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Remove TopSportsSearch (Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

TopSportsSearch – yet another browser hijacker that seeks to take over your browser

TopSportsSearchTopSportsSearch is a browser hijacker that changes web browser settings without permission

TopSportsSearch is the name of a potentially unwanted application[1] that you might find on your Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, MS Edge, Safari, or another web browser seemingly out of nowhere. This mainly happens because programs of such type typically travel within software bundles – a deceptive marketing technique that tries to hide optional apps within the installer. Alternatively, some users might install it themselves, believing that it could improve their web browsing experience when looking for sports news, videos, and similar.

Once installed, TopSportsSearch hijack becomes visible immediately – the new tab and homepage address is set to portal.topsportssearch.com. A new, customized search engine is also applied, and it redirects all search results to Yahoo. However, these results are not quite genuine, as plenty of ads and sponsored links are injected at the top. In the background, the so-called TopSportsSearch virus gathers plenty of information about users and shares it with certain third-parties for profits.

Name TopSportsSearch 
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program
IP address 104.28.15.203 
Distribution Potentially unwanted applications usually hide in software bundles or are distributed via various deceptive ads over various websites
Symptoms TopSportsSearch extension or application is installed on the system; homepage and new tab address are set to portal.topsportssearch.com; search engine is redirecting all results to search.yahoo.com; search results are filled with sponsored links and ads
Risks
  • Privacy risks due to exposed information to unknown parties
  • Installation of other potentially unwanted programs or even malware
  • Financial losses
Removal You can uninstall potentially unwanted programs by following the manual guide below or by scanning the computer with powerful anti-malware
Optional steps Computer infections can cause significant damage to system files or disrupt normal settings. To revert these changes and remediate the OS, perform a full system scan with ReimageIntego repair software

TopSportsSearch is just one of many browser-hijacking applications from the same family that you might encounter around the web. For example, IStreamingSearchSpacerin Search, or StreamSiteSearch are almost identical apps that offer similar functionality. The only defying difference is their names and the icons that are placed at the top-left corner of the newly-set homepage. It is very typical for browser hijacker developers to rename/rebrand their products in order to avoid a bad reputation and detection of anti-malware software.

Just as its predecessors, TopSportsSearch offers a variety of seemingly useful functions, which can be accessed directly from the sidebar on the left side of the homepage. They include:

  • PDF Converter
  • Currency Converter
  • Crypto Converter
  • Calculator.

The main reason why these perks are included is to keep people interested in the program and make them believe that it is a useful tool, even if they did not install it intentionally. However, these additions are not something exclusive, as Google itself provides such functions within its search engine automatically. In other words, the functionality is not something that does not exist elsewhere for free.

While TopSportsSearch is also free, you should not forget why it is the case. Potentially unwanted programs typically seek to acquire revenue through advertisements. This is why those infected see ads and sponsored links at the top of search results. Besides, users might also face an increased number of ads overall.

Basing on its name, it might seem that TopSportsSearch can be used to find news, videos, broadcasts, and other information related to sports. However, this is not the case, as the hijacker uses Yahoo's engine to provide search results – it is a basic search engine that only provides you with links based on what you type. Likewise, you will no be provided with all-sports- related just because you have this extension installed, so we recommend you remove TopSportsSearch as soon as possible.

TopSportsSearch hijackTopSportsSearch is a potentially unwanted application that typically takes the form of a browser extension

Another reason for TopSportsSearch removal is your privacy. To make ads more effective, the app collects all types of user-related data, which typically includes the IP address, ISP, links clicked, websites visited, search queries typed technical details, and other information. With the help of web beacons,[2] cookies, and other tracking technologies, it becomes easier for the app to show you ads based on your browsing history.

To uninstall TopSportsSearch from your system, simply access the settings of your web browser. Since PUPs often travel in a bundle, it is also recommended to check the installed program section and then scan the machine with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes, or another reputable security application. Furthermore, if something malicious was found, you should attempt to fix virus damage with tools such as ReimageIntego automatically.

Most hijackers are installed unintentionally – learn how to avoid that

Most people who end up with changed web browser settings are generally surprised, as they say, they never installed such programs on their systems. This is because most PUPs are embedded into the desired application installer and are served as a bundle on third-party websites. Since some are not aware of the software bundling distribution tactic, they believe that additional programs appeared on their systems seemingly out of nowhere. However, it is not the case at all.

Security experts from novirus.uk[3] claim that the vast majority of potentially unwanted program installations occur behind users' back during the installation of freeware. Therefore, you should always be attentive when dealing with free apps you download from the internet. Here are some tips that could help you to avoid PUPs in the future:

  • If possible, install programs from their official websites instead of third party sources (for example, if you are to download WinZip, go to its official site);
  • Never visit websites that distributed pirated programs and cracks – these places are riddled with malware, not only potentially unwanted programs;
  • On random websites, never believe claims that something is out of date, or that a virus was found on your system. These messages are scams and you will not install a reliable tool but instead infect your computer with something malicious;
  • During the installation of freeware, always opt for Advanced/Custom mode instead of Recommended/Quick one if prompted to stay in control of the process from start to finish;
  • Remove the ticks from pre-checked boxes, read the fine print, and decline all the offers/deals on the way;
  • Employ powerful security software that could warn you about the incoming PUPs.

Terminate TopSportsSearch

While potentially unwanted programs are not considered a major security threat, they should not be ignored completely, as they could cause problems later on. First of all, since such apps travel in a bundle, there might be several of them present on your computer. Therefore, you should not only remove TopSportsSearch extension from Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or another web browser but also check the installed application folder on your Windows or macOS systems.

TopSportsSearch virusTopSportsSearch tracks users with the help of cookies and other tracking technologies

After TopSportsSearch removal, you should also check your browsers. There are several components that browser hijackers might leave behind, such as cookies for tracking purposes. Therefore, after the infection is eliminated, it is highly advised to clean web data and cookies – we provide the instructions on how to do that below.

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 TopSportsSearch, follow these steps:

Get rid of TopSportsSearch from Windows systems

If you are a Windows user, proceed with the following steps if you want to get rid of the unwanted programs:

  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 TopSportsSearch and related programs
    Here, look for TopSportsSearch 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 TopSportsSearch 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.

Uninstall TopSportsSearch from Mac OS X system

If you believe that the macOS system is affected by a potentially unwanted application, follow these instructions to eliminate them for good:

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

Remove TopSportsSearch from Applications folder:

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

Remove TopSportsSearch 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 TopSportsSearch 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 TopSportsSearch removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete TopSportsSearch 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 TopSportsSearch-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

Erase TopSportsSearch from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

In some cases, PUPs leave traces on the web browsers after the uninstallation process is complete. Therefore, make sure all of them are eliminated from Firefox as follows:

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

Eliminate TopSportsSearch from Google Chrome

Delete the unwanted extensions from Google Chrome and then clear browsing data:

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

Get rid of TopSportsSearch 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 TopSportsSearch 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 TopSportsSearch, 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 TopSportsSearch removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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