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Remove www-search.net (Free Guide) - Feb 2020 update

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

www-search.net is the browser hijacker that is promoted online and distributed via free downloads

www-search.netwww-search.net – a fake search engine that sets itself as default homepage, new tab and other settings on the affected browser. It is not considered a malicious website, but this intruder falls into the category of potentially unwanted programs due to intrusive behavior and commercial content delivery, the affected speed, performance of the machine. This is a cyber intruder that displays sponsored advertisements and injects search results with affiliated material, o people visit pages that are controlled by the same PUP developers and associated advertisers. This search engine is related to Tuvaro.com – a known browser hijacker, so all online search attempts go straight to this site. Also, you shouldn't be surprised when other browser-based threats like toolbars and extensions appear added without your permission once this PUP lands on the machine.

Although this is not the correct term for the intruder, www-search.net virus is called that by various users online because they suffer from all the intrusive symptoms and commercial content that fills the screen during every web browsing session. You should clean the machine fully to get rid of it though because PUPs are known for having additional files, applications, and programs installed on the affected systems to interfere with performance and ensure persistence.

Name www-search.net
Type Browser hijacker
Distribution Freeware installations when the source is related to PUP developers can lead to such infections because additional applications get loaded automatically during recommended or quick installations. Also, such browsing tools get promoted on advertisements that claim about useful features and push shady search engines, toolbars, extensions as a valuable addition to your web browser
Symptoms Results of online searches get injected with commercial material and clicking on any of those banners or pop-ups triggers redirects to suspicious sites. Default search engine, homepage, new tab and other settings related to browsing online get altered by the hijacker itself, so you cannot access the content normally and commonly visited pages load differently
Related Trovi PUP. Search engine www-search.net redirects every in-browser search attempt to this page, so it injects results with affiliated and sponsored content
Danger Potentially unwanted programs closely related to ad-supported sites can expose the user to possibly dangerous content and even lead to more severe infections due to the material online. Also, PUPs and advertisers themselves separately can track, collect record information about your time online, preferences, browsing history and similar data.[1] This information can possibly end up in the hands of third-party companies and lead to privacy issues
Elimination www-search.net removal process is the one that requires paying attention to details and relying on professional anti-malware tools that can find and delete PUPs from the machine 
Repair Windows registry and other system folders get altered by the PUP in the background. Such changes can paralyze the machine or even damage crucial functions. Get a system optimizer or repair tool like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego that may find and fix the affected files for you

www-search.net is not the program that affects the system folders and functions when it lands on the machine. However, PUP is not the intruder that only runs on the web browser because it loads files in those folders that control particular functions and features revolving around systems' security. 

When the www-search.net is affecting your browsing activities that potentially unwanted program can add new entries on the Windows Registry or alter the existing keys to make the changes in startup preferences. Since advertising content and redirects are the main symptoms it is important for the PUP that ad-supported sites, affiliated pages, and the browser hijacker site appear with every system reboot and new launch. These changes are considered virus damage that requires tools like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego, so additional damage to your PC is avoided.

Additional things that you should note about the PUP:

  • it changes homepage, default search engine, new tab and other settings on the web browser directly;
  • hijacks the shortcut of the web browser, so it launches the shady tool instead of your normal browser;
  • PUP installs Windows services and runs processes in the startup;
  • promotes other in-browser programs and fake updates or software installs.

search.net hijackerwww-search.net is the potentially unwanted program related to the Trovi search engine that redirects users to various ad-supported sites posing as Bing or another legitimate search service. www-search.net is an untrustworthy search engine, which is closely related to Tuvaro virus and Trovi search engine other questionable search engines. When this fake search engine is used by users for searching the web, it tries to trick them into visiting affiliate websites and help them to increase their page rank or sales.

How can it do that? In most of the cases, it displays altered search results that can be filled with various links, pop-up ads, in-text links, etc. After being clicked, they can easily trick users into visiting predetermined websites. Beware that there is no guarantee that each of these sites is harmless! That's why you should stay away from them as far as you can.

In addition, annoying popups and constant slowdowns on each of web browsers can also be expected when using www-search.net hijacker for searching the web. That's why we want to suggest you avoid this search engine and rely only on well-known search sites, such as Google, Bing or Yahoo.

By the way, in most cases, www-search.net hijacks systems without asking people's permission because it has been spread in a bundle with other programs as an optional component. Beware that it can easily enter your PC system in a bundle with freeware and shareware, so you should start monitoring the installation of such programs.

Please, be very careful with this search engine! No matter that it looks harmless, there are lots of suspicious activities that it may try to initiate on your computer. If you want to remove www-search.net from Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer or other web browsers, you should either use a guide below or scan your system with reputable anti-spyware tool. 

Unfortunately, www-search.net removal can cause some issues when you cannot find the application that is causing all the additional symptoms related to commercial material delivery. It happens because the website itself is only a result of the PUP infection – the program that got installed via promotional material online or during freeware installations.  www-search.net PUPwww-search.net is the hijacker that affects time on Internet Explorer. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and other popular web browsers.  

Redirects and promotional ads lead to cyber infections

As we have already mentioned, potentially unwanted programs can easily show up on your computer without your knowledge. In most cases, you are not the one downloading this program on the system. That's because it is actively spread using bundling.[2]

If you want to avoid these insecure and questionable redirects to unknown websites and similar issues, you should remember that you must keep an eye on every installation of the freeware. Please, choose Custom or Advanced installation when downloading various PDF creators, download managers or video streaming/recording software.

Always rely on official program developers, providers that can be trusted or legitimate application stores. Avoid pirating,[3] torrent services and sharing sites where you cannot be guaranteed that the source is safe and legitimate. When a questionable source is matched with skipping through installation steps – the risk of getting malware is extremely high.

Clean the system fully to terminate www-search.net virus

As we have already mentioned, www-search.net virus has been actively distributed using various unfair distribution methods, including bundling. If you have already been tricked into downloading this browser hijacker to your computer, you should follow this step-by-step guide that is given below and fix your computer and eliminate extensions, toolbars or different browser-based apps added by the intruder.

If you want to be sure that all components that belong to this hijacker are gone, you should think about automatic www-search.net removal. The best option is to run the full system scan with anti-malware tool that can find the main PUP and indicate additional applications loaded behind your back.

To ensure that you can remove www-search.net entirely, rely on the professional and trustworthy programs, download that from the official site, provider or developers' page and run it on the affected machine. You may need to go through settings and places like a registry to fix the damage of this hijacker. For that, try a system optimizer or PC repair tool.

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 www-search.net, follow these steps:

Get rid of www-search.net from Windows systems

Clean the system fully and get rid of www-search.net

  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 www-search.net and related programs
    Here, look for www-search.net 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 www-search.net 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.

Remove www-search.net from Mac OS X system

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

Remove www-search.net from Applications folder:

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

Uninstall www-search.net 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 www-search.net 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 www-search.net removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete www-search.net 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 www-search.net-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

Erase www-search.net 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 www-search.net 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 www-search.net removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate www-search.net from Google Chrome

Go through settings of Chrome, so you can be sure that toolbars and other apps are not affecting the performance

  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 www-search.net 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 www-search.net removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Get rid of www-search.net 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 www-search.net 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 www-search.net, 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 www-search.net 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
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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References
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