Experienced security specialists have confirmed that the SpecialSearchOption is a browser hijacker. When downloaded and started onto a PC system, this browser hijacker infection quickly modifies the Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox and Edge browser’s settings such as homepage, new tab and default search engine to its own page without any permission. For this reason, every time you start the affected web-browser, it being re-directed to the SpecialSearchOption web-page. Even though you have removed its address from your web browser’s settings, after restart your web-browser, the intrusive webpage still appears.
Besides the fact that SpecialSearchOption browser hijacker rewrites your homepage, this intrusive page can set yourself as your search engine. But, obviously, it does not give you a good search results, as they will consist of a huge count of ads, links to undesired and ad webpages and only the remaining part is search results for your query from the major search engines. Of course, the very fact that you encounter with the inability to properly search the Web, is an unpleasant moment. Moreover, the SpecialSearchOption hijacker can be used to collect lots of your user data. This personal information, in the future, may be sold to third party companies. What creates the risk of theft of marketing-type data about you.
Another reason why you need to remove SpecialSearchOption is its online data-tracking activity. It can collect privacy data, including:
- IP addresses;
- URLs visited;
- search queries/terms;
- clicks on links and ads;
- internet browser version information.
The tutorial below explaining steps to delete SpecialSearchOption problem. Feel free to use it for removal of the hijacker that may attack Internet Explorer, MS Edge, Chrome and Firefox and other popular web browsers. The guide will help you restore your settings of installed internet browsers that previously replaced by browser hijacker.
Remove SpecialSearchOption from Google Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge (removal tutorial)
Without a doubt, the browser hijacker infection is harmful to your personal computer. So you need to quickly and completely get rid of this malware. To remove this browser hijacker, you can use the manual removal steps which are given below or free malware removal tool like Zemana AntiMalware, MalwareBytes or HitmanPro (all are free). We suggest you use automatic removal method which will allow you to remove SpecialSearchOption easily and safely. Manual removal is best used only if you are well versed in computer or in the case where browser hijacker is not removed automatically. Certain of the steps will require you to restart your personal computer or close this web page. So, read this guide carefully, then bookmark or print it for later reference.
To remove SpecialSearchOption, follow the steps below:
- Manual SpecialSearchOption redirect removal
- How to remove SpecialSearchOption startpage with free applications
- How to stay safe online
- Why has my start page and search provider changed?
- To sum up
Manual SpecialSearchOption redirect removal
Most common hijackers may be uninstalled without any antivirus programs. The manual hijacker removal is steps that will teach you how to remove the SpecialSearchOption redirect.
Uninstall potentially unwanted applications using MS Windows Control Panel
First method for manual browser hijacker removal is to go into the MS Windows “Control Panel”, then “Uninstall a program” console. Take a look at the list of software on your computer and see if there are any dubious and unknown applications. If you see any, you need to uninstall them. Of course, before doing so, you can do an Net search to find details on the program. If it is a potentially unwanted program, adware or malicious software, you will likely find information that says so.
Make sure you have closed all web-browsers and other programs. Next, delete any undesired and suspicious applications from your Control panel.
Windows 10, 8.1, 8
Now, click the Windows button, type “Control panel” in search and press Enter. Choose “Programs and Features”, then “Uninstall a program”.
Look around the entire list of programs installed on your PC. Most likely, one of them is the browser hijacker infection responsible for redirecting your internet browser to SpecialSearchOption web-site. Select the suspicious program or the program that name is not familiar to you and remove it.
Windows Vista, 7
From the “Start” menu in Windows, select “Control Panel”. Under the “Programs” icon, choose “Uninstall a program”.
Select the suspicious or any unknown applications, then click “Uninstall/Change” button to uninstall this undesired application from your system.
Click the “Start” button, select “Control Panel” option. Click on “Add/Remove Programs”.
Select an unwanted program, then press “Change/Remove” button. Follow the prompts.
Get rid of SpecialSearchOption redirect from Mozilla Firefox
If the Mozilla Firefox browser newtab, search engine by default and home page are changed to SpecialSearchOption and you want to recover the settings back to their default state, then you should follow the tutorial below. It will keep your personal information such as browsing history, bookmarks, passwords and web form auto-fill data.
