(Easy Removal Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge Removal Guide

What is – a fake search site that's being promoted by browser hijackers is a browser-hijacking app that inserts sponsored links into your searches is a fake search engine as it doesn't produce any search results itself but redirects all search queries to In case this suspicious activity occurs on your browser, then it is likely that a browser hijacker such as SkilledSearchAdvise is installed on your computer.

While the potentially unwanted application might be installed on the system, it is also possible that the browser hijacking activities start due to a browser extension. Either way, it adds the Managed by your company feature to browsers and doesn't let users change any browser settings by claiming that their company controls it.

Furthermore, to promote fake search engine, the browser hijacker changes multiple browser settings such as the homepage, new tab preference, and the default search engine, so that all search inquiries go through the aforementioned site until results from Yahoo search engine are displayed.

name browser hijacker
Type Browser hijacker, PUP, macOS virus
Possible infecting apps SkilledSearchAdvise and others
IP address
Symptoms Slower performance in both macOS and Windows computers, increased number of ads, pop-up ads, redirect to, changed browser settings
Risks Privacy issues, possible malware acquisition
Removal Please get rid of this PUP by using our free instructions provided at the bottom of this article
Repair Tune-up devices that had this browser intruder to completely eliminate it by using the FortectIntego tool or similar powerful system repair tools

Browser hijackers such as,, Stream Tube, Webwow, and others, are considered as potentially unwanted programs,[1] or PUPs for short, due to these features:

  • Deceptive installation/distribution methods.
  • Gathering of browsing (sometimes personal) information, such as IP addresses, geolocation, visited sites, search queries, and so on.
  • Forcing their users to visit affiliated, promoted websites.
  • Displaying unwanted ads that could lead to malware infections.

Browser intruders can be installed on cell phones, Windows, or macOS devices, either as browser extensions or as software. Usually, they get on devices without their users even knowing what they're installing them, or by being tricked into doing that.

These PUPs can show an abnormal amount of all kinds of ads, banners, pop-ups, and so on. Moreover, they can collect various browsing data and, in some cases, even private data, which may lead to possible privacy issues, financial loss, or even identity theft.

So if you're redirected to a fake search site, and you can't restore browser settings, it's time to remove We've compiled easy step-by-step instructions on how to do it, and you can find them at the bottom of this article.

Dependable anti-malware software like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes could also be used for removal. Additionally, it would find any other suspicious files that might have got downloaded whilst using the browser hijacker and prevent malicious software from infecting your devices in the future. is a potentially unwanted program that show up on your device out of nowhere

Due to the fact that PUPs can alter system registry and other system files by inserting themselves, experts[2] recommend performing a full system scan with reliable system repair tools such as the FortectIntego app or similar to undo any changes that if left unattended might lead to various system irregularities.

Spreading techniques of potentially unwanted programs

Usually, browser hijackers, adware, and other potentially unwanted programs get installed on devices without the users' direct consent or by deceiving them into doing it. The most common ways to spread these types of applications are misleading ads and software/freeware bundles.[3]

Deceiving ads might pop-up on certain websites urging you to, for example, update your Flash Player or other software. And as soon as the user agrees to do that, some sort of PUP might get installed on their devices. Remember that websites don't know whether some of your software is out-dated, so don't get tricked.

PUPs are also commonly distributed with freeware/software bundles. Users rarely read the Terms & Conditions or choose Advanced/Custom installation instead of Standard/Quick one. And that's how this type of application gets installed because all checkboxes authorizing their installation are preselected.

Our suggestion is to download the required software only from official, established distributors as they very rarely use software bundling. If you desperately want an app that's been offered in a bundle, then take the time and go step-by-step in Advanced or Custom installation mode by deselecting all pre-ticked boxes of software that you're not willing to acquire.

Detailed instructions for removal

As we've pointed out in the first chapter of this article, it's unsafe to keep using browser hijacker. It may lead to additional installations of potentially unwanted programs, malware infections, privacy issues, and many other factors.

We urge our readers to remove browser extension or software that promotes it from all devices that get redirected to that site. Detailed instructions are provided below this paragraph. People don't have to be tech-savvy, just follow our instructions step-by-step. removal might also be done with the help of trustworthy anti-malware software or system repair tools that could not only eliminate the threat with all of its components but also repair their device's operating systems.

You may remove virus damage with a help of FortectIntego. 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 Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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 Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

Uninstall potentially unwanted programs from Windows machines:

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 are a macOS user, you should use the following guide to uninstall suspicious programs from your device:

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

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, search 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)

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 Settings.
  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

Delete all the unwanted extensions and clean Chrome as follows:

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

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 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: FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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