Severity scale:  
  (12/100)

Remove Spark Search (Free Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Spark Search is the browser plugin that promotes browser hijacker program and makes changes to your application without permission

Spark Search hijackSpark Search - the program that aims to affect your time online by editing settings and preferences.

Spark Search is the potentially unwanted program[1] that is categorized as such due to intrusive symptoms and commercial content redirects that get delivered to your screen constantly. This intruder is changing preferences regarding online searches and alters settings of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, or other web browsing tools for the ability of traffic control. The PUP can focus on affecting traffic and showing advertisements, commercial material, other third-party, or sponsored content. It is related to various pages that focus on revenue generation, so all the search results get injected with links, ads, banners rerouting you to other websites. There is nothing valuable about such programs, so you should stay away from it and the promoted Tailsearch.com.

Name Spark Search
Type Browser hijacker/ browsed-based PUP
IP address 104.27.146.124
Distribution PUPs can occur not he system via software bundle packages, deceptive ads, fake update prompts
Symptoms An unknown extension or application is installed on the system. After that homepage and new tab address are set to Tailsearch.com and other engines; search results are filled with sponsored links and ads
Risks Installation of other potentially unwanted programs, privacy risks due to information gathering practices, financial losses
Removal By scanning the computer with a powerful anti-malware tool or security program, you can remove Spark Search
Optional steps Computer infections can cause significant damage to system files or disrupt normal settings. To repair issues regarding the OS, perform a full system scan with ReimageIntego 

Spark Search potentially unwanted program comes out of nowhere and triggers various changes on the system, so the content that the user sees is sponsored, related to third-party advertisers. The page is not appearing on the web browser, but extensions get installed, toolbars added on Chrome or other browsers, so every search is redirected via other engines.

Once Spark Search virus starts rerouting your browsing and showing affected results, the list comes injected with links, banners, pop-ups, and notifications to commercial sites. Clicking on anything like this can affect the performance further and trigger installations of adware-type threats, other PUPs.

You can remove Spark Search as soon as you notice the extension or toolbar added on the browser by eliminating browser-tool from the program. However, it is not helping in the future. PUP is the one that is responsible for these intrusive activities.

Anti-malware tools are needed for Spark Search removal, so rely on SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes and check the system full for any malicious programs, files, and applications. Running a full check can improve the performance since antivirus programs find and delete various cyber intruders for you.

Spark Search is a potentially unwanted program that can intrude your time online and affect performance, trigger unwanted changes, install other programs. It also can record data about your browsing habits. Also, third-party apps can do that. Remove the PUP as soon as you can and run ReimageIntego for the damage repair.

Spark SearchSpark Search is the toolbar that promotes other pages and apps, so third-party companies and sites receive views.

Stay away from shady download pages and torrent sites

Pirating[2] is not a great activity in general, but experts[3] tend to note that the internet is not a safe place at all in addition to that. When you rely on torrent sites, peer-to-peer sharing platforms, and similar services, you risk getting your machine infected or damaged in a more crucial way.

Paying attention to details like senders of emails, program providers, website creators, and so on can be very important. You can control what happens during the freeware installation when you go for Advanced or Custom options. You can see the full list of applications this way. Otherwise, you automatically allow all the applications to get downloaded. PUP developers can pre-bundle various dangerous tools too, so be careful.

Clear the machine from any traces of the PUP and remove Spark Search

You should pay attention to the symptoms and behavior of the Spark Search virus, so you can see what is happening, and what you can still change on the machine if needed. There are many settings that can be altered by this program, so you should repair the damage yourself.

Of course, you need to remove Spark Search first, so you can clean the machine. When tools like an antivirus program indicate any intruders, you can freely remove them, delete additional files, related applications, and terminate viruses. It is extremely beneficial because PUP can infiltrate other threats behind your back.

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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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
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 Spark Search, follow these steps:

Delete Spark Search from Windows systems

Recover the system by uninstalling the Spark Search PUP properly

  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 Spark Search and related programs
    Here, look for Spark Search 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 Spark Search 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.

Erase Spark Search from Mac OS X system

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

Remove Spark Search from Applications folder:

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

Uninstall Spark Search from Internet Explorer (IE)

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 Spark Search 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 Spark Search removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Remove Spark Search from Microsoft Edge

Eliminate Spark Search from the browser directly, so performance is okay again

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 Spark Search-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

Eliminate Spark Search from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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

Get rid of Spark Search from Google Chrome

You should restore the browser by removing any suspicious apps or toolbars

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

Delete Spark Search 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 Spark Search 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 Spark Search, 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 Spark Search removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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