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Www-searching.com virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - -   Also known as searching virus | Type: Browser hijacker
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www-searching.com is a bogus search engine that might be hard to get rid of

The screenshot of www-searching.com

www-searching.com is a fake search engine that mostly travels in software bundles. It is known for two years as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and a browser hijacker[1] that might affect both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems.

According to PC security experts, you should keep out from www-searching.com search site. Here are the main signs that should encourage you to do that:

  • the appearance of an unknown search engine on each of your web browsers;
  • changes in the start page and the default search engine;
  • redirects to unknown/unsafe websites;
  • slow downs and browser crashes;
  • problems with hijacker's removal procedure;
  • suspicious data monitoring activities.

The www-searching.com virus usually hijacks the system after downloading TDownloaderYoutube Accelerator, Search Module and BrowserAir that are also considered as “potentially unwanted.” After the hijack, it might alter registry and browser’s settings, install BHOs and cause other changes in order to strengthen its presence.

However, using this search engine is not recommended. First of all, it redirects to Plus! Network results page that is known as a shady and unreliable search provider. Secondly, it might alter search results and include sponsored links into the.

After www-searching.com hijack, it might be hard to find useful information quickly. However, browsing through suspicious commercial websites might end up with infected computer or data loss. At the top of the results page, you can always find ads that look like ordinary search results. Thus, you might be easily tricked especially if you are in a rush.

The www-searching.com virus might also display unwanted pop-up ads or initiate disturbing browser redirects. There is no guarantee that such sites are virus free – they can be used to spread ransomware or redirect you to a domain that seeks to swindle your personal information.

After a deep analysis, it has been revealed that some of the unwanted ads on legitimate sites can be closely related to malware [2]. Thus, you should not delay www-searching.com removal in order to protect your PC from cyber threats. However, it’s not the reason why you should get rid of it ASAP. For that, we recommend Reimage.

Security researchers have concerns about another suspicious hijacker’s feature. As soon as it gets inside, it starts monitoring users’ browsing habits. Developers of reliable software always include Privacy Policy, EULA or other important documents. However, authors of www-searching.com do not inform how they treat sensitive information.

The hijacker seems to be collecting non-personally identifiable and browsing-related information. It is necessary for delivering eye-catching and encouraging ads. However, you cannot be sure if it cannot collect some of the personal information, install third-party tracking technologies or share aggregated information with unknown business partners. Thus, you have to remove www-searching.com to protect your privacy.

Bundling helps to distribute the hijacker

Most of the time, users learn about the hijacked browser after finding new search engine once they launch their browsers. Indeed, these PUPs seek to get inside computers and start being used as default search engines [3] without user’s permission.

www-searching and other suspicious search engines are widely spread with the help of bundling. This distribution method allows spreading the hijacker with software bundles as an optional component. The program has been noticed spreading with:

  • YTDownloader;
  • Youtube Accelerator;
  • Search Module;
  • BrowserAir.

We highly recommend avoiding each of these programs to prevent system hijack. However, it might be distributed with other programs as well. To avoid infiltration of such and similar potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) in the future, you should bear in mind that they usually travel along with freeware and shareware as optional suggestions. Thus, you have to:

  • select “Advanced” or “Custom” installation option;
  • monitor the entire installation process;
  • opt out of suggestions to change your system settings.

Moreover, stay away from “Quick” or “Recommended” installation modes. In removal instructions given below, you can find a list of recommended malware prevention and elimination programs. 

www-searching.com might come back after the removal

One of the main negative features of the searching.com virus is that it might keep coming back. It might happen because browser helper objects [4] that are typically spread in a bundle with this suspicious search engine. They can be detected with the help of anti-spyware, so there is no doubt that you need to consider automatic removal of this hijacker. Besides, www-searching.com can insert the following registry keys to your operating system:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Policies\Google\Chrome\HomepageLocation and HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Policies\Google\Chrome\RestoreOnStartupURLs\1

Such registry entries [5] and their modifications cannot be noticed easily, but you can delete them from your computer if you are attentive enough. After eliminating these registry keys, you should change your default search provider or a start page and reset your browser.

That's what you need to fix your computer after www-searching infiltration. For a deeper understanding, we recommend taking a look at manual elimination guidelines which ensure complete elimination. By carefully implementing each step, you will be able to restore the browser settings and return to a previously used browsing tool.

www-searching.com virus elimination procedure

The majority of hijackers are not hard to get rid of, www-searching.com removal might be a challenge. Users note that hijacker tends to come back no matter what they do. Therefore, you should prepare yourself for a serious task.

