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Yahoo search virus. 8 Variants listed. Removal guides for 2020

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Yahoo Search – a legitimate search that is actively distributed via freeware bundles as a component of browser hijackers

Yahoo Search virus

Yahoo Search is a legitimate search provider that has been developed in 1994 by a well-known company Oath and a decade ago sold to the Verizon Media. The search provider is topping the charts of most visited sites, especially in the USA. However, regardless of its popularity, Yahoo Search sometimes cannot be trusted. For the past years, it has been actively misused by browser hijackers while trying to reroute users' traffic to a specific site and fill its search results with sponsored content.

Questions about redirect

Web browsers infected by browser-hijacking apps are often redirected to or sites, which have been found showing sponsored content. These redirects are typically performed on the affected web browser without the victim's permission, once he/she adds a search query to the browser hijacker's page. As a result, numerous online forums have been filled with claims about the Yahoo Search virus.[1] 

Name Yahoo Search
Type Legitimate search engine misused by hackers
Danger level Low. Provides reliable services unless used by potentially unwanted programs
Main issue A vast of browser hijackers redirect users to once the search is performed via the hijacker's page
Distribution Bundling, unsafe sites, fake ads
Elimination If you notice a potentially dangerous program redirecting you to this search engine, check whether your system is infected with the so-called Yahoo Search virus. Fix unwanted modifications by resetting the affected web browser. Additionally, use Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to eliminate virus damage

The main reason why users have started discussing Yahoo Search virus is its misusage to display sponsored search results by impersonating legitimate services. Since browser hijackers are considered to be potentially unwanted programs, (PUPs) criminals try to find ways how to trick users into believing that they are trustworthy. Using legitimate services is one of the methods to increase the program's credibility. 

If you have already noticed redirects to Yahoo Search on IE, Mozilla, Chrome or another web browser, you should think what free software[2] have you recently installed on your PC. Usually, these unwanted activities are noticed after installing one of the following programs which might hide a browser hijacker inside:

  • Download manager;
  • PDF creator;
  • Video streaming software;
  • Etc.

As soon as browser hijackers are installed on the system, they initiate system changes, tracking of people's search sessions,[3] collecting their non-personally identifiable information, and causing ads or redirects to sponsored websites by using the so-called Yahoo Search virus.

Yahoo Search virus picture
Yahoo Search virus applies malicious techniques to redirect users' search query results to site.

You could suspect that your computer is infected with Yahoo search virus if this search provider has become your default search engine suddenly. Other symptoms of the affected web browser might be:

  • inability to set preferred homepage or/and search engine;
  • an increased amount of online ads;
  • the random text turned into hyperlinks;
  • new bookmarks added;
  • redirects to suspicious sites.

If any of these activities can be noticed on any of your web browsers, be aware that your browser might be hijacked. Usually, Yahoo services are categorized as malicious and should not be. However, experts note that the Yahoo Search virus term stands for the potentially dangerous activity initiated by browser hijackers on the user's computer without his or her authorization. 

Yahoo Search
Yahoo Search virus can hide in the system under Yahoo Powered and similar terms.

We strongly recommend choosing reliable download sources to avoid browser hijackers. If you want to protect your PC and private data, you should get rid of the virus right after it appears on your web browser. If you are also looking for a way how to remove Yahoo Search, choose a manual elimination way. In this case, you will only need to reset your web browser to its primary settings by performing several simple steps.

However, before you go with that, make sure that the browser hijacker which brought Yahoo search to your computer is gone. Note that there are numerous hijackers that are using misleading techniques to make users take them seriously or make them struggle while trying to get rid of them. Thus, scan your system with a professional security tool to get rid of infections. We also recommend making sure that there are no virus leftovers left on the system. For that, we recommend software like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

After Yahoo Search removal, you should try to browse the web more carefully. Usually, browser hijackers infiltrate systems through their backdoors and then modify browser settings to stay on the system as the primary search provider. Likewise, it is essential to read every term and condition while installing freeware on the system. If, after rebooting your computer, Yahoo comes up, it means that you failed to decline an offer to install optional software on your computer. In this case, the easiest way to find unwanted software is to use anti-virus or anti-spyware software. 

Advertising activities help PUP developers generate revenue

It is evident that Yahoo has been used for advertising purposes and gaining easy income. Usually, users infected with the so-called Yahoo Search virus can notice a significant increase in online ads, the survey offers or other commercial content. Keep in mind that developers gain pay-per-click[4] or pay-per-install[5] revenue and might even promote potentially dangerous applications and websites through this legitimate search provider. 

