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Remove ZenSearch.com (Improved Guide) - updated Jul 2016

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser hijacker

What is the reason to remove ZenSearch.com virus?

In fact, there are a few reasons to initiate ZenSearch.com removal as soon as possible. This program is known as ZenSearch.com redirect virus or a browser hijacker, because it falls into potentially unwanted programs’ (PUP) category. Despite the fact that it is not malicious, computer users who install it tend to call it a virus, although technically that is not true. This application is designed to promote one search engine, which seems to be secure at the first sight. You should not fall into believing that it is jus a regular search engine since its primary purpose is to advertise affiliate websites and adjust its search results by adding links to these sites.

In other words, you are going to receive a lot of sponsored outcomes with your search results, and if you are looking for particular information, these ads can annoy you. If you tried to remove this web page from your browser, you would notice that it is not that easy. You should also take into account that switching the web browser that you use isn’t going to help you to avoid this website as well, since this hijacker can affect all the main Internet browsers, including Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and also Safari. The only way to remove ZenSearch.com is to uninstall the browser hijacker that controls your web browsers. You can try to get rid of it manually, but our recommendation is to use a professional spyware removal program like ReimageIntego.

Screenshot of ZenSearch.com set as homepage

Questions about ZenSearch.com

ZenSearch.com redirects may occur whenever you click on any of the search results, even if they do not have the “Ads” mark next to them. They can lead you to gaming, gambling, or other questionable websites that might present insecure content or even pose a threat to your computer system. Of course, we do not say that each of redirects is associated with shady parties and can cause danger to you, but it is better to be safe than sorry. We recommend you to think twice before clicking on “download” buttons, because overall, downloading software from unknown websites is a quite dangerous thing to do. You should bypass offers to update Java or Flash Players since bogus updates often contain infectious files that can severely mess up your computer system. Please, be careful as you browse the Internet, and try not to reveal any of your personal information on unfamiliar web pages, too.

How can this hijacker infiltrate my computer?

This PUP can be downloaded from file sharing sites in a bundle with freeware and shareware. This software distribution method is quite popular among developers of potentially unwanted software, but you can avoid installing such programs by paying an appropriate amount of attention to freeware’s installation process. We always recommend choosing Custom or Advanced installation method and unchecking these checkboxes that claim that you agree to make the aforementioned web page your start page or default search engine. If you missed that check box, you probably can notice browser’s redirections, commercial notifications and similar issues on your computer now.

How to remove ZenSearch.com?

To remove this profoundly annoying application from your computer, you either need to carry out ZenSearch.com removal instructions that are provided below. If you cannot stand spending time following instructions and if you would like to find an easier way to remove ZenSearch.com virus, then we suggest installing an automatic spyware removal program and scanning your PC with it. This way, you will eliminate not only this browser hijacker but also all other variants of spyware and malware from your PC at once. We suggest using ReimageIntego software to scan your computer.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. 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 ZenSearch.com, follow these steps:

Get rid of ZenSearch.com from Windows systems

  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 ZenSearch.com and related programs
    Here, look for ZenSearch.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 ZenSearch.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.

Erase ZenSearch.com from Mac OS X system

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

Remove ZenSearch.com from Applications folder:

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

Eliminate ZenSearch.com 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 ZenSearch.com 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 ZenSearch.com removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete ZenSearch.com 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 ZenSearch.com-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

Remove ZenSearch.com 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 ZenSearch.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 ZenSearch.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Uninstall ZenSearch.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 ZenSearch.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 ZenSearch.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Get rid of ZenSearch.com 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 ZenSearch.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 ZenSearch.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 ZenSearch.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

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Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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  1. Myrtha says:
    July 21st, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Thanks for providing these guidelines! I followed them and removed zensearch virus.

  2. Zaed39 says:
    July 21st, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Thanks for the help. I couldnt remove it on my own – your recommended software removed it for me. If anyone is interested, I am using a Windows OS on my computer.

  3. Elisabeth says:
    July 21st, 2016 at 9:30 am

    I cannot describe what a relief to finally get rid of this trashy program! ZenSearch was the worst search engine ever. I am glad that no one forces me to use it anymore!

  4. Pete says:
    July 22nd, 2016 at 8:05 am

    This stupid search engine took control over Chrome and I absolutely hate it!

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