Search (

By | September 4, 2012 | 4 Comments

Search is considered as browser hijacker because it modifies Internet browser without seeking for user’s approval. When it enters the computer, home page is replaced with a custom search bar bearing the address There are cases that it may display a simple view by pointing the homepage to

Most of the time, user is innocent with this type of unwanted software. They are often package with other programs that are required by some web sites. For example, if you visit a video web site, a player is needed to view hosted movie. It is unknown to you that aside from installing desired player, Search is also loaded into your system. The process is quick and discreet. Majority of victims only realize the infection after Search has captured the homepage.

Uninstalling the downloaded player is not enough to remove the hijacker. They are now two separate entities once inside the computer. After removing the player, you also need to uninstall Search from control panel. After that step, you need to fix individual web browsers that are redirected to This phase is simple. To guide you, we have prepared a plain instruction to remove Search hijacker.

Type Hijacker
Sub-Type Add-ons
OS Affected Windows

What are the Symptoms of Search (

A simple version of the hijacker redirects the home page to a search See image below.

Search Hijacker

In other instances, home page will display a custom layout of, it also shown with address to some victims.

Follow these Procedures to Remove Search

Procedure 1: Uninstall 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 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.

NOTE: To represent Search in the image below, we used the term 'Unknown'. Be aware that Search may use other names or terms like Default Tab, New Tab, Wild Tangent.

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.

Uninstall Item

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.

SafeMode Networking

Procedure 3: Scan and remove Search files with MalwareBytes Anti-Malware

To remove Search, download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. This tool is effective in getting rid of Trojans, viruses and malware.

Download Search Removal Tool

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 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 Search You need to confirm this action to apply the changes.

Reset Google Chrome

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 Search, click on Reset button to bring back Internet Explorer's settings to their default condition.

Internet Explorer

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 Search

Reset Firefox

Procedure 5: Run Qualys 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 Search
2. Click Here to visit Qualys Browser Check web site.
3. Next, click on "Install Plug-in" button. You must accept the Terms and Conditions to proceed.

Install Browser Check Plugin

4. After installing the plug-in, Qualys Browser Check will download the host application. This is required to check and remove Search and any other malicious add-ons and extensions.
5. Once finished downloading, please Open or Run the file to install needed data.
6. Restart the browser after installing the tool.
7. Next, click on the Qualys Browser Check icon on the browser to begin the scan.

Run Browser Check

8. Once finished scanning your browser, the tool will display a recommendation. It will advise removing Search extension. Also, there will be other programs and plug-ins that requires updating to make your online surfing secure.

Protect your PC from 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.

IE SmartScreen Filter

4. Please restart Internet Explorer.

SEE MORE : Comprehensive steps to activate SmartScreen Filter

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'.

Chrome Security Settings

6. Please restart Google Chrome. New settings keep your browser safe while surfing the web.

SEE MORE : Enable Phishing and Malware Protection on Google Chrome

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

Firefox Security Settings

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4 thoughts on “Search (

  1. Rob

    This process did not work for me either. I had to go through a very painful process for two days. I found that Norton 360 work but I had additional work to get this accomplished. Down load the Norton 360 and use their free trial if you don’t won to pay the $40 – $80 charge and then cancel the service when done. First you have to uninstall the Start.Search.US program and run Norton. Then you have to restart you computer in the Network Safe Mode. From their For Windows IE you have to disable the add-on and remove the search bar in the tools section of IE. For Firefox you have to go into the configuration (about:config). You do this by entering about:config in the address line. You then have to Reset all configurations that have anything to do with Start Search US. This means there may be other programs associated with it. If that does not clean up Firefox you will have to uninstall Firefox completely and reinstall it.

    This is one nasty program. I hope this helps.

  2. jen is a helpful guide and tools on how to deal with problems such as Malwares or viruses that popping up the internet. It is for everyone like you and me who is not so savvy in computer.

    I would like to say thank you for this site for opening our eyes and give us knowledge to solve this problem in case we encounter them.


  3. spencer2x

    Thanks to this guide.

    Here’s what I did, I found and uninstall the Wild Tangent games from add/remove program. Then, I deleted Default Tab extension from the browser. Do not look for because you will never find it on both areas.

    You may have a different values on your own PC but I am sure it is somehow similar to what I have found. If you cannot find the exact value, just look for any suspicious items and delete them.

    Lastly, download and scan the computer with AdwCleaner. This tool is free.

  4. shiban

    Thank you very much.My all three browsers got infected by this when i installed a software and this article helped me to remove it.

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