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Remove SpecialSearchOption (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge) - Removal Guide

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

SpecialSearchOption – a browser hijacker which appears mostly on the Chrome web browser


SpecialSearchOption is a browser-hijacking application[1] which has mostly been infecting Chrome. However, we cannot deny the opportunity that this unwanted program might start infiltrating other web browsers such as Firefox, Edge, and Explorer in the future. If you are infected with this virus, you will see changes such as modified search engine, different homepage, etc. Remember, you will be forced to use the new search engine[2] each time you browse the web until you get rid of the “SpecialSearchOption” extension which is allowing this type of activity. Furthermore, browsing-hijacking programs can be very annoying as they can start redirecting you to odd pages. You can also land on a harmful one and infect your computer with malware! Keep on reading and learn more about this hijacker and methods to remove it.

Name SpecialSearchOption
Type Browser hijacker
Sub-type Potentially unwanted program (PUP)
Browsers affected At the time of writing, compatible with Google Chrome only
Symptoms Modified web browser settings
Distribution Other programs, third-party sources, unknown websites, etc.
Prevention methods Stay away from questionable content and track your downloads by using the Custom/Advanced mode
Detection We suggest using Reimage to find the PUP and its components

If SpecialSearchOption virus has occupied one of your browsers, there is a big chance that you will experience symptoms like these:

  • redirects to unfamiliar and suspicious pages;
  • changes for the default search engine, homepage;
  • the SpecialSearchOption extension in your browser.

Spotting these signs means that SpecialSearchOption has occupied your web browser. There is no need of keeping this potentially unwanted application as it does not bring any true value for the user. Such programs are created for beneficial reasons and will only intrude your browsing activity with all the redirecting that is caused.

According to tech experts from,[3] if you do not eliminate the browser hijacker, you will be forced to use the new search engine. Even though SpecialSearchOption provides search results from Yahoo,[4] some of them might appear to be misleading. What you need to do is get rid of the potentially unwanted program from Chrome or other infected browsers permanently.

To remove SpecialSearchOption virus from the web browser, you should eliminate its extension. Moreover, you will need to refresh the browser in order to reverse all changes that were made by the browser-hijacking app. However, we advise using a computer security program such as Reimage which will help you to detect all rogue content in the system.

If you perform the SpecialSearchOption removal as soon as possible, you should avoid unwanted consequences. However, if you will postpone the deletion of this rogue program, there is a risk of getting your system damaged. Even though the program itself is not harmful, it can redirect you to pages where malware might be hidden.

SpecialSearchOption browser hijacker
SpecialSearchOption is a potentially unwanted program which can collect information related to the user's browsing activity and experience.

Browser hijackers are spread by using stealth techniques

If you have overcome a browser-hijacking application in your computer system, there is a very big chance that such program infiltrated your computer through other software. To avoid such possibility in the future you should track all of your downloads. You can do such thing by activating the Advanced/Custom installation option in your browser settings.

Furthermore, avoid visiting various third-party pages. Note that secondary sources can be harmful as they might not only distribute potentially unwanted programs but malware also. If you ever enter an unrecognizable website, make sure that you eliminate it the same minute and never return to it again.

Additionally, installing reliable computer protection will increase the protection level. Do not hesitate to invest in a truly reliable computer tool as these programs are truly useful if taken care of properly. Once you install antimalware on your PC, make sure you update it regularly. If you do so, the tool will keep your system protected from all different kinds of infections daily.

Get rid of SpecialSearchOption browser-hijacking application by performing some steps

If you want to remove SpecialSearchOption virus from your computer, you will need to eliminate the PUP-added extensions from web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. You can find more-detailed instructions below the article. Make sure that you follow each step carefully to reach the best results possible.

Furthermore, you can perform the SpecialSearchOption removal in an easier way. All you have to do is download and install a reputable security program on your computer. The entire elimination process will take only a few minutes. Furthermore, refresh all web browsers that were infected with the browser-hijacking application to ensure that the PUP is gone permanently.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they 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, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove SpecialSearchOption, follow these steps:

Eliminate SpecialSearchOption from Windows systems

Clean your Windows computer from the browser hijacker by performing 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 SpecialSearchOption and related programs
    Here, look for SpecialSearchOption 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 SpecialSearchOption 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.

Get rid of SpecialSearchOption 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 SpecialSearchOption 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 SpecialSearchOption removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Remove SpecialSearchOption from Microsoft Edge

If Microsoft Edge got hijacked, you can reverse all changes with the help of these instructions:

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, SpecialSearchOption should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

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

Delete SpecialSearchOption from Google Chrome

Get rid of the browser-hijacking application from the Google Chrome web browser:

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

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

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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