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QSearch. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

QSearch is a browser-hijacking program which targets Mac computer users and hijacks popular browsers

QSearch browser hijacker
QSearch is a browser hijacker which targets Mac computers

QSearch is described as a browser hijacker[1] that is created for Mac machines only. The most popular targeted web browsers are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. However, this does not mean that the potentially unwanted program cannot appear on other browser applications. QSearch virus is definitely not the application you should have on your Mac computer. After secret installation through secondary sources, or when the user himself downloads the browser hijacker-related plug-in, the rogue app sets the default search engine to qsearch.cc. or analytics.qsearch.cc. Additionally, it modifies the main page, new tab URL and other sections of the hijacked web browser which lets the program cause dubious activity such as redirecting to developer-sponsored web pages, promoting rogue products via pop-up ads, providing questionable search results.

Name QSearch
Type Browser hijacker
Sub-type Potentially unwanted program
OS infected Mac computers are the target of this rogue app
Hijacked browser apps Mostly, Chrome, Safari, Firefox
Search engine qsearch.cc
Distribution sources Bundled software. Also, its original website offers to download the rogue plug-in
Detection possibilities Reimage or Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner can help you to detect the browser hijacker

QSearch is called a browser hijacker for the reason that it is capable of hijacking the targeted web browser and modifying the default search engine. Once the engine is changed, users are forced to use it each time when search requests are being performed. In some cases, it can lead to receiving misleading search query results and information.

If you want to get rid of QSearch virus from your web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, or Microsoft Edge, you should take actions immediately. If you are willing the process to be easily performed, use a tool such as Reimage or Reimage to detect all potentially unwanted content on your Mac computer.

Another way to perform the QSearch removal is by using the manual step-by-step guide which you can find below the article. However, ensure that you carry out each step correctly, otherwise, you might not succeed in the elimination and the browser-hijacking application might renew its activity within the next web browser boot.

QSearch is definitely not an application that will bring benefits to you. Even though some browser hijackers provide useful features such as fast access to most visited websites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube), it is only just a way to attract even more users to use the promoted application and keep it on the computer.

Continuously, QSearch might cause suspicious-looking redirects to unwanted and maybe even malware-related websites. You should be very careful while infected with this potentially unwanted program, otherwise, you might land on a hazardous page and install a ransomware virus[2] or Trojan horse on your computer without even noticing it.

Another thing that QSearch is very likely to do is collecting non-personal data that is related to the user's browsing habits, experience, and history. Such information usually includes mostly visited websites, clicked links, saved bookmarks, and other relevant information that is shared with third-parties to gain even more income.

Browser hijackers have various distribution techniques developed

If a browser hijacker has entered your computer system, apparently you should have made a mistake somewhere while completing browser work. According to computer experts from Virusai.lt website,[3] the user's carelessness itself is the main problem why browser hijackers and similar applications land silently on the computer.

Mostly, browser-hijacking programs are delivered together with other software which you download from unsafe and third-party websites. Rather than completing all downloads by yourself, use the Custom/Advanced installation method to control, track all your downloads, and opt out objects which you do not want to install.

Another technique that is very liked by PUP developers is injecting rogue components into hyperlinks or pop-up ads. Once the user steps on such content, he gets redirected to an infected web page or sometimes even starts the downloading process of the rogue app. Stay away from all questionable websites as far as possible.

QSearch can be removed by using automatical tools or the step-by-step guidelines

You should remove QSearch virus right after detection. If you are likely to perform the process on your own, make sure that you do not lack skills for it. Open all web browsers on your Mac computer[4] and make sure that they do not have any browser hijacker-related content. If they do have some rogue components, make sure that you carefully clean all web browser applications such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge, or Internet Explorer.

However, if you are not confident enough about your computing and virus elimination skills, you can leave all the job for reputable anti-malware tools. Performing the QSearch removal might not be difficult at all if you choose reliable programs. Remember that all suspicious content needs to be eliminated from different locations of your computer, otherwise, the browser-hijacking application might renew itself within the next boot.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes 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 Malwarebytes.
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 QSearch, follow these steps:

Mac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall QSearch from Mac OS X system

If you have discovered the browser hijacker on your Mac computer system, use these instructions to get rid of the potentially unwanted program from the machine:

  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 QSearch 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'
Mac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of QSearch from Internet Explorer (IE)

Terminate all rogue content that you have investigated in your Internet Explorer web browser. If you need help, take a look at these instructing steps:

  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 QSearch 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 QSearch removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
Mac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove QSearch from Microsoft Edge

Get rid of all suspicious-looking components such as browser extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins from your Microsoft Edge web browser by following these steps:

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, QSearch should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Mac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase QSearch from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

If you have spotted some changes in your browser's homepage, new tab URL, and default search engine sections, you can reverse them by using this guide:

  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 QSearch 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 QSearch removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
Mac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete QSearch from Google Chrome

Remove all rogue content which was added by QSearch browser hijacker. Clean Google Chrome by using these instructing guidelines:

  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 QSearch 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 QSearch removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
Mac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate QSearch from Safari

If your Safari web browser got hijacked by the potentially unwanted program, use this guide to get rid of all rogue content that was added:

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

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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