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Remove My.looksmart.me (Removal Guide) - updated Mar 2018

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Browser hijacker

LookSmart Search is a questionable search engine that has features of the browser hijacker

LookSmart Search Engine image

Questions about My.looksmart.me

LookSmart search is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) that spreads bundled with free programs and can enter the system unnoticed. Once inside, this browser hijacker[1] can alter Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer or other web browsers' settings. As a result, browser's startup page and default search engine will be replaced with My.looksmart.me. 

Summary
Name My.looksmart.me (LookSmart Search Engine)
Type Browser hijacker
Danger level Medium. Hijacker cannot cause direct damage to the system, but it can take control over the targeted web browser and promote potentially dangerous content.
Symptoms Changed homepage, built-in search engine, new tab URL address, redirects to questionable sites,  an increased amount of ads.
Distribution methods Freeware and shareware bundles.
To remove My.looksmart.me, install ReimageIntego and run a full system scan

Due to ability enter the system unnoticed in the software package, the program is sometimes referred to as My.looksmart.me virus. However, it' too harsh term to describe a browser hijacker. Potentially unwanted programs cannot cause direct damage to the computer, but they might redirect users to malware-laden websites or trick into installing other PUPs. Hence, this search tool should not be kept on the system.

As we have mentioned in the beginning, LookSmart Search Engine can be spread bundled with various free applications that you can download from various freeware[2] or shareware websites. Therefore, if you have recently installed some freeware, it may have brought PUP to the machine. 

On the affected machine, LookSmart virus might complete these tasks:

  • alter Windows Registry;
  • modify browser’s settings (Firefox, Chrome, Explorer, etc.);
  • set hxxps://my.looksmart.me/ default search engine, new tab URL address, and homepage;
  • provide altered search results;
  • redirect to questionable websites;
  • display aggressive ads;
  • collect and share information about users;
  • revert attempts to remove my.looksmart.me.

Looksmart virus example

The appearance of My.looksmart.me causes countless browsing-related problems and might increase user’s chances to encounter serious cyber threats. Hijacker’s ability fill search results page with sponsored links is not only unfair but might be dangerous too.

Once you click on a search link, you might end up on a useless third-party site which has nothing in common with the content you looked for. What is worse, this site might be used for phishing or spreading malware. Hence, My.looksmart.me redirect tendencies are one of the most dangerous features of the browser hijacker.

My.looksmart.me browser hijacker virus

However, at the moment of writing, the search engine does not seem working properly. It does not display any search results once you enter your queries. Though, if you click “The Easy Button” you will be redirected to Google Doodles page. It's hard to explain this activity. It seems that authors of the hijacker wanted to give a sense of credibility by giving fake assumptions that My.looksmart.me is a safe search tool.

The same redirect problem exists with ads. My.looksmart.me browser hijacker might display ads that promote bogus software, misleading shopping offers or even malware-laden ads. Such potentially unwanted programs often are used by cyber criminals. Therefore, you should not click any of them and get rid of the hijacker immediately.

Looksmart redirect examples

The main page of the search engine does not include Privacy Policy, Terms of Use and any other information about the developers. The lack of these documents raises suspicion that developers are not reliable and might not treat information about you properly. Hence, you should remove LookSmart Me Search engine to avoid privacy-related issues.

For My.looksmart.me removal, you can use ReimageIntego or another anti-malware software. However, if you prefer manual removal option, you can follow the guide at the end of the article.

My.looksmart.me virus pictureMy.looksmart.me is a fake search engine that is used for marketing reasons.

A questionable search tool spreads in software bundles

This bogus search tool does not have an official download site and cannot be download directly. However, it spreads bundled with freeware and shareware. Hence, the My.looksmart.me hijack might occur if you do not pay attention to software installation.

Security specialists from LesVirus.fr[3] remind that you always have to “unpack” free programs before clicking “Install” button. For that, you have to choose Custom/Advanced settings instead of Quick/Recommended. These settings disclose third-party optional downloads and lets rejecting their installation.

Instructions on how to eliminate My.looksmart.me from Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers

To remove LookSmart from your startup page, you have to uninstall suspicious browser add-ons and programs that may have been installed without your knowledge. Keep in mind that browser hijackers barely spread alone. Hence, other PUPs may have been installed from the same software bundle. For this reason, you have to uninstall other questionable programs or browser add-ons.

Additionally, you have to reset each of the affected web browsers. The lack of privacy policy does not mean that cookies or other tracking technologies were not installed. It goes without saying that you should stop LookSmart Me or its affiliates from tracking your clicks and other browsing-related information. The instructions below will guide you through this procedure.

However, if manual elimination guide seems complicated, you can speed up My.looksmart.me removal by scanning the system with professional anti-malware software. This method ensures that all hijacker-related components are wiped out entirely.

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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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 My.looksmart.me, follow these steps:

Eliminate My.looksmart.me from Windows systems

Follow these steps to terminate hijacker-related components from Windows computer:

  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 My.looksmart.me and related programs
    Here, look for My.looksmart.me 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 My.looksmart.me 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.

Remove My.looksmart.me from Mac OS X system

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

Remove My.looksmart.me from Applications folder:

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

Delete My.looksmart.me 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 My.looksmart.me 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 My.looksmart.me removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Get rid of My.looksmart.me 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 My.looksmart.me-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

Erase My.looksmart.me from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Uninstall LookSmart extension or similar suspicious entries from Firefox and reset the browser:

  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 My.looksmart.me 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 My.looksmart.me removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Uninstall My.looksmart.me from Google Chrome

Get rid of suspicious browser extensions and reset Google Chrome to eliminate My.looksmart.me.

  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 My.looksmart.me 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 My.looksmart.me removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Eliminate My.looksmart.me 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 My.looksmart.me 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 My.looksmart.me, 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 My.looksmart.me 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
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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