Search.windowconfig.com browser hijacker (virus) - Free Instructions

Search.windowconfig.com browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is Search.windowconfig.com browser hijacker?

Search.windowconfig.com is causing redirects to malicious pages while browsing the Internet

Search.windowconfig.comSearch.windowconfig.com redirects users to scam sites

Search.windowconfig.com is classified as a browser hijacker because it redirects users' searches from the address bar to questionable pages. Usually, hijackers take over the browser by changing the main settings, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine, but this one tries to act secretly without causing big noticeable changes.

The pages that users start getting thrown to can be dangerous and cause PUP (potentially unwanted program)[1] or malware installations. If you have this extension or application installed you might encounter pages that encourage you to update your Flash Player, warn you about non-existent virus infections, and rush you to install bogus antivirus software.

Flash Player was discontinued in 2020 and replaced by new technology – HTML5.[2] So any prompts and pages saying otherwise are definitely fake. One other thing that users seem to be fooled by quite often is fake giveaways. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. We previously wrote about the You've made the 9.68-billionth search scam, and the 2018 Annual Visitor Survey scam which are great examples.

NAME Search.windowconfig.com
TYPE Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program
SYMPTOMS Redirects to scam, push notification spam, and phishing sites
DISTRIBUTION Shady websites, deceptive ads, freeware installations
DANGERS Users can get redirected to dangerous websites where they can get tricked into providing personal information or installing PUPs and malware
ELIMINATION Go to your browser settings and remove the extension; performing a scan with professional security tools is recommended
FURTHER STEPS Use ReimageIntego to fix any remaining damage and clear your browsers

Although we mentioned that you should not be experiencing any other symptoms, you should still be aware of them to be able to identify the threat. Browser hijackers can also cause:

  • Pop-up ads and new tabs
  • Unwanted extensions to appear
  • Redirects to unfamiliar pages or ads
  • Alerts about your device being infected

Virus infection warnings use scare tactics and a sense of urgency to get users to download PUPs or malware disguised as security tools or VPNs. “IP address & personal information might be exposed” scam displays users' IP address, approximate location, and browser to make them think that this information is accessible to anyone and they could get targeted any time.

There are also pages like Orange-note-wmca1.click, Antivirus-protection.shop, and Antivirus.safe-web-pc.com that use well-known antivirus software brands to appear legitimate. They say that users are unprotected if they do not have these tools and offer a discount to make it look like a good deal.

Search.windowconfig.com adsSearch.windowconfig.com may put user privacy and security at risk

Protect your machine from uninvited guests

Of course, the most basic thing users can do is to be careful while browsing the Internet and not click on random links, pop-ups. Pages that engage in illegal activities are especially dangerous because they are full of deceptive ads and sneaky redirects. They can cause new tabs to open with ads created by fraudsters who want to lure out personal information, etc.

One other thing you can do to help you avoid the infiltration of apps that start performing unwanted tasks in your browsers is to clean cookies[3] regularly. Cookies are small data files that contain information like your IP address, pages you visit, links you click on, and things you purchase. There have been instances where these cookies were hacked using security holes.

A great thing to have is a maintenance tool like ReimageIntego which can clear your browsers automatically. This powerful software can also fix various system errors like BSoDs, registry issues, corrupted files, and more. This leads us to our next point – try to update your system and software as soon as new security patches are available. This will make your system much more secure and unlikely to become a target of cybercriminals.

Also, try to avoid installing programs from freeware distribution sites. They often include additional programs[4] in the installers without making you aware of it. That is why it is important to always go through the installation process step by step. Choose the “Custom” or “Advanced” installation method, check the file list and untick the boxes next to any apps that seem unrelated.

Another crucial thing to have is quality antivirus software. This will stop malware and PUAs from entering your system. Professional security tools should alert you about unauthorized installation attempts which reduce the risk of infection significantly. Security tools that we highly recommend are SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes.

Remove the unwanted extension

You can remove browser add-ons by going to your settings. Find the list of extensions installed in your browser and remove the malicious plugin. We show how to do that in the guide below:

Google Chrome

  • Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  • In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

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 extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

MS Edge (Chromium)

  • Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  • Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Mozilla Firefox

  • Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  • Select Add-ons.
  • In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Safari

  • Click Safari > Preferences…
  • In the new window, pick Extensions.
  • Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Internet Explorer:

  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 suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Remove adware from your system

Another reason why you could be experiencing these redirects is that you have adware hiding in your system. Such programs generate revenue by generating commercial content, banners, surveys, redirects. The problem with the manual removal of these applications is that they are hard to identify if you do not have experience. They are often disguised as handy tools that you would not even suspect.

Besides, even if you do identify the program, you might not be successful in deleting all the related files which could lead to the renewal of the infection. If you are not sure what to do and you do not want to risk deleting the wrong files, we suggest using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes anti-malware tools that will scan your machine, eliminate it, and prevent such infections in the future by giving you a warning before a PUP can make any changes. If manual removal is what you still prefer, we have instructions for Windows and Mac machines:

Windows 10/8:

  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 the entry of the 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

Windows 7/XP:

  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.

Mac:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all 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 an unwanted app, 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 and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files.Uninstall from Mac 2
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix 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.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

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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