YoSearch.co browser hijacker Removal Guide
What is YoSearch.co browser hijacker?
YoSearch.co is a browser-hijacking app that changes your settings to show you ads
YoSearch.co is an URL you might see after your browser is hijacked
The world wide web has significantly evolved over the years, implementing new ways of accessing the internet and allowing users to choose from a variety of browsers. As standalone products, browsers serve as the main way how we access the internet, although they are also highly customizable. Browser extensions, for example, can greatly alter the way you browse the web, and unfortunately, the change is not always positive.
Some people have reported that Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, MS Edge, or Safari browser suddenly started to act strange – the web browser started using a different homepage – YoSearch.co. In other cases, the search queries or link clicks would also result in a brief flash of the URL while browsing.
If that's the situation you are in right now, it means that your browser has been hijacked by a potentially unwanted browser extension. Browser hijackers are not usually installed purposely, but people are tricked into doing so. For example, one of the most popular distribution techniques known as software bundling often carries potentially unwanted programs within software packages. Alternatively, users might believe that the application might be useful one way or another.
While no modifications to search providers have been observed in most cases, there is a chance that the provider might be altered to Bing, Google, Yahoo, or another one. This usually depends on your current location, set language, and other browser settings. While this may seem like a minimal change, it is much more impactful in the grand scheme of things, as search results are greatly influenced by the hijacker.
If you have noticed sudden redirects to or through YoSearch.co web address, we strongly recommend checking the system thoroughly and removing all the unwanted components. In the below sections, we explain more about the best ways of doing so.
|Type||Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted application|
|Distribution||Software bundles, third-party websites, deceptive ads|
|Symptoms||Unknown extension or application is installed on the system; homepage and new tab address are altered to YoSearch.co; a customized search engine is appended to the homepage; search results are filled with sponsored links and ads|
|Risks||Ads might include links to potentially dangerous or even malicious websites, resulting in malware infection, personal information disclosure, or financial losses|
|Removal||You can browser hijackers by following the manual guide below or by scanning the computer with powerful SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes anti-malware software|
|Additional tips||After you eliminate the hijacker, you should also clean your web browsers to avoid tracking and other issues. You can use ReimageIntego as a quick solution|
How dangerous are browser hijackers and are they useful?
Browser hijacker is a relatively new term that has been used to describe software that takes over web browser settings. It was not always the case, however, because previously, toolbars and similar apps would affect all web browsers and run on the system level. They were extremely deceptive when it came to their distribution and were a nightmare to remove. Also, the content of the sponsored nature was much riskier, as ads were not properly filtered.
This drastically changed over the years, as security measures were implemented by tech firms and other associated bodies. Therefore, in order not to be removed immediately by the security software, browser hijackers had to get rid of all of the malicious features, such as persistence or exposure to unsafe content, as well as excessive data tracking.
All the mentioned traits are not completely gone, although they are still there to an extent. One of the most distinctive features of YoSearch.co and similar apps is that their goal of the changes is not to produce benefits for users but rather to monetize advertisements. There are many browser extensions that are presented as those that would “speed up” or “improve” user searches, although, in reality, it is nothing but the ads that users are exposed to.
Ads within search results are not likely to be straight out malicious (most of them are relatively safe), but some links might lead users to pages that advertise potentially unwanted programs. Likewise, the produced results might not be accurate or something that most are familiar with due to search provider changes.
When you Use the Software & Services, we automatically collect and store the following types of information:
2. Usage Information. Certain usage related information regarding your use and interaction with your device, including the Software & Services and Other Software, such as when and how you Use the Software & Services and Other Software, how you use your internet browser and internet search related applications, the web pages you visit and the content you see, access and utilize on such web pages; for example, offerings and advertisements that you view, use and access, how you use them and your response to them, how frequently you use them, your search queries and the time and date of your searches;
YoSearch.co gathers a variety of information about users
Thus, to answer the question of whether or not browser hijackers are dangerous – they are not; most of them are relatively harmless but can be a real nuisance. That does not mean that no malicious traits exist, as there could be thousands of variables, including additional infections present on the machine.
How to remove the hijacker correctly?
If you have found that your browser settings were changed seemingly out of nowhere, your system has been infected. To be more precise, your browser is likely to be affected by unwanted browser extension that you need to get rid of to restore all your default settings.
The easiest way to do so is by clicking the “Extensions” button next to your browser's “Settings” section, although this might not always be possible. In that case, you need to go to browser settings and uninstall the app from there. Keep in mind that the extension could not necessarily be named “YoSearch,” as redirects to the URL might be caused by any potentially unwanted program.
- Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
- In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove.
- Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the window's top-right).
- Select Add-ons.
- In here, select the unwanted plugin and click Remove.
MS Edge (Chromium)
- Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
- Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.
- Click Safari > Preferences…
- In the new window, pick Extensions.
- Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.
If you couldn't find anything in tour browser settings, you should perform a full system scan with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes to ensure that it's not malware that is affecting your device.
After you are sure that the browser hijacker and other unwanted/malicious programs are gone, you should run a ReimageIntego repair tool that can get rid of browser caches for you automatically. The app can also find and replace damaged system components after malware or adware infection and fix any unrelated underlying system issues. If you would rather clean your web browsers from cookies and other web data manually, you can do so by following these steps:
- Click on Menu and pick Settings.
- Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
- Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
- Click Clear data.
- Click Menu and pick Options.
- Go to Privacy & Security section.
- Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
- Click on Clear Data…
- Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content, and press Clear.
MS Edge (Chromium)
- Click on Menu and go to Settings.
- Select Privacy and services.
- Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
- Under Time range, pick All time.
- Select Clear now.
- Click Safari > Clear History…
- From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
- Confirm with Clear History.
The success of any program relies upon its marketing campaigns and distribution methods. Sadly, not all distribution tactics are that fair, and there are plenty of loopholes that the developers of such software exploit. For example, a well-known bundling technique is commonly used to deliberately hide optional components within freeware installers so that users inadvertently implement them.
In reality, it is pretty easy to avoid the unexpected installation of potentially unwanted programs. Security researchers from novirus.uk recommend the following preventive measures:
- Never install programs from dangerous sources – torrents, software cracks, and similar places can include a lot of malicious components (ads, installers, fake buttons, malicious scripts, etc.);
- Before installing an application, you have never heard of, check for its reviews online;
- Be aware that every third-party software distribution website bundles software;
- During the installation of freeware, always opt for Advanced/Custom instead of Recommended/Quick settings – this will allow more control over the process;
- Remove checks from pre-ticked boxes, read the fine print, read the instructions carefully, and watch out from misleading button and offer placements;
- Employ powerful security software, such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes, that could stop PUPs and malware from entering your PC.
How to prevent from getting browser hijacker
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 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.