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Remove TheGameSearcher (Removal Instructions) - Easy Removal Guide

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Adware

TheGameSearcher – an adware program causing non-stop ads instead of providing access to free games

A picture of TheGameSearcher redirect virus

TheGameSearcher is the name of an application that presents itself as a provider of free online games. However, such description is implicit as its developers do not reveal the fact that it may cause Google Chrome's redirects via feed.thegamesearch.com server, display Yahoo-based search results, and generate unwanted third-party ads.[1]

Security experts agree upon the fact that TheGameSearcher virus belongs to the group of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs),[2] while the question whether it's an adware or browser hijacker is debatable. However, we consider this extension as a hijacker because it tends to replace Chrome's start page and search provider. Usually, it sets feed.thegamesearch.com URL as a default start page and returns Yahoo search results.

Although people may find this app useful or at least not dangerous, the truth is that it initiates various system's modifications right after installation and starts doubtful marketing campaigns. For example, it installs itself into the list of boot problems and schedules itself to run automatically when the system is booted. Consequently, people may notice a prolonged boot-time or sluggish web browser's performance. That's one of the reasons why TheGameSearcher removal is recommended.

Despite that, this extension should not be treated as a virus. System's slowdowns, browser's unresponsiveness, and similar issues related to PC's performance are only the side effects that TheGameSearcher redirects virus causes. Its primary intention is to make people visit particular domains, thus increasing their visitor's rate. Besides, it may help its developers to generate pay-per-click[3] revenue, which is why people may start receiving loads of pop-up ads.

Privacy security is yet another issue that should prompt you to remove TheGameSearcher virus. According to its developers (unspecified), the app is set to accumulate personally non-identifiable information, including “type of browser, the type of the user's device and technical information about the user's device, language preferences, time stamps, clicks and visited pages, search logs.” However, previous practice with browser hijackers shows that tracking cookies often transfer information, such as name, email address, geo-location, and browsing history as well.

In a nutshell, this application is neither a virus nor useful application. It's somewhere in between, but because of unwanted browser's changes, redirects, ads, and exploitation of cookies, security experts recommend people to eliminate TheGameSearcher from the system. The fastest and securest way to do that is to use a powerful anti-malware, for example Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

TheGameSearcher hijackerTheGameSearcher infiltrates PCs bundled with freewares and alters Google Chrome's settings to initiate redirects to affiliate sites

Hasty installation of free app can lead to PUP infiltration

This browser extension has an official website and can be downloaded directly from it. However, people seldom download it purposely. Usually, it is promoted as an additional installer of the free program and installed on the system without requiring user's permission directly.

Potentially unwanted installers are typically disguised, so the PC's user has to select Advanced installation method to see them. More often than not, quick installation does not indicate what add-on or extensions are going to be installed alongside the main app. To prevent this from happening, you should download a professional antivirus program and update it regularly. Usually, they recognize PUPs easily and warn people about them.

In addition to freeware bundles, browser hijackers and adware programs can also spread via suspicious ads or people may stumble upon their installers after being redirected to doubtful third-party domains.

Get rid of TheGameSearcher to prevent redirects to suspicious domains

TheGameSearcher virus starts running several processes on Task Manager and installs a couple of .exe files among legitimate system's files. Besides, the installation enabled the browser's extension that is the reason why Google Chrome keeps redirecting to feed.thegamesearch.com and promoting Yahoo search.

The main reason why it's advisable to remove TheGameSearcher is the websites that it may be promoting. Since it's affiliate with various third parties, some of the web domains may be fake or even dangerous. Luckily, TheGameSearcher removal is not a difficult task. You can delete it automatically with the help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or follow the instructions submitted by 2-Spyware experts.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. 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 TheGameSearcher, follow these steps:

Uninstall TheGameSearcher from Windows systems

To get rid of TheGameSearcher malware from Windows, open Control Panel and eliminate all suspicious apps from it:

To remove TheGameSearcher from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find entries related to TheGameSearcher (or any other recently installed suspicious program).
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Delete TheGameSearcher from Mac OS X system

TheGameSearcher redirect virus canalso target Mac OS X users. If you are one of them, the following instructions may be helpful for you:

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

Remove TheGameSearcher from Applications folder:

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

Eliminate TheGameSearcher 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 TheGameSearcher 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 TheGameSearcher removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Get rid of TheGameSearcher 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 TheGameSearcher-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 TheGameSearcher from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select plugins that are related to TheGameSearcher and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear.Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

In case TheGameSearcher did not get removed after following the instructions above, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information.Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox – this should complete TheGameSearcher removal.Reset Firefox 2

Erase TheGameSearcher from Google Chrome

Currently, TheGameSearcher virus affects Google Chrome browser only. Thus, to fully eliminate this PUP from the system, don't forget to reset Chrome:

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to TheGameSearcher by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the TheGameSearcher-components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings to complete TheGameSearcher removal.Reset Chrome 2

Uninstall TheGameSearcher from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to TheGameSearcher and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.Reset Safari

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
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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