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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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner 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 PUP
SafeSear.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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner ) 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 results
SafeSear.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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner . 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 Reimage Cleaner, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Reimage Cleaner has a free limited scanner. Reimage Reimage Cleaner 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 Reimage Cleaner, 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:

  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 SafeSear.ch 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'

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

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:

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, SafeSear.ch should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

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

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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