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Remove Wow Search (Updated Guide) - updated Aug 2019

removal by Jake Doevan - -   Also known as Wow.com | Type: Browser Hijackers

Wow Search is the PUP that takes the place of your primary search provider and aims to make you visit specific insecure sites

Wow Search

Wow Search is the misleading website that hijacks the web browser to change wanted settings and control your online traffic with its altered search results. The page takes over your homepage, default search engine, new tab settings, and interferes with task scheduler, registry to ensure that the PUP gets launched continuously. This fake search engine claims to improve your time online, but it significantly diminishes browsing experience when it starts showing content filled with pop-ups and banners, in-text ads, and hyperlinks.

This browser hijacker sets wow.com as the default homepage, new tab, and search engine. This way, it keeps users from accessing other sites, especially security pages that can claim about Wow Search virus functionalities. Although promotional ads may claim that this is a useful program and it offers improvement for your machine, you shouldn't believe those false statements. You can indicate that browser hijacker is a questionable program immediately after the first redirect or in-browser search attempt when results get injected with advertising sites instead of useful pages.

Name Wow Search
Type Browser hijacker
Related Yahoo Search
Developer Oath, a Verizon company
Versions
  • Us.wow.com;
  • Start.wow.com
Distribution Insecure freeware installations, other PUPs, deceptive websites
Elimination Run a scan with the anti-malware tool like Reimage for Wow Search removal
Main danger Is associated with ad-supported sites that can track and collect information about users' behavior online

Since Wow Search is a common potentially unwanted program and can be installed via software bundles, its versions us.wow.com, start.wow.com and many other can appear on your screen in the form of additional redirects, toolbars, extensions or plug-ins. The more hijacking tools the PUP installs, the more guarantee there is that the victim cannot remove this intruder completely.

Wow Search or wow.com, is a browser hijacker, so if you have ever heard about programs of such type, you should know what this search engine can cause. Its name may suggest that you will be pleasantly surprised while using it, but there is no 'wow' factor in that.

Beware that all that you can get is sponsored content in your search results that can redirect you to unknown and even malicious websites. This search site has been showing in-text links, banners, and pop-up ads and similar content in its search results. Some people are annoyed by it; others think that it is useful. Unfortunately, but you should never click on Wow ads displayed in its search results because they are shown only for redirecting you to required websites.[1]

Wow Search hijack
Wow Search is the potentially unwanted program that causes an interruption in your in-browser searching processes.

If redirects to wow.com have already started bothering you on your Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or other web browsers, you should also know that this search engine can try to track your browsing activity. According to PC security experts,[2] it is capable of collecting people's search terms, added information on each of their favorite sites, and similar data.

This Wow Search data tracking issue is somewhat disclosed in the Privacy Policy of the website, but it is not properly disclosed, so users still use the fake search engine believing its secureness.[3] The company has all the access to information about you:

Oath shares information within its affiliated brands and companies and with Verizon.  

This data should be called as personally non-identifiable, but we believe that you should never reveal it to unknown parties that can try to use it for their needs. Finally, Wow search virus may cause the appearance of unfamiliar toolbars, browser add-ons, and similar programs on your computer. If you do not want to deal with that, you should run a full system scan with Reimage or other reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of all PUPs, like browser hijackers and adware. 

You need to react to these redirects and all the shady installations as soon as possible, so Wow Search removal can give the best results. If you allow the browser hijacker to run on the system for a longer period of time, it alters more settings and can damage the machine this way.

Wow Search virus
Wow Search is nothing but a PUP that comes using deceptive methods and hijacks your web browser to show sponsored content.

Internet is not the safest place to get your programs and tools

Potentially unwanted programs and other unreliable search engines, adware programs, tools are spread in bundles with freeware and shareware as free additions. People fail to pay enough attention to such programs' installation, so they unnoticeably agree to change their homepage or default search engine and make other system changes.

Besides, they agree with the installation of various toolbars, plugins, extensions, and similar extras without even noticing the danger. To avoid that, you should always choose Custom or Advanced installation methods instead of the quick installation option.

In addition, try to find all checkboxes that agree to download toolbars or another search site on the system. If you noticed that some PUP hijacked your computer and started causing continuous redirects to unfamiliar websites and annoying pop-up notifications, it's a sign that your machine was affected. Don't waste time and follow with a PUP termination.

Get a proper tool and remove Wow Search browser hijacker

We don't recommend leaving Wow Search virus instead of your default search engine because it's a questionable site that is spread with a help of unfair distribution methods, such as bundling and other PUPs. In addition to that, it may try to alter your system settings, return altered search results, display misleading pop-up advertisements and initiate other unwanted activities.

To solve your problems, you should either scan your computer with a reliable anti-spyware program or follow the manual Wow Search removal guide. Please, be very careful when following these manual elimination steps to guarantee the successful elimination of this questionable search engine.

In addition to these tips and anti-malware program suggestions, we should note that you need to remove Wow Search completely from the system, to end all the processes that might run in the background and affect the speed of your machine significantly.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they 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, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Wow Search, follow these steps:

Uninstall Wow Search from Windows systems

Remove Wow Search from the system and clean the machine by following:

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

Delete Wow 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 Wow 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 Wow Search from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Wow Search and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Wow Search removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Get rid of Wow Search from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Wow Search should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Erase Wow Search from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Search for Wow Search hijacker and associated files on your Firefox browser

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

Remove Wow Search from Google Chrome

You should check the browser for additionally installed extensions or content that got on the device without your permission

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

Uninstall Wow 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 Wow 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 Wow 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 Wow Search removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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