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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 ReimageIntego. 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 ReimageIntego. 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 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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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)

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 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,
  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 removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Get rid of 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 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

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

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

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

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