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Remove Mysearch virus (Removal Instructions) - updated Oct 2019

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Mysearch virus is a notorious browser hijacker that has been infecting users' browsers for several years

Mysearch browser hijacker printscreen

Questions about Mysearch virus

Mysearch is a potentially unwanted program and a browser hijacker[1] developed and published by APN, LLC back in 2014, although the threat is still prevalent today. Although it is introduced as a powerful search engine enhanced by Google, it can hardly be compared with this famous search provider. First of all, the main aim of Mysearch virus is to redirect its visitors to its partners' websites and generate pay-per-click revenue[2] via a hijacked homepage, which is usually set to https://www.my-search.com/?aid=5156&zoneid=89123013. Because of that, most of the hijacker's search results are sponsored and filled with links to third-party sites. My Search virus can compromise any web browser that is installed on the system, including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or others. Thus, if you found Mysearch set as your homepage, it is time to take action to protect your online safety.

Name Mysearch
Classification Browser hijacker, PUP
Versions www-mysearch.com, My-search virus, Search.mysearch.com, hp.mysearch.com
Symptoms Start page, search engine, and new tab URL changed without permission, numerous pop-up ads displayed, continuous redirects to unknown websites are initiated
Distribution Software bundling, rogue updates
Danger level Low. Does not harm the system directly. However, can expose users to potentially dangerous websites
Elimination Use security software or check manual removal guide below
Recovery To make sure all the malicious components are eliminated and your machine is running as intended, download and run a scan with Reimage

The mysearch virus is not the most dangerous threat circulating on the Internet. However, despite it being positioned among low-danger level cyber infections, do not underestimate its capabilities. Most commonly, the website pops up on the users’ browsers unexpectedly thus hijacking the start page, search provider, and new tab URL without permission. Upon successful set up of Mysearch.com or https://www.my-search.com/?aid=5156&zoneid=89123013 domain, you may notice web browser's slowdowns, freezes, and similar troublesome signs. 

One of the main factors, why we recommend people to remove MySearch virus from Chrome and other web browsers without delay, is a risk of being redirected to dangerous websites, including but not limited to:

  • Phishing websites;
  • Fake online surveys;[3] 
  • Tech-Support-scam;
  • Gambling or gaming sites;
  • Websites filled with pornographic content;
  • Rogue software download websites, etc.

Mysearch unwanted app
Mysearch displays not so genuine search results and can lead to malware-laden sites if the user is not careful enough

Nevertheless, the ability to redirect web browsers to irrelevant URLs is not the only trait that Mysearch virus exhibits. Virusi.hr[4] researchers claim that this dubious search engine may also track your browsing on the Internet and collect not only Search Data but also some pieces of personally identifiable information[5] (email address, PC's location or even your name). Although My search virus authors declares that the collected data is not shared with third-parties, you can never be sure about that. 

Although it's not possible to control all the websites that reach netizens via search engines, reputable sites like Google or Bing do their best to protect visitors from irrelevant or intrusive content. However, we cannot grant the same with My search malware. As pointed out in its Terms: 

A central part of the Site Services includes links to other World Wide Web (“Web“) sites or resources. Because APN has no control over such sites and resources, you acknowledge and agree that APN is not responsible for the availability of such external sites or resources, and does not endorse and is not responsible or liable for any content, advertising, products, or other materials on or available from such sites or resources. 

By such claims, the developers of Mysearch malware rejects all responsibility for the content that its affiliates may try to promote, be it intrusive or dangerous. Therefore, keep in mind that you're using this search domain at your own risk and there will be no one to be blamed if it initiates redirects to phishing sites and tricks you into downloading malicious programs. Therefore, we would strongly recommend you to download Reimage or other reputable security tool and run a full system scan to remove Mysearch virus completely. 

The last thing to mention, Mysearch Android version has also been spotted on the wild lately. Some people reported that they'd been redirected to mysearch.com via hxxp://m.web-search.click when visiting random websites on Chrome. Android users should also perform Mysearch removal by scanning the system with Reimage Mobile. 

Mysearch is a virus that may display links to suspicious domains
Mysearch is a PUP that sets Mysearch.com as search engine and seeks to take control over people's web browsing activities

Mysearch virus variants

As we already mentioned above, My Search virus is referred to as a virus due to its persistence and the fact that is has been terrorizing users for years now. Various versions of the threat have been released into the wild. Please check out the descriptions below in order to check which variant is affecting your device.

www-mysearch.com

www-mysearch.com is a variant of Mysearch which tries to imitate Bing search engine – at least visually. It allows users to change backgrounds that look pleasant. All the search results are then redirected to Bing. However, Google is marking the original site as “Not secure”:

Your connection to this site is not secure
You should not enter any sensitive information on this site (for example, passwords or credit cards), because it could be stolen by attackers.