Therefore, if you happen to suffer from unexpected redirects to a site filled with commercial content, do not ignore this matter. You should leave the site immediately and consider Yahoo Search removal from the system. For that, we recommend scanning your computer with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to see if there is any hijacker hiding in it. Anti-malware/anti-spyware[6] software helps identify computer infection and clean the device safely. Search virus Search virus has been misused by numerous browser hijackers without company's notice.

Yahoo search virus can be found under different names

Colleagues from Germany[7] have warned the Internet community that PUPs have been abusing Yahoo under different names. Keeping them on the system can lead you to danger as they can not only collect non-personally identifiable information but sometimes try to get access to personally identifiable details.

It goes without saying you need to uninstall the following apps if you want to protect sensitive information. If your logins, banking information and other details are visible for cybercriminals, you might suffer from money loss or identity theft:[8]

Yahoo Toolbar

Yahoo Toolbar is the most popular variant of Yahoo-related apps that promises personalized web browsing experience. However, the rating of this plugin has decreased because of its aggressive distribution which can take over the web browser and then start showing Yahoo search results without your approval. If you prefer, let's say, Google, such discovery can really disrupt your work online. The next issue regarding this toolbar is that it fails to leave the system when you use traditional techniques. You should be especially careful with Yahoo toolbar 1.4.1 which is vulnerable to HTTP Yahoo Toolbar Helper ActiveX BO and can be used for attacks.[9]

Yahoo Powered

Yahoo Powered has mostly been used by its developers to redirect users to page. As we have mentioned several times, all these pages are legitimate, but there is a risk of being presented with altered search results that are filled with sponsored links or ads. The distribution technique used by the PUP involves third-party software which typically presents such apps as “free offer”. However, the developers intentionally fail to mention what system changes can be made after accepting this offer and letting Yahoo Powered into the system.


Alternatively known as WinYahoo, this virus has been mentioned in Malwarebytes scan reports. This potentially unwanted program has been known for its persistent aims to stay on the affected computer system and reappearance that is typically noticed after the computer's reboot. In this case, it is highly recommended to check the system for browser helper objects (BHOs) used for such cases. While you can't find such components manually, run the previously-mentioned app or your own anti-virus.

Yahoo Redirect virus

There are thousands of browser hijackers released continually, and many of those redirect their searchers to Yahoo. This is because Yahoo offers third-party advertisers to participate in their affiliate program and allows potentially unwanted program authors to use a well-established search engine. However, this redirection practice comes with a price, and users the ones who are paying for it. Because the hijacker is linking people to Yahoo, it intercepts the search results, providing multiple sponsored links at the top, preventing users from getting the genuine information they need.

Therefore, if you want to use Yahoo search engine, do so without the help of browser hijackers that redirect you there anyways (besides adding unnecessary and fake search results as the primary ones).

Yahoo Community Smartbar Engine 

Yahoo Community Smartbar engine is the add-on from Linkury Inc. The main executable – smartbar.exe. The PUP has been spreading around for several years now and, because of its intrusive activity, been found under different names, including Adware.Linkury.B, Adware.Linkury or PUP/Linkury. You can find this smart bar added to your browser without expecting this because it has been actively downloaded by unaware users as an optional component of other apps. However, if you like other search providers, not Yahoo, you should decline offers to add it to your web browser.

Yahoo Startnow

Yahoo Startnow browser hijacker changes the search engine of the browser to StartNow and sets homepage, as well as new tab address to It establishes itself after a browser extension developed by Zugo Limited is installed on the machine. In most cases, users are tricked into installing applications that are entirely worthless and bring no benefit to their browsing experience or inject the add-on when they install freeware or shareware (software bundling method). Yahoo Startnow is most prevalent in India and the United States. is yet another version of Yahoo redirect virus. Note how browser hijacker authors include Yahoo's name in the address, resulting in the illusion of legitimacy. Users are more keen to trust websites that are associated with reputable names, and PUP authors are well aware of that.

Therefore, gullible users should not be tricked by such techniques, and rather opt for a legitimate search engine, such as,,, etc. If you see your web browser redirecting you to and your search result are filled with sponsored links, it is time to take care of removal of the browser hijacker. You will find all the instructions below this article. is another browser hijacker that belongs to Yahoo redirect virus category. While the URL is almost identical to the above-mentioned hijacker, this variant is quite a bit different. The main website looks plain, but has Yahoo logo right on top of the page, again playing on users' trust. Additionally, the applications are designed to German-speaking users.

