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  (11/100) virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Browser hijacker
12 redirect virus compromises web browsers and starts serving sponsored search results by Aztec Media virus is classified as a browser hijacker that is considered to be a potentially unwanted program (PUP). Once installed, it messes up browser settings and changes certain values such as browser’s start and new tab page in order to promote search engine on hxxp:// This browser redirect virus is very similar to that also seeks to control user’s navigation and trigger redirects to shady third-party sites. When infected with one of these hijackers, users notice that they can no longer alter browser’s settings and the browser keeps causing redirects to the described search engine. HideMySearch virus inserts sponsored ads into search results[1] so that they user would visit predetermined websites and generate revenue for the developer of it.

These external sites can be dangerous and urge the user to install “required” updates, browser extensions or rogue system optimizers, register on vague sites and provide personally identifiable information, or to take scam surveys. Do not be mistaken by the Yahoo logo when you receive the search results – they are altered by Aztec Media[2], and the tab name should reveal it to you. We advise you to be very careful with this search tool and better bypass it. We have also noticed that it contains a link “Clean your Mac,” which points to MacKeeper’s promotional website. We suggest you to stay away from this search engine and links that it provides, and in the meantime, remove with Reimage or another reputable anti-spyware software. virus

Another worrying thing about this search engine is that it silently records some pieces of data regarding user’s activity online. Although it is not a malicious program and it doesn’t intend to collect personally identifiable information, it might do so accidentally. It mainly targets personally non-identifiable information that reveals user’s browsing preferences and general interests, so it collects user’s search queries, tracks websites visited, ads clicked, time spent on external sites, and similar data. Search queries can contain personally identifiable details; besides, you can not know how this rogue program collects and stores user data, so we suggest you get rid of it now. You should not allow some suspicious browser hijacker bother you by serving annoying ads on a daily basis. To prevent this program from tracking your online activities, removal is required.

HideMySearch promotion strategies

We bet that you have already thought about distribution methods because we are almost sure that you do not remember installing it. The problem is, such suspicious programs are mostly distributed alongside other free programs, and because the majority of computer users aren’t aware of software bundling technique, such PUPs manage to enter computer systems with user’s permission. The agreements to install such extras are included in Default or Standard settings mainly, so that is why we recommend choosing Custom or Advanced software installation method instead and then manually deselecting proposed additions.

Eliminate browser hijacker

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to remove virus, you should look at the tutorial we provided below. The instructions prepared by 2-Spyware experts explain how to delete the hijacker from Chrome and all of its files as well. However, if you want to delete all shady programs installed on your PC and fix altered Registry entries, you should choose automatic removal option, which requires having the anti-spyware or anti-malware software. You can find some recommended programs down below.


You can remove automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
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Manual virus Removal Guide:

WindowsMac OS XGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove 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 and related programs
    Here, look for 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 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 '' 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.

WindowsMac OS XGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove 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 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'
WindowsMac OS XGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove from Google Chrome

Delete HideMySearch extension from Chrome in order to end those nerve-racking redirects:

  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 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 removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove 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 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, 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 removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button
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: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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