Additionally, just because the results are redirected to a reputable search engine provider, does not mean they are safe. Typically, developers of hijackers like www-mysearch.com add an additional layer of sponsored links at the top, prompting users to visit potentially unsafe websites. Thus, refrain from using this, by first-look, attractive PUP, as it might lead to virus infections or sensitive data leak. My search virus variants
My search virus takes different forms and connects to different search engines. We recommend using legitimate engines like Google or Bing instead

Search.mysearch.com

Search.mysearch.com is one of the virus variants that populates the typical browser-hijacking homepage. It pretends to be “Enhanced by Google,” although it is obvious that browser hijacker is merely using the industry giant's name in order to make the PUP look more reliable and genuine.

However, once Search.mysearch.com unwanted app enters the machine without users noticing, it performs multiple changes to Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox or another browser and starts redirecting users to suspicious websites, display sponsored links, add bookmarks without authorization, or even install browser add-ons automatically. 

Therefore, users are immediately advised to take action and take care of Search.mysearch.com virus removal with the help of security application or by following our guide below.

My-search virus

My-search virus is another browser hijacker that is usually bundled with freeware or shareware[6] and gets installed without users noticing. Once the unwanted program is established, victims' homepage is immediately set to hxxps://www.my-search.com/?, although all search results are redirected to Alpha Shoppers.

The most dangerous part of this PUP is that it openly declares that the collected personal information can be used in multiple different ways:

Information collected through the Website may be transferred, used and stored in the United States and in foreign jurisdictions in which we, our users, or our agents for the Website are located now or at any time in the future. If you access the Website, you consent to the capture, storage, transfer, use and processing of your Personal Information (as defined below) in and between all of those jurisdictions. 

Thus, users who value their privacy and do not want to disclose such data to unknown third-parties should immediately uninstall My-search virus from their computers.

Hp.mysearch.com

Hp.mysearch.com is a potentially unwanted program that modifies the settings of Google Chrome or another browser and sets the homepage and new tab address to hxxp://hp.mysearch.com. From that point of time users are forced to browse through a hijacked search engine.

Hp.mysearch.com also ensures that all the search results displayed are fake, i.e., the top results often lead to sponsored or even potentially dangerous websites. Nevertheless, such procedures ensure potentially unwanted program developers the revenue for each click made on such links.

Unfortunately, end users might infect their machines with more PUPs, or even malware. Additionally, excessive information tracking and sharing might result in money loss or even identity fraud. Therefore, if you saw that your homepage or/and new tab URL suddenly changed, you should eliminate all potentially unwanted programs from your computer with the help of your removal instructions below. My search malware
One of the most popular variants of the virus redirects users to Alpha Shoppers - another dubious PUP page

PUP distribution techniques

This program is usually spread around using a suspicious distribution method, which is known as “bundling.” This method has become very popular among developers of adware, browser hijackers and similar potentially unwanted programs (PUPs).

In most of the cases, the unwanted program is added to other free programs, such as download managers, PDF creators, video streaming software, etc. as optional downloads. However, there's a catch. These attachments are installed by default if the PC's user opts for Quick or Basic installation method. 

To protect the system from PUP invasion, start checking what programs you download on your computer. Before downloading a new tool, read people's reviews, End User's License Agreement and other details. If you detect nothing suspicious, select Custom or Advanced installation option and monitor the entire installation process carefully to sp;ont and unmark browser add-ons, toolbars or other unwanted attachments. 

Mysearch virus removal guide

Mysearch.com elimination is not a difficult process. The PUP itself can be uninstalled from the system just like any other application. However, it may have multiple supporting components, such as updater or helper objects. 

Mysearch browser hijacker
The PUP displays a large amount of sponsored links, making finding relevant information difficult

To remove Mysearch virus along with all related components, you should use a professional security tool. Download it and run a scan or make sure to update the one that is currently running on your PC. 

As soon as you initiate Mysearch removal, you should reset the settings of your web browser. We would highly recommend changing the settings of all browsers, not only the default one. You can find step-by-step instructions on how to eliminate browser hijacker and restore web browser's settings down below. 

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they 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, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. 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.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Mysearch virus, follow these steps:

Get rid of Mysearch from Windows systems

The following steps explains how to eliminate Mysearch search and Mysearch.com startup page from Windows OS:

  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 Mysearch and related programs
    Here, look for Mysearch 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 Mysearch 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.

Erase Mysearch 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 Mysearch 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'

Eliminate Mysearch 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 Mysearch 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 Mysearch removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Uninstall Mysearch 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, Mysearch should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Remove Mysearch from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

If malware corrupted Mozilla Firefox, here's what you have to do to restore its settings to default:

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

Delete Mysearch from Google Chrome

If you are wondering how to remove Mysearch from Chrome, you just need to remember to reset this web browser to fix it completely:

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

Get rid of Mysearch 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 Mysearch 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 Mysearch, 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 Mysearch removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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References

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  1. gREGOr says:
    April 6th, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    ahh, this search engine… FINALLY I found an evidence that it was bad. I was thinking why it acts so strange? It delivered strange search results for me, most of them were ads. Not an accurate search, so I would not recommend using it!

  2. Wellington says:
    April 6th, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    hahaha i finally cleaned my browser from this parasite, it was surprisingly easy to do! thanks for a great tutorial! 😀

  3. Treaxy says:
    April 6th, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    my browser works fine again, thank u 🙂

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