If your internet browser’s homepage or search provider are being redirected to the web-site called Incognito Searches, then you most likely have a hijacker installed on your personal computer. The hijacker will modify your web browser’s home page, search provider and newtab page so that they automatically open the Incognito Searches page and use it for searches. If you would like to remove Incognito Searches and are unable to do so, you can follow the guide below to scan for and get rid of this hijacker and any other malware for free.
Besides the fact that Incognito Searches hijacker replaces your homepage, this annoying web page may set yourself as your search provider. But, obviously, it does not give you a good search results, as they will consist of tons of ads, links to unwanted and ad web sites 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 World Wide Web, is an unpleasant moment. Moreover, the Incognito Searches hijacker infection can gather lots of confidential data about you. This personal info, in the future, may be sold to third parties. What creates the risk of theft of user information.
While redirecting, your web browser’s status bar may show the following messages: ‘Waiting for Incognito Searches’, ‘Transferring data from Incognito Searches’, ‘Looking up Incognito Searches’, ‘Read Incognito Searches’, ‘Connected to Incognito Searches’.
Most often, the Incognito Searches browser hijacker infection affects most common web-browsers such as Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. But such browser hijackers as well can infect other browsers by modifying its shortcuts (adding ‘http://site.address’ into Target field of browser’s shortcut). So every time you launch the internet browser, it’ll open Incognito Searches site. Even if you setup your start page again, the intrusive Incognito Searches web-site will be the first thing which you see when you start the browser.
Thus, it is clear that the presence of browser hijacker on your computer is not desirable, and you need to clean up your PC system as soon as possible. Follow the few simple steps below in order to delete Incognito Searches from Chrome, MS Edge, Internet Explorer and Firefox.
Remove Incognito Searches (removal steps)
Without a doubt, the hijacker infection is harmful to your computer. So you need to quickly and completely remove this malicious software. To delete this browser hijacker, you can use the manual removal tutorial which are given below or free malicious software removal utility like Zemana, MalwareBytes AntiMalware (MBAM) or AdwCleaner (all are free). We suggest you use automatic removal way which will allow you to get rid of Incognito Searches easily and safely. Manual removal is best used only if you’re well versed in computer or in the case where hijacker is not deleted automatically. Some of the steps below will require you to exit this page. So, please read the tutorial carefully, after that bookmark or print it for later reference.
To remove Incognito Searches, follow the steps below:
- How to manually remove Incognito Searches
- Uninstall potentially unwanted programs through the MS Windows Control Panel
- Disinfect the web browser’s shortcuts to remove Incognito Searches home page
- Delete Incognito Searches from Firefox by resetting browser settings
- Remove Incognito Searches from Chrome
- Delete Incognito Searches homepage from Internet Explorer
- How to automatically remove Incognito Searches browser hijacker
- Run AdBlocker to block Incognito Searches and stay safe online
- How to avoid installation of Incognito Searches browser hijacker infection
- To sum up
How to manually remove Incognito Searches
Steps to remove Incognito Searches hijacker without any software are presented below. Be sure to carry out the step-by-step guidance completely to fully get rid of this annoying Incognito Searches .
Uninstall potentially unwanted programs through the MS Windows Control Panel
In order to remove potentially unwanted software such as this browser hijacker, open the Microsoft Windows Control Panel and click on “Uninstall a program”. Check the list of installed software. For the ones you do not know, run an Internet search to see if they are adware, hijacker or potentially unwanted programs. If yes, uninstall them off. Even if they are just a applications which you do not use, then removing them off will increase your system start up time and speed dramatically.
Windows 8, 8.1, 10
First, click the Windows button , then click Search . Type “Control panel”and press Enter.
Windows XP, Vista, 7
First, click “Start” and select “Control Panel”.
It will show the Windows Control Panel as displayed in the figure below.
Next, click “Uninstall a program”
It will show a list of all software installed on your computer. Scroll through the all list, and remove any suspicious and unknown software. To quickly find the latest installed applications, we recommend sort programs by date in the Control panel.
Disinfect the web browser’s shortcuts to remove Incognito Searches home page
Once installed, the hijacker responsible for redirecting user searches to Incognito Searches, may add an argument such as “http://site.address” into the Target property of the desktop shortcut for the FF, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Chrome and MS Edge. Due to this, every time you start the browser, it will open an intrusive web site.
