UpSearches browser hijacker (virus) - Free Instructions

UpSearches browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is UpSearches browser hijacker?

UpSearches extension changes main browser settings so people would use selected channels for browsing

UpSearchesBogus plugins can cause user privacy and security issues

UpSearches is a browser hijacker that changes the main settings, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. This way, people are forced to use only selected channels for browsing which raises many user privacy and security concerns.

The application is promoted as a handy tool that provides distraction-free browsing. It is not clear how exactly the plugin will achieve this. The promised functions of hijackers rarely work. Instead, they generate revenue for crooks. They can get paid by collecting browsing-related data or pay-per-click advertising.[1]

NAME UpSearches
TYPE Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program
SYMPTOMS The app changes the main settings of the browser, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine
DISTRIBUTION Unsafe websites, deceptive ads, freeware installations
DANGERS The application may be collecting data about users' browsing activities; users might get redirected to dangerous websites that can trick them into providing personal information or downloading PUPs and malware
ELIMINATION Remove the extension via browser settings; performing a scan with professional security tools is recommended
FURTHER STEPS Use ReimageIntego to clear your browsers from cookies and cache

Distribution methods

Fraudsters often create “official” promotional websites for their applications. There, they try to make them look as good as possible and convince people to download them. However, you should only install extensions from official web stores. Apps that get listed there have to go through an extensive review process.

No matter the case, we always recommend doing thorough research – reading the reviews, looking at the ratings, and the number of users. Read the description fully and if the claims seem too good to be true, they probably are. Pay attention to the grammar and spelling, if there are mistakes, you should think about trusting the developers.

UpSearches browser hijackerUse verified sources for add-on installations to avoid hijackers

Clear your browsers

One of the most important things you should do is to take care of your browsers. Websites can use cookies[2] to gather data like your IP address, geolocation, pages you visit, links you click on, and things you purchase online. Normally, this data is used to personalize the user experience.

For crooks, it is just another way to make a profit. They can sell cookies to advertising networks and other third parties. They can also be hijacked and used for malicious purposes so it is very important to delete them regularly. For this task, we recommend using a maintenance tool like ReimageIntego.

It can clear cookies and cache automatically with a single click. It can also fix various system errors, BSODs, corrupted files, and registry issues, which is especially helpful after a virus infection.

Remove the unwanted extension

You can remove browser add-ons by going to your settings. Find the list of extensions installed in your browser and remove UpSearches. Learn how to do that in the guide below:

Google Chrome

  • Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  • 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

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

MS Edge (Chromium)

  • Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  • Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Mozilla Firefox

  • Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  • Select Add-ons.
  • In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Safari

  • Click Safari > Preferences…
  • In the new window, pick Extensions.
  • Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Freeware platforms

Sometimes removing only the extension is ineffective, and users still continue to experience unwanted symptoms. In that case, you will probably have to scan your machine for adware which is a program that hides in the background of the machine and generates commercial content.

If you have it, simply removing the add-on will not be enough, and the settings will keep changing until you completely eliminate the intruder from your machine. If you want to avoid PUPs (potentially unwanted programs)[3] sneaking into your system as bundled software,[4] you can apply simple rules during the installation process:

  • Always choose “Custom” or “Advanced” installation methods
  • Read the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use to find out what information will be collected and what the application will be allowed to do in your system
  • The most important part is to check the file list and untick the boxes next to any items that you think are suspicious or unrelated

Scan your system

PUAs are often disguised as “handy” tools to make it more difficult for average users to identify them. The program that is causing the erratic behavior could have any name or icon, so if you are not sure what to do and you do not want to risk deleting the wrong files, we suggest using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes anti-malware tools.

They can scan your machine, eliminate it, and prevent such infections in the future by giving you a warning before a PUP can make any changes. If manual removal is what you still prefer, we have instructions for Windows and Mac machines:

Windows 10/8:

  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

Windows 7/XP:

  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.

Mac:

  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
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix 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.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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References