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Srch_s.thesearchguard.com. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Srch_s.thesearchguard.com – a highly suspicious search engine

Srch_s.thesearchguard.com browser hijacker

Srch_s.thesearchguard.com is a browser hijacker which pretends to be a legit search engine. This potentially unwanted program (PUP)[1] spread bundled with freeware and shareware in the form of TheSearchGuard New Tab extension. Hence, it can sneak into the device unnoticed and take control over the affected web browser.

Summary
Name Srch_s.thesearchguard.com
Type Browser hijacker
Danger level Medium. Can take full control over the browser and redirect to risky websites
Symptoms Altered browser's homepage and default search engine, browser redirects and increased amount of advertisements
Distribution method Software bundling
To uninstall Srch_s.thesearchguard.com, install Reimage and run a full system scan

Srch_s.thesearchguard.com virus can hijack Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or any other browser. The hijacker immediately sets one of the following addresses as default search engine and homepage:

  • http://srch_s.thesearchguard.com/query/to?query=
  • chrome-extension://heilgkanmlbfbdbmojcnnjipimenjagb/newtab.html

TheSearchGuard replaces user’s preferred search provider with an unknown Yahoo-based tool. Nevertheless, Yahoo is one of the most popular and legit search engines; users are forced to use it via a hijacked browser. It means that hijacker might control what information user access or sees.

It means that TheSearchGuard virus might trigger redirects to third-party websites once you click on a desired need in the Yahoo search results page. Additionally, you might find an increased amount of ads, pop-ups or banners showing up when you browse through favorite websites.

However, the biggest issues are related to Srch_s.thesearchguard.com redirect capabilities. The PUP might suddenly open new browser’s tab and redirect you to a questionable website, or it might trigger when you click on particular content, for instance, a link or an ad.

The main TheSearchGuard redirect problems appear when users are forced to visit phishing websites or end up on a technical support website that might trick people into calling fake technicians and reveal their personal information. Additionally, the hijacker might redirect to a malware-laden site where your computer can get infected with ransomware[2] or other cyber threat.

It goes without saying that you have to remove Srch_s.thesearchguard.com as soon as its appearance surprises you after opening a web browser. We highly recommend dedicating this task for anti-malware software, for instance, Reimage.

However, if you are more interested in manual Srch_s.thesearchguard.com instead of automatic, you can follow our prepared instructions at the end of the article.

A suspicious search engine spreads in software bundles

TheSearchGuard New Tab browser extension is being spread in freeware or shareware bundles. This distribution method allows installing this app without user’s permission if he or she relies on Recommended/Standard installation settings. These settings do not openly disclose what might be hidden in freeware package.

A security team from bedynet.ru[3] reminds that any freeware can include additional components that are offered to install along with the program you need. It might be browser extensions, security software, and many other different apps that are most likely to cause unwanted features.

Therefore, users are advised to use Advanced/Custom installation settings to avoid browser hijackers, adware or other PUPs. This setup allows “unpacking” the program and rejecting installation of “additional downloads.”

Uninstall TheSearchGuard New Tab and set reliable search engine as the default one

In order to remove Srch_s.thesearchguard.com entirely, you have to investigate the system and get rid of all questionable programs, files, browser extensions, etc. The guidelines below will help you to do it manually. However, if you fail or want to speed up the procedure, there’s a quicker option.

You can opt for automatic Srch_s.thesearchguard.com removal and terminate hijacker-related entries within a few clicks. All you need to do is to obtain a reputable anti-malware and scanning the system with an updated tool.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes 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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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 Malwarebytes.
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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Srch_s.thesearchguard.com from Windows systems

These guidelines will show you how to terminate hijacker from the computer:

  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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com and related programs
    Here, look for Srch_s.thesearchguard.com 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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com 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.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Srch_s.thesearchguard.com from Mac OS X system

  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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com 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'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Srch_s.thesearchguard.com 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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com 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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Srch_s.thesearchguard.com 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, Srch_s.thesearchguard.com should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Srch_s.thesearchguard.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Uninstall TheSearchGuard New Tab and other questionable add-ons from Firefox:

  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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com 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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Srch_s.thesearchguard.com from Google Chrome

These instructions will show you how to eliminate Srch_s.thesearchguard.com from Google Chrome:

  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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com 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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Srch_s.thesearchguard.com 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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com 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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com, 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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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