Click the right mouse button to a desktop shortcut which you use to launch your web-browser. Next, choose the “Properties” option. Important: necessary to click on the desktop shortcut file for the internet browser which is redirected to the Incognito Searches or other annoying web page.
Further, necessary to look at the text that is written in the “Target” field. The Incognito Searches hijacker and other web-browser’s harmful extensions can replace the contents of this field, which describes the file to be run when you start your internet browser. Depending on the browser you’re using, there should be:
- Google Chrome: chrome.exe
- Opera: opera.exe
- Firefox: firefox.exe
- Internet Explorer: iexplore.exe
If you are seeing an unknown text like “http://site.addres” that has been added here, then you should remove it, as on the image below.
Next, press the “OK” button to save the changes. Now, when you open the browser from this desktop shortcut file, it does not occur automatically redirect on the Incognito Searches page or any other undesired web-pages. Once the step is complete, we recommend to go to the next step.
Delete Incognito Searches from Firefox by resetting browser settings
If your FF internet browser startpage has changed to Incognito Searches without your permission or an unknown search engine displays results for your search, then it may be time to perform the browser reset.
Press the Menu button (looks like three horizontal lines), and click the blue Help icon located at the bottom of the drop down menu as shown below.
A small menu will appear, click the “Troubleshooting Information”. On this page, press “Refresh Firefox” button as shown on the image below.
Follow the onscreen procedure to revert back your Mozilla Firefox web-browser settings to its original state.
Remove Incognito Searches from Chrome
If your Chrome internet browser is redirected to intrusive Incognito Searches web-page, it may be necessary to completely reset your browser program to its default settings.
First open the Chrome. Next, click the button in the form of three horizontal dots ().
It will display the Google Chrome menu. Select More Tools, then press Extensions. Carefully browse through the list of installed extensions. If the list has the extension signed with “Installed by enterprise policy” or “Installed by your administrator”, then complete the following steps: Remove Google Chrome extensions installed by enterprise policy.
Open the Google Chrome menu once again. Further, click the option named “Settings”.
The browser will open the settings screen. Another way to show the Chrome’s settings – type chrome://settings in the browser adress bar and press Enter
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and press the “Advanced” link. Now scroll down until the “Reset” section is visible, as displayed in the figure below and click the “Reset settings to their original defaults” button.
The Chrome will show the confirmation dialog box as displayed in the figure below.
You need to confirm your action, click the “Reset” button. The browser will start the task of cleaning. After it is finished, the web-browser’s settings including newtab, start page and search engine by default back to the values which have been when the Chrome was first installed on your PC.
Delete Incognito Searches homepage from Internet Explorer
In order to recover all web browser startpage, new tab page and search provider by default you need to reset the Microsoft Internet Explorer to the state, which was when the MS Windows was installed on your PC.
First, run the IE, then click ‘gear’ icon . It will open the Tools drop-down menu on the right part of the web browser, then click the “Internet Options” as shown on the screen below.
In the “Internet Options” screen, select the “Advanced” tab, then press the “Reset” button. The IE will open the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” prompt. Further, click the “Delete personal settings” check box to select it. Next, press the “Reset” button as on the image below.
When the process is finished, click “Close” button. Close the Internet Explorer and reboot your PC for the changes to take effect. This step will help you to restore your web browser’s homepage, search provider by default and new tab to default state.
How to automatically remove Incognito Searches browser hijacker
Manual removal is not always as effective as you might think. Often, even the most experienced users may not completely delete browser hijacker infection from the infected personal computer. So, we suggest to check your system for any remaining malicious components with free hijacker removal apps below.
Automatically remove Incognito Searches with Zemana Free
We suggest using the Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM). You can download and install Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM) to detect and remove Incognito Searches from your PC. When installed and updated, the malware remover will automatically scan and detect all threats exist on the computer.
Now you can set up and run Zemana AntiMalware (ZAM) to remove Incognito Searches homepage from your internet browser by following the steps below:
Visit the following page to download Zemana setup package named Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup on your personal computer. Save it to your Desktop.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
Start the setup package after it has been downloaded successfully and then follow the prompts to install this tool on your machine.
During setup you can change certain settings, but we suggest you don’t make any changes to default settings.
When install is finished, this malware removal utility will automatically launch and update itself. You will see its main window as shown in the figure below.
Now press the “Scan” button . Zemana utility will start scanning the whole computer to find out hijacker infection which redirects your internet browser to annoying Incognito Searches web site. A scan can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of files on your PC and the speed of your PC system. When a threat is found, the number of the security threats will change accordingly. Wait until the the scanning is complete.
