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Remove Search.searchw3m.com (Removal Instructions) - Virus Removal Guide

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Stealing programs

Search.searchw3m.com – yet another browser hijacker by Polarity Ltd

Screenshot of Search.searchw3m.com

Search.searchw3m.com is a browser-hijacking infection that was developed to cause changes to your homepage and the default search engine. As soon as this deceptive search engine settles down on the system, it redirects your web browser to New Tab Search, and query.searchw3m.com websites.

In most of the cases, virus infects your computers with the help of bundling, together with free software.[1] However, you can also download it as a great tool to receive a convenient connection to weather forecasts, news and games. Unfortunately, the most of users who have done that are not satisfied with Search.searchw3m.com virus because its aim is far from improving users' experience on the web. 

Once the system is infected, this browser hijacker causes a wide list of changes that are required for its proper functionality:

  • the PUP modifies each of web browsers;
  • it changes the homepage/default search provider;
  • this hijacker can start tracking its victim;
  • the virus initiates redirects to sponsored websites;
  • it fills third-party websites with sponsored content.

First of all, Search.searchw3m.com hijack is followed by some specific modifications on every browser. By adding a new value to the target field, the virus prevents users from removing it easily. Soon after the infiltration, it can also start causing redirects to sponsored websites and display annoying advertisements that appear as soon as you open the affected web browser. Mostly, these ads show up in the form of pop-ups,[2] in-text ads, underlined words and similar content.

Finally, the Chrome Tab Page virus can be set to collect information related to your browsing activity. By collecting your search queries, mostly used search phrases and similar data, the virus can significantly slow down your browser, and your websites can load much slower. The only remedy for that – Search.searchw3m.com removal.

Cyber security experts from Virusi.hr[3] note that keeping this browser hijacker can lead you to the serious privacy-related issues since hijacker gathers information related to your search queries and browsing habits. There is no guarantee that its creators won’t try to sell it to unknown third parties. If you don’t want to put yourself at risk, you are strongly advised to remove Search.searchw3m.com from your computer with ReimageIntego or another anti-malware.

Picture of Search.searchw3m.com virusSearch.searchw3m.com is a questionable search engine that might redirect to potentially dangerous third-party websites.

Distribution techniques that you must be aware of

Search.searchw3m.com distribution and operation model is very similar to the most of other browser hijackers. The deceptive application attracts users by presenting itself as a useful tool, even though it is not a recommended addition to your browser. Unfortunately, many users are convinced that it is a legit browser and let the virus enter their computer.

Besides, there is yet another way used to spread browser hijackers on the Internet. It is called bundling because it hides them in another software as optional components and only those who are the most attentive can spot them. To do that, you need to opt for Custom or Advanced installation mode. Then, make sure you deselect all pre-checked checkboxes that agree with system changes and installation of additional extensions.

There are two ways to remove Search.searchw3m.com from the system

To remove Search.searchw3m.com from the system, make sure you carefully follow the guidelines provided by our experts. By following them, you will have to find and uninstall all potentially unwanted programs hiding on your computer system.

Also, you can use automatic Search.searchw3m.com removal option to perform the whole procedure faster. In this case, choose one of the programs from a list of programs that is given below. Then, update it to make sure that you have a full database and run a full system scan.

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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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.searchw3m.com, follow these steps:

Eliminate Search.searchw3m.com from Windows systems

To remove browser hijacker manually, follow these steps:

To remove Search.searchw3m.com 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.searchw3m.com (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.

Uninstall Search.searchw3m.com from Mac OS X system

To eliminate browser virus from Mac OS X, follow these instructions:

Remove Search.searchw3m.com from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Search.searchw3m.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.searchw3m.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.searchw3m.com and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Search.searchw3m.com-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Delete Search.searchw3m.com from Internet Explorer (IE)

Reset Internet Explorer to delete hijacker-related entries.

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.searchw3m.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.searchw3m.com removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Get rid of Search.searchw3m.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.searchw3m.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

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

Erase Search.searchw3m.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Uninstall questionable add-ons and reset Firefox by following these steps:

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.searchw3m.com 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.searchw3m.com 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.searchw3m.com removal.Reset Firefox 2

Remove Search.searchw3m.com from Google Chrome

Remove unknown Google Chrome extensions and reset the browser to remove Search.searchw3m.com entirely:

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.searchw3m.com 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.searchw3m.com 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.searchw3m.com-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.searchw3m.com removal.Reset Chrome 2

Eliminate Search.searchw3m.com from Safari

Follow this guide to wipe out Search.searchw3m.com 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.searchw3m.com 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.searchw3m.com 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.

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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