Is the homepage of your browser kept changing automatically?
Are you automatically redirected to fake search engines such as Search Lock?
Is your default search engine or the search bar has changed without your initiation?
Are you getting redirected to the irrelevant, untrustworthy webpages while browsing the internet?
You are probably here because you might be facing one or multiple of the above problems. The most probable reason for such issues is the Redirect Virus infection, also known as Browser Hijacker malware.
This guide would discuss more on Browser Hijackers and how to get rid of search engine redirections caused by them.
What is a Redirect Virus?
A redirect virus or browser hijacker is the term used for the malicious application or extension that uses the unfair means to generate revenues by redirecting the users to the specific search engines like Yahoo and Bing. The redirect virus hijacks your web browser and alters its settings to promote its fake search engine or the affiliated webpages. After infiltrating your browser, it would change the default search engine, homepage, search bar, and other browser settings.
No matter how many times the users try to reset the settings, it would continue to change until the culprit application is completely removed from the system.
How Browser Hijacker entered my system?
The browser hijacker can get an entry on your system through various means. Here are the top ways.
- You might have accidentally click on a malicious pop-up ad that may have silently installed the hijacker on the system.
- The malicious Adware programs can release redirect viruses on the device.
- Web browser extensions are another primary source for browser hijacker’s entry.
- The application responsible for the redirect virus can also get access to your system through bundled software.
- In some rare cases, the bloatware can also cause the search engine redirects.
How to get rid of Search Engine redirects?
To eliminate the search engine redirects, you have to remove the application responsible for causing the browser hijack entirely.
We would list out the top possible ways for that.
Perform an Antimalware Scan
First, the basic. To remove the malware causing the redirections, you need to scan your entire system with antimalware thoroughly. Though Windows 10 comes with a built-in security program known as Microsoft Defender, it is still recommended to get a third-party robust security solution such as Malwarefox, for the better results.
Check and remove Suspicious Applications.
To stop the browser hijacking and thereby search engine redirects, you have to catch the culprit application and remove it from the system.
- In the Windows search bar, please search for the Control Panel and open it.
- Navigate to Uninstall a Program
- From the programs list, look for the ones you don’t remember installing or those that appear suspicious.
- One by one, eradicate those applications from the system.
Use Chrome’s In-built Malware Scanner
Google Chrome is a hugely popular web browser because of its advanced features. Chrome users on the Windows 10 system can take the benefit of its built-in malware scanner. Here are the steps for that.
- Launch Google Chrome browser
- Click on the three-dots at the top-right corner, and select
- Move down and click on Advanced for accessing the advanced options.
- Find and open the Clean up Computer under the heading of “Reset and clean up.”
- Click on Find and uncheck the “Send details to Google….” checkbox below, if you don’t want to give the details to Google.
- The scanning process would start and would take some time to finish.
- After the scanning is completed, delete the caught threats and restart the device.
Reset the Browser Settings
If the redirects are still happening, then the last option is to reset the browser settings to the default.
Here is how you can reset the Chrome Browser’s settings.
- Open the Chrome Browser and navigate to Settings -> Advanced Settings.
- Look for the “Reset and cleanup” heading and under it, click on Restore settings to their original default.
- When prompted, click on Reset settings.
For the non-techy users, the search engine redirects can be very frustrating as they might not find the problem’s source. The methods explained in this post would guide you to get permanently rid of the unintentional redirects. It is further recommended to keep an allrounder security solution equipped on your system and follow healthy browsing practices to avoid such a situation in the future.