Have you opened the web browser and found a previously unseen site called Universalsearch.co? If you answered ‘Yes’ then your need to know that your PC is infected with malware from the browser hijacker family. It is a type of harmful software which modifies the personal computer’s web-browser settings so that you are rerouted to an annoying web-page. You need to perform the instructions below ASAP to remove Universalsearch.co redirect and stop the ability to penetrate of more harmful viruses and trojans on your computer.
The Universalsearch.co browser hijacker usually affects only the Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Edge and IE. However, possible situations, when any other web-browsers will be affected too. The browser hijacker will perform a scan of the machine for internet browser shortcuts and change them without your permission. When it infects the web browser shortcuts, it will add the argument like ‘http://site.address’ into Target property. So, each time you launch the web browser, you will see the Universalsearch.co annoying web page.
In addition, the Universalsearch.co hijacker can also change the search engine selected in the browser. When you try to search on the infected web browser, you will be presented with search results, consisting of ads and Google (or Yahoo, or Bing) search results for your query. Among these search results can occur links that lead to unwanted and ad web pages.
Also, adware (also known as ‘ad-supported’ software) can be installed on the PC system together with Universalsearch.co hijacker. It will insert a ton of ads directly to the web-pages that you view, creating a sense that ads has been added by the developers of the web-page. Moreover, legal advertisements may be replaced on fake ads which will offer to download and install various unnecessary and harmful applications. Moreover, the Universalsearch.co hijacker has the ability to collect a ton of personal information about you, which can later transfer to third parties.
Therefore it is very important to clean your PC as quickly as possible. Follow the few simple steps below to get rid of Universalsearch.co , as well as other malware and ad supported software, which can be installed onto your system along with it.
Tips to prevent Universalsearch.co and other unwanted applications
How to manually remove Universalsearch.co
If you perform exactly the step-by-step guide below you should be able to get rid of the Universalsearch.co . Read it once, after doing so, please print this page as you may need to close your browser or reboot your machine.
- Delete Universalsearch.co associated software by using Windows Control Panel
- Disinfect the browser’s shortcuts to remove Universalsearch.co startpage
- Get rid of Universalsearch.co homepage from Google Chrome
- Delete Universalsearch.co homepage from Firefox
- Get rid of Universalsearch.co from Microsoft Internet Explorer
Delete Universalsearch.co associated software by using Windows Control Panel
First, you should try to identify and uninstall the program that causes the appearance of annoying advertisements or internet browser redirect, using the ‘Uninstall a program’ which is located in the ‘Control panel’.
Windows 8, 8.1, 10
When the ‘Control Panel’ opens, press the ‘Uninstall a program’ link under Programs category as shown on the image below.
You will see the ‘Uninstall a program’ panel as shown on the screen below.
Very carefully look around the entire list of programs installed on your PC system. Most likely, one or more of them are responsible for the appearance of pop-up ads and internet browser redirect to the unwanted Universalsearch.co page. If you have many programs installed, you can help simplify the search of malicious software by sort the list by date of installation. Once you have found a suspicious, unwanted or unused application, right click to it, after that click ‘Uninstall’.
Windows XP, Vista, 7
Once the Windows ‘Control Panel’ opens, you need to click ‘Uninstall a program’ under ‘Programs’ as on the image below.
You will see a list of applications installed on your personal computer. We recommend to sort the list by date of installation to quickly find the programs that were installed last. Most likely they responsibility for the appearance of ads and web browser redirect. If you are in doubt, you can always check the program by doing a search for her name in Google, Yahoo or Bing. Once the application which you need to uninstall is found, simply click on its name, and then press ‘Uninstall’ as shown on the screen below.
Disinfect the browser’s shortcuts to remove Universalsearch.co startpage
When the hijacker is started, it can also alter the web browser’s shortcuts, adding an argument such as “http://universalsearch.co/” into the Target field. Due to this, every time you launch the browser, it will show an annoying web-site.
To clear the internet browser shortcut, right-click to it and select Properties. On the Shortcut tab, locate the Target field. Click inside, you will see a vertical line – arrow pointer, move it (using -> arrow key on your keyboard) to the right as possible. You will see a text similar “http://universalsearch.co/” that has been added here. You need to delete it.
When the text is removed, click the OK button. You need to clean all shortcuts of all your web browsers, as they may be infected too.
Get rid of Universalsearch.co homepage from Google Chrome
Like other modern web browsers, the Google Chrome has the ability to reset the settings to their default values and thereby restore the homepage, new tab and default search engine that have been modified by the Universalsearch.co hijacker.
First launch the Google Chrome. Next, click the button in the form of three horizontal stripes (). It will open the main menu. Further, click the option named “Settings”. Another way to show the Google Chrome’s settings – type chrome://settings in the web browser adress bar and press Enter.
The internet browser will show the settings screen. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and press the “Show advanced settings” link. Now scroll down until the “Reset settings” section is visible, like below and press the “Reset settings” button.
