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

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Stealing programs

Search.abclauncher.com virus Removal Guide

What is Search.abclauncher.com virus?

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 ReimageIntego 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 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.

Getting rid of Search.abclauncher.com virus. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

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.

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK. Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Delete from macOS

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

Remove items from Applications folder:

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

Remove 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 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

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the 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 Delete Advanced 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” -Verbose Advanced 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

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Remove 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.

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data. Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings. Reset Chrome 2

Delete from Safari

In order to get rid of all virus-related components, you have to remove suspicious extensions and reset Safari.

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall. Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of Search.abclauncher.com registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting Search.abclauncher.com virus

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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