First, open the Firefox. Next, click the button in the form of three horizontal stripes (). It will show the drop-down menu. Next, press the Help button ().
In the Help menu click the “Troubleshooting Information”. In the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page click on “Refresh Firefox” button as shown in the following example.
Confirm your action, click the “Refresh Firefox”.
Remove SpecialSearchOption from Internet Explorer
If you find that Internet Explorer web-browser settings like homepage, newtab page and search engine by default had been hijacked, then you may return your settings, via the reset web-browser process.
First, launch the Microsoft Internet Explorer, click ) button. Next, click “Internet Options” as displayed in the figure below.
In the “Internet Options” screen select the Advanced tab. Next, press Reset button. The Microsoft Internet Explorer will show the Reset Internet Explorer settings prompt. Select the “Delete personal settings” check box and click Reset button.
You will now need to reboot your computer for the changes to take effect. It will remove hijacker infection which reroutes your web browser to unwanted SpecialSearchOption web site, disable malicious and ad-supported internet browser’s extensions and restore the Internet Explorer’s settings such as new tab, search engine and startpage to default state.
Delete SpecialSearchOption search from Google Chrome
If you are getting SpecialSearchOption instead of your startpage or search engine, then you can try to delete it by resetting Chrome to its default values. It will also clear cookies, content and site data, temporary and cached data. Essential information such as bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, cookies, auto-fill data and personal dictionaries will not be removed.
- First run the Chrome and press Menu button (small button in the form of three dots).
- It will open the Google Chrome main menu. Select More Tools, then click Extensions.
- You’ll see the list of installed add-ons. If the list has the extension labeled with “Installed by enterprise policy” or “Installed by your administrator”, then complete the following tutorial: Remove Chrome extensions installed by enterprise policy.
- Now open the Chrome menu once again, click the “Settings” menu.
- You will see the Chrome’s settings page. Scroll down and click “Advanced” link.
- Scroll down again and click the “Reset” button.
- The Chrome will open the reset profile settings page as shown on the screen above.
- Next press the “Reset” button.
- Once this procedure is finished, your internet browser’s search engine, home page and new tab will be restored to their original defaults.
- To learn more, read the blog post How to reset Chrome settings to default.
How to remove SpecialSearchOption startpage with free applications
After completing the manual removal steps above all unwanted applications and web browser’s extensions that causes web-browser redirects to the SpecialSearchOption site should be uninstalled. If the problem with SpecialSearchOption hijacker is still remained, then we suggest to check your PC for any remaining malicious components. Run recommended free hijacker removal apps below.
How to remove SpecialSearchOption with Zemana AntiMalware (ZAM)
You can get rid of SpecialSearchOption automatically with a help of Zemana. We recommend this malware removal utility because it may easily remove hijackers, potentially unwanted software, ad supported software and toolbars with all their components such as folders, files and registry entries.
- Zemana AntiMalware (ZAM) can be downloaded from the following link. Save it on your Desktop.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: February 14, 2019
- When the downloading process is finished, close all apps and windows on your system. Open a directory in which you saved it. Double-click on the icon that’s named Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup.
- Further, press Next button and follow the prompts.
- Once installation is finished, press the “Scan” button to detect hijacker infection that modifies web browser settings to replace your start page, newtab and search provider by default with SpecialSearchOption web-page. A system scan may take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on your machine. When a malware, adware or PUPs are found, the number of the security threats will change accordingly. Wait until the the checking is finished.
- When the checking is finished, the results are displayed in the scan report. Make sure all items have ‘checkmark’ and click “Next”. When finished, you can be prompted to restart your computer.
Scan and free your machine of hijacker infection with Hitman Pro
If Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM) cannot delete this browser hijacker, then we recommends to run the Hitman Pro. The Hitman Pro is a free powerful, professional removal utility for malware, adware, potentially unwanted applications, toolbars as well as browser hijacker responsible for SpecialSearchOption . It completely deletes all traces and remnants of the infection.
