How to Remove Search Redirect Viruses

August 18th · 5 min read

How to remove search redirect viruses

If your browser is constantly being redirected to unwanted websites, search engines, or advertisements, you probably have malware installed on your computer.

Whether you are dealing with the Bing search redirect or the famous Yahoo search redirect, this guide will help you remove it fast.

Let’s get started.

What is a search redirect virus?

A search redirect, also known as a search hijacker, or browser hijacker, is a form of malware that appears when a third party inserts files into your computer and changes your browser’s settings without your permission. These changes help the hijackers make money by forcing you to look at ads, click on paid links, or give up your private information.

One common way search hijacking happens is through browser extensions, toolbars, and ads online.

If you can’t change your home page, remove toolbars, or change your search settings, then your browser has most likely been hijacked.

How to remove search redirects from Chrome

There are three things you can do to remove search redirects from your Chrome browser. The first and most reliable option is to install a browser protection tool, the second is to reset your browser settings, and the third is to use Chrome’s clean-up tool.

Here’s the process you need to follow to remove search redirects from Chrome.

1. Install a browser protection tool

Installing a browser protection tool like Guardio is one of the fastest and most reliable ways to remove search redirects like the Bing and Yahoo redirects.

Guardio is an anti-malware program that removes existing malware from your browser and prevents new malware infections. It does this by preventing extensions, toolbars, and other forms of software from redirecting your online searches.

It also blocks harmful sites, and push notification providers that try to insert malware on your computer. Additionally, if the cause of your search redirects is a Chrome extension, it will neutralize it and let you know about the problem.

To install Guardio, follow these steps:

  1. Head over to the Chrome store and click “Add to Chrome”. Then confirm you want to add the extension.

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  1. Create an account. You can use an email address and password or you can use Facebook or Google for a faster sign-up process.

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  1. Grant permission to block intrusive pop-up notifications by clicking the button at the top-right part of the screen. Then click “Allow” to confirm.

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  1. On your dashboard, click “Hijackers”.

  2. Then select your preferred search engine.

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And you are all set, Guardio will work in the background to make sure threats such as search redirects, identity theft, virus downloaders, scams, compromised websites, malicious extensions, and more can’t harm you.

2. Reset your browser settings

As we mentioned above, sometimes malware changes your browser settings through a browser extension. To make sure you disable extensions that might be causing problems, reset your browser settings. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Click the hamburger menu at the top right part of your browser.

  2. Click "Settings"

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  1. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Advanced” to reveal more options.

  2. Then scroll down to the bottom of the page again and under “Reset and clean up” click “Restore settings to their original defaults”.

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  1. A pop-up window will appear, click “Reset settings” to confirm.

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Important: If the malware was introduced by a browser extension and you enable them again, this process won’t necessarily work because the extension may change your settings again.

If after enabling your extensions again you identify the one causing the problem, uninstall it immediately to fully fix the problem.

3. Use Chrome’s clean-up tool

The last thing you should try is cleaning up your computer. Chrome has an integrated tool under the “Reset and clean up” section in your settings that helps you find harmful software on your computer and removes it.

To find it, follow the same steps we shared above until step #3, then do the following:

  1. Click “Clean up computer”.

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  1. Then click “Find” to start your computer scan.

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After the process is complete, Chrome might ask you to restart your computer. Do it and you’ll have finished removing any malware it finds on your computer.

How to remove search redirects from Firefox

Sometimes, when Firefox detects that you are likely to have been hijacked, it may automatically reset to the default search engine of your country. If this happens, you won’t need to do anything else to remove the search redirect.

This feature isn’t 100% accurate so you might have to manually change your preferred search engine. Here’s how to do it.

How to change your preferred search engine on Firefox
  1. At the top right part of your browser, click the hamburger menu to open the drop-down menu.

  2. Then click “Settings”.

  3. After that, click “Search”.

  4. And finally, choose your preferred search engine.

Summary

If your browser is constantly being redirected to unwanted websites, search engines, or advertisements, you probably have malware installed on your computer. One common way search hijacking happens is through browser extensions, toolbars, and ads online.

If you can’t change your home page, remove toolbars, or change your search settings, then your browser has most likely been hijacked.

To remove search redirects from Chrome do the following:

  1. Install a browser protection tool like Guardio. Then choose your preferred search engine.

  2. Reset your browser settings to disable extensions that might be causing your problem.

3.Use Chrome’s clean-up tool to find harmful software on your computer and remove it.

If you want to remove search redirects from Firefox, reset your browser preferred search engine. You can see the step-by-step instructions above.

We hope you found this information useful. If you have any questions about search redirects or how Guardio can help you stay safe online, we’re more than happy to talk and assist. You can contact us at yourfriends@guard.io

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