The Google Chrome will show the confirmation dialog box. You need to confirm your action, click the “Reset” button. The browser will start the task of cleaning. Once it’s finished, the internet browser’s settings including homepage and search engine by default back to the values that have been when the Google Chrome was first installed on your system.
Delete Universalsearch.co homepage from Firefox
If the FF settings such as homepage and search engine by default have been replaced by the browser hijacker infection, then resetting it to the default state can help.
First, start the Firefox and press button. It will show the drop-down menu on the right-part of the browser. Further, press the Help button () as on the image below
In the Help menu, select the “Troubleshooting Information” option. Another way to open the “Troubleshooting Information” screen – type “about:support” in the web-browser adress bar and press Enter. It will show the “Troubleshooting Information” page as shown on the screen below. In the upper-right corner of this screen, click the “Refresh Firefox” button.
It will display the confirmation dialog box. Further, click the “Refresh Firefox” button. The Firefox will start a task to fix your problems that caused by the Universalsearch.co hijacker. Once, it’s complete, press the “Finish” button.
Get rid of Universalsearch.co from Microsoft Internet Explorer
First, start the Microsoft Internet Explorer. Next, click the button in the form of gear (). It will display the Tools drop-down menu, click the “Internet Options” as shown on the screen below.
In the “Internet Options” window click on the Advanced tab, then click the Reset button. The Microsoft Internet Explorer will open the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” window as shown below. Select the “Delete personal settings” check box, then click “Reset” button.
You will now need to restart your system for the changes to take effect.
How to delete Universalsearch.co with Malwarebytes
Manual removal Universalsearch.co requires some computer skills. Some files and registry entries that created by the hijacker may be not completely removed. We suggest that use the Malwarebytes Free that are completely clean your system. Moreover, the free application will help you to delete malware, adware (sometimes called ‘ad-supported’ software) and toolbars that your system may be infected too.
- Please download Malwarebytes to your desktop from the following link.
Category: Security tools
Update: March 20, 2018
- At the download page, click on the Download button. Your web browser will show the “Save as” dialog box. Please save it onto your Windows desktop.
- Once the download process is finished, please close all software and open windows on your PC system. Double-click on the icon that’s named mb3-setup.
- This will launch the “Setup wizard” of Malwarebytes onto your personal computer. Follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
- When the Setup wizard has finished installing, the Malwarebytes will start and show the main window.
- Further, click the “Scan Now” button for the hijacker removal scan. It will begin scanning your system for the hijacker that redirects your web browser to the Universalsearch.co annoying web site. This task can take quite a while, so please be patient.
- When the Malwarebytes has finished scanning, it will display a screen which contains a list of malicious software that has been found.
- When you are ready, press the “Quarantine Selected” button to start cleaning your machine. Once the procedure is complete, you may be prompted to reboot the PC.
- Close the Anti-Malware and continue with the next step.
Video instruction, which reveals in detail the steps above.
Stop Universalsearch.co and other unwanted web-pages
To increase your security and protect your computer against new unwanted ads and malicious web-pages, you need to use an application that stops access to harmful ads and web sites. Moreover, the program can stop the open of intrusive advertising, which also leads to faster loading of web pages and reduce the consumption of web traffic.
Download AdGuard application by clicking on the following link.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: July 17, 2017
After downloading is finished, run the downloaded file. You will see the “Setup Wizard” screen as shown on the screen below.
Follow the prompts. Once the install is finished, you will see a window as shown on the screen below.
You can click “Skip” to close the installation application and use the default settings, or click “Get Started” button to see an quick tutorial that will assist you get to know AdGuard better.
In most cases, the default settings are enough and you don’t need to change anything. Each time, when you start your system, AdGuard will start automatically and stop ads, web pages such Universalsearch.co, as well as other malicious or misleading web-pages. For an overview of all the features of the program, or to change its settings you can simply double-click on the AdGuard icon, that is located on your desktop.
If the problem with Universalsearch.co redirect is still remained
If MalwareBytes Anti-malware cannot remove this infection, then we suggests to use the AdwCleaner. AdwCleaner is a free removal tool for browser hijackers, adware, PUPs, toolbars.
- Download AdwCleaner from the link below.
Author: Xplode, MalwareBytes
Category: Security tools
Update: September 3, 2018
- Double click the AdwCleaner icon. Once this tool is started, click “Scan” button . This will begin scanning the whole PC system to find out Universalsearch.co infection.
- Once the scan is done, the AdwCleaner will open a scan report. Review the report and then press “Clean” button. It will show a prompt, click “OK”.
These few simple steps are shown in detail in the following video guide.
Now your machine should be free of the Universalsearch.co redirect. Uninstall AdwCleaner. We suggest that you keep AdGuard (to help you block unwanted pop-up ads and annoying malicious web sites) and Malwarebytes (to periodically scan your computer for new browser hijackers, malware and adware). Probably you are running an older version of Java or Adobe Flash Player. This can be a security risk, so download and install the latest version right now.
If you are still having problems while trying to remove Universalsearch.co from the Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Edge and Microsoft Internet Explorer, then ask for help in our Spyware/Malware removal forum.