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Remove Search.abclauncher.com virus (Tutorial) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Search.abclauncher.com might deliver potentially dangerous links in the search results page

Screenshot of Search.abclauncher.com

Search.abclauncher.com is a fake and insecure search engine. Security experts know it as a browser hijacker that might attack Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and other browsers. It was classified as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) due to these reasons:

  • entering the system silently;
  • setting its domain as default search engine/homepage without asking user’s permission;
  • alteration of search results;
  • delivery of ads, sponsored links, and other commercial content;
  • redirects to suspicious websites;
  • information tracking.[1]

This annoying application hijacks web browsers when a user incorrectly installs freeware. On the affected system, it typically modifies Windows registry and shortcuts in order to boot with system startup and prevent users from simple Search.abclauncher.com removal.

When a user opens the hijacked web browser, he or she might find this new domain on the main page. Nevertheless, this search tool might look legitimate; you should not let it stay. This search tool might let you browse through the irrelevant and insecure websites.

The main suspicions about Search.abclauncher.com virus should arise when you try to learn more about developers, read Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. Normally, Google prevents from visiting these pages and delivers a security alert saying that connection is not private and attackers “might be trying to steal your information from www.abclauncher.com (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards).

It goes without saying that such alert should not be avoided. The research also revealed that this shady tool is created for aggressive advertising purposes only. Thus, you should not expect it to bring the best search results from the web and enhance your browsing experience.

Once you are redirected to search results page, at the top of the list, you will see numerous ads. In order to see organic links, you will need to scroll to the middle of the page. However, inattentive users may not notice little letters saying that this content is sponsored and visit unknown websites.

The problem with commercial content is that it is potentially dangerous. Ads and links might lead to high-risk or misleading internet sites. Here you might be tricked into installing suspicious programs or involved in various cyber crimes. Thus, you should remove Search.abclauncher.com in order to reduce the chance to encounter Trojan, ransomware or other malware.[2]

Apart from that, the hijacker might also cause problems with redirects. Your browsing sessions might be disturbed by numerous redirects to various promotional sites. Typically, it redirects to abclauncher.com. However, the analysis showed that PUP might also force users to visit gaming, gambling or even websites for adults.

Such annoying activities should motivate you to achieve Search.abclauncher.com removal. We suggest speeding up the procedure with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or another anti-malware.

The image of Search.abclauncher.com virusSearch.abclauncher.com virus spreads in software bundles and after infiltration hijacks targeted browser's settings.

Bundling – the main way of hijacker’s distribution

ABC Launcher is distributed as an extra component in software packages. You can find the offer to replace your current search provider with this one when installing various programs downloaded from the internet. However, in order to spot and stop it, you need to choose the right installation settings.

The main advantage of bundling is that it allows hiding PUP under “quick” settings. This setup is widely used among users. Thus, authors of such programs take advantage of this bad habit. To protect your PC from undesired apps, you have to opt for Advanced/Custom installation settings and deselect pre-selected optional programs.

These tips should be followed in order to avoid Search.abclauncher.com hijack and installation of thousands of other PUPs that are currently being spread the same way. Nevertheless, the hijacker mostly aims at English-speaking users; some hijacks were spotted in Germany[3] and France.

Deletion of the Search.abclauncher.com virus

At the end of the article, you will find manual Search.abclauncher.com removal instructions. They will help to find and delete all hijacker-related components from the device. Make sure that you delete all programs, files and browser extensions.

However, if you rush and leave some virus-related entries, you may not succeed. In order to avoid failure and save your time, we suggest automatic elimination option. To remove Search.abclauncher.com automatically, you will need a professional anti-malware. Just run a full system scan with an updated tool and let it delete hijacker for you.

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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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 Search.abclauncher.com virus, follow these steps:

Remove Search.abclauncher.com from Windows systems

Check the list of installed programs in Control Panel. If you find some unknown programs there, uninstall them immediately. They might be responsible for bringing hijacker to the computer.

  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 Search.abclauncher.com and related programs
    Here, look for Search.abclauncher.com 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 Search.abclauncher.com 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.

Get rid of Search.abclauncher.com from Mac OS X system

If you find Search.abclauncher.com set as your default homepage, please follow the instructions to get rid of it.

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

Remove Search.abclauncher.com from Applications folder:

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

Erase Search.abclauncher.com from Internet Explorer (IE)

This step-by-step guide will help to remove virus-related entries from the Internet Explorer.

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 Search.abclauncher.com 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 Search.abclauncher.com removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete Search.abclauncher.com virus from Microsoft Edge

If you need to fix Microsoft Edge after the attack, follow these instructions carefully.

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 Search.abclauncher.com-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 Search.abclauncher.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

From the Mozilla's extensions uninstall ABC Launcher and other suspicious entries.

  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 Search.abclauncher.com 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 Search.abclauncher.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate Search.abclauncher.com from Google Chrome

Once you uninstall unknown browser extensions and reset Google Chrome, you will be able to replace Search.abclauncher.com with a reliable search engine.

  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 Search.abclauncher.com 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 Search.abclauncher.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Remove Search.abclauncher.com from Safari

In order to get rid of all virus-related components, you have to remove suspicious extensions and reset 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 Search.abclauncher.com 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 Search.abclauncher.com, 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 Search.abclauncher.com 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. 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 the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. 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.

 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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