Severity scale:  
  (9/100)

Remove Srch_s.thesearchguard.com (Simple Removal Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

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 ReimageIntego 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, ReimageIntego.

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.

Srch_s.thesearchguard.com virusSrch_s.thesearchguard.com is a questionable search engine that is set as default one after the TheSearchGuard hijack.

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 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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com, follow these steps:

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.

Eliminate Srch_s.thesearchguard.com from Mac OS X system

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

Remove Srch_s.thesearchguard.com from Applications folder:

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

Uninstall Srch_s.thesearchguard.com 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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com 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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase Srch_s.thesearchguard.com from Microsoft Edge

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 Srch_s.thesearchguard.com-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

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

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

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

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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