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Universalsearches.com virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Browser hijacker
12

Universalsearches.com seems to be a normal search engine at the first glance. However, the background of this search engine is shady, and you should not rely on this website. We have found out that this website is associated with Universalsearches.com browser hijacker, which is a potentially unwanted program (PUP). Unfortunately, it is not a good program, so if Universal Searches website has replaced you browser’s homepage all of sudden, you should read this article to find out some relevant information about it.

Why is Universalsearches.com dangerous?

Universalsearches.com is distributed via modified software installers, or, in other words, it is spread via bundling method. Once it enters victim’s computer system, it adds dubious browser add-ons on the most popular web browsers – Mozilla Firefox, IE, or Google Chrome. Of course, it can affect only those Internet browsers that are installed on the victim’s PC. Once the add-on is active, it changes your homepage to Universalsearches.com. This add-on also tracks whatever you are doing on the Internet – when you are using the aforementioned site and also when you are browsing other websites as well. It tracks what websites you most frequently visited, also what were you looking for (it tracks what data you enter into the websites you visit and also record the search terms that you use). Such information is required to interpret what your interests are and then select targeted ads for you.

Universalsearches.com PUP

The search engine that Universalsearches.com browser hijacker provides is corrupted, and you should not consider using it. It aims to display deceptive search results and make you click on them. So when you enter some search keywords to the Universalsearches.com search bar and hit ‘Search,’ you will receive regularly looking search results with some sponsored search outcomes. Everything looks safe until you decide to click on one of the search outcomes. This is where Universalsearches.com redirects occur.

You should know that Universalsearches.com hijacker provides altered search results that are supplemented with hyperlinks that cause redirects to Universalsearches.com’s partners’ websites. These sites are considered to be unreliable! While part of the related sites are safe, the other part might be malicious. We do not recommend you to browse through websites that you accidentally land of; they might be filled with infectious content, and one click on a corrupted link can automatically start a download of a malicious file. To avoid such risks, we highly advise you to secure your computer with anti-malware software, e.g. Reimage.

Was it my fault that Universalsearches.com was installed?

Correct! You might be surprised to find that out, but yes, computer users usually DO agree to install browser hijackers and other potentially unwanted apps. However, they do not realize that they DO agree to install PUPs by choosing Default or Standard installation mode whenever they install ANY free program to their computer.

You must take note that PUPs are spread via bundling technique, which allows incorporating free programs with other apps. So at any time you download a free program from the Internet, you have to check whether it has some optional apps attached to it or not. The easiest way to do it is to select Advanced/Custom installation settings. If your selected software promotes third-party applications, you should receive a list of suggestions to install them. To avoid installing them, deselect such statements.

To find out how to UNINSTALL this suspicious PUP, study the manual Universalsearches.com removal guide that is provided on page 2.

How to uninstall this software?

There is no doubt that the discussed browser add-on makes user’s browsing experience unpleasant. It does not only initiate arbitrary activities on the affected PC but also slows it down. We are sure that you do not need such interferences in your life. Anyway, you should not worry about Universalsearches.com virus because it can be terminated quite easily. We have already mentioned one removal method on page 1 – you can remove Universalsearches.com redirect virus automatically, using the anti-malware program. Alternatively, we want to provide a manual removal guide for you, so you can delete this browser hijacker by yourself. The removal guide is provided below:

You can remove Universalsearches.com automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove Universalsearches.com virus you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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Manual Universalsearches.com virus Removal Guide:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Universalsearches.com from Windows systems

  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 Universalsearches.com and related programs
    Here, look for Universalsearches.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 Universalsearches.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.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Universalsearches.com from Mac OS X system

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Universalsearches.com or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash.Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Universalsearches.com from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Universalsearches.com and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Universalsearches.com removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Universalsearches.com virus from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Universalsearches.com should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Universalsearches.com 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 Universalsearches.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 Universalsearches.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Universalsearches.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 Universalsearches.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 Universalsearches.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Universalsearches.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 Universalsearches.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 Universalsearches.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 Universalsearches.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button
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 Universalsearches.com 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: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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  • yzzo

    Universalsearches.com is not good at all. this article is accurate; i have been infected with Universalsearches.com virus and i can agree that everything what is stated on this article is true. get rid of Universalsearches.com as soon as you can!

  • Marthin

    I can just wonder what would have happened if I wouldnt have noticed these weird changes on my pc. This virus collects hella a lot information! Just got rid of it. Happy!

  • Henry

    I need help? Stuck with the safari browser. Cannot find this extension on it!