Severity scale:  
  (10/100)

Remove Search-fast.org (Removal Instructions) - Tutorial

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Stealing programs

Search-fast.org – a PUP which infiltrates into the system stealthily and sets the default search engine to http://search-fast.org/

Search-fast.org PUP

Search-fast.org is a potentially unwanted computer infection which modifies browsers’ settings according to its needs. This browser hijacker[1] can easily change your default search engine, new tab URL and search provider to http://search-fast.org. As a result, the infected user is forced to use this search provider every time he or she clicks on the browser's icon. No matter how trustworthy and safe it seems, this is a fake search engine that is used for showing misleading search results. These kinds of search results are typically filled with banner ads and in-text links that can be eliminated only after you get rid of Search-fast.org virus. 

Name Search-fast.org
Type Browser hijacker
Danger level Low. Affects only specific web browsers
Browsers affected Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, Microsoft Edge
Distribution strategies Bundled software, various hyperlinks, and dubious websites
Prevention methods Stay away from unknown sites, pay attention while downloading a program, and consider installing an antivirus software
Elimination process Use ReimageIntego to delete the PUP in a couple of minutes

After getting into the system, this PUP affects the following web browsers:

  • Google Chrome;
  • Mozilla Firefox;
  • Internet Explorer;
  • Safari;
  • etc.

Additionally, it starts collecting browsing activity-related details which can be shared with third-parties for trying to gain revenue. Pages viewed, links clicked, saved bookmarks, sites visited, IP addresses – all this information is collected by program's owners. Nevertheless, some of your personal data may be at risk.

If you are dealing with this PUP right now, note that security experts advice to remove Search-fast.org browser hijacker from the system as it can redirect you to malicious websites without any warning. Keep in mind that it aims to redirect users to related websites and increase their visitors' traffic. In exchange, its developers are generating income. The PUP might also display misleading ads which might trick you into installing useless software or fake updates.

To continue, by displaying interrupting ads and similar content on your browser, the virus might slow down your browsing process. If you want to prevent these browsing-related problems, take care of Search-fast.org removal. Instead, choose a commonly known search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing.

Search-fast.org browser hijackerSearch-fast.org redirect may provide misleading search query results.

Be cautious while downloading freeware to avoid browser hijackers

According to tech professionals[2], the simplest way for a PUP to get into your PC is by using bundled programs[3]. Browser hijackers typically hide within the regular software so that they can be easily installed together with it. Other ways to get browser hijackers onto your computer are:

  • Downloading items from peer-to-peer networks (e.g. our commonly known Torrents page). These kinds of sites are sponsored by third-parties and might not fit in the security requirements;
  • Clicking on dubious-looking hyperlinks. They can cause redirects to pages which contain a browser hijacker hidden within it, or even a serious virus can be waiting for its turn to infiltrate your computer system;
  • Skipping or rushing download/installation steps may also be the case why you have got a browser hijacker infection in your system. These steps might include various unnecessary options which are carelessly permitted by the user.

In order to avoid such harmful consequences, you should always surf the Internet carefully. Do not visit dubious sites or click on suspicious links. Also, pay attention to every step when you do downloads/installations and deselect unnecessary ones.

Some strong advice is to install an antivirus. Do updates regularly and it will scan your computer system from time to time. If any infections are detected – the anti-malware will help you deal with the problems.

Eliminate Search-fast.org manually or automatically

To remove Search-fast.org from your browsers, such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, and other ones, you need to eliminate all harmful components, including browser extensions, add-ons, and other PUPs. Below the text, you will see some guiding steps which will help you get rid of the cyber threat with all these components.

If you want to perform Search-fast.org virus removal in a faster way, consider downloading and installing an anti-malware program. This tool will show you some guidance and you will be able to eliminate the browser hijacker in a couple of minutes. After all is done, we strongly recommend refreshing your browsers’ and your computer system due to be sure that no additional harmful content is left. 

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-fast.org, follow these steps:

Get rid of Search-fast.org from Windows systems

To remove Search-fast.org from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  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 entries related to Search-fast.org (or any other recently installed 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.

Erase Search-fast.org from Mac OS X system

If a browser hijacker infection occurred on your Mac operating system, be sure that there is a solution for this problem. All you have to do is follow these steps:

Remove Search-fast.org from Applications folder:

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

Delete Search-fast.org from Internet Explorer (IE)

To delete the browser hijacker from your IE browser, follow these guidelines carefully:

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-fast.org 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-fast.org removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Uninstall Search-fast.org 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-fast.org-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

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 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

Eliminate Search-fast.org from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Get rid of Search-fast.org in a few minutes by looking through this guidance:

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 plugins that are related to Search-fast.org 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

In case Search-fast.org did not get removed after following the instructions above, 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 – this should complete Search-fast.org removal.Reset Firefox 2

Remove Search-fast.org from Google Chrome

Eliminate the PUP from Google Chrome in a simple way with the help of this information:

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 Search-fast.org 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 like Search-fast.org 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 Search-fast.org-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 to complete Search-fast.org removal.Reset Chrome 2

Get rid of Search-fast.org from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to Search-fast.org 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-fast.org 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.

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
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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