At the end of the article, you can find manual elimination instructions. If you are interested in this option, you should follow each of the steps carefully. Make sure that any hijacker-related entries were not left on the system or web browsers.

If the hijacker still shows up on your browser, you should opt for the automatic removal option. In order to remove www-searching.com automatically, you have to scan the device with reputable anti-malware, such as Reimage.

How to remove searching virus from Windows 10

Nevertheless, the latest version of Windows might seem more resistant to cyber threats, inattentive and careless actions on the web might cause the hijack. Actually, www-searching.com virus is supposed to attack mostly Windows 8 and Windows 10 users.

However, users might find difficulties with hijacker’s removal from the latest version of Windows. These problems are usually related to browser helper objects, registry or settings modifications. Therefore, we want to pay your attention to few aspects. If you still couldn’t find the way how to get rid of searching.com, you should:

  • Access affected browsers from the desktop or find it with the help of Cortana. Then check the settings and look up for entries related to the searching virus.
  • Check Advanced settings and make sure that any hijacker-related entries were not left there.
  • Right-click on the browser’s desktop icon and select Properties. If you see hijacker’s domain at the end of the destination or target location text field, delete it.

You can remove www-searching.com automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove www-searching.com virus you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall www-searching.com virus. 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.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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Manual www-searching.com virus Removal Guide:

WindowsMac OS XFirefoxGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeSafari

Remove www-searching.com from Windows systems

IMPORTANT. Browser hijackers, as well as adware and other PUPs, have mostly been spreading around in a bundle with charge-free software. Bear in mind that uninstalling only programs that brought these parasites into your system does not solve the problem. You need to uninstall each of these spyware variants individually to remove this search tool from your browser and prevent its appearance in the future.

The easiest way to do that is to use Reimage or you can try to find these components both on your system and in each of your web browsers: BrowserAir, Search Module, Search Module Plus, YTDownloader, Shopper Pro, Youtube Accelerator, or any other program developed by Goobzo, Ltd. 

  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-searching.com and related programs
    Here, look for www-searching.com 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-searching.com 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.

WindowsMac OS XFirefoxGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeSafari

Remove www-searching.com from Mac OS X system

Review and delete apps developed by Goobzo. It is advisable to eliminate applications developed by Goobzo, examples of such programs are: YTDownloader, Search Module, BrowserAir, Search Module Plus, Youtube Accelerator, Shopper Pro.

  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 www-searching.com 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'
WindowsMac OS XFirefoxGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeSafari

Remove www-searching.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

It seems that Mozilla Firefox is the most vulnerable to the PUP. If this browser hijacker has affected your Mozilla, you should follow steps that are given down below and remove malicious Add-ons and Extensions. Also, perform these steps:

  • Close the affected web browser and open File Explorer
  • Now enter %AppData% and search for user.js
  • You have to rename this file if it exists on your computer
  • Now open Mozilla Firefox and type about:config in the address bar. Press Enter
  • When settings page shows up, enter Keyword.url to the Search field and right click it to Reset.
  • Do the same with browser.search.defaultengine, browser.search.selectedengine and browser.newtab.url.

    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-searching.com 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-searching.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
    WindowsMac OS XFirefoxGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeSafari

    Remove www-searching.com from Google Chrome

    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-searching.com 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-searching.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
    WindowsMac OS XFirefoxGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeSafari

    Remove www-searching.com 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 www-searching.com 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 www-searching.com removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
    WindowsMac OS XFirefoxGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeSafari

    Remove www-searching.com virus from Microsoft Edge

    If you have been suffering from www-searching.com redirect, you can either reset this browser or eliminate suspicious add-ons and change the homepage/the default search engine on it. Add-ons that are considered related to this hijacker are BrowserAir, Search Module, Search Module Plus, YTDownloader, Shopper Pro, etc. 

    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, www-searching.com should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

    WindowsMac OS XFirefoxGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeSafari

    Remove www-searching.com from Safari

    If you can't remove www-searching.com from Firefox, you need to eliminate all suspicious add-ons from this browser at first. We highly recommend removing these entries: BrowserAir, Search Module, Search Module Plus, YTDownloader, Shopper Pro, Youtube Accelerator, or any other program developed by Goobzo, Ltd. In addition, don't foget to reset your web browser. 

    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-searching.com 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-searching.com, 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-searching.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button
    After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of www-searching.com registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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References

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  • david

    Thanks !

  • romee

    great. finally got rid of this insanely annoying search tool, which was useless, by the way.