Royal Search is a browser hijacker or search redirect adware that is part of potentially unwanted program. Same as other browser redirect adware, its main objective is to take over the home page and let you start browsing from its own web site at royal-search.com. To achieve its purpose, add-on, extension, or plug-in must be inserted into the browser. Once Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox begins to redirect to Royal Search, it only implies that nasty thing has been done on your browser software.
Aside from being redirected to Royal Search, compromised computer also see changes in the default search engine. On our previous post about similar threat triple-search.com, we have identified that these unwanted search engine have their own format in which the result will include links from its own advertisers. Ads are normally provided by Babylon and other unwanted platform. As usual, the goal of people behind Royal Search is to earn a living from this online fraud activity.
How does browser gets infected by Hijacker malware?
There are many ways how i.search.metacrawler.com hijacker can get inside the computer. In most instances, users are not aware of the installation. Even installed antivirus program will not alert you that this unwanted program is preparing to conquer the computer.
TPerhaps, you have installed a freeware that comes bundled with adware code. It is hard to deter this kind of scheme since even reliable web sites are offering free programs with adware attached into it. Links from spam emails and social media sites that entice you to download a program can also lead to the infection of i.search.metacrawler.com redirect adware.
Should I remove it from the computer?
It is a must to get rid of i.search.metacrawler.com and any program that is causing hijacking or redirect issues. This kind of action is fraudulent and illicit. No favorable software will commit changes on the computer as well as browser without getting permission from the user. In the case of i.search.metacrawler.com, it drops add-on, modify settings, and replace your default start-up page without consent. Although i.search.metacrawler.com is not considered as virus, it can still expose your system to a wide-range of threats. Therefore, you must remove it right away.
Is there a way to remove 'Royal Search' completely?
Deleting add-ons or extensions injected by Royal Search into the browser may not be sufficient to totally clean the computer. The process may stop the redirect and hijacking problems, but malicious files and registry entries will remain on the computer.
Follow these Procedures to Remove Royal Search
Procedure 1: Uninstall Royal Search from Windows Control Panel
1. Click on Start button on bottom left corner of the screen. From the list, choose Control Panel to access settings of Windows and make the needed changes.
2. Under Programs, click on Uninstall a program. It will open a program and features window where-in you can uninstall, change, or repair installed software.
3. Look for the name Royal Search or any related term. Please note that the adware may change the title anytime. Once found, please select the item you wanted to remove.
If the given term is not present on the list of installed programs, look for item that was installed recently. To do this, you need to arrange the items chronologically. Click on 'Installed On' to display the latest program. Make sure the recent ones are on top of the list. Look for any dubious software that are not familiar or you didn't remember installing.
4. Click on Uninstall button to remove the program automatically.
5. If it prompts for confirmation, please click OK to proceed.
Procedure 2: Start Windows in Safe Mode with Networking
Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Networking
- After turning On the power of the computer, just before Windows start, press F8.
- From the selections, choose Safe Mode with Networking. Please use keyboard's arrow up/down to navigate between selections and press Enter to proceed.
Procedure 3: Scan and remove Royal Search files with MalwareBytes Anti-Malware
To remove Royal Search, download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. This tool is effective in getting rid of Trojans, viruses and malware.
1. After downloading, please install the program using the default settings.
2. At the end of the installation, please make sure that it will download necessary updates.
3. Once update has completed. The tool will launch.
4. Thoroughly scan the computer and remove all threats detected by this anti-malware program.
Procedure 4: Reset Affected Internet Browser
In order to fully remove all changes made by Royal Search that heavily affects your Internet browser; we need to restore it to the state when it was first installed. Follow the procedures below to execute these steps on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Firefox respectively.
Reset configuration of Google Chrome:
1. Open Google Chrome browser
2. Type this in the address bar chrome://settings/
3. Navigate at the end of the page and click on Show advanced settings
4. At the bottom of the page, click on Reset settings to remove all changes made by Royal Search. You need to confirm this action to apply the changes.
Reset Internet Explorer Settings:
1. Open Internet Explorer software
2. Navigate to top menu and click Tools > Internet Options
3. On Internet Options window, select Advanced tab
4. In order to reverse modifications caused by Royal Search, click on Reset button to bring back Internet Explorer's settings to their default condition.
Reset Firefox to its default state:
1. Open Mozilla Firefox program
2. Navigate to top menu and click on Help > Troubleshooting Information
3. Click on Reset Firefox button to erase the effect of Royal Search.
Procedure 5: Run Qualys Online Browser Check
Qualys Browser Check performs a security examination on your browser including installed plug-ins and add-ons. At the end of the scan, this tool will recommend on what to remove and give you steps to resolve any vulnerabilities found on the browser.
1. Open Internet browser application that is affected by Royal Search.
2. Click Here to visit Qualys Browser Check web site.
3. Next, click on "Scan without installing lugin" link.
4. Click on Scan Now button to check and remove Royal Search and any other malicious add-ons and extensions. You must read and accept "Service User Agreement" to continue.
5. After the scan, you will be presented with Browser Check Summary. Fix any issues and follow the recommendation on the result.
Protect your PC from Royal Search or Similar Attack
Turn On Safe Browsing Features
Internet Explorer - Activate SmartScreen Filter
Internet Explorer versions 8 and 9 has this feature called SmartScreen Filter. It helps detect phishing web sites and protect you from downloading malicious files online. To turn on SmartScreen Filter, follow these steps:
1. Please open Internet Explorer.
2. On top menu, select Tools (IE 9). For IE 8, please look for Safety menu.
3. Select SmartScreen Filter from the drop-down list and click on Turn on SmartScreen Filter.
4. Please restart Internet Explorer.
Google Chrome's Enable Phishing and Malware Protection
With Google Chrome's Phishing and Malware Detection feature, you will have lesser risks browsing the web. It will display a warning when the site you are trying to visit is suspicious. To enable Phishing and Malware Protection, please do these steps:
1. Open Google Chrome.
2. Click on the Customize and control Google Chrome (3-Bars Icon) located on top right corner of the browser.
3. Select Settings from the drop-down list.
4. Once on the settings page, click on Show advanced settings... at the bottom of the page to see the rest of the Chrome setup.
5. Locate Privacy section and mark 'Enable phishing and malware protection'.
6. Please restart Google Chrome. New settings keep your browser safe while surfing the web.
Mozilla Firefox - Block Attack Sites and Web Forgeries
Phishing and Malware Protection is a built-in feature on Firefox version 3 or later. It warns you when a page you are trying to visit contains phishing content or an attack site designed to drop threats on the computer. To help you keep safe while browsing the Internet using Firefox, please follow this guide:
1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
2. On top menu, click on Tools. Then select Options from the list.
3. Select Security and put a check mark on the following items:
- Warn me when sites try to install add-ons
- Block reported attack sites
- Block reported web forgeries