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Search.switch2search.com virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker
12

Search.switch2search.com is not prepared for searching properly

Search.switch2search.com is a browser hijacker which is alternatively known as Switch2Search. This potentially unwanted program (PUP) belongs to ClientConnect Ltd company which has already released a wide list of similar programs that do not help people find needed information. In fact, when installed, Search.switch2search.com virus initiates malicious activities on the infected machine and then significantly decreases a performance of the affected web browser. This PUP cannot be assigned to malware category since it does not do any illegal activities. However, computer users are not typically satisfied with the activity of this hijacker, because it makes annoying ads appear and also provokes web redirects that lead to questionable Internet sites. This application attempts to implement pay-per-click advertising scheme by urging the victim to use a vague search engine, which it sets to appear on a homepage and a new tab page.

Search.switch2search.com PUP urges the user to use a shady search engine

Once this hijacker gets inside the computer system, it adds Switch2search browser extension to Google Chrome browser. It seems that at the moment this hijacker is compatible only with this browser, but typically developers eventually create versions compatible with all main web browsers as well. This extension has several functionalities. First of all, it changes homepage and new tab page, and, on top of that, the default search engine settings as well. Second part of suspicious activities, that could lead you to Search.switch2search.com removal, are related to tracking your behavior online. It needs to know what websites does the user enter, what search queries does he send, what ads does he click on and so on. Such information helps the developers of this questionable extension (ClientConnected Ltd) understand what the computer user is interested in. However, you should also know that this company might share this information with particular third parties. “(including, without limitation, search engines, content providers, and advertising networks) that provide various services (such as advertising, marketing, analysis, content, and search) in connection with the Software & Services.

In other words, you are going to receive a lot of targeted advertisements, which can reach you in a form of search results, pop-up ads, and similar content. Typically, computer users get annoyed when they receive intrusive advertisements; besides, this app uses computer’s resources to load all this sponsored content, so as a consequence, the speed of the computer performance is going to slow down. We suggest you to think about the consequences of keeping this browser hijacker on your computer, and if you would like to remove Search.switch2search.com, use a proper program for that. You can use Reimage or similar software.

Distribution techniques of this browser hijacker

A link to download this potentially unwanted application can be found on its official site, which, unfortunately, looks quite reliable. Nonetheless, it doesn’t seem that many PC users come across it while browsing the Internet, so the developers of this app use another distribution technique to spread it. Search.switch2search.com redirect virus is distributed along with other apps, so we suggest you to be careful and not rush while installing free computer programs that you download from the Internet. They typically include “I agree to install XXX” or “Yes, make XXX search my default homepage” and similar permissions within Default or Standard installation options, so make sure you switch them to Advanced or Custom option. However, that is not enough; to refuse to install suspicious additions, you need to remove checkmarks next to these permissions. It will not be hard to do that since these agreements will appear as soon as you choose Advanced/Custom settings.

Search.switch2search.com removal instructions

If you are not ready to experience web redirects, suffer system slowdowns, and similar problems, then do not waste your time and remove Switch2search virus from the system. For that, you can opt for automatic and manual removal methods. If you are thinking about manual Search.Switch2Search removal, make sure you are very attentive while following the steps given below. Usually, they help reverting unwanted changes back to normal. Besides, try to alter installation settings the next time you install a new computer program, and now follow these instructions to undo the installation mistake that you made a while ago:

You can remove Search.switch2search.com 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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Manual Search.switch2search.com virus Removal Guide:

WindowsMac OS XGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxSafari

Remove Search.switch2search.com from Windows systems

To uninstall Switch2Search, make sure you find all apps related to ClientConnected Ltd company.

  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.switch2search.com and related programs
    Here, look for Search.switch2search.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.switch2search.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 XGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxSafari

Remove Search.switch2search.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.switch2search.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 XGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxSafari

Remove Search.switch2search.com from Google Chrome

Add-ons that are related to ClientConnected ltd should be removed if you want to fix your browser properly.

  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.switch2search.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.switch2search.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxSafari

Remove Search.switch2search.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.switch2search.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.switch2search.com removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxSafari

Remove Search.switch2search.com virus 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.switch2search.com should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxSafari

Remove Search.switch2search.com 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.switch2search.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.switch2search.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxSafari

Remove Search.switch2search.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.switch2search.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.switch2search.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.switch2search.com 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 Search.switch2search.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: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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  • Marilyna

    Thank you for providing such a helpful tutorial.

  • gusGus

    Just got rid of this search engine. Great!