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Remove Search Awesome virus (Removal Instructions) - Aug 2020 update

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Adware

Search Awesome – an adware type virus which fills users' searches with dubious links and unwanted ads

Search Awesome virusSearch Awesome can easily hijack all of your web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, IE, etc.

Search Awesome is an adware-type program developed by The virus claims that it is capable of helping users get more friends and other awesome stuff. However, no matter how good its official site looks, security experts have already warned users not to install this PUP on the system because it can easily change your system settings and perform other unwanted activities behind your back. Also known as Adware.SearchAwesome, unreliable program can also stealthily install browser helper objects (BHO) and similar components to track your search sessions, so there is no doubt that it should be avoided. 

Name Search Awesome
Type Adware
Detected as Adware.SearchAwesome
Danger level High
Distribution methods Bundling technique; untrustworthy websites; fake ads
Symptoms Altered search results, numerous ads and links, disrupted browser's activity
Potential dangers Delivered ads might be programmed to automatically install malware or redirect to shady pages
Elimination Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego is recommended to uninstall Search Awesome

The functionality of Search Awesome malware is almost identical to Social2Search and Wajam[1]. The suspicious software asks access to victim’s social media accounts so that it could generate modified search results for the victim. People are tricked to use it by the false promises of the developers:

We are committed to enhance your web searches to help you find what you are looking for.

The tool suggests providing useful search results that reveal what the victim’s friends have shared regarding the user’s search query. Although such a feature seems useful, do not let this adware program deceive you and uninstall Search Awesome for your safety. The entire time it stays on your computer, it analyzes yours, as user’s, activity online. 

Search Awesome adsSearch Awesome virus incorporates ads next to regular search results and expects the victim to click on them. These ads are highly dangerous and can point to insecure Internet websites.

First of all, it tracks what search terms do you use, what websites you decide to visit, which ads draw your attention and convince you to click on them, and similar data. Based on such pieces of information, the adware chooses what ads to display. Part of the ads might be displayed as search results, while the remaining ones can emerge as:

  • banners;
  • pop-ups;
  • in-text ads.

It is unlikely that SearchAwesome can enhance your search experience in any way. Vice versa, we are positive that it will worsen it. If you do not want to receive a combination of ads and friends’ posts in your regular search results, remove Search Awesome virus right now. To delete it, you will need to use the instructions we provided or Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego software.

Another reason to complete Search Awesome removal as soon as it is possible is the fact that it indirectly poses a threat to your computer system. To put it simply, with this potentially unwanted program on your system, the chance to accidentally visit malicious or phishing websites increases. Therefore, it is better to get rid of it and use a regular search engine instead.

If that is not enough, keep in mind that this adware might secretly infiltrate other potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) that will complicate the elimination or make it even impossible. Thus, it is crucial to get rid of SearchAwesome as quickly as possible before it starts installing suspicious software.

Search Awesome virus pictureSearch Awesome ads have been bothering numerous computer users.

Software-bundles usually contain the adware

The easiest way to distribute potentially unwanted programs is to place them in a hidden location for the users not to notice. Likewise, developers have employed bundling[2] technique which allows them to infiltrate the adware among the optional components and spread as one software with freeware.

Once they bundle a couple of programs together, one or more of them become hardly noticeable. The installer of such software pack looks like it's designed to install one individual program.

In reality, Custom/Advanced installation settings hide some terms that you need to disagree with. Choose these settings over Default/Standard ones to access the list of extra programs and drop them off. Remember – if you rely on pre-selected software installation options, you give the software developer permission to clutter your system with possibly dangerous programs.

Therefore, avoid such pre-selected options as:

  • I agree to install XXX;
  • Get XXX now;
  • I agree to change my new tab URL, homepage and default search engine to XXX.

The checkmarks which have been selected against your will may also bring questionable web browser tools, or system optimization software. They are also categorized as potentially unwanted programs that might deteriorate your computer's performance. 

We have noticed that software bundling allows spyware to infect computers all over the world, mostly France[3], Poland, US, China, and hundreds of other countries. Likewise, we advise you to stay cautious and get an antivirus to protect your PC at all times.

Search Awesome virus example

Search Awesome elimination will help you enjoy browsing again

If you want to make your browsing experience pleasant again, remove Search Awesome virus immediately! For that, you are welcome to use our elimination instructions presented just below. You can get rid of the adware from the Control Panel. 

If you have never attempted to perform such spyware removal by yourself, try Search Awesome removal software provided below. Choose the one that suits your needs and let it clean your system automatically.

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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Reimage Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
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 Awesome virus, follow these steps:

Uninstall Search Awesome from Windows systems

Uninstall SearchAwesome, Wajam or Social2Search. Find programs that look suspicious to you and uninstall them via Control Panel. In case you can't find any shady-looking programs or if you have already uninstalled them, proceed to the next step – clean your browsers from unwanted browser extensions.

  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 Awesome and related programs
    Here, look for Search Awesome 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'

Erase Search Awesome from Mac OS X system

  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 Search Awesome 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'

Eliminate Search Awesome 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 Search Awesome 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 Search Awesome removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Remove Search Awesome virus from Microsoft Edge

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, Search Awesome should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Delete Search Awesome 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 Awesome 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. 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'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Search Awesome removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Get rid of Search Awesome from Google Chrome

Delete Search Awesome extension from Chrome. if you can find more suspicious extensions, consider them removing all at once.

  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 Awesome 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. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. 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
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Search Awesome removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Uninstall Search Awesome 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 Awesome or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. 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...'
  4. 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 Awesome removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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