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Remove SafeSear.ch redirect (Removal Instructions) - Aug 2019 update

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - -   Also known as SafeSear.ch hijack | Type: Browser Hijackers

SafeSear.ch is a browser hijacker that fails to deliver organic search results

SafeSear.ch

SafeSear.ch is a fake search engine that is established as soon as a potentially unwanted program[1] is installed on the computer. The intrusion is usually unexpected, as PUPs mostly travel within software bundles, and users fail to notice optional components inserted into the installer of shareware or freeware applications.

SafeSear.ch can affect multiple browsers, including Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and many others. Soon after installation, the browser hijacker sets the homepage, new tab URL and search engine to hxxp://safesear.ch without permission. Additionally, all the searchers performed on the hijacked browser are redirected to Yahoo, where users can see multiple sponsored links.

While SafeSear.ch developers promise the  “streamlined search experience,” end users suffer from extorted browsing experience and intrusive ads. Fake search engines are deliberately presented as useful tools, while in reality, they are at least a nuisance, which can sometimes cause serious privacy and security issues, prompting users to look for SafeSear.ch removal options.

Summary
Name SafeSear.ch
Type Browser hijacker
Category Potentially unwanted program
Installation  Third-party sites, software bundling
Symptoms Changed web browser settings, altered search results, sponsored links, increased amount of ads, etc. 
Risks  Installation of other potentially unwanted software, malware infections, money loss 
Termination Use reputable security tool like ReimageIntego or delete the hijacker manually based on our guide below

While “SafeSear.ch virus” term is not entirely correct, users whose web browsers are affected do have the right to be concerned. In general, potentially unwanted programs have been receiving more attention from the security community, as the underlying dangers are evident.

Malware infections are something that all users should avoid and, even though it is unlikely that SafeSear.ch will bring you to installing dangerous computer viruses, it is not impossible. Compromised websites might host drive-by downloads[2] or malicious ads that can install malware automatically, without user interaction. To stop these, users should equip their devices with an anti-malware program and ad-blocking software.

No matter that SafeSear.ch promises to help people reach their favorite websites faster, sometimes it seems that all that it seeks is to promote third parties and increase their page rank, web traffic, or sales. Note that the hijacker redirects all the search results to Yahoo – a reputable search engine. However, that does not mean that the search results are organic[3] – they are littered with sponsored links and promotional content.

While the engine of Yahoo is used, SafeSear.ch hijack injects predetermined links at the top that generate money for the developers and then claim that these are allegedly the results you want to see. In reality, these are the results that were paid for, and might not be useful at all. Nevertheless, in order to cater your needs, information about your browsing activities is gathered continuously to serve you targeted ads, as explained in the Privacy Policy of SafeSear.ch site:[4]

<…>However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses. 

SafeSear.ch PUPSafeSear.ch is a potentially unwanted program that usually sneaks in during the installation of free apps from third-party sites

Be aware that some data, such as user IP address or search queries, might be considered personally identifiable information.

All in all, we recommend you remove SafeSear.ch from your computer and rather use Yahoo directly instead. In such a way, you won't see sponsored links and will be presented with accurate search results. To terminate the unwanted app, you can use anti-malware software (such as ReimageIntego) or check out our manual removal guide below.

Browser hijackers are usually not installed deliberately – here's how to avoid them

As we have already mentioned, a browser hijacker may show up on your computer out of nowhere. In most of the cases, it hijacks Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox browsers after downloading questionable freeware on the system.

Please be very careful with such programs as download managers, PDF creators, and similar software. By saying “be careful” mean choosing Custom or Advanced settings when installing freeware, following every installation step and also unchecking all checkboxes that note that agree to change your search engine, new tab URL, and the search engine

In other cases, users might install potentially unwanted programs intentionally when promised with its advanced functionality. For example, browser hijackers often promise enhanced browsing practice; system optimizers claim to increase your computer speed while video players offer somehow better movie-watching experience.

Nevertheless, you should not pay attention to these empty promises and first check reviews to find out whether the app is actually useful and does not have underlying features that are not instantly apparent.

SafeSear.ch sponsored resultsSafeSear.ch redirects all search results to Yahoo. Despite that, they are not genuine and are instead littered with sponsored links

Delete SafeSear.ch from all your browsers and use reputable search engine instead

In most of the cases, you should be able to remove SafeSear.ch manually with the help of our detailed instructions that you can find below. If you have a standalone program installed that relates to the hijack, you will have to enter the installed program list and terminate the potentially unwanted application from there. After that, you should also reset all the installed browsers, as browser hijackers are known to alter their settings without permission.

The more comfortable way to perform SafeSear.ch removal is employing security software that specializes in PUPs, however. All you have to do is download the app, bring its database to the latest patch, and do a full system scan. In such a way, you will not only get rid of the PUP but also of its traces in Windows registry or LaunchAgents on Macs.

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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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 SafeSear.ch redirect, follow these steps:

Get rid of SafeSear.ch from Windows systems

Windows operating system holds all the installed programs on the hard drive or other assigned place. To remove SafeSear.ch browser hijacker, you will have to terminate the program it is related to via the Control Panel:

  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 SafeSear.ch and related programs
    Here, look for SafeSear.ch 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 SafeSear.ch 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 SafeSear.ch from Mac OS X system

If your mac is suffering from a potentially unwanted program, please proceed with the following steps:

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

Remove SafeSear.ch from Applications folder:

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

Erase SafeSear.ch 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 SafeSear.ch 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 SafeSear.ch removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete SafeSear.ch redirect from Microsoft Edge

MS Edge should be reset as soon as you delete the PUP from your device, or the unwanted activity might continue:

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 SafeSear.ch-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

Uninstall SafeSear.ch 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 SafeSear.ch 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 SafeSear.ch removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Remove SafeSear.ch from Google Chrome

  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 SafeSear.ch 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 SafeSear.ch removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Get rid of SafeSear.ch 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 SafeSear.ch 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 SafeSear.ch, 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 SafeSear.ch removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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