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. Begin the removal process by uninstalling the adware program from Windows. To do this, we need to open Control Panel. Please ensure that you are logon with the Administrative privilege to access this function.

How to access Control Panel in Windows XP, Windows Vista/ 7

- Click on Start button that can be found on bottom left corner of the screen.
- From the list, choose Control Panel to access settings of Windows and make the needed changes.

Cpanel Win7

How to access Control Panel in Windows 8

- The easiest way to access Control Panel on Windows 8 is through the Search function.
- Simply press Windows Key + Q on your keyboard to display the Charms Bar. Alternatively, you can drag mouse pointer to lower-right portion of desktop until the Charms Bar slide-out.
- Click on the Magnifying Glass icon and search for 'Control Panel'. Click the item on the result to access this feature.


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, we used the term 'Unknown'. Be aware that Search may use other names or terms such as the following: Default Tab, New Tab, Wild Tangent

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: Scan Computer in Safe Mode Using Anti-Malware Tool

In troubleshooting a PC, one common step is to boot operating system into Safe Mode with Networking. The same approach will be used in the removal of Search Please execute instructions based on your Windows OS version.

Start in Safe Mode with Networking (Windows XP/Vista/7 Instruction)

- Please restart the computer and just before Windows start, press F8 on your keyboard repeatedly. You will be presented with Advanced Options Menu.
- From the selections, choose Safe Mode with Networking. Please use keyboard's arrow up/down to navigate between selections and press Enter to proceed.


Start Windows 8 in Safe Mode with Networking

- Please restart the computer and as soon as it begins to start, please press Shift+F8 keys.
- Instead of seeing Advance Boot Options, Windows 8 will display Recovery Mode. Continue with the given steps until you reach Safe Mode function.
- Click on 'See advanced repair options'.


- Then, click on Troubleshoot.
- Next, please select Advanced options.
- On the next window, please choose Windows Startup Settings.
- Lastly, click on Restart button. Windows 8 will now restart and boot into Advanced Boot Option wherein you can run the system in Safe Mode with Networking.


Scan and remove Search files with MalwareBytes Anti-Malware

To remove Search, download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware by clicking on the button below. 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 3: Manually remove settings created by Search on Internet Explorer

If the hijacker was not removed properly during the scan, you can use this guide to uninstall it from the computer. We prepared procedures to remove this unknown search program from various Internet browsers including Internet Explorer 8/9, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

Uninstall Search from Internet Explorer 8:

1. Launch the program Internet Explorer 8.
2. On top menu, please navigate to Tools > Internet Options.

Internet Options

3. It will open the options window; make sure that you are viewing the General tab. Look for the area that says "Search" and click the Settings button.

IE 8 Search Settings

4. You will see a list of search providers. Select your preferred search provider and click the button Set as default to replace Search

IE Unknown Search

NOTE: To represent Search, we used the term 'Unknown'. Be aware that Search may use other names or terms such as the following: Default Tab, New Tab, Wild Tangent

5. You may now remove Search from the list. Highlight the item and click on Remove button.

For Internet Explorer 9:

1. Launch the program Internet Explorer 9.
2. On top menu, please navigate to Tools > Internet Options.
3. On General tab, proceed to Change search defaults and click the Settings button.
4. You will see a list of search providers. Select your desired search provider and click the button Set as default to replace Search
5. You may now remove Search from the list.

Procedure 4: Instructions to uninstall Search from Mozilla Firefox

1. Launch the program Mozilla Firefox.
2. On the address bar, type about:config and press Enter on the keyboard to view the list of preferences.

About Config

3. If it display a warning message stating that the action might void your warranty, just click "I'll be careful, I promise!"

Configuration Warning

4. Type Search (or Root Name Only) in the search box to display the list of references that were altered by the adware. Please refer to the image below.

5. There is no button to remove the preference set by Search All you need to do is restore it to Firefox's default settings. Right-click on the item and select Reset from the drop-down list.

Reset Config

6. After resetting all affected preferences, you can now restart Firefox.

7. Navigate to toolbar and on Google's Search box, click the arrow down sitting right beside the 'G' logo.

Manage Search Engines in Firefox

8. Click on Manage Search Engines... from the drop-down list to see all search engines installed in Firefox.
9. Choose your preferred default search provider by placing it at the top most position. Highlight the item and click on Move up until it reaches the first spot.

Firefox Default Search

NOTE: To represent Search, we used the term 'Unknown'. Be aware that Search may use other names or terms such as the following: Default Tab, New Tab, Wild Tangent

10. To remove Search from Firefox, highlight on its name and click the Remove button.

Procedure 5: Delete Search from Google Chrome

1. Launch the program Google Chrome.
2. Click on the Wrench or 3-Bars icon on top right corner of the browser.

Google Chrome Settings

3. Choose Settings from the drop down list. It will open a window containing Google Chrome settings.
4. Find the area that says "Search". This is located in the middle part of the page.

Manage Search Engines in Google Chrome

5. Click on Manage search engines. It will show a list of Search engines including the default one.
6. Mouse-over to your preferred search engine and click Make default.

Remove Unknown Search in Chrome

NOTE: To represent Search, we used the term 'Unknown'. Be aware that Search may use other names or terms such as the following: Default Tab, New Tab, Wild Tangent

7. Then, to remove Search from Google Chrome, mouse-over to that item and click on the X mark.

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.

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.

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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