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Remove Nebula Search (Removal Instructions) - Free Guide

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

Nebula Search – a potentially unwanted program that changes your browser settings to serve you sponsored content regularly

Nebula SearchNebula Search is a potentially unwanted application that might change Google Chrome settings without permission

Nebula Search is yet another browser hijacker[1] that can be downloaded from Google Web Store. Nonetheless, just like similar applications of such type, it can also be spread bundled with other software you download from the internet. As soon as the extension gains access to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or another web browser, nebulasearch.net is set as a new tab address, as well as the homepage. Additionally, Nebula Search appends a customized search engine to a homepage, which redirects all searches to search.yahoo.com.

Besides changing browser settings and showing users sponsored content, Nebula Search also gathers a variety of information and later shares it with related parties in order to maximize ad revenue. If you are unhappy about this (as you should be), you should use our guide for the elimination process of this potentially unwanted program.

Name Nebula Search
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program
Developer NebulaSearch
Distribution  Software bundle packages, fake Flash Player updates, misleading advertisements, etc. In some cases, users might install the app intentionally without knowing its full features
Symptoms
  • Nebula Search browser extension installed on the web browser
  • Homepage and new tab URL set to nebulasearch.net
  • All searches are redirected to Yahoo
  • Search results are filled with sponsored links that are shown at the top
  • Overall increased amount of ads
Associated risks Installation of other potentially unwanted software, privacy issues, monetary losses, etc.
Elimination  You can eliminate potentially unwanted programs as per instructions we provide below or by scanning the device with powerful anti-malware software
Optimization To ensure that your machine is running well after infection, we recommend using a PC repair tool Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego 

There are thousands of browser hijackers that are being distributed around the internet. Nebula Search is also just one of a few PUPs that has been rebranded and distributed to users as an alternative search tool to more common ones. Almost visually identical are several other browser extensions that recently have been bugging users:

  • Blast Search
  • Flare Search
  • Storm Search
  • Burst Search, etc.

As evident, these apps, including Nebula Search, make use of various words to describe their “services.” In reality, they do not differ fundamentally, as their operation and visual presentation are both identical. However, the developers do not disclose the real name of the company behind these fake search tools – a trait that is typical to browser hijacker producers.

As soon as Nebula Search hijack occurs, you will see that your browser has changed – your homepage shows a random picture, and the search engine also looks different. You might also spot the time and date displayed on the side. While visually Nebula Search might look great, you should not forget that the main goal of the hijacker is to show you alternative search results, promote sponsored websites, and track you in the background.

In most cases, potentially unwanted programs use tracking technologies such as web beacons, cookies, pixels,[2] or scripts to track everybody who has the app installed on their systems/browsers. This allows Nebula Search virus developers to monetize on the activities, all while providing service that is questionable at best. Thus, we suggest you remove Nebula Search and find a search provider that is more efficient in what it promises (“enhanced search results” are just a hoax).

Nebula Search hijackNebula Search is a browser hijacker that might be spread via software bundles

When talking about Nebula Search removal, it highly depends on whether you have an extension or a desktop app installed on your computer. In the case of a latter, you would have to follow a manual guide we provided below. Alternatively, or additionally, you can also scan the machine with anti-malware – it would make sure that no more dangerous programs are installed on your computer.

If you have an extension installed on your Google Chrome or another web browser, its elimination process should not be that difficult. However, if you encounter any problems, we recommend you reset the web browser and then scan the computer with an optimization tool Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Don't let browser hijacker developers misguide you

Potentially unwanted programs often prey on those that do not know much about computer infections and the way PUP developers monetize on information harvesting and intrusive ad display. In fact, that is where the term came from – the app might be unwanted, as it also often gets installed without user intention to do so. As mentioned above, browser hijackers often boast about privacy concerns, yet they are the first ones you track your IP address, unique identifiers on a mobile device (tracking your precise location if the default setting is not turned off), etc.

Therefore, it is important to know that, while a browser hijacker is not considered a high-security threat, it can easily breach your privacy for the sake of earning revenue. You should be avoiding these programs as much as possible, as several apps of such kind can also cause other programs, such as constant redirects to malicious sites.

To avoid browser hijackers and other PUPs, you should be aware of how they are spread. The primary distribution method is usually software bundling – this is when several apps are compiled into a single installer. Optional components are deliberately hidden from users' sight, hence they end up installing PUPs unintentionally.

To avoid this, you should always be attentive when installing new programs on your computer – always pick Advanced/Custom installation settings, remove all ticks, read the fine print, and never rush the whole process. Cautiousness is the key here.

Nebula Search virusThe developers Nebula Search disclose various information tracking practices in the Privacy Policy

Uninstall Nebula Search to protect your privacy and get rid of sponsored links for good

As previously mentioned, there are several reasons why you should remove Nebula Search from your computer or a browser. By doing so, you will be protecting your online privacy, reduce the risk of other infections, and will be able to browse via the preferred search engine that does not show you sponsored links at the top to mislead you.

Most of the users have an extension installed on their web browser. Nebula Search removal can be performed by right-clicking on the add-on and picking Uninstall/Remove. Also, security experts from novirus.uk[3] claim that some of browser hijackers can set the “Managed by your organization” feature. which can prevent easy extension termination. In such a case, we recommend resetting the browser fully as explained below.

Finally, if you have a Nebula Search virus installed as an app, you should uninstall it via the Applications/Programs and features sections on your computer.

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 Nebula Search, follow these steps:

Uninstall Nebula Search from Windows systems

To uninstall Nebula Search from a Windows computer, you can follow these steps:

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

Eliminate Nebula Search from Mac OS X system

If you have been struggling with a browser hijacker on your Mac, proceed with the following:

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

Remove Nebula Search from Applications folder:

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

Get rid of Nebula 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 Nebula 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 Nebula Search removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete Nebula 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 Nebula 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

Remove Nebula Search from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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

Erase Nebula Search from Google Chrome

Google Chrome should be reset if you are unable to get rid of a browser extension in a usual way.

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

Uninstall Nebula 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 Nebula 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 Nebula 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 Nebula 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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