YouPDFSearch browser hijacker (virus) - Free Guide

YouPDFSearch browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is YouPDFSearch browser hijacker?

YouPDFSearch extension changes the browser settings to monetize user activity

YouPDFSearchYouPDFSearch takes over the browsing experience by changing the settings

YouPDFSearch is a browser hijacker that can change the main settings, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. It forces people to use only selected channels for browsing which raises many user privacy and security concerns. Crooks can also use rogue advertising networks[1] that place ads leading to dangerous websites.

Although browser hijackers themselves are considered to be mild infections, they can lead to other more serious issues. When affected by a hijacker, people can end up on scam pages that try to trick them into providing personal information, downloading PUPs (potentially unwanted programs),[2] and malware.

NAME YouPDFSearch
TYPE Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program
SYMPTOMS An extension is added to the browser; homepage and new tab address altered; a different search engine is implemented; sponsored links displayed in the results
DISTRIBUTION Shady websites, deceptive ads, freeware installations
DANGERS Inaccurate search results, sponsored links can lead to dangerous pages that want to get users personal information
ELIMINATION You can remove an extension via browser settings or by deploying professional security software
FURTHER STEPS After elimination is complete, clean your web browsers and repair system files. You can do that automatically with ReimageIntego

Browser hijackers in detail

Hijackers are mostly useless browser extensions that do not provide any valuable functions. It is rare for users to find these kinds of apps on their own. Most of the time they are spread on questionable websites full of deceptive ads and sneaky redirects. Often users add them accidentally without even noticing. Most people think that they care a lot about online safety, but when it actually comes to preserving it, few take precautionary steps.

Avoid clicking on random links and buttons. Be careful of illegal streaming platforms[3] and fake “Download” and “Play” buttons. They usually open new tabs with fake download pages that can infect you with adware, hijackers, or other types of PUPs. Go to websites that you know and trust.

However, YouPDFSearch could have appeared in your browser without your knowledge. This could have happened if you recently installed apps from freeware[4] distribution platforms. They include additional programs in the installers that monetize user activity. That is why it is important to use only official web stores and developer websites.

Apps that get listed on digital marketplaces have to go through an extensive review process. However, you should still do your research – read the reviews, look at the ratings, and the number of users. Choose those applications that have plenty of positive feedback and thousands of users.

Protect your privacy

YouPDFSearch browser hijackerYouPDFSearch may collect various data about users' browsing habits

If you go to the Privacy Policy of YouPDFSearch you will find an extensive list of things that it keeps track of. Some of those include your IP address and Internet usage data. The add-on can also gather various information with the help of cookies.[5] It can be later sold to advertising networks or other third parties.

That is why we suggest having an optimization tool like ReimageIntego in your machine that can clear your browsers automatically. Besides that, the application can fix corrupted files and serious system errors so it has a lot of benefits.

How to get rid of intruders from browsers?

Generally, browser extensions are created to provide users some benefits, like mask the location, block ads, and suspicious links, or automatically find discount coupons while shopping online. People add them when they see promotions and good reviews.

However, YouPDFSearch does not seem to provide any benefits. You can remove browser add-ons by going to your settings. Find the list of extensions installed in your browser and remove any suspicious ones. We show how to do that in the guide below:

Google Chrome

  • 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.Remove extensions from Chrome

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

MS Edge (Chromium)

  • Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  • Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Mozilla Firefox

  • Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  • Select Add-ons.
  • In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Safari

  • Click Safari > Preferences…
  • In the new window, pick Extensions.
  • Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Check your system for PUPs

If the previous removal method did not get rid of the hijacker, that means that you might have a PUA installed in your system. In this case, if you try to change the homepage or other settings to the way they were before, or remove the add-on, the PUP will just keep messing up with the settings until it is eliminated from the machine.

Most often users download PUPs from unofficial pages that distribute freeware. To avoid this, next time go through all the installation steps. Choose the “Custom” or “Advanced” installation method, read the Terms of Use and the Privacy Policy. Most importantly, check the files up for installation. If you see any suspicious apps that look totally unrelated, untick the boxes next to their names.

The program that is causing settings changes could have any name or icon, so if you are not sure what to do and you do not want to risk deleting the wrong files, we suggest using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes anti-malware tools that will scan your machine, eliminate it, and prevent such infections in the future by giving you a warning before a PUP can make any changes. If manual removal is what you still prefer, we have instructions for Windows and Mac machines:

Windows 10/8:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

Windows 7/XP:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Mac:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all 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 an unwanted app, 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 and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files.Uninstall from Mac 2
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix 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.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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References