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Remove (Removal Guide) - May 2018 update

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser hijacker is a browser hijacker that can collect certain information about users

Illustrating start page is a dubious application that started to circulate the world wide in 2015. Several versions of the browser hijacker emerged, including, and All of these apps have same purpose: infiltrate users machines without them noticing[1] and make changes to Google Chrome or other browser and disturb users' browsing sessions by redirecting to questionable sites, displaying invasive ads, adding additional components without permission and similar activities.

Type Browser hijacker
Extension My Search
Developer APN, LLC; 
Versions,, and
Compatible browsers Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, etc.
Distribution Software bundling, web store
Symptoms Hijacked homepage and new tab URL, invasive adverts continually displayed, etc.
Elimination Automatic elimination with ReimageIntego; manual – see below this post

Once installed, it can do the following:

  • Cause redirects to instead of opening preferred domain;
  • Change default start page and search provider to;
  • Set as a default new tab URL;
  • Inject My Search toolbar on Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge or another web browser;
  • Generate potentially dangerous advertisements;
  • Return compromised search results;
  • Install cookies and accumulate browsing history; is not malware.[2] However, due to the above-enumerated traits has been assigned to two categories – potentially unwanted program (PUP) and browser hijacker. Nevertheless, the presence of PUP diminishes PC's resistance to malware and causes web browser's slowdowns. has an official End User License Agreement and Privacy Policy which can be accessed directly from the hijacked homepage (at the bottom of the page). We dug into these detailed policies, and found the following statement:


It is ironic how APN, LLC wanted to highlight such a statement in their EULA. They are right, it is not spyware[3] and neither it is adware. However, it is a browser hijacker which falls in the same category – potentially unwanted programs.

My Search purpose is to earn money for third-parties by promoting their sites and increasing their visitor's rate. However, some of the parties may be black-minded hackers, that may manage phishing websites and try to execute a malicious JavaScript malware[4] or inject a bunch of crypto-currency miners that can ruin your PC.

Therefore, to decrease computer's vulnerability and close the backdoor to cyber infections, remove virus. You can do that with ReimageIntego or follow manual removal instructions that are given down below this article.

Also, this dubious search poses a risk to people's privacy. Statistically, most of the PUPs install tracking cookies and use them for the accumulation of browsing history, IP address, email address, and similar information. Therefore, as soon as you notice a non-typical behavior while browsing on the Internet associated with, run a scan with a professional anti-malware and remove the PUP without delay. hijacker

Variations of the virus

As we already mentioned, there are few variations of MySearch. This browser hijacker enters users' machines without permission and changes homepage and new tab URL to hxxp:// All the search queries are redirected to Yahoo (meaning that My Search is participating in Yahoo's affiliate program). While redirecting, the user's IP and other data are tracked, and the browser might show the following: “Waiting for,” “Connecting to,” and similar. The version on the virus swaps your default search engine and homepage to hxxp:// and lets users choose from few beautiful backgrounds on the start page. It infiltrates user's machines with other software in a bundle. One good example is VPlay, as it offers MySearch as an additional component. can install Windows Service, which allows it to start with every bootup. Additionally, all the searches are redirected to Bing. After setting hxxp:// as homepage, this browser hijacker will continually provide questionable search results. Although the search engine announces that they are “Enhanced by Google,” it is entirely wrong. As soon as you type in the search query, you will see tons of sponsored links that lead to partners' websites. Thus, if you want accurate search results, use a legitimate search engine, such as Google or Yahoo. Just like other versions of MySearch, this dubious application instantaneously modifies browser settings and sets homepage and new tab address to hxxp:// The homepage offers various links to most popular sites on the web: Facebook, YouTube, Gmail, Instagram, etc. It also promises users “Enhanced by Google” search results, but does nothing but displaying adverts continually. hijacks Google redirect virus can cause unwanted redirects and track people's web browsing activities

Entry of potentially unwanted program can be prevented

As we have pointed out before, PUPs are capable of infecting PCs without being revealed. That's true, indeed. However, it doesn't mean that they cannot be stopped from doing so. PUP developers promote unpopular browser add-ons, extensions or toolbars via free downloads and ensure that they will be downloaded along with the main executable by pre-selecting them and including in Advanced or Custom installation method.

Consequently, people who download/install free programs inappropriately, end up with the whole software package on the system. “Inappropriate” installation is when a PC's owner selects Quick or Basic installation option and clicks Enter button all the time. Instead of that, the user should opt for Advanced installation method and choose out of free attachments before clicking Finish button. hijacker's removal guide

There are two ways to remove website. You can either run a scan with ReimageIntego or follow the guide that is given below. However, there are a handful automatic removal advantages. First of all, this way you'll save your precious time. Second of all, professional anti-malware tool will remove all suspicious and dangerous programs from the system; hence ensuring full protection and improving performance.

MySearch extension

If, however, you have some IT knowledge and have some spare time to clean your PC's litter, carefully follow the instructions and remove virus. Once done, don't forget to reset the affected web browser. Otherwise, redirects will keep harassing you.

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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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
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, follow these steps:

Eliminate from Windows systems

Get rid of manually. For this purpose, delete associated malware from Programs and Features. The following tutorial will help you:

  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 and related programs
    Here, look for 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 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 '' 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.

Erase from Mac OS X system

If you cannot delete from Mac OS X, try this method:

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

Remove from Applications folder:

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

Uninstall from Internet Explorer (IE)

Once you delete all potentially unwanted programs from the system, make sure to reset IE to eliminate extension:

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 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,
  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 removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete from Microsoft Edge URL can be deleted form the system by these steps:

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 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

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To fix browser hijacker infection, relaunch your web browser and follow these steps:

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

Get rid of from Google Chrome hijacker can implement various unwanted activities, which is why it's removal is highly advisable. To get rid of it, you have to do the following:

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

Eliminate 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 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, 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 removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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