While possessing certain differences, the distribution method of potentially unwanted programs remains the same – users install if with bundled software or click on deceptive links online. Furthermore, the primary goal of is gaining revenue by linking users to sponsored sites, providing fake search results and prompting them to install useless software.

Yahoo Search virus with security expert
Yahoo Search virus is a PUP that infiltrates the system and sets this legitimate search engine as the homepage, the default search engine, and new tab URL.

Product bundling allows browser hijackers to enter the targeted systems

A vast of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) use the same distribution techniques to reach targeted computers. One of the most popular ones is called bundling which allows browser hijackers to travel as one program with third-party Spigbot apps, including the following:

  • Extensions[10];
  • Plug-ins;
  • Add-ons;
  • Toolbars.

As soon as the person installs the software-bundle, the computer is infected with a browser hijacker. This issue shows up on all the most popular web browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer. To prevent this from happening, you should always pay an appropriate amount of attention to the freeware's installation process.

It's advisable to read EULA, Privacy Policy, and other accessible information about your selected program. By the way, you should opt for an Advanced or Custom installation option and carefully check the entire process.

During software installation, your main task is to find the list of “optional downloads” and opt out of all programs that are promoted there. NEVER agree to set an unknown search site as your start page and search provider because you may later experience various issues.

Uninstalling so-called Yahoo Search virus requires professional help

Even though you might find among Yahoo search virus versions, this application is not categorized as a malicious program. In fact, it is classified as a potentially unwanted program that does not perform system changes. However, experts warn that browser modifications are not essential for an enhanced browsing experience. Thus, it is better to remove

For that, we present you two different options – manual Yahoo Search removal and automatic elimination option. According to PC security experts, the first option can be used only when you know the names of potentially unwanted programs that are causing redirects to this search engine.

The question of how to get rid of Yahoo search on Mac prevails on online forums

How to remove Yahoo Search on Mac is the main question that can be found on various Mac-related forums[11]. Since people believe that Macs cannot be affected by malware, such as adware or browser hijackers, they tend to believe that unwanted modifications of a web browser are the result of their negligence. 

The truth is that the Yahoo Search virus on Macs is equally or even more frequent if comparing it to Windows. It infiltrates Macs via legitimate freeware apps distributed on various sources and sets the engine on Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or another Mac-compatible web browser that is used as default. In addition, the search site may be promoted via third-party software updates. 

Yahoo Search virus Mac
Yahoo Search virus infiltrates Mac systems via freeware and hijacks the web browser without asking permission

In order to perform Yahoo Search removal from Mac, you should also know the names of related adware. If you are not sure what kind of the virus has infected your device, then we strongly recommend opting for the automatic removal and let anti-malware program for Macs to identify and remove it. The same applies to Windows users. After a complete malware elimination, reset web browser's settings to recover the changes


You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. 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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Alternative Software
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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. redirect snapshot
Yahoo Search PUP

To remove redirect, follow these steps:

Remove from Windows systems

To uninstall Yahoo Search manually, you need to check recently installed programs. If you find some unknown software, uninstall it immediately. It might be responsible for hijacking your browser.

  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 and related programs
    Here, look for 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 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 '' 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.

Get rid of from Mac OS X system

To remove this hijacker from Mac, you should uninstall every application that was installed on your computer on the same day when this search engine showed up on your computer. If you found set as your default search engine, make sure you reset all web browsers.

  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 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'

Eliminate from Internet Explorer (IE)

To delete Yahoo after the hijack, you have to eliminate all suspicious components. We highly recommend resetting the browser.

  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 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 removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Uninstall redirect from Microsoft Edge

Follow the instructions to fix Microsoft Edge completely.

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, should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Erase from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

If your default search engine was changed to, you need to delete suspicious add-ons and then reset the browser.

  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 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 removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Delete from Google Chrome

One of the reasons why appeared on Chrome is infiltration of potentially dangerous extension. To fix Chrome, your task is to find this PUP and uninstall it. We also suggest resetting the browser in order to get rid of tracking cookies.

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

Remove from Safari

To remove Yahoo virus from Safari, you should check the list of extensions and uninstall unknown entries. It is also recommended to reset the browser.

  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 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, 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 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. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

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 server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

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. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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  1. MilieMilie says:
    January 26th, 2016 at 6:42 am

    You are right! I discovered Spigot toolbar when trying to remove virus from my computer.

  2. Hamburger says:
    January 26th, 2016 at 6:43 am

    I know that yahoo is not a virus but these redirects are driving me crazy!!!

Your opinion regarding redirect