If your search provider by default, newtab and home page keeps modifying back to the undesired web page named Safe4Search,then it’s possible that your computer has become a victim of the hijacker infection. It’s a type of unwanted software. Scammers use malicious software to take control of your personal computer’s web browser and modify how and what it shows when you are surfing the Net. If you are already a victim of Safe4Search hijacker, then the following instructions may allow you free the Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer from the hackers, boost web-browser security and return browser settings.
Except that the Safe4Search imposes various changes to web-browser’s start page and newtab page, it also changes your search provider, which leads to the fact that use of the web browser’s search becomes uncomfortable. The reason for this is that the search results will consist of a ton of ads, links to undesired and ad pages and only the remaining part is search results for your query from well-known search providers such as Google or Bing.
Also, ‘ad-supported’ software (also known as adware) can be installed on the machine together with Safe4Search browser hijacker. It will insert lots of advertisements directly to the web-pages which you view, creating a sense that advertisements has been added by the authors of the site. Moreover, legal ads may be replaced on fake ads which will offer to download and install various unnecessary and harmful apps. Moreover, the Safe4Search browser hijacker be able to collect a wide variety of your confidential information which may be later transferred third party companies.
The browser hijacker such as Safe4Search often modify all internet browser shortcuts which located on your Desktop to force you visit some undesired sites and display annoying popups. As a result, your web-browser can still redirect you to an undesired web page despite your web browser is actually free of browser hijacker.
Thus, it’s clear that the presence of hijacker on your computer is not desirable, and you need to clean up your PC system ASAP. Follow the steps below in order to remove Safe4Search from Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox and Chrome.
Remove Safe4Search from Windows 10 (8, 7, XP)
As with removing adware, malware or PUPs, there are few steps you can do. We recommend trying them all. If you do only one part of the guidance, then it should be run malware removal tool, because it should get rid of hijacker and block any further infection. But to completely get rid of the Safe4Search you will have to at least reset your browser settings such as newtab page, homepage and default search engine to default state, disinfect web-browsers shortcuts, remove all unwanted and suspicious software, and get rid of hijacker by malware removal utilities. Read it once, after doing so, please print this page as you may need to close your internet browser or reboot your system.
To remove Safe4Search, follow the steps below:
- How to remove Safe4Search without any software
- How to remove Safe4Search search with free programs
- Block Safe4Search and other unwanted pages
- Why is my browser redirected to Safe4Search?
- To sum up
How to remove Safe4Search without any software
If you perform exactly the steps below you should be able to remove the Safe4Search homepage from the Firefox, Chrome, IE and Microsoft Edge web-browsers.
Removing the Safe4Search, check the list of installed applications first
It’s of primary importance to first identify and remove all potentially unwanted software, ad supported software apps and hijackers through ‘Add/Remove Programs’ (Windows XP) or ‘Uninstall a program’ (Windows 10, 8, 7) section of your MS Windows Control Panel.
Windows 10, 8.1, 8
Click the Microsoft Windows logo, and then click Search . Type ‘Control panel’and press Enter as shown below.
Once the ‘Control Panel’ opens, click the ‘Uninstall a program’ link under Programs category as shown on the screen below.
Windows 7, Vista, XP
Open Start menu and choose the ‘Control Panel’ at right like below.
Then go to ‘Add/Remove Programs’ or ‘Uninstall a program’ (Microsoft Windows 7 or Vista) as shown below.
Carefully browse through the list of installed software and remove all dubious and unknown apps. We advise to click ‘Installed programs’ and even sorts all installed applications by date. When you have found anything dubious that may be the hijacker infection related to Safe4Search search or other PUP (potentially unwanted program), then choose this application and click ‘Uninstall’ in the upper part of the window. If the questionable program blocked from removal, then run Revo Uninstaller Freeware to fully remove it from your machine.
Fix web browser shortcuts, altered by Safe4Search hijacker
The hijacker infection responsible for Safe4Search , can hijack various Windows shortcut files on your desktop (most often, all web browsers shortcuts), so in this step you need to check and clean them by removing the argument like http://site.address/.
Open the properties of the browser shortcut. Right click on the shortcut file of affected internet browser and select the “Properties” option and it’ll open the properties of the shortcut file. Next, choose the “Shortcut” tab and have a look at the Target field as displayed below.
Normally, if the last word in the Target field is chrome.exe, iexplore.exe, firefox.exe. Be sure to pay attention to the extension, should be “exe”! All shortcut files that have been changed by hijacker responsible for Safe4Search redirect, usually point to .bat, .cmd or .url files instead of .exe as shown on the screen below
Another variant, an address has been added at the end of the line. In this case the Target field looks like …Application\chrome.exe” http://site.address as displayed below.
