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

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Storm Search virus – the hijacker that is designed to interfere with web browser settings

Storm Search virusStorm Search virus is the manipulative program that triggers redirects and reroutes the online traffic to shady ad-supported pages, so the revenue can be generated. This is a useless tool that is promoted online as the configuration that people need. It is the extension that changes the default search engine on the browser and provides improved services, altered results positively improve the performance and time online for the user. However, this is the extension that instead of updating all the features, manages to change them and trigger unwanted, intrusive, advertising material delivery.[1]

Storm Search virus triggers the Managed by your organization feature, so you may experience more issues and suffer from redirects or different issues regarding redirects, commercial content, advertisements. This browser hijacker/ fake search engine/ redirect virus is pretty much identical to CapitaSearchMazy SearchOptimum Search. This type of applications are designed to claim about enhancing the experience online with all the functions, but the main purpose is to hijack the browser for the third-party commercial content delivery purpose.

Name Storm Search virus
Type Browser hijacker[2]
Issues The potentially unwanted application triggers changes on the browser and makes the shady search engine as the default on every browser, so redirects can trigger the exposure to sponsored material. These changes appear out of nowhere because PUP gets on the PC stealthily and triggers alterations from the background
Distribution Freeware installations, deceptive pages, misleading online promotions, and other PUPs cause the infiltration of these browser-based threats
Damage Third-party commercial content creator involvement and advertising campaigns that expose you to possibly malicious material can lead to privacy issues, identity theft, similar issues
Elimination Storm Search virus removal process requires the professional anti-malware application. Tools like that can find and delete the PUP itself completely
Repair The program that triggers various changes in the system folders and makes particular alterations to your PC can be more persistent because of that. Try to run ReimageIntego, so these corrupted files get repaired properly

Storm Search extension is promoted online as a proper browser application that should update your search settings, improve them, and change your experience online significantly. Unfortunately, that is not happening in a positive way when you cannot access sites you intend to visit, and all the search results get injected with advertisements. 

Developers and providers claim that Storm Search virus is helping you since the app is dedicated to showing you the best deals, offers, promote useful programs, and so on. However, this extension itself is the one that gets promoted and distributed using these suspicious methods.

Storm Search is the potentially unwanted program, so you shouldn't trust these deals, additional material, and any of the selling points accentuated on promotional sites, ads, banners. This app supposed to improve your experience online, but it triggers the setting that interferes with uninstallation. managed by your organization feature makes the program more persistent, and you cannot remove the virus easily without changing all the settings back to normal.

Storm Search PUPStorm Search - PUP that interferes with your online browsing sessions when third-party material gets injected on various pages.

You can try to prevent these installations and Storm Search virus removal processes later on if you pay attention to details more often. Online activities can often trigger exposure to insecure material and malware infections automatically. You may not notice the payload drop or the code execution until it is too late to manage the infection yourself.

The best tip is to remove Storm Search virus carefully, but as soon as you notice any of those intrusive redirects, banners, new windows from suspicious pages, domains. Even though these potentially unwanted programs often rely on legitimate search engines, there is no need to use a particular tool since it gives no value.

Unfortunately, Storm Search virus has tracking ability and advertisers, sponsored, third-party companies, and other pages, can access your browsing data, information related to location, viewed pages, and similar details. There is no positive outcome, so you need to rely on proper tools designed for malware removal and clear the machine. Also, remember about the possible damage that PUP triggers and run ReimageIntego after the PC cleaning.

Storm Search hijackerStorm Search is the Google Chrome extension that affects the speed and shows useless material.

Downloading freeware from shady sources leads to unwanted program installs

The program categorizing as unwanted, intrusive, or potentially dangerous gets installed on the machine when people update their programs, OSs, and other tools relying on shady sources. Deceptive sites, misleading promotional pop-ups, and pages where these applications get distributed lead to undisclosed installs of more dangerous content.

You should rely on warnings that experts[3] always give about potentially unwanted programs, EULAs, Privacy Policy sections of various sites, and danger of the online advertisements, torrent sites, pirating platforms. You need to rely on trustworthy sources and always go for Advanced or Custom methods during the installation, so you can see and control all the downloads yourself.

Get rid of the Storm Search browser virus

Remember that Storm Search virus is the program that can be defined as a browser hijacker, so the threat keeps the focus on redirecting its victims to sponsored pages where the content is potentially dangerous. You as a visitor help making the online profit for them, but data regarding online habits, searches, and even locations can end up tracked and recorded.

You need to remove Storm Search virus as soon as possible, so you avoid this exposure to malicious pages and can control what happens on the machine. When you end up with many tools and useless programs installed on the PC, your device is no longer performing as it supposed to.

Storm Search virus removal should give the best results and quickly when you use proper anti-malware tools and scan the machine for any suspicious or malicious content. Then, you only need to repair the damage and clear settings directly on your web browsers, but the machine is virus-free.

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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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 Storm Search virus, follow these steps:

Eliminate Storm Search from Windows systems

Clear the machine by eliminating the shady PUP

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

Get rid of Storm Search from Mac OS X system

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

Remove Storm Search from Applications folder:

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

Remove Storm 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 Storm 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 Storm Search removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase Storm Search virus 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 Storm 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

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

Delete Storm Search from Google Chrome

Change settings on your Chrome browser, so these issues with redirects and intrusive ads can stop

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

Eliminate Storm 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 Storm 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 Storm 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 Storm Search 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
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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