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Remove SearchSpace (Removal Instructions) - Free Guide

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

SearchSpace is a browser hijacker that reads your browsing history

SearchSpace
SearchSpace is a potentially unwanted application that changes web browser settings

SearchSpace, otherwise known as SearchSpace Search Manager, is a browser extension that is advertised as a tool that can enhance your browsing experience, promising the best search results. Just like many other browser hijackers,[1] it can be downloaded from the official sources (such as Google Web Store), although it can also infiltrate the system via software bundles downloaded from third-party websites or after being tricked by an ad.

SearchSpace is a very typical browser hijacker that provides no benefits to users, but instead, alters the search results, displays sponsored ads, changes web browser settings, collects information about users' web browsing habits and even shares it with search providers, business partners, and other affiliates for marketing purposes.

Name SearchSpace
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program
Infiltration The browser extension can be downloaded via official sources such as Google Web Store, although many might find it installed along with freeware applications downloaded from third-party websites
Symptoms
  • SearchSpace Search Manager browser extension installed
  • Homepage, new tab URL and the search engine of the web browser is set to search-space.net
  • Omnibar searches are performed via the hijacker
  • Search results are filled with sponsored links and ads
  • All search queries are directed to a legitimate provider such as Google, although the results are not genuine
Risks  Installation of other unwanted software, privacy risks, exposure to online scams, etc. 
Removal To uninstall the extension, right-click on its icon. However, if you still see browser redirects and ads, there might more PUPs installed on your system – check out the manual elimination guide below
Optimization  For best results, we recommend scanning the system with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego 

While browser hijackers like SearchSpace are not considered a major security threat, their presence should not be ignored, especially if the access was gained without your consent. There are thousands of similar tools, namely, MysupertabSrchus.xyzOptimum SearchCapitaSearch, and many others. Some of these apps can be presented as browser extensions, while others are installed on Mac or Windows OS. In such a case, the SearchSpace removal process would differ.

Many of these applications work on a simple principle: they often promise users a better browsing experience or include some type of functionality, such as changing background picture, or embedded links to well-known sites like YouTube. However, these browser tweaks are generally worthless and are present in order to make users believe that the PUP is there to bring the benefits. SearchSpace is one of such extensions.

Once inside the system, SearchSpace hijack will be apparent almost straight away, as the homepage of the Google Chrome or another web browser will be appended with a search-space.net homepage and new tab address. In the middle, users will see a customized search engine applied. While it may seem unique, it does not use its own engine and redirects all searches to a well-known provider, such as Google.com.

SearchSpace hijack
SearchSpace is a browser hijacker that can be downloaded from official sources but is also delivered via software bundle packages

However, the results produced via the SearchSpace search engine are fake, as users would be presented with sponsored links at the top. Since most users click on the first result, it allows the app developers to promote sponsored websites which might not be the best of quality, or also be irrelevant to the search query. This way, affiliated websites boost their traffic, and SearchSpace virus authors receive monetary payouts each time a user clicks on a sponsored link.

Another reason why you should remove SearchSpace is its information tracking practices. Here is some of the data that can be tracked by the hijacker's developers:

  • Bookmarks of your web browser;
  • Search queries made;
  • Accessed web pages;
  • Interaction with advertisements;
  • Session duration, etc.

Unfortunately, much of the data can also be disclosed to third parties and partners, as explained in the Privacy Policy:[2]

We may disclose or share this information with third parties as specified below and solely if applicable. We collect the following Non-Personal Information from you when you access or use the Services: the type of browser you are using as well as operating system, your time zone, the date and time you access the Service, screen resolution, browser and operating system language, default search, country, etc.

All in all, we suggest you get rid of useless browser extensions that feed you ads, share your information, and do not provide any benefits for it. If you already got rid of the SearchSpace hijack by terminating the extension and you still see suspicious browser activities such as sponsored ads, there might be that there are more potentially unwanted programs installed on your system.

PUPs often travel in bundles, so multi-infection is not a rare occurrence – especially if the installation process of freeware is done carelessly. Therefore, we highly recommend checking our instructions below and scanning the device with anti-malware software to ensure no malicious software managed to get in. Also, you can reset your web browsers in an attempt to terminate ads, and fix virus damage with tools like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Learn how to recognize and avoid potentially unwanted programs 

Even though potentially unwanted programs are not considered malware, most of the reputable security vendors now provide PUP detection feature. Initially called spyware, adware and other potentially unwanted applications have become a real problem to users and security community – Macs especially suffering from constant adware attacks. While in most cases, PUPs serve as an inconvenience that spams users with ads and can be eliminated easily, some programs were highly associated with malware or even put users' security at risk (such was the case with Lenovo's Superfish adware scandal).[3]

SearchSpace virus
SearchSpace displays sponsored results at the top, preventing unaware users from finding relevant information

Potentially unwanted applications clutter your computer, serve you ads, and bring no real benefits. Thus, learn to avoid them in the first place by following these tips from experts:[4]

  • When encountering a pop-up message on the internet claiming that your computer needs updated or is infected with malware and you need to download/install something – ignore it, it is a scam that may result even in malware infections;
  • If possible, always choose official sources for your downloads;
  • If using third-party sites to download freeware, always ensure you press the correct “Download” button, as many fake buttons are used in order to make you download scamware or malware;
  • Before installing an app, you have never heard of, check its reviews online;
  • When prompted, always choose Advanced or Custom installation settings instead of Quick setup;
  • Remove all the ticks next to video converters, browser extensions, media players, and other useless software;
  • Install a security application that would warn you about potentially unwanted programs.

Uninstall SearchSpace and use legitimate search tools instead

If you installed PUPs unintentionally, there is a high chance there that there are other unwanted apps on your system. However, you should first take care of SearchSpace removal – simply right-click on the extension for the purpose. Now, you should access the full list of the installed apps and check for anything suspicious, such as unknown video games, media players, driver updaters, and similar tools. Basically, you should get rid of everything you do not recognize.

After you remove SearchSpace and all the other unknown apps from your system, we also recommend you perform a full system scan with powerful anti-malware software. Note that, in case the computer is infected with malware that is designed to stay undetected, you are highly unlikely to experience any symptoms. Therefore, using automatic removal tools is important, as they can detect and eliminate all the malicious components that could be present on the system.

Also, in case you did find unwanted apps besides the SearchSpace virus on your machine, we highly suggest you reset the web browser settings, as explained below, to eliminate all the trackers and other unwanted settings.

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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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove 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.

To remove SearchSpace, follow these steps:

Eliminate SearchSpace from Windows systems

To get rid of potentially unwanted apps from Windows, follow these steps:

  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 SearchSpace and related programs
    Here, look for SearchSpace 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 SearchSpace 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.

Delete SearchSpace from Mac OS X system

macOS users should perform the following actions if they want to terminate suspicious apps:

  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 SearchSpace 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'

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

Uninstall SearchSpace 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, SearchSpace should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Get rid of SearchSpace from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

If the ads continue after you eliminated SearchSpace, you should reset Firefox as explained below:

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

Remove SearchSpace from Google Chrome

To reset Google Chrome after a PUP infection, follow these instructions:

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

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

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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