MovieSearch.org redirect (fake) - Free Instructions

MovieSearch.org redirect Removal Guide

What is MovieSearch.org redirect?

MovieSearch.org changes key settings in your browser

MovieSearch.orgA browser hijacker which changes your homepage and search engine to MovieSearch.org

MovieSearch.org search engine claims that you can use it to search for your favorite movies and TV shows. When you enter a keyword in the search, only results related to movies show up. This can look like a very useful feature for movie lovers. In reality, the top results lead to dubious sites that provide “free” movies to watch online. Legitimate streaming platforms like Hulu, Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video are not shown anywhere, even if you scroll down.

This means these search results are sponsored. They might be less than secure and lure out your personal information or make you download harmful software on your device. The names of these sites have numbers, unusual domains, so they do not look trustworthy in the first place.

You probably have not added this browser extension yourself. That is why it was classified as a browser hijacker after many complaints were received about how their default homepage suddenly changed without their consent. The most probable way this add-on infiltrated your search engine is through website redirects or a potentially unwanted program.

NAME MovieSearch.org
TYPE Browser hijacker, unwanted extension; program
SYMPTOMS Customized search results, default homepage changed
DISTRIBUTION Deceptive advertisements, freeware installations
DANGERS Inserted ads in the search results might lead to dangerous websites
ELIMINATION Manual removal of an extension can be achieved via browser settings
FURTHER STEPS Use ReimageIntego to fix any further damage left by the add-on

MovieSearch.org search resultsThis extension displays results of only illegal streaming platforms that can be dangerous Illegal streaming sites are a breeding ground for malicious acts

Adrien Brochot, Product Leader Endpoint Security at Stormshield,[1] said:

Illegal streaming sites are effectively insufficiently protected. Lacking time, resources, and awareness of cybersecurity issues, these platforms are the preferred playground for malicious acts.

A report[2] published by the association of internet security professionals says that about 97% of these platforms would be infected. If that was not enough, FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft) states that users are 28 times more likely to be infected by malicious software when using illegal streaming.

You can easily fall victim to a phishing attack by logging on to a streaming site that looks exactly the same as the original site. The purpose of this is to attempt to steal your personal data. Similarly, by downloading a free streaming viewing application, you could expose your computer to the intrusion of malware or cryptomining software.[3]

Another risk that should not be ignored is the use of a Flash player. The multiple flaws[4] found on this multimedia player have been known to enable hackers to infect your computer. They used it to send spam to other internet users or steal documents. Officially dead in 2020, this technology has been replaced with HTML5, WebP, or WebM – considered to be more secure.

Another technique is displaying false claims on a pop-up suggesting you download security software. Fake error messages lead you to believe that you have a technical problem and rush you to download an antivirus that might be a malicious program.

Illegal platforms operate in shady ways

If you search up movies in MovieSearch.org, the main sites popping up are 123moviesfree.net, fmovies.to, and 0gomovies.ch. Once you enter one of these pages, every time you click on the play button to watch a movie of your choice, a new tab opens in your browser, displaying an ad, usually of a gambling site. Even after the movie starts playing, if you want to pause or skip, you will still be met with redirects. This is how these types of sites make money. Every time you receive an ad, the platform gets paid for your click from the advertisers.

What is more, there are prompts saying “DOWNLOAD NOW,” suggesting that clicking the button will download the movie. But the button itself is an ad inserted in the page and is not related to the movie or TV show at all. If you click that, you will be redirected through a couple of different domains before finally being thrown to the Google homepage or end up on some other shady site.

MovieSearch.org promoted site pop-upsIf you visit one of the sites shown by MovieSearch.org you will be met with pop-up ads and redirects

To get your browser back the way it was, you should go to your search engine settings and remove the MovieSearch.org extension manually.

Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Microsoft 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

Microsoft Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Internet Explorer:

  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 suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

After being met with so many redirects, and pop-ups it would be a good idea to clean your browsers' cookies and cache. You can do this automatically by using ReimageIntego – a trusted tool that fixes any damage left after the removal of malicious programs or manually as shown below:

Clear cookies and cache from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Microsoft Edge:

  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

Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear.Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Internet Explorer:

  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

Keeping your device safe

There are simple things you can do to keep your machine safe from intruders. Do not click on random links, and first determine if they do not look suspicious. If you already clicked on a site and it looks spammy, just do not interact with it and exit. Most often, viruses are downloaded by users themselves. It is best to install something in your system only from official sites.

It is also a good idea to never share your information with unknown platforms. If you absolutely have to, create a separate email account and a different password that you do not use anywhere else, but it is still wiser to avoid it entirely.

Use legal streaming platforms available. Many of them are affordable and easy to share with friends and family. They are completely safe and can help you avoid a lot of hassle.

Use a VPN that can protect your online privacy by hiding your IP address, location, and personal information. You can read more about this in a detailed article we did about VPN software.

Whenever you are using the internet, you are at risk of clicking the wrong link or downloading the wrong software. Using protective programs like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes is a great way to prevent attacks. It can scan your system for viruses and eliminate them automatically. If removing the add-on via browser settings did not work, there may be adware operating in your system. These programs we recommend can make your life way easier because you will not have to figure things out yourself. If you still want to attempt to remove an unwanted program yourself you can follow step-by-step instructions as shown in the bottom of this post.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. 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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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.

Getting rid of MovieSearch.org redirect. Follow these steps

WindowsmacOS

Uninstall from Windows

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK. Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.
WindowsmacOS

Delete from macOS

Remove items from Applications folder:

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

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 MovieSearch.org 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: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

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
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

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References