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Remove virus (Free Guide) - Tutorial

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser hijacker extension tracks information about users and might install third-party toolbars or Searchy extension is a browser hijacker[1] that is presented as a useful add-on that allows searching for information on social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This search tool is designed to change browser’s new tab page, provide results from Bing database and supposedly enhance user’s social search experience. However, it’s hard to talk about program’s capability of improving browsing experience when it is capable of hijacking browsers without asking user’s permission. This program travels in software bundles and manages to get inside the system unnoticed. Thus, changed default search engine and new tab page becomes a huge surprise for the users. Due to this reason, people entitled it as a virus. However, it’s not the right term to describe this search tool. It’s just a potentially unwanted program that cannot harm the system. It can only make undesired modifications in your browser and collect information about you. The collected data might include both personally and non-personally identifiable information. Thus, if you do not want that unknown third-parties to deliver you suspicious commercial offers in the form of pop-ups, banners, and other online ads, you should start removal immediately. The best way to do it is to employ Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego and scan the system with the help of it.

The image of virus might look like a useful extension for social media maniacs. However, installing it is not recommended. After direct (or indirect) installation, this program might also install or include unknown third-party software to Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari web browsers. Thus, you may find out undesired applications, such as Guardbox, XSaver, All4Search, etc. According to the EULA, developers of Searchy do not scan or check third-party apps that might be downloaded together with this browser extension. Also, they do not take any responsibility for the possible damage that users might experience. The main problem is that such third-party apps might spy on you or deliver potentially dangerous content. Therefore, if you decide to remove (recommended), you will need to make sure that all third-party apps are uninstalled as well. It helps to avoid re-hijack or installation of other undesired applications.

Another important issue related to Searchy New Tab is data tracking and sharing. The Privacy Policy reveals that this toolbar automatically collects and stores information to technical, usage, social networks, registration-related and support-related details. Thus, such data might include both personally and non-personally identifiable information, for instance, your name, address, email address, browsing history and habits, IP address, search queries, etc. gathers data for “analytical, business and operational purposes.” It means that during the time, this toolbar will provide you personalized ads. However, aggregated details might also be shared with unknown third parties, and this fact is concerning. Usually, they are advertising networks[2] that are allowed to place ads based on your latest search keywords and other browsing-related information. Increased amount of online ads diminishes browsing experience a lot. That’s why suggest eliminating this online advertising tool.

The illustration of virus
Searchy is a suspicious browser extension that allows searching for information on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Browser extension spreads bundled with various programs

Nevertheless, has an official download website; the EULA reveals that it can also be spread with third-party software. This method is called bundling and allows adding the app as an optional component. Thus, during the installation of freeware or shareware, users can reject its installation or install it intentionally or unintentionally. If hijack is a surprise to you, it means that you agreed to download it indirectly by installing freeware using Basic/Recommended settings. These settings do not openly disclose about third-party software and download them by default. Meanwhile, Custom/Advanced setup reveals the checkbox of offered downloads and allows rejecting their installation.

Getting rid of

If you have installed this program directly, it should be enough to remove as an ordinary browser extension. Below you will find instructions how to do it manually. Do not forget to look up for third-party toolbars and uninstall them too. However, if you want to save your time, you should opt for the quicker elimination method. Opt for automatic removal option and allow an anti-malware program to detect and delete all hijacker-related entries for you.

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 virus, follow these steps:

Erase from Windows systems

Follow the steps below to remove Searchy from the device entirely. The hijacker is known for being capable of installing third-party toolbars. Thus, make sure that you delete them as well. Once you check the Programs’ list on your PC, you need to overlook the list of extensions in Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.

  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.

Remove from Mac OS X system

If your browser has been hijacked by virus, you need to make sure that other applications haven’t been installed on your Mac as well. Then, check the list of browser extensions and eliminate all suspicious entries.

  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'

Get rid of from Internet Explorer (IE)

First of all, you need to remove all unwanted add-ons from Internet Explorer:

1. Click Settings icon on IE.

2. Go to Manage add-ons.

3. Open Toolbars and Extensions.

4. From the appeared list choose entries that you want to uninstall.

Thus, you should look up for Searchy, Guardbox, XSaver, All4Search and similar entries. Once all suspicious add-ons are uninstalled, you need to reset IE in order to delete tracking cookies.

  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 virus 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, should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Delete from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To remove this toolbar entirely, you need to remove all suspicious extensions from Mozilla Firefox:

1. Click Tools on Mozilla.

2. Go to Add-ons.

3. Choose Extensions.

4. From the list of extensions choose apps you want to remove.

We recommend looking for, XSaver, All4Search, and other extensions you do not remember installing yourself. Once it’s done, reset browser’s settings. It helps to get rid of tracking cookies and other hijacker-related components.

  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

Eliminate from Google Chrome

In order to get rid of hijacker entirely, you need to remove suspicious extensions and reset the browser. First of all, open the list of extensions:

1. Click Chrome menu and choose Settings.

2. Go to Extensions.

3. Choose entries that you want to uninstall.

You should look up for not only Searchy extension, but other unknown entries as well. Once you remove them, reset Google Chrome as shown below.

  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

Erase from Safari

Open the list of Safari extensions and remove all suspicious entries:

1. Click Safari Settings menu (or follow these steps: File -> Preferences).

2. Open Extensions.

3. From the appeared list delete all undesired add-ons or toolbars.

Once all entries are eliminated, you need to reset the browser. The guidelines below will help you.

  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

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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