After the system scan is finished, Zemana Free will open you the results. Make sure all items have ‘checkmark’ and press “Next” button.
The Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM) will start to remove Incognito Searches hijacker and other internet browser’s malicious extensions. When disinfection is done, you can be prompted to reboot your PC system to make the change take effect.
Automatically get rid of Incognito Searches with Malwarebytes
You can delete Incognito Searches start page automatically with a help of Malwarebytes Free. We suggest this free malicious software removal utility because it may easily get rid of hijackers, ad-supported software, PUPs and toolbars with all their components such as files, folders and registry entries.
Visit the page linked below to download MalwareBytes Anti Malware. Save it to your Desktop so that you can access the file easily.
Category: Security tools
Update: April 15, 2020
Once the downloading process is complete, close all programs and windows on your PC. Open a directory in which you saved it. Double-click on the icon that’s called mb3-setup as shown below.
When the setup starts, you’ll see the “Setup wizard” which will help you install Malwarebytes on your computer.
Once install is finished, you’ll see window as shown on the image below.
Now click the “Scan Now” button . MalwareBytes program will scan through the whole system for the hijacker responsible for Incognito Searches. During the scan MalwareBytes Free will find out threats present on your PC system.
When MalwareBytes completes the scan, you may check all threats found on your personal computer. Review the scan results and then click “Quarantine Selected” button.
The Malwarebytes will now delete hijacker responsible for redirects to Incognito Searches and move items to the program’s quarantine. After finished, you may be prompted to restart your machine.
The following video explains guide on how to remove browser hijacker infection, adware and other malware with MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (MBAM).
Double-check for potentially unwanted apps with AdwCleaner
AdwCleaner is a free removal tool that can scan your PC system for a wide range of security threats like ad supported software, malicious software, potentially unwanted programs as well as hijacker responsible for Incognito Searches redirect. It will perform a deep scan of your personal computer including hard drives and MS Windows registry. Once a malicious software is found, it will help you to delete all found threats from your system with a simple click.
Download AdwCleaner by clicking on the link below. Save it to your Desktop.
Author: Xplode, MalwareBytes
Category: Security tools
Update: February 25, 2021
After the downloading process is finished, open the directory in which you saved it and double-click the AdwCleaner icon. It will run the AdwCleaner tool. If the User Account Control dialog box will ask you want to launch the program, click Yes button to continue.
Next, press “Scan” . AdwCleaner application will scan through the whole PC for the hijacker infection that causes browsers to show intrusive Incognito Searches web page. A scan can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of files on your machine and the speed of your PC. When a malicious software, adware or PUPs are found, the count of the security threats will change accordingly.
After finished, AdwCleaner will open you the results as displayed in the following example.
Review the scan results and then click “Clean” button. It will show a dialog box. Click “OK” button. The AdwCleaner will delete Incognito Searches hijacker infection and other web-browser’s malicious extensions and move threats to the program’s quarantine. Once disinfection is finished, the tool may ask you to reboot your system. After reboot, the AdwCleaner will display the log file.
All the above steps are shown in detail in the following video instructions.
Run AdBlocker to block Incognito Searches and stay safe online
Running an ad blocking application like AdGuard is an effective way to alleviate the risks. Additionally, ad-blocking software will also protect you from harmful advertisements and web-pages, and, of course, block redirection chain to Incognito Searches and similar sites.
- Download AdGuard program by clicking on the link below. Save it directly to your MS Windows Desktop.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: November 15, 2018
- After the download is complete, start the downloaded file. You will see the “Setup Wizard” program window. Follow the prompts.
- After the setup is done, click “Skip” to close the installation application and use the default settings, or click “Get Started” to see an quick tutorial that will allow 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 run automatically and stop pop-up ads, web pages such as Incognito Searches, as well as other malicious 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 named AdGuard, that can be found on your desktop.
How to avoid installation of Incognito Searches browser hijacker infection
To sum up
Once you’ve finished the tutorial shown above, your computer should be free from browser hijacker responsible for modifying your web-browser settings to Incognito Searches and other malicious software. The Internet Explorer, Edge, Chrome and Firefox will no longer display undesired Incognito Searches web site on startup. Unfortunately, if the tutorial does not help you, then you have caught a new browser hijacker, and then the best way – ask for help in our Spyware/Malware removal forum.