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Remove Search Assistant virus (Improved Guide)

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Is Search Assistant a reliable search provider?

Search Assistant virus may look attractive for users who are looking for additional tools to speed up their browsers and find the required information more easily. It might seem fine and dandy at first, but, in fact, this hijacker is classified as a browser hijacker. Moreover, it also works as adware since its excessive advertising turns out into the highly disturbing issue. This is one of the main flaws which might force you to remove Search Assistant. Furthermore, the browser hijacker wasn’t classified as such if not for its peculiarity to meddle with the browser settings. It has been observed that it changes users’ previous search engines into searchassistant.co. Unfortunately, it happens to be a browser hijacker as well. All in all, make Search Assistant removal your top priority.

Speaking of browser hijackers as a general entity, there are millions of identical and barely distinguishable search engines. However, occasionally, the crooks develop more exceptional PUPs. Likewise, Search Assistant might is an interesting sample because it possesses the features of both, browser hijacker and adware. Regarding the former qualities, it may convince you to install searchassitant.co virus. It pretends to be the browsing tool which speeds up the browser. As a matter of fact, it might slow down it with optional toolbars.

The image displaying Search Assistant

Questions about Search Assistant virus

If we talk about its tendency to operate as adware, you might notice that, once the hijacker takes control of the computer, more and more various ads might show up on the screen. In addition, it does not take long until you get bothered by Search Assistant redirect. This phenomenon becomes visible when you click on the ads with the intention to cancel them. Therefore, within milliseconds, you are carried away to affiliate domain. We suggest you to cancel such redirect windows as soon as possible because they might disguise more or less bothersome malware. In addition, if you decide to uninstall the hijacker, you might struggle to do it, because the PUP might lurk on the system under an alternative title. Thus, some users might overlook and ignore this hijacker. Nonetheless, ignoring this PUP may lead to disturbing outcomes. Terminate it with ReimageIntego.

The transmission of the PUP

This browsing tool prefers using freeware and shareware as a disguise. Unfortunately, free applications prove to be a profitable and efficient cover. Moreover, users’ inattentiveness and naivety that they are safe from encountering potentially malicious programs encourage crooks to continue with their misdeeds. Specifically, few realize that downloading the program from its official website does not guarantee the fact that it might come with bothersome “tricks.” Therefore, it is not surprising how many users fall into the trap set by the developers of the PUPs. That is why we advise you to take these precaution measures to lower the risk of Search Assistant hijack in the future. When you are about to install a new program, choose “Custom” settings. Later on, unmark all optional programs which might be of malignant origin.

Search Assistant elimination methods

You might opt either for automatic or manual Search Assistant removal. In case you choose the latter option, we would like to remind you that precision and attention are essential to exterminate the hijacker properly. Thus, no detail should be overlooked while going through the steps. Likewise, this method may not be convenient for all the victims of Search Assistant virus. The anti-spyware program might be a more efficient solution since it is specifically programmed to locate and exterminate similar virtual pests. Therefore, it is important to update the application for it to remove Search Assistant shortly. After that, you might take a look at manual instructions if you want to reset your former browsing tool.

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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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 Assistant virus, follow these steps:

Uninstall Search Assistant from Windows systems

  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 Assistant and related programs
    Here, look for Search Assistant 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 Assistant 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 Assistant from Mac OS X system

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

Remove Search Assistant virus from Applications folder:

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

Remove Search Assistant 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 Search Assistant virus 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 Assistant virus removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase Search Assistant virus 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 Search Assistant virus-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

Delete Search Assistant 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 Search Assistant 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 Assistant removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate Search Assistant 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 Search Assistant 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 Assistant removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Uninstall Search Assistant 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 Search Assistant 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 Assistant, 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 Assistant 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
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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  1. Freddie says:
    August 4th, 2016 at 1:26 am

    This questionable tool got into my computer as well. Removed it manually, though Im considering to install the anti-spyware app. There have been so many ransomware threats lately…

  2. Linda says:
    August 4th, 2016 at 1:40 am

    It seems that all those virtual search assistants are simply useless apps and websites.

  3. Belles says:
    August 5th, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Search Assistant advertises weird pages. I dont tink i will ever need help of this tool again, so I just gotta remove it, I guess.

  4. Hashtag says:
    August 5th, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Thanks for recommending Reimage. It removed this threat from my computer.

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