In order to fix the affected shortcut file, you need to insert right path to the Target field or remove an address (if it has been added at the end). You can use the following information to fix your shortcut files which have been modified by browser hijacker responsible for Safe4Search redirect.
|Google Chrome||C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe|
|FF||C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe|
|Internet Explorer||C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe|
|C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe|
|Opera||C:\Program Files (x86)\Opera\launcher.exe|
Once is done, press OK to save changes. Repeat the step for all web browsers which are rerouted to the Safe4Search annoying site.
Delete Safe4Search startpage from Google Chrome
If your Chrome web-browser is redirected to undesired Safe4Search web page, it may be necessary to completely reset your web-browser application to its default settings.
Open the Chrome menu by clicking on the button in the form of three horizontal dotes (). It will open the drop-down menu. Select More Tools, then click Extensions.
Carefully browse through the list of installed extensions. If the list has the extension labeled with “Installed by enterprise policy” or “Installed by your administrator”, then complete the following instructions: Remove Google Chrome extensions installed by enterprise policy otherwise, just go to the step below.
Open the Google Chrome main menu again, click to “Settings” option.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “Advanced” link. Now scroll down until the Reset settings section is visible, as on the image below and click the “Reset settings to their original defaults” button.
Confirm your action, click the “Reset” button.
Remove Safe4Search from Internet Explorer
By resetting Internet Explorer web-browser you restore your web-browser settings to its default state. This is basic when troubleshooting problems that might have been caused by hijacker infection like Safe4Search.
First, start the IE, then press ‘gear’ icon . It will display the Tools drop-down menu on the right part of the web browser, then press the “Internet Options” as displayed on the image below.
In the “Internet Options” screen, select the “Advanced” tab, then press the “Reset” button. The IE will display the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” dialog box. Further, click the “Delete personal settings” check box to select it. Next, click the “Reset” button as shown below.
When the process is finished, press “Close” button. Close the Internet Explorer and restart your system for the changes to take effect. This step will help you to restore your internet browser’s homepage, default search provider and new tab to default state.
Remove Safe4Search redirect from FF
If your Firefox internet browser home page has modified to Safe4Search without your permission or an unknown search engine opens results for your search, then it may be time to perform the browser reset.
Start the FF and click the menu button (it looks like three stacked lines) at the top right of the browser screen. Next, click the question-mark icon at the bottom of the drop-down menu. It will open the slide-out menu.
Select the “Troubleshooting information”. If you are unable to access the Help menu, then type “about:support” in your address bar and press Enter. It bring up the “Troubleshooting Information” page as displayed on the image below.
Click the “Refresh Firefox” button at the top right of the Troubleshooting Information page. Select “Refresh Firefox” in the confirmation dialog box. The Mozilla Firefox will begin a procedure to fix your problems that caused by the hijacker responsible for Safe4Search start page. Once, it’s complete, press the “Finish” button.
How to remove Safe4Search search with free programs
The hijacker can hide its components which are difficult for you to find out and remove completely. This may lead to the fact that after some time, the browser hijacker again infect your PC system and modify web-browsers settings to Safe4Search. Moreover, I want to note that it’s not always safe to delete hijacker infection manually, if you don’t have much experience in setting up and configuring the Microsoft Windows operating system. The best solution to look for and remove browser hijackers is to use free malware removal applications.
How to get rid of Safe4Search with Zemana
Zemana highly recommended, because it can find security threats such adware and hijackers that most ‘classic’ antivirus applications fail to pick up on. Moreover, if you have any Safe4Search browser hijacker removal problems which cannot be fixed by this tool automatically, then Zemana Anti-Malware provides 24X7 online assistance from the highly experienced support staff.
Now you can set up and run Zemana Anti Malware to remove Safe4Search from your web-browser by following the steps below:
Click the following link to download Zemana setup file called Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup on your computer. Save it to your Desktop.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
Run the installation package after it has been downloaded successfully and then follow the prompts to setup this tool on your machine.
During installation you can change some settings, but we advise you do not make any changes to default settings.
When setup is finished, this malicious software removal utility will automatically start and update itself. You will see its main window like below.
Now press the “Scan” button to search for browser hijacker that responsible for internet browser redirect to the annoying Safe4Search site. Depending on your personal computer, the scan can take anywhere from a few minutes to close to an hour. While the Zemana Anti Malware (ZAM) program is scanning, you can see number of objects it has identified as threat.