- Click the following link to download the latest version of HitmanPro for Microsoft Windows. Save it on your Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: June 28, 2018
- After downloading is done, start the HitmanPro, double-click the HitmanPro.exe file.
- If the “User Account Control” prompts, click Yes to continue.
- In the Hitman Pro window, click the “Next” to begin checking your personal computer for the hijacker that responsible for browser redirect to the unwanted SpecialSearchOption web-page. This procedure can take quite a while, so please be patient. While the HitmanPro utility is scanning, you may see how many objects it has identified as being affected by malicious software.
- As the scanning ends, you can check all items detected on your machine. In order to get rid of all items, simply press “Next”. Now, press the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial to delete all malicious software found.
Scan and clean your personal computer of hijacker with Malwarebytes
We advise using the Malwarebytes Free. You may download and install Malwarebytes to search for and delete SpecialSearchOption from your computer. When installed and updated, the free malware remover will automatically scan and detect all threats present on the personal computer.
MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) can be downloaded from the following link. Save it directly to your Windows Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: February 5, 2019
After the downloading process is complete, close all windows on your PC system. Further, launch the file named mb3-setup. If the “User Account Control” dialog box pops up as displayed in the figure below, click the “Yes” button.
It will show the “Setup wizard” that will allow you install MalwareBytes Free on the machine. Follow the prompts and don’t make any changes to default settings.
Once install is done successfully, click Finish button. Then MalwareBytes will automatically start and you can see its main window as on the image below.
Next, click the “Scan Now” button . MalwareBytes application will scan through the whole personal computer for the hijacker responsible for SpecialSearchOption . This task can take some time, so please be patient.
As the scanning ends, MalwareBytes Anti Malware (MBAM) will open a scan report. You may delete threats (move to Quarantine) by simply click “Quarantine Selected” button.
The MalwareBytes Free will get rid of hijacker infection responsible for redirections to SpecialSearchOption and add items to the Quarantine. When disinfection is complete, you can be prompted to restart your personal computer. We suggest you look at the following video, which completely explains the process of using the MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) to remove hijackers, ad supported software and other malicious software.
How to stay safe online
Use an ad-blocker utility such as AdGuard will protect you from malicious advertisements and content. Moreover, you can find that the AdGuard have an option to protect your privacy and stop phishing and spam webpages. Additionally, ad-blocker apps will allow you to avoid annoying pop-up ads and unverified links that also a good way to stay safe online.
Download AdGuard from the following link. Save it on your Desktop.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: November 15, 2018
After downloading it, double-click the downloaded file to run it. The “Setup Wizard” window will show up on the computer screen as displayed in the following example.
Follow the prompts. AdGuard will then be installed and an icon will be placed on your desktop. A window will show up asking you to confirm that you want to see a quick tutorial as shown in the figure below.
Click “Skip” button to close the window and use the default settings, or press “Get Started” to see an quick instructions that will assist you get to know AdGuard better.
Each time, when you start your PC system, AdGuard will start automatically and block unwanted pop-up ads, as well as other malicious or misleading sites. 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 can be found on your desktop.
Why has my start page and search provider changed?
The majority of browser hijackers such as SpecialSearchOption come together with free programs or even paid programs that Internet users can easily download online. The installation packages of such software, most commonly, clearly indicate that they will install optional applications. The option is given to users to stop the install of any third-party programs. So, in order to avoid the setup of any browser hijacker infections: read all disclaimers and install screens very carefully, select only Custom or Advanced installation type and disable all third-party applications in which you are unsure.
To sum up
Now your PC system should be free of the hijacker which changes internet browser settings to replace your home page, search engine and new tab page with SpecialSearchOption web page. We suggest that you keep AdGuard (to help you block unwanted pop up advertisements and annoying harmful web-sites) and Zemana Anti Malware (to periodically scan your system for new malicious software, hijacker infections and adware). Make sure that you have all the Critical Updates recommended for Microsoft Windows operating system. Without regular updates you WILL NOT be protected when new hijacker infections, harmful applications and ad-supported software are released.
If you are still having problems while trying to delete SpecialSearchOption redirect from your web browser, then ask for help here.