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Remove SearchAssist.me (Removal Guide) - Apr 2017 update

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Browser hijacker

SearchAssist.me hijacks browsers to generate advertising revenue

SearchAssist.me virus is suspicious browser extension [1] which the security experts categorize as a browser hijacker [2]. The software developers NextAd Media Group Ltd. distribute this extension on Google Chrome store and describe its as a reliable, feature-stocked browser assistant which will enhance your web experience. This is probably the reason why nearly 11 thousand users have chosen to install it and use it on their Chrome browsers [3]. The extension is also compatible with Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers, so the number of its users may triple. Nevertheless, Search Assist users do not take long to realize that the search services it provides are not as beneficial as initially promised. When installed, the program will automatically replace your default search engine and homepage with its own — searchassist.net. This site rotates between different search engines depending on what you search for. For instance, images, video, and news are presented via search.yahoo.com, while the regular search results are rendered in Bing’s custom search. You should always think twice before using such search engines for your browsing because they are actively used for displaying altered search results filled with commercial pop-up ads and similar content. Besides, it might be that you did not even install the program on your computer yourself. If you have been forced to use this search engine against your will, do not hesitate to remove SearchAssist.me and reclaim the control of your browser. You can trust the elimination to Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or similar malware-fighting software.

SearchAssist.me virus

There is a simple reason to explain why SearchAssist.me behaves the way it does. The redirects and ads it generates increase page ranks and sales of the third parties with which the advertiser collaborates. Of course, this method earns money for the software developer as well [4]. However, talking about browser hijackers, we can hardly find any that would carefully check what sites they promote. If you want to avoid ending up on insecure domains that may be filled with malicious content, you should hurry up with the SearchAssist.me removal. When you are done with the elimination, please make sure that in the future you rely only on some more reputable search providers, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. just to keep your PC secure.

Image of the SearchAssist.me virusSearchAssist.me is a feature-stacked search engine that promises to enhance your browsing experience. Nevertheless, its aggressive marketing strategies make it risky to use, thus you should remove it from your PC without delay.

Hijacker infiltrates computer without informing the user about it

SearchAssist.me virus can easily show up on each of your browsers without your permission asked. If you want to avoid this search site, you should remember that one of the main ways how it’s spread around is a method that is known as bundling. It closely relies on free downloads, such as PDF creators, download managers and similar programs that are actively offered for free. However, if you choose Custom or Advanced installation when downloading freeware [5] on your computer, you can get the ability to opt out of this adware. As soon as SearchAssist.me hijacks the system, it typically shows up instead of the start page and default search engine and starts its annoying activities. Trust us — you won’t miss them. If you have already noticed this search engine on your PC, you should follow these removal instructions:

Course of action after SearchAssist.me attack

If you think that your system was hijacked, you should take immediate steps to remove SearchAssist.me virus from your computer. You can follow manual removal instructions that our experts have been designed for this virus or execute the extermination automatically. Either SearchAssist.me removal method you choose, make sure that you also remove Search Assist extension and reset your browser.

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
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 SearchAssist.me, follow these steps:

Get rid of SearchAssist.me from Windows systems

Manual SearchAssist.me removal guidelines are provided below. Follow them closely to remove the virus from your computer.

  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 SearchAssist.me and related programs
    Here, look for SearchAssist.me 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 SearchAssist.me 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.

Eliminate SearchAssist.me from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove SearchAssist.me from Applications folder:

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

Delete SearchAssist.me from Internet Explorer (IE)

You can free your Internet explorer from the undesirable browser extensions by rolling back the browser’s default settings. It is also important to disable and remove the extension itself, so dedicate some time to do that, too.

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 SearchAssist.me 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 SearchAssist.me removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Remove SearchAssist.me 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 SearchAssist.me-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

Reset MS Edge if that 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

Uninstall SearchAssist.me from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Open the list of your Mozilla extensions and look for SearchAssist.me. Disable it and remove it from your 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 SearchAssist.me 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 SearchAssist.me removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase SearchAssist.me from Google Chrome

Follow the instructions below to remove SearchAssist.me PUP from Chrome.

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

Get rid of SearchAssist.me 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 SearchAssist.me 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 SearchAssist.me, 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 SearchAssist.me removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

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

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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