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Remove (Easy Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser Hijackers – a browser hijacker that spreads fake claims about an unsuccessful installing browser hijacker, that is related to the SearchPrivacyPlus family, is a browser hijacker that asks to retry the installation process even though it was already finished. Different extensions related to virus can be discovered on the Google Chrome web store and directly downloaded to the browser. Once this happens, the PUP provides a message claiming that the extension needs to be installed again even though it is already there.[1] The goal of this suspicious activity remains currently unknown. However, cybersecurity researchers have spotted that extension modifies the browser's settings such as the default search engine, homepage, new tab URL and might relate to redirecting to affiliate sources.

Alternative name PUP.Optional.QxSearch
Type Browser hijacker
Related to SearchPrivacyPlus
Found on Google Chrome web store
Browsers  This PUP appears mostly on Google Chrome but other browsers such as Firefox, Explorer, Edge, Safari can also be affected by the browser hijacker
Distribution Besides being promoted on the Internet store, this hijacker is very likely to be met after downloading bundled software or visiting secondary networks
Removal First, scan the entire system with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. Afterward, remove the threat with the help of automatical software or manual instruction guidelines, also known as PUP.Optional.QxSearch,[2] is a browser hijacker that mostly appears on Windows computer systems and the Google Chrome web browser application. However, this does not mean that users of Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, or other browser apps cannot find this potentially unwanted program and its extensions on their computer.

Be aware that once your browser settings are altered by and your search engine refers to{searchTerms}, these suspicious modifications can be reversed only if you uninstall the browser-hijacking application from your Windows computer and web browser applications entirely.

Besides these changes, might provoke redirects straightly to other affiliate domains. This technique is used to drive you towards some bogus offers and convince to purchase useless products. Nevertheless, redirects might force you to land on a malware-laden page and you might get your computer system infected with a malicious program.

In addition, potentially unwanted programs such as always find some ways how to make more money from the user's activity. Some applications display beneficial-looking adverts that promote bogus software. Others claim about false prizes and urge users to enter their personal or even banking information. However, be especially aware of this kind of activity as providing private details to random people might result in data theft. - a browser hijacker that is related to the SearchPrivacyPlus family

Other apps similar to collect browsing-related information and some technical details about the user's computer system. Later on, the data is used for generating beneficial adverts and providing people with bogus offers. Sometimes, the information is handled to other parties for a bigger piece of income to be received.

Dealing with browser hijackers is not a very pleasant thing even though some of them might offer “handy features” such as fastly accessing popular networks, and so on. Do not fall for such tricks and remove from your computer system and web browsers that are filled with questionable extensions, plug-ins, add-ons, etc. removal is a process that can be carried out with the help of antivirus software and scanning the entire computer with a tool such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. Also, manual instructions are available for this situation and you can view some guidelines regarding this method at the bottom of this web page. Those steps are suitable for Windows computer and various infected browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Explorer, Safari).

Distribution tactics used for promoting browser hijackers

Third-party developers aim to sneak their programs into various sources and software packages. According to specialists from,[3] “bundling” is the main technique by which browser hijackers and potentially unwanted programs are easily injected into the targeted computer system. - a potentially unwanted program that can be found on the Google Chrome web store

“Bundling” happens when a software package that includes a couple or several programs is delivered together with a bogus product that often refers to a browser-hijacking app, adware, or other potentially unwanted application.[4] If the user has left the Quick or Recommended mode on, there are big chances that the rogue object will successfully reach its destination.

According to this reason, you have to make sure that the safest downloading/installing settings have been chosen. This type of configuration usually refers to Custom or Advanced. Here you will be given the capability of tracking, controlling, and declining any incoming download.

However, odd programs travel not only in bundles but they might appear through unsecured sources also. Avoiding third-party networks such as torrent websites, gambling, or gaming pages is a good option. Also, all of your activities should be followed by the protection of a reputable antimalware tool.

Removal instructions for virus

It does mind if you are an experienced user or not, you always have equal chances of uninstalling virus if the process is performed by using reputable antimalware software. Besides, these types of programs work much faster than any user might be capable of and can succeed in the elimination process in a few minutes of time.

However, if you have advanced skills and truly do believe in yourself, you can go for the manual removal option. Take a look at the end of the article and you will find some guiding instructions on how to clean suspicious content from web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Safari.

One more tip we want to give you is to make sure that you remove entirely. What this means is you have to locate all potentially infectious content that the hijacker has brought to your system, browsers and get rid of it. If you do not terminate the PUP completely, there is a big chance that it will return with its activities sooner or later.

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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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:

Remove from Windows systems

Windows can be cleaned from the browser hijacker and various potentially suspicious component if you follow the below-provided steps carefully:

  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.

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

Get rid of 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, should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Eliminate from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Eliminate the PUP from Mozilla Firefox and reverse all questionable-looking modifications on your browser with the help of these guidelines:

  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

Uninstall from Google Chrome

Clean the Google Chrome web browser application from bogus extensions and add-ons. What you have to do is complete the following instructions:

  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

Remove 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

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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