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Remove Universalsearches.com virus (Virus Removal Instructions)

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Stealing programs

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 hijack

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.

Questions about Universalsearches.com virus

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. ReimageIntego.

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 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 Universalsearches.com virus, follow these steps:

Erase Universalsearches.com from Windows systems

To remove Universalsearches.com virus 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 Universalsearches.com virus (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 Universalsearches.com from Mac OS X system

Remove Universalsearches.com virus from Applications folder:

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

Uninstall Universalsearches.com 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 Universalsearches.com virus-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

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 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

Eliminate Universalsearches.com 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 Universalsearches.com virus 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

In case Universalsearches.com virus 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 Universalsearches.com virus removal.Reset Firefox 2

Remove Universalsearches.com from Google 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 Universalsearches.com virus 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 like Universalsearches.com virus 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 Universalsearches.com virus-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 Universalsearches.com virus removal.Reset Chrome 2

Erase Universalsearches.com 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 Universalsearches.com virus 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 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: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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  1. yzzo says:
    January 27th, 2016 at 9:42 am

    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!

  2. Marthin says:
    January 27th, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    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!

  3. Henry says:
    January 27th, 2016 at 5:42 pm

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

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