Severity scale:  
  (12/100)

Remove QSearch - Jan 2021 update

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser hijacker

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

QSearch browser hijacker

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 main target of this rogue app
Hijacked browser apps Mostly, Chrome, Safari, Firefox
Search engine The virus keeps redirecting to qsearch.cc
Distribution sources Bundled software. Also, its original website offers to download the rogue plug-in
Detecting the virus and fixing the virus damage SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner can help you to detect the browser hijacker. Once you are done with the full system scan and the elimination of infected files, fix virus damage with ReimageIntego

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 action immediately. If you are willing the process to be easily performed, use a tool such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner to detect all potentially unwanted content on your Mac computer. Additionally, get rid of virus damage, e.g. corrupted files, with ReimageIntego.

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.

QSearch PUPQSearch is a browser-hijacking app which can appear on any kind of web browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Microsoft Edge

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 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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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 QSearch, follow these steps:

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:

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

Remove QSearch from Applications folder:

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

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:

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 QSearch 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 QSearch removal.Reset Internet Explorer

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:

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 QSearch-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 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:

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select plugins that are related to QSearch and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear.Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

In case QSearch did not get removed after following the instructions above, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information.Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox – this should complete QSearch removal.Reset Firefox 2

Delete QSearch from Google Chrome

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

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to QSearch by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the QSearch-components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings to complete QSearch removal.Reset Chrome 2

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:

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to QSearch and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.Reset Safari

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of QSearch registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

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
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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References
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