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Remove (Virus Removal Instructions) - Feb 2020 update

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser Hijackers – a browser hijacker that can include the “Fast Searching” extension into the web browser settings is considered to be a browser hijacker that travels with freeware and shareware installations from third-party websites such as,,, and is a potentially unwanted program[1] that converts the default search provider, homepage, and new tab URL to This app is not an evil one like ransomware or spyware, however, it still brings unpleasant functionality and interrupts users' activities. Also categorized as a browser hijacker, virus can make the beforementioned changes on different types of web browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. The PUP can settle on all of these browser apps but it usually picks one, for example, Google Chrome. Afterward, you are likely to find the “Fast Searching” plug-in added into the web browser settings.

Furthermore, often is bundled with freeware and shareware such as PDF converters, download managers, and various players that come from third-party downloading sources such as,,, and This type of PUP distribution technique is widespread through third-party developers and has been named as “software bundling”.[2] Keep reading and learn more about all the annoying features that includes as a browser hijacker.

Type Potentially unwanted program
Sub-type Browser hijacker
Extension This suspicious program can add the “Fast Searching” extension to the hijacked web browser settings
Changes Once the browser hijacker appears on the targeted web browser, it initiates some modifications on the default search provider, new tab URL, and homepage sections and sets them to
Targets The potentially unwanted program can appear on any type of web browser app such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Safari
Elimination You can permanently erase the browser hijacker with the help of antimalware software or by using the manual step-by-step guidelines that have been included to the end of this page
Fix tool Some system alterings might have shown up after the browser hijacker made a mess on your PC and browsers. If necessary, fix the affected areas by trying out software such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

According to cybersecurity experts from,[3] the main sign that a browser hijacker has appeared is a different search engine than you had in the past. Legitimate and reliable search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo are used by a big variety of people but any other type of search provider can signify about a browser hijacker such as

Beware that when sets your search provider to a new one and modifies other settings such as the homepage and new tab URL bar, you will not be able to reverse these changes unless you get rid of the potentially unwanted program completely. Plus, you will be forced to complete search queries via the new search engine that might lead you to unknown directories all over the web and provide you with misleading search results.

If arrives together with the “Fast Searching” browser extension,[4] you might experience some types of other changes in some of your web browser apps. For example, the new plug-in can disable the Content Security Policy in Mozilla Firefox and also include a lock component to prevent other similar products from modifying its main settings. If it is Explorer that got hijacked, the browser might receive the modification of the load time threshold. 

If it is a Windows computer on which lands, you might see that your Task Manager is filled with bogus processes that you have never encountered and some random content has appeared in the C:\ProgramFiles\ or C:\ProgramData folders. If the browser hijacker appears on a Mac computer, it might include random folders and apps in the Applications directory. browser is a browser-hijacking application that can redirect the affected user to websites such as Furthermore, can redirect the user to odd websites such as that can start spamming you with various offers and deals. Nevertheless, all the redirecting activity might not look that important or intrusive at first but note that the longer you keep the browser hijacker on your computer, the worse this process will get. Also, you might not notice when you land on a location that is filled with malicious software. can also load the user with interruptive advertising content. The browser hijacker might start pushing annoying pop-up ads straight to the computer screen when the user is completing browser sessions. These advertisements might come filled with bogus offers of fake security utilities, encourage the user to subscribe to useless services and try to lure the person in various scams. 

If you have spotted the first symptoms of browser hijacking lately, you should look for ways to remove from your computer system and web browser apps. The potentially unwanted program can get successfully eliminated with the help of a malware removal tool.

Furthermore, you can do the removal yourself. Our security experts have added a detailed step-by-step guide to the end of this article where the entire process is explained. Note: do not forget to clean and refresh the web browsers as these apps are particularly filled with suspicious content after the hijack. If you do not get rid of all the bogus objects, the browser hijacker might return the next time you launch your browser. potentially unwanted program

Factors that increase the risk of getting infected by a browser hijacker

There are many unsecured downloading sources such as,,, and that suggest downloading various PDF converters, download managers, and players for free. Regarding the fact that this type of software is free, a lot of users decided to get it instead from the official developers. However, this is a mistake to make because it increases the chances of receiving a browser hijacker on your device and web browser.

Developers often hide such potentially unwanted programs in software packages that come from secondary downloading networks. If you still decide to use the same pages for completing your downloads, you can at least be extra careful while dealing with the download/installation yourself. Do not skip any steps, select the Custom or Advanced downloading mode and make sure to opt-out of content that looks suspicious to you and raises some types of concerns. 

To add, browser hijackers can get hidden in various advertisements and hyperlinks that you should be aware of while browsing the web. If you have ever entered a website that was previously marked as unsafe by your web browser or antivirus software, you should exit it immediately. Nevertheless, do not think about stepping on unknown content that is provided in such web pages as some of it might hide the potentially unwanted program.

Remove in an effective way

Technically, is not a virus but it still requires elimination as it triggers the natural operating process of the computer system and web browser apps. As we have already discussed, the browser hijacker initiates many unknown changes on your web browser and acts very annoyingly. These are the main reasons why we suggest to perform the removal as soon as you discover the PUP on your computer.

To remove effectively, you will need to use reliable malware removal software that is capable of dealing with such programs in a few minutes and cleaning the entire operating system from the browser hijacker and all the additional apps that it might have brought to it.

Furthermore, there is also a way to uninstall virus by putting in your own effort only. However, you need to be at least a little bit experienced in manual elimination for this. If you are, follow the cleaning instructions at the end that are written for both Windows and Mac operating systems and web browser apps such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and others.

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, follow these steps:

Uninstall from Windows systems

To erase potentially unwanted applications from Windows and get rid of the browser hijacker permanently, complete the following guidelines.

  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 and related programs
    Here, look for 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 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 '' 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 from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove from Applications folder:

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

Eliminate from Internet Explorer (IE)

To make sure that the browser hijacker never returns and that all suspicious changes are reversed on Internet Explorer, initiate the below-provided steps.

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 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,
  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 removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete 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 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

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

Get rid of from Google Chrome

To reverse all of the suspicious changes on Google Chrome and terminate the rogue extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons that have been added to this browser, use these instructions.

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

Uninstall 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 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, 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 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.

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

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

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

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