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Remove Search.josepov.com (Virus Removal Instructions) - Tutorial

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Search.josepov.com is a fake search engine claiming to offer improved search results

Image of Search.josepov.com search engine

Search.josepov.com is a browser hijacker that spreads with the help of bundling.[1] After the installation, it changes browser’s settings, tracks various information related to users’ web activity, and cause browsing-related problems.

It seems that Search.josepov.com virus attacks Mac OS X users and their web browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari. After the successful infiltration, it changes the default search engine, the homepage and the new tab URL options to hxxp://search.josepov.com.

Also known as Josepov virus, the hijacker might install “helper objects,” which are either potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) or suspicious browser add-ons. Their task is to prevent possible changes to the system anytime when users try to change them back to normal ones.

Search.josepov.com browser hijacker along with its “helper objects,” tracks user-related information, for instance, visited URLs, IP addresses, keystrokes or search queries. Such data can include personally identifiable information, which may be later shared with third parties (including other cybercriminals).

However, the biggest concerns are related to Search.josepov.com redirect problems. This fake search tool redirects search queries to Yahoo, which is a legitimate service. However, the hijacker might interfere and force you to visit affiliate websites.

The problem with these sites is that they might belong to cyber criminals or scammers.[2] Therefore, you might become a victim, lose your personal files or credit card information. These redirects might occur when you click on a link in the search results page or specific ad.

Due to these reasons, security specialists recommend staying away from the content provided by the hijacker and remove Search.josepov.com from your startup page immediately. As we have mentioned, this PUP is designed to prevent users’ changes, so you may need to employ anti-malware software.

Scanning the system with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego can help to terminate all files, components and “helper objects” related to the hijacker. However, if you are willing to get rid of it manually, you can find the instructions at the end of the virus description.

Illustration of Search.josepov.com virusSearch.josepov.com is a browser hijacker that might take control over the browsers on Mac OS X.

The shady search tool might appear on the computer unnoticed

Search.josepov.com travels through the Internet with rogue installers of freeware and shareware. This technique is called “software bundling” and misuses the fact, that computer users often rush installation processes and tend to skip steps.

In these installers, all PUPs are marked as allowed by default and are hidden within “Advanced/Custom” settings. By skipping these installation steps, you give them indirect permission to install them.

To avoid Search.josepov.com hijack and installation of unwanted apps, you should carefully check each window of the “Advanced/Custom” installation and deselect all “optional downloads” in the installer. Keep in mind that “Recommended/Standard” settings do not include this feature. Thus, you should not use them.

Remove Josepov virus and suspicious search engine from Mac OS X

To delete Search.josepov.com entirely, you have to find the hijacker, its “helper objects” and other related components, and uninstall them. The manual removal guide below will show you where these entries might be located.

However, IT experts from LesVirus.fr[3] note that the majority of users fail with manual hijacker’s removal. Often people rush and overlook some malicious entries. As a result, their browser’s homepage remains hijacked.

In order to succeed, you should remove Search.josepov.com using anti-malware software. All you have to do is to scan the system with an updated tool and reset affected web browser.

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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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.josepov.com, follow these steps:

Delete Search.josepov.com from Windows systems

Originally, the virus targets Mac operating system. However, if you found the hijacker on Windows computer, follow these steps to remove it:

  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.josepov.com and related programs
    Here, look for Search.josepov.com 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.josepov.com 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.

Remove Search.josepov.com from Mac OS X system

To remove Search.josepov.com from the system, you have to remove all questionable apps:

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

Remove Search.josepov.com from Applications folder:

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

Eliminate Search.josepov.com 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.josepov.com 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.josepov.com removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Uninstall Search.josepov.com 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.josepov.com-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

Get rid of Search.josepov.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Uninstall all suspicious add-ons or toolbars that might be related to Josepov and reset Firefox:

  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.josepov.com 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.josepov.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase Search.josepov.com from Google Chrome

Remove Google Chrome extensions that might be related to the hijacker and reset Chrome's settings to default.

  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.josepov.com 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.josepov.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Delete Search.josepov.com from Safari

Follow these steps to fix Safari after the hijack:

  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.josepov.com 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.josepov.com, 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.josepov.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

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

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

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

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