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Search.searchws2.com. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Search.searchws2.com is a dubious search engine

Search.searchws2.com search engine screenshot

Search.searchws2.com is a fake search engine created by Polarity Technologies. It is promoted in software bundles together with Weather Service browser extension. After the infiltration, it replaces built-in search box, homepage, and new tab URL address without leaving users a chance to revert these changes easily. All these features make it a browser hijacker.[1]

Summary
Name Search.searchws2.com
Type Browser hijacker
Developers  Polarity Technologies
Danger level Medium. Alters browser's settings and might redirect to malicious websites
Symptoms Changed homepage, default search engine, and new tab URL address, an increased amount of ads.
Distribution methods Software bundling
To uninstall Search.searchws2.com, install Reimage and run a full system scan

So-called Search.searchws2.com virus is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) that might make some changes to the system and alter the settings of each of the targeted web browsers. The hijacker aims at Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. After the hijack, it might:

  • replace homepage and search engine to hxxp://search.searchws2.com/;
  • install Weather Service and other questionable add-ons without asking permission;
  • redirect to suspicious websites out of nowhere;
  • display misleading ads;
  • track various information about users.

All these negative features are hiding under a legit appearance of Search.searchws2.com. The homepage includes shortcuts to Amazon, Gmail, YouTube and weather-themed websites. Additionally, it redirects search queries to Yahoo which is a legit search provider. However, trusting the appearance is not recommended.

The biggest issues are related to Search.searchws2.com redirect tendencies. The PUP can trick people into visiting shady sites when they click on a link or ad. While some of these sites just look for aggressive ways to increase their statistics; others are looking for potential victims.

Researchers from LosVirus.es[2] report about hijacker’s ability to redirect to phishing, tech support scam or even infected websites. Therefore, users can easily suffer from ransomware attack, data or money loss. Therefore, the elimination of this dubious app is needed.

However, it’s impossible to remove Search.searchws2.com easily. If you replace this domain with Google or Yahoo, these changes will be rejected. It means that after computer reboot, you will see this shady search engine again.

Proper Search.searchws2.com removal requires eliminating all hijacker-related components from web browsers and Windows (or Mac OS X). You can follow the guide at the end of the article, or you can speed up the process with Reimage.

Careful software installation helps to avoid unwanted apps

Search.searchws2.com hijack is unexpected and sudden. It happens when users incorrectly install free programs,[3] meaning that they use Quick/Recommended installers. These settings are popular among users but trick ones. They do not reveal what third-party components might be spreading together with the primary program.

To avoid replaced homepage or accidental installation of suspicious browser extension or PC optimization software, you have to stick to Advanced/Custom settings and monitor the process. If you see some pre-selected “optional downloads,” remove the ticks and continue the procedure.

Uninstall Search.searchws2.com and reset affected browsers

To remove Search.searchws2.com from your beloved web browsers, you have to make sure that all hijacker related components are deleted too. Therefore, you will need to:

  1. check the system for questionable programs that may have been installed with the same software bundle;
  2. uninstall Weather Service and other browser extensions that were installed without your knowledge;
  3. reset web browsers.

The instructions below will guide you through manual Search.searchws2.com removal. However, you can simplify and speed up elimination by scanning the system with an anti-malware program and resetting the browser.

You can remove Search.searchws2.com automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes Malwarebytes, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security. 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.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove Search.searchws2.com you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Search.searchws2.com. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
Press mentions on Reimage
Alternate Software
Plumbytes Anti-Malware
We have tested Plumbytes Anti-Malware's efficiency in removing Search.searchws2.com (2018-04-03)
Malwarebytes
We have tested Malwarebytes's efficiency in removing Search.searchws2.com (2018-04-03)
Hitman Pro
We have tested Hitman Pro's efficiency in removing Search.searchws2.com (2018-04-03)
Malwarebytes
We have tested Malwarebytes's efficiency in removing Search.searchws2.com (2018-04-03)

To remove Search.searchws2.com, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Search.searchws2.com from Windows systems

Follow these step to eliminate Search.searchws2.com from Windows OS:

  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.searchws2.com and related programs
    Here, look for Search.searchws2.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.searchws2.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.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Search.searchws2.com 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 Search.searchws2.com 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 XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Search.searchws2.com from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Search.searchws2.com and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Search.searchws2.com removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Search.searchws2.com from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Search.searchws2.com should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Search.searchws2.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Uninstall Weather Service and other shady Mozilla Firefox add-ons.

  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.searchws2.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.searchws2.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Search.searchws2.com from Google Chrome

Reset Google Chrome to wipe out hijacker-related components:

  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.searchws2.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.searchws2.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Search.searchws2.com 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.searchws2.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.searchws2.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.searchws2.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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