As the scanning ends, the results are displayed in the scan report. Review the results once the tool has finished the system scan. If you think an entry should not be quarantined, then uncheck it. Otherwise, simply press “Next” button.
The Zemana Anti-Malware will remove browser hijacker responsible for redirections to Safe4Search. Once finished, you can be prompted to restart your machine to make the change take effect.
Run Malwarebytes to remove browser hijacker infection
Delete Safe4Search hijacker manually is difficult and often the browser hijacker is not completely removed. Therefore, we suggest you to use the Malwarebytes Free which are completely clean your PC. Moreover, the free program will help you to remove malware, PUPs, toolbars and adware that your personal computer can be infected too.
- Visit the following page to download the latest version of MalwareBytes Anti Malware for MS Windows. Save it on your Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: April 15, 2020
- At the download page, click on the Download button. Your web browser will display the “Save as” prompt. Please save it onto your Windows desktop.
- When downloading is finished, please close all programs and open windows on your PC. Double-click on the icon that’s called mb3-setup.
- This will start the “Setup wizard” of MalwareBytes Free onto your computer. Follow the prompts and don’t make any changes to default settings.
- When the Setup wizard has finished installing, the MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) will launch and display the main window.
- Further, click the “Scan Now” button to look for hijacker responsible for Safe4Search . A scan may take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the count of files on your machine and the speed of your system. While the MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) is checking, you can see count of objects it has identified either as being malicious software.
- As the scanning ends, MalwareBytes Anti Malware will open a scan report.
- Review the scan results and then click the “Quarantine Selected” button. After that process is complete, you may be prompted to restart the PC.
- Close the Anti Malware and continue with the next step.
Video instruction, which reveals in detail the steps above.
If the problem with Safe4Search search is still remained
AdwCleaner is a free removal tool which can check your machine for a wide range of security threats like ‘ad supported’ software, malware, PUPs as well as hijacker that responsible for web-browser redirect to the intrusive Safe4Search web site. It will perform a deep scan of your PC including hard drives and Microsoft Windows registry. Once a malicious software is found, it will help you to delete all found threats from your personal computer with a simple click.
- Please go to the following link to download the latest version of AdwCleaner for Windows. Save it directly to your MS Windows Desktop.
Author: Xplode, MalwareBytes
Category: Security tools
Update: March 22, 2021
- Select the directory in which you saved it as Desktop, and then click Save.
- When the download is complete, launch the AdwCleaner, double-click the adwcleaner_xxx.exe file.
- If the “User Account Control” prompts, click Yes to continue.
- In the AdwCleaner window, click the “Scan” to search for browser hijacker infection which cause a reroute to Safe4Search page. During the scan AdwCleaner will look for threats present on your system.
- After AdwCleaner completes the scan, AdwCleaner will produce a list of undesired and adware applications. All detected items will be marked. You can remove them all by simply click “Clean”. If the AdwCleaner will ask you to reboot your personal computer, press “OK”.
The few simple steps shown in detail in the following video.
Block Safe4Search and other unwanted pages
It’s also critical to protect your web-browsers from malicious web pages and advertisements by using an adblocker program such as AdGuard. Security experts says that it will greatly reduce the risk of malware, and potentially save lots of money. Additionally, the AdGuard can also protect your privacy by blocking almost all trackers.
- Download AdGuard program by clicking on the following link. Save it on your Desktop.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: November 15, 2018
- After the downloading process is finished, start the downloaded file. You will see the “Setup Wizard” program window. Follow the prompts.
- When the installation is finished, click “Skip” to close the install program and use the default settings, or press “Get Started” 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 run your PC, AdGuard will start automatically and stop pop up advertisements, sites such as Safe4Search, as well as other harmful or misleading web-sites. For an overview of all the features of the program, or to change its settings you can simply double-click on the icon called AdGuard, that can be found on your desktop.
Why is my browser redirected to Safe4Search?
To sum up
Now your computer should be clean of the browser hijacker responsible for redirecting user searches to Safe4Search. Uninstall AdwCleaner. We suggest that you keep Zemana Free (to periodically scan your machine for new hijackers and other malware) and AdGuard (to help you block undesired advertisements and malicious web-pages). Moreover, to prevent hijackers, please stay clear of unknown and third party programs, make sure that your antivirus program, turn on the option to look for PUPs (potentially unwanted programs).
If you need more help with Safe4Search startpage related issues, go to our Spyware/Malware removal forum.