become a real headache for home users if the management policy is set by an intrusive third-party application, such as Mazy Search virus. 

Mazy Search Chrome's policiesMazy Search takes control over Chrome settings to prevent removal.

Luckily, the Chrome team provided users with a comprehensive guide on how to disable the “Managed by your organization” settings, which prevent them from the Mazy Search removal:

  • Download the Chrome Policy Remover
  • Run the installer and click Keep button if a popup saying that the file can harm your computer shows up. 
  • Right-click on the file and select Run as administrator
  • Click Yes to confirm the process. 
  • If a message stating that Windows protected your PC shows up, click More Info and select Run Anyway.
  • After that, run a scan with a professional anti-malware tool. 
  • Finally, check Chrome for unwanted extensions, search engines, and redirect pages. Disable all of them.
  • If unwanted search sites do not go away, you may need to reset the web browser's settings.  

Ways to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications easily

As previously mentioned, potentially unwanted programs are often distributed in deceptive ways, the primary one being software bundlers. The bundling method is used to monetize on the per-per-install[1] method, which increases profits for each installation made by users. Since most PUPs are undesired apps that users would not install intentionally, program bundling becomes an excellent choice for distribution.

Mazy Search privacy policyMazy Search explains that various user details are gathered with the help of such tracking technologies like cookies and web beacons.

Quite often, users go to third-party websites to download apps for free. However, most apps are not free (unless they are open-source), and some type of monetization is used. In most cases, these programs are poor quality and often even fail to deliver what they promised in the first place. Instead, users receive an app that bombards their browsers with intrusive ads or directs them to less than secure websites.

To avoid being victimized by a software bundling, security experts from lesvirus.fr advise the following:[2]

  • Employ reputable anti-malware software that would warn you about PUPs before you install them;
  • If possible, always choose official sources for your apps and their updates;
  • Before downloading, make sure that you click a correct button, as many “Download” buttons are just ads that might redirect to malicious websites;
  • Ensure that the app provides ToS and Privacy Policy prior to the installation;
  • When prompted, always pick Advanced/Custom settings instead of Recommended ones;
  • Remove all the ticks next to browser extensions, media players, driver updaters, system optimizers, and similar bloatware[3]

Get rid of MazySearch hijack

To remove Mazy Search from your web browser, all you have to do is right-click on the extension and pick “Remove from Chrome,” or another web browser that you are using. Alternatively, you could visit the Google Chrome settings panel. However, since the app applies the “Managed by your organization” status, it might not be possible to eliminate the PUP in a conventional way.

In such a case, we recommend resetting all the installed web browsers for a full Mazy Search removal. Also, there might be other unwanted apps or malware installed on your device. Just to be sure, you should perform a full system scan with a reputable anti-malware application. This way, you can eliminate all the unwanted components and leftover files quickly. Nonetheless, we also provide a manual guide for program removal below if you choose to get rid of unwanted apps without installing additional software on your machine.

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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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 Mazy Search, follow these steps:

Delete Mazy Search from Windows systems

To get rid of potentially unwanted programs manually from a Windows PC, follow these steps carefully:

  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 Mazy Search and related programs
    Here, look for Mazy Search 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 Mazy Search 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.

Uninstall Mazy Search from Mac OS X system

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

Remove Mazy Search from Applications folder:

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

Erase Mazy Search 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 Mazy Search 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, Google.com).
  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 Mazy Search removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Remove Mazy Search 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 Mazy Search-related 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

Eliminate Mazy Search from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

If you can't delete the extension from Mozilla Firefox, you should simply reset the browser in the following way:

  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 Mazy Search 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 Mazy Search removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Get rid of Mazy Search from Google Chrome

If you still see ads after uninstalling unwanted programs, follow these steps to reset 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 Mazy Search 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 Mazy Search removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Delete Mazy Search 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 Mazy Search 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 Mazy Search, 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 Mazy Search removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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References
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