Severity scale:  
  (10/100)

Remove Search Manager redirect (Removal Guide) - Mar 2018 update

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Search Manager – Chrome extension that manifests as a browser hijacker

Search Manager hijack example

Search Manager is an untrustworthy Google Chrome's extension that can hijack the browser without permission and force its user to use it unwillingly. The official web page of this extension claims that it can provide a custom search experience by replacing start page with http://searchmgr.com and search engine with Yahoo. It is also said to be exclusive in terms of design (background image, colors, start page preferences, etc.). However, it's yet another browser hijacker[1] and potentially unwanted program (PUP) that seeks to gain profit by promoting third-party websites and monitoring its users browsing activities. 

Name Search Manager
Type Browser hijacker
Distribution Software bundling, safe software updates
Compatible browser Google Chrome
Targeted OS Windows and Mac OS
Symptoms Start page replaced with http://searchmgr.com. Search engine changed to Yahoo. Suspicious links among search results and increment of online ads.
Elimination Manual removal possible (instructions below this article). Automatic removal recommended with ReimageIntego

 Cybersecurity community is actively searching for Search Manager virus removal options since 2016 up until now. According to netizens, the tool gets inside PCs without authorization and hijacks Google Chrome. After that, it renders browser helper objects and resists from being removed. 

Search Manager has an official website and is also actively promoted on Chrome Web Store. The ratings show that this program is evaluated quite well. It has accumulated 4 out of 5 stars and, according to the statistics, has been downloaded over 4 million times.

User reviews, on the other hand, already suggest something funny about this program. Most of the users who rated the app with top scores have only submitted obscure and very laconic comments, such as “Really nice”, “Love it!” or “Outstanding.” Such comments can hardly be trusted because malware creators often use such automatically generated content to increase the rating and value of the product. 

However, there are some negative reviews though. Dissatisfied users claim that this program generates annoying ads, redirects to random domains and gets installed on the computer by default along with freeware. These are the typical features of a browser hijacker. Thus, you should be very careful when installing and using this app.

As we have pointed out already, Search Manager hijacker promotes customized Yahoo search results. Beware that “customized” in this particular case means that the search results contain links to affiliated websites. Here's the fraction of the program's Privacy Policy:

The Software includes links to third party sites and/or content (collectively, “Third Party Content”), or desktop short cuts to Third Party Content. Any use by you of Third Party Content that is available via the Software is subject to the terms and conditions of any such Third Party Content. You acknowledge that we have no control over and assume no responsibility for Third Party Content. 

Thus, by using the searchmgr.com and Search Manager extension you risk exposing your PC to potentially dangerous or even malicious content. Besides, as soon as this misleading extensions settles down on Chrome, Search Data starts leaking to third parties via cookies.

Search Manager virus start page illustratedSearch Manager is not a trustworthy Chrome's extension. It can modify web browser's settings and promote questionable domains

If you are unhappy with the service it provides or if you did not ask for it at all, you should remove Search Manager from your computer unhesitatingly. Unfortunately, the program creators will not be much of help here since the support page does not work and only urges the user to install the Search Manager New Tab extension.

Luckily, you will find a couple of useful elimination tips later in the article. Nevertheless, the easiest way to get rid of PUPs is to scan the system with reliable security tools like ReimageIntego

Experts from virukset.fi[2] also prompt people do not delay Search Manager removal. The reputation of this domain is often very poor, so it is possible that some of the related websites could potentially be involved in malware promotion too. 

The extension can enter PCs via freeware

As far as we know, this particular Chrome's extension is officially distributed via two main channels. You can download it from the official website, or you can implement the on Chrome browser straight from the Google Store. However, multitude of dissatisfied users claiming that this program being installed on their computers without their consent proves the fact that it is also actively distributed via freeware.[3]  

Besides, the program might spread with the help of a bogus software update. When browsing the web, you may see a notification, informing that your software, say, Java, has expired. The notification will insist that you download the update here and now. In reality, what really gets installed is a potentially unwanted program that you did not wish to see on your PC in the first place. 

To maintain safe web browsing experience, avoid installing freeware, especially from untrustworthy sources. Besides, opt for Advanced/Custom installation to unpack the bundle and reject installation of PUPs. 

Last, but not least, do not install software updates that are promoted online. Unexpected prompts to update browser, Java, Flash Player, etc. are a catch used by cyber crooks to spread PUPs or malware. 

Remove Search Manager from your PC

Basically, there are two techniques applied for the Search Manager removal. It is possible to get rid of it manually by initiating an in-depth analysis of the programs that have recently been installed on your PC and elimination of the ones that do not indicate a developer or seems suspicious. Of course, you have to remove Search Manager in the first place. 

The other method to get rid of malware is to run a full system scan with a powerful security tool. Anyway, follow the instructions provided below. We hope these guidelines help you get rid Search Manager removal. If you still experience difficulties, do not hesitate to contact us on the Ask Us platform.

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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Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Search Manager redirect, follow these steps:

Uninstall Search Manager from Windows systems

PUPs can be eliminated from Windows quite easily, but to make sure that you do everything properly, please follow this guide:

  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 Manager and related programs
    Here, look for Search Manager 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 Manager 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.

Erase Search Manager from Mac OS X system

Search Manager virus on Mac OS is also a common issue. If Chrome browser has been compromised on your Mac device, please follow this guide to solve the problem out.

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

Remove Search Manager from Applications folder:

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

Remove Search Manager 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 Manager 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 Manager removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete Search Manager redirect 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 Manager-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 Manager 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 Manager 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 Manager removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate Search Manager from Google Chrome

As soon as you uninstall related programs, don't forget to reset Google Chrome's settings to default. Otherwise, unwanted search engine and start page won't step aside.

  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 Manager 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 Manager removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Uninstall Search Manager 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 Manager 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 Manager, 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 Manager 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. 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 the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. 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.

 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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