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Remove UpdateSearch (Removal Instructions) - Free Guide

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

UpdateSearch – a fake search engine that delivers sponsored results and serves ads

UpdateSearchUpdateSearch is a browser hijacker that inserts ads into search results in order to make users visit sponsored websites

UpdateSearch is yet another browser hijacker[1] that can be downloaded from the official sources or installed unintentionally when looking for new software on third-party websites. Just as many other potentially unwanted programs of this type, it changes the web browser settings of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or another web browser in order to serve users sponsored content and deliver ads on all visited sites. Hence, those infected will see their homepage and the new tab address set to portal.update-search.com.

When trying to look for desired content, UpdateSearch will redirect all the searches to Yahoo, with a bunch of ads at the top. This guarantees that most of the users click on affiliated pages, bringing the developers financial gain. While infected, users' web browsing data is gathered and shared with service providers and third-parties – an activity that might cause privacy issues.

Name UpdateSearch
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program (PUP)
Infiltration  Users install browser hijackers unintentionally in most cases after being tricked by an attractive ad/fake update prompt or when they download freeware apps from third-party sites. Nonetheless, intentional installation is also possible
Symptoms 
  • UpdateSearch extension installed on the web browser
  • Homepage and new tab URL is set to portal.update-search.com
  • All searches are redirected to search.yahoo.com
  • Search results are littered with ads and sponsored links
  • Browser fails to load pages or responds slowly
Dangers  Diminished web browsing experience due to ads and altered search results, personal information disclosure to unknown parties, installation of other PUPs/malware
Elimination  To get rid of potentially unwanted applications, please follow our detailed guide below 
Optimization In case you found or unwanted apps or malware on your system, we suggest you also scan the machine with repair software Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego for best results. Also, a browser reset is recommended

Browser hijackers are generally not considered to be major security threats by security experts [2], although they definitely should be ignored, especially if the infiltration happened behind your back. To make sure that no such event takes place in the future, you should pay close attention to when installing freeware applications from third-party sources – we explain how to avoid unwanted programs in the next section of the article. Nonetheless, you should focus on UpdateSearch removal.

As soon as UpdateSearch hijack occurs, most modern web browsers, such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, should notify about the performed changes. However, many might not check the prompt and continue using the web browser as previously. Once the setting is accepted, the hijacker settles for good until it is eliminated.

There are a variety of different changes that the PUP performs in order to stay on users' web browsers as long as possible. In the meantime, they are ensuring users that their presence is extremely valuable and that it provides numerous benefits. Indeed, UpdateSearch provides links to such features as PDF conversion, currency conversion, cryptocurrency, conversion, and so on.

However, it is important to note that these perks can be easily accessed without having your browser hijacked by the so-called UpdateSearch virus. All modern browsers are highly customizable and include a variety of features. If you are unsure how to use them, you should check the latest patch release notes delivered by Google, Microsoft, and other companies that provide search engines.

Thus, apps like UpdateSearch are generally obsolete, considering that they manipulate users' search results (which lead to unknown sponsored sites) and monitor users' online behavior. For that, tracking technologies such as cookies, web beacons, and others, are used.

UpdateSearch hijackerUpdateSearch is a potentially unwanted program that gathers user web browsing details and serves targeted ads whether they like it or not

While it is true that many companies gather information for marketing purposes and “increased user experience,” many begin to comprehend that the scope of data gathering is immense. As the internet and IT companies evolve, more regulations are put into place, and inadequate data collection and sharing practices are being tracked down and punished.

When it comes to UpdateSearch, it also gathers a variety of user data, as stated in its privacy policy:[3]

The first type of information we collect is aggregated, non-identifiable, non-personal information, which may be made available or gathered via the user's use of the Service (” Non-Personal Information”). <…>

The second type of information is individually identifiable information, namely information that identifies an individual or entity or may with reasonable effort identify an individual (” Personal Information”).

An IP address is now considered to be personally identifiable information in most countries and the US states. Other collected data includes search queries, clicks, visited pages, OS and browser information, ISP, search logs, and much more. While the data is non-PI, you should be aware that third-parties are monitoring your behavior.

These reasons should be enough for you to remove UpdateSearch and utilize trusted search providers instead. If you want a more privacy-focused search engines, we recommend using DuckDuckGo or equipping your computer with a VPN.

To get rid of the UpdateSearch browser hijacker, follow detailed instructions we provide below. Also, we recommend using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego for Windows maintenance purposes, scanning the machine with anti-malware, and clearing web browser cache and data regularly. Alternatively, you can also rely on a browser reset, instructions for which we provide below.

Potentially unwanted programs clutter your computer – avoid them as much as you can

In most cases, browser hijackers such as Mazy SearchSearchConverterzDownloadManagerNow, and many others, are represented as useful tools that can enhance user web browsing experience. Indeed, add-ons and extensions are awesome additions to the web browser, as it helps to customize each of the users' experience. However, potentially unwanted applications are most typically worthless and provide the alleged functionality that is already present within legitimate tools. And while these PUPs are unlikely to compromise your computer security, they will alter the way your browse the web, and they will spy on you.

Thus, you should always make sure that you avoid unintentional installation on potentially unwanted apps. If you are unsure whether the program is trustworthy, you should first check it online – read forum posts, blogs, user reviews, and similar descriptions. However, keep in mind that software bundling is also a common technique that uses deception in order to make users install applications they didn't want in the first place.

If possible, you should always choose well-known and reputable sources for your app downloads. Do not trust random pop-up ads that advertise and allegedly useful program, and do not believe prompts which claim that something is missing from your PC, or that it is infected with malware. Finally, always pick Advanced/Custom settings instead of recommended ones during the installation of freeware apps.

UpdateSearch virusUpdateSearch can be downloaded on official sources, although it is also spread via software bundle packages

Get rid of UpdateSearch hijack and employ more reliable search tools instead

There are two ways you can remove UpdateSearch from your web browser – manual or automatic. Both techniques can be effective, although the situation changes drastically if your web browser or a computer is infected with multiple threats. In fact, many potentially unwanted apps travel in a single software bundle, so if you missed one, there might be more installed on your system, and you might not be aware of it.

Nonetheless, we suggest you first perform UpdateSearch removal via your browser – locate the extension and get rid of it at once. If you are having troubles with this process, or the app has set the Managed by your organization setting, you can always reset the web browser fully as we explain below. In any case, if you notice strange behavior within your web browser or the computer, we recommend scanning the computer with anti-malware software to ensure that everything is in order.

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 UpdateSearch, follow these steps:

Remove UpdateSearch from Windows systems

To get rid of potentially unwanted programs in Windows, please follow these steps:

  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 UpdateSearch and related programs
    Here, look for UpdateSearch 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 UpdateSearch 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.

Eliminate UpdateSearch 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 UpdateSearch 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'

Delete UpdateSearch 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 UpdateSearch 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 UpdateSearch removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Get rid of UpdateSearch from Microsoft Edge

In case you cannot eliminate some extensions via from MS Edge, reset it as follows:

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 UpdateSearch-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

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

Erase UpdateSearch from Google Chrome

Google Chrome reset will allow you to clear caches, browsing data, and other clutter that might have accumulated over a long period:

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

Remove UpdateSearch 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 UpdateSearch 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 UpdateSearch, 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 UpdateSearch removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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