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Remove Vista Search (Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Vista Search is a fake search engine and a browser hijacker that may quickly become very annoying for the users

Vista SearchVista Search – the fake search engine that shows results related to shady advertisers and other questionable PUPs. This is the hijacker that also promotes and even distributes web browser add-ons related to shady online searches. The search engine is not used intentionally, people mainly install the program by accident when promotional material gets clicked on or some ads trick people into believing that the PUP is a useful tool. Most users complain about useless and not valuable features or the questionable material that this search engine redirects them to. There is no benefit in using this extension or the vista-search.com engine because it exists to collect information about users' browsing habits or reroute them to shady advertising domains.

Name Vista Search
Type Browser hijacker
Symptoms Intruder manipulates the browser settings, so users get forced to visit unwanted sites and get redirected to a fake search engine that in reality only injects the list with sponsored material and commercial banners, pop-ups, links
Danger The vista-search.com engine reroutes all the online searches through questionable sites and shows various advertisements on the list of search results, so you get exposed to shady content that can trigger installations of other PUPs or gather information about your online habits. PUPs have various method used for data gathering, so those details get used for third-party advertisers' purposes[1]
Distribution Freeware installation processes when software bundling is the method used during the downloading lead to unwanted infiltration of PUPs. This also happens when you visit deceptive pages and use p2p services or similar platforms[2]
Elimination When the proper Vista Search removal includes anti-malware tools and full system scans, you can terminate the PUP itself and get rid of the associated applications, so the machine is virus-free again
Repair The system can get significantly affected and damaged if you let the PUP to run on the computer for a longer period. Since the registry is the place where some of the changes get made, rely on proper tools to fix the damage there and run Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

Vista Search is the program that gets installed on your computer without permission or knowledge because PUPs spread using the stealthy methods and various techniques involving product bundling or misleading claims, promotional content with false information. When the potentially unwanted program gets installed on the system it immediately starts triggering those changes in the registry and on your web browsing tools.

This is why many users call this hijacker a Vista Search virus, even though it is not malicious nor harmful in any way. However, you need to consider those changes and react as soon as you possibly can, so the machine is thoroughly cleaned, and any adware, hijackers, shady tools, or browser-based programs get terminated. 

The most common symptoms of the PUP like Vista Search infection:

  • speed and performance issues;
  • browser setting alterations;
  • additional pop-ups, banners;
  • redirects to shady, unknown pages;
  • installations that happen behind your back.

If you noticed Vista Search add-on on the system, you should take care of the general security of the system because the computer is more prone to get PUPs and other cyber threats installed when there is at least one infection already running. This is one of many hijackers that focus on injecting search results with sponsored material, you can also receive pop-ups or redirects to identical engines like Sealoid or Searchaize.

Vista Search PUPVista Search - the program that creates issues when the application changes browsing settings and interfere with searches.

When the homepage, search engine, new tab settings, and other preferences on your Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and other browsers get changed the PUP is rooted in your system already. You need to fully clean the machine from any traces and related programs, so there is no way fo the intruder to renew its activities. The best way for that is the anti-malware program. 

When you decide to remove Vista Search from the machine, you need to choose the proper program that can collect various files and programs associated with the intruder or even other viruses, infections. Even when you are sure that this program is not causing any damage and is installed freshly, you need a thorough scan of the potentially affected device.

Vista Search removal should always involve professional antivirus or security tools, as experts[3] suggest. It is important because PUPs can gather information, inject other programs, and browser-based applications to keep the persistence up.

When that happens it becomes barely possible to find all parts of the hijacker to properly clean the PC. You also need to take those alterations in system folders into consideration and run Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego for proper error fixing and system damage repair. Vista Search can renew its activities of you do not terminate the PUP completely.

Vista Search search engineVista Search - the hijacker that promotes or even installs the add-on without your permission.

Redirects come from deceptive pages and useless promotional pop-ups 

If you get redirected to a similar page like the search engine or an advertising page, promotional domain, you can get exposed to malicious material too. Various malicious actors use hacked sites or malicious copies of the known domains, so people are not paying close attention to the page they end up surfing on. 

Those freeware promoting, distributing sites, and peer-to-peer sharing platforms can directly distribute useless programs and browser-based PUPs. When the person that is downloading anything from the internet skips through steps and allows all the additional installs PUPs freely get injected on any machine.

It happens when you choose Recommended or Quick options during the installation. It is the method that's allows everything but is not saving your time at all. If you install freeware using Advanced or Custom methods, you can control all the features and deselect unwanted apps from the list. 

Get rid fo the fake search engine and all the problems caused by the Vista Search PUP infection

Vista Search virus damage and associated programs left on the system can be the reason why this PUP is persistent, and all the redirects keep appearing on the screen. You need a proper system cleaning if you want to get back the machine in a previous state and without all the intrusive symptoms.

Vista Search removal has a few steps, but the most important is to remove the potentially unwanted program fully. You should first try to ignore all the pop-ups, banners, redirects, and other material so you can avoid additional installations and exposure to malicious content.

Then the most important step of the procedure – choosing the tool that can remove Vista Search properly, anti-malware tools are the best for such cases because full system scans can reveal all potential threats and make sure that all of them get properly cleaned off os the system. The final check should include system damage fixes, and browser resets too.

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 Vista Search, follow these steps:

Get rid of Vista Search from Windows systems

Clear any traces of the hijacker and remove Vista Search from the system yourself

  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 Vista Search and related programs
    Here, look for Vista Search 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 Vista Search 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.

Erase Vista Search 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 Vista Search 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'

Eliminate Vista Search 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 Vista Search 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 Vista Search removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Remove Vista Search 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 Vista Search-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

Delete Vista Search 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 Vista Search 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 Vista Search removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Uninstall Vista Search from Google Chrome

Manage your browser settings and reset Chrome to default, so all changes get set back to the normal state before the Vista Search virus infection

  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 Vista Search 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 Vista Search removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Get rid of Vista Search 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 Vista Search 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 Vista Search, 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 Vista Search removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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