Remove TopSportsSearch (Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

TopSportsSearch Removal Guide

What is TopSportsSearch?

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, IStreamingSearch, Spacerin 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?
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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.

Getting rid of TopSportsSearch. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

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

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  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 the entry of the 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 from macOS

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

Remove items from Applications folder:

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

Remove 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 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

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the 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 Delete Advanced 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” -Verbose Advanced 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 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:

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 unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla 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

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, 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. Reset Firefox 2

Remove from Google Chrome

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

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 the unwanted program 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

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted 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. Reset Chrome 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension 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

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of TopSportsSearch registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

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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