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Remove SearchMaster ads (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge) - Free Instructions

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser hijacker

What is responsible for flooding the browser with SearchMaster ads?

If you have noticed SearchMaster ads following you online, it might be a sign that adware program managed to sneak inside your computer. Adware is a potentially unwanted program[1] that is designed to deliver commercial third-party content. Often these applications get inside computers bundled with freeware or shareware. Thus, adware might sneak inside computer unnoticed; though, no one can overlook an excessive amount of ads. SearchMaster adware is also known as Trojan/Wdfload. As soon as it infiltrates the system, it starts generating various online ads and placing them on each website that users visit. The majority of ad-supported programs use “virtual layer” that allows delivering ads even on legitimate websites. Thus, annoying pop-ups might be following you wherever you go. Bear in mind that these ads are not worth trusting because they might be dangerous.[2] The adware might also turn random words into hyperlinks; in other words, it might display in-text ads. Hence, reading your favorite news website becomes complicated. In order to get rid of all unwanted and aggressive commercial content, you have to remove SearchMaster from the computer. The fastest way to do it is to scan the device with ReimageIntego or other anti-malware programs. Within several minutes security tool will find and eliminate all suspicious components.

So-called SearchMaster virus might also initiate sudden redirects to various websites. Users might be redirected to the gaming, gambling or even adult-themes Internet sites. What is more, this adware is known for redirecting people to the tech support scams, suspicious survey websites and phishing sites.[3] Thus, this adware might easily trick you into a scam and cause you more problems. Moreover, SearchMaster ads often promote questionable software, for instance, unknown PC optimization tools or antivirus programs. Sometimes these ads warn about detected viruses and urge to download particular software. Though, it is a scam. These programs are barely useful. Moreover, you might end up installing a dangerous Trojan.[4] As you can see, adware program not only prevents from browsing the Web without interferences but also puts your computer at risk. Hence, you should not risk encountering ransomware or other cyber threat. Opt for SearchMaster removal right now. Detailed instructions are provided in the third part of this article.

Questions about SearchMaster ads

SearchMaster adsSearchMaster ads might redirect to the shady websites, such as tech support scam or survey sites.

How are ad-supporting programs distributed?

Developers of the adware known one bad habit of the computer users and use it to their advantage. The majority of people install programs[5] using Standard or Quick setups. However, instead of saving some time, users often cause themselves problems. These settings do not disclose about additional programs that might be attached to the primary software. Thus, they are installed by default. If you want to avoid SearchMaster hijack and prevent other potentially unwanted programs from entering the system, you need to rely on Advanced or Custom settings only. However, choosing them is not enough. It’s also important to monitor each step carefully because you might overlook the list of pre-selected additional programs. During the installation, you need to opt out all third-party entries.

How to wipe out SearchMaster virus?

Earlier we have described worrying SearchMaster redirect tendencies, and they should not be tolerated. The longer you let the program reside on the PC, the more ads you might see. What is more, they might look similar to your latest search queries or visited websites. It may happen because this app might be capable of tracking data and providing personalized ads. We highly recommend performing SearchMaster removal as soon as first ads pop up on the screen. If you want quick removal solution, you should opt for the automatic option. From the list below, choose one program and scan affected computer’s system. Within several minutes, adware with all its components will be eliminated entirely. If you do not want to use any additional tools, you can remove SearchMaster manually. Follow our prepared instructions and delete all suspicious entries from the PC and web browsers.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. 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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Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove SearchMaster ads, follow these steps:

Uninstall SearchMaster from Windows systems

If you see SearchMaster ads, you need to find and remove adware program which is responsible for generating them. However, you should also look for other third-party apps that might have sneaked inside the computer unnoticed.

  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 SearchMaster and related programs
    Here, look for SearchMaster 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 SearchMaster 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.

Remove SearchMaster from Mac OS X system

Mac OS X are rarely attacked by adware. However, if ads by SearchMaster prevent you from browsing the Web normally, please follow the instructions below to get rid of them.

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

Remove SearchMaster from Applications folder:

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

Get rid of SearchMaster from Internet Explorer (IE)

SearchMaster virus might have affected Internet Explorer. Follow the steps below to fix it.

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 SearchMaster 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,
  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 SearchMaster removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Eliminate SearchMaster ads from Microsoft Edge

After SearchMaster hijack, Microsoft Edge might have been affected as well. In order to get rid of unwanted ads, follow the instructions below.

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 SearchMaster-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

Erase SearchMaster from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

From the list of extensions you need to remove all suspicious entries. Various extensions, plugins or add-ons might be responsible for delivering SearchMaster ads.

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

Delete SearchMaster from Google Chrome

Follow the instructions below to reset Google Chrome after the hijack. In the list of extensions you might unknown third-party entries that should be remove immediately.

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

Uninstall SearchMaster from Safari

SearchMaster adware might have installed various extensions or add-ons to Safari. Thus, you need to uninstall them.

  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 SearchMaster 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 SearchMaster, 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 SearchMaster removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.


Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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  1. Eva says:
    March 20th, 2017 at 2:27 am

    I cannot describe how annoying these ads are!

  2. Bee says:
    March 20th, 2017 at 2:28 am

    Ive been looking for clear instructions for weeks. Thank you guys!

  3. Amila says:
    March 20th, 2017 at 2:29 am

    I accidentally clicked on one of the SearchMaster ads and I ended up on a tech support scam website. Then, I realised that they are dangerous!

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