The Combo Search is a PUP (potentially unwanted program) from the group of browser hijackers. The appearance of Combo Search in your internet browser means that your computer has become a victim of a browser hijacker, which makes various changes to settings of web browsers by replacing the new tab page, home page and search engine. So, if you find that when you use your web browser, it opens this undesired site, then you don’t need to wait. Complete the few simple steps below and remove Combo Search redirect as soon as possible.
When you perform a search through Combo Search, in addition to search results from Yahoo, Bing or Google Custom Search that provide links to web pages, news articles, images or videos you’ll also be shown lots of undesired ads. The developers of Combo Search doing this to earn advertising money from these advertisements.
Although, Combo Search browser hijacker infection is not a virus, but it does bad things, and it changes settings of internet browsers. Moreover, an adware (sometimes named ‘ad-supported’ software) can be additionally installed on to your system with this browser hijacker, which will open a ton of ads, or even massive full page ads that blocks surfing the Internet. Often such these ads can recommend to install other unknown and unwanted applications or visit harmful web pages.
The Combo Search hijacker infection commonly affects only the IE, Edge, Google Chrome and Firefox. However, possible situations, when any other web browsers will be affected too. The hijacker will perform a scan of the PC for internet browser shortcuts and modify them without your permission. When it infects the internet browser shortcuts, it’ll add the argument like ‘http://site.address’ into Target property. So, each time you run the browser, you will see the Combo Search annoying web page.
Therefore it’s very important to clean your PC of hijacker as soon as possible. Follow the steps below to get rid of Combo Search homepage, as well as other malicious software and adware, which may be installed onto your system along with it.
Remove Combo Search redirect
When a hijacker infection like the Combo Search gets installed on your computer without your knowledge, it is not easy to remove. Most commonly, there is no Uninstall program that simply uninstall the hijacker related to Combo Search from your PC system. So, we advise using several well-proven free specialized utilities such as Zemana AntiMalware, MalwareBytes Free or AdwCleaner. But the best way to remove Combo Search home page will be to perform several manual steps, after that additionally use antimalware utilities.
To remove Combo Search, perform the following steps:
- Manual Combo Search removal
- How to delete Combo Search with free software
- How to stop Combo Search
- How to prevent Combo Search browser hijacker infection from getting inside your personal computer
- Finish words
Manual Combo Search removal
The following instructions is a step-by-step guide, which will help you manually remove Combo Search from the Google Chrome, Edge, Microsoft Internet Explorer and FF.
Remove Combo Search associated software by using MS Windows Control Panel
First, you should try to identify and remove the program that causes the appearance of annoying advertisements or web-browser redirect, using the ‘Uninstall a program’ which is located in the ‘Control panel’.
Make sure you have closed all browsers and other apps. Press CTRL, ALT, DEL keys together to open the Windows Task Manager.
Click on the “Processes” tab, look for something dubious that is the hijacker related to Combo Search then right-click it and select “End Task” or “End Process” option. In many cases, malware masks itself to avoid detection by imitating legitimate Windows processes. A process is particularly suspicious: it’s taking up a lot of memory (despite the fact that you closed all of your programs), its name is not familiar to you (if you are in doubt, you can always check the application by doing a search for its name in Google, Yahoo or Bing).
Next, delete any unknown and suspicious software from your Control panel.
Windows 10, 8.1, 8
Now, click the Windows button, type “Control panel” in search and press Enter. Select “Programs and Features”, then “Uninstall a program”.
Look around the entire list of software installed on your machine. Most probably, one of them is the browser hijacker infection that responsible for web browser redirect to the annoying Combo Search page. Select the suspicious program or the program that name is not familiar to you and uninstall it.
Windows Vista, 7
From the “Start” menu in Microsoft Windows, select “Control Panel”. Under the “Programs” icon, select “Uninstall a program”.
Choose the questionable or any unknown apps, then click “Uninstall/Change” button to uninstall this undesired application from your computer.
Click the “Start” button, select “Control Panel” option. Click on “Add/Remove Programs”.
Select an undesired program, then click “Change/Remove” button. Follow the prompts.
Remove Combo Search redirect from Chrome
Like other modern browsers, the Google Chrome has the ability to reset the settings to their default values and thereby recover the internet browser new tab, start page and search engine that have been replaced by the Combo Search browser hijacker.
Open the Google Chrome menu by clicking on the button in the form of three horizontal dotes (). It will display the drop-down menu. Choose More Tools, then click Extensions.
Carefully browse through the list of installed extensions. If the list has the plugin labeled with “Installed by enterprise policy” or “Installed by your administrator”, then complete the following guide: 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 Combo Search from Firefox by resetting web browser settings
Resetting your Mozilla Firefox is basic troubleshooting step for any issues with your web-browser application, including the reroute to Combo Search web-page.
First, launch the Mozilla Firefox and click button. It will open the drop-down menu on the right-part of the web-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 browser adress bar and press Enter. It will display the “Troubleshooting Information” page like below. In the upper-right corner of this screen, click the “Refresh Firefox” button.
It will display the confirmation prompt. Further, click the “Refresh Firefox” button. The FF will begin a procedure to fix your problems that caused by the browser hijacker infection responsible for redirecting user searches to Combo Search. After, it is finished, click the “Finish” button.
Get rid of Combo Search from IE
If you find that Internet Explorer internet browser settings such as newtab page, homepage and search engine by default having been hijacked, then you may revert back your settings, via the reset web browser procedure.
First, run the IE, click ) button. Next, click “Internet Options” as displayed in the following example.
In the “Internet Options” screen select the Advanced tab. Next, click Reset button. The Microsoft Internet Explorer will open the Reset Internet Explorer settings dialog box. 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 browser hijacker infection related to Combo Search, disable malicious and ad-supported web-browser’s extensions and restore the Internet Explorer’s settings such as newtab, startpage and search engine by default to default state.
Clean up the web browsers shortcuts which have been infected by Combo Search
Now you need to clean up the internet browser shortcuts. Check that the shortcut referring to the right exe-file of the web-browser, and not on any unknown file.
To clear the web 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 such as “http://site.address” that has been added here. You need to delete it.
When the text is removed, click the OK button. You need to clean all shortcut files of all your web browsers, as they may be affected too.
How to delete Combo Search with free software
The browser hijacker can hide its components which are difficult for you to find out and delete completely. This may lead to the fact that after some time, the browser hijacker again infect your machine and change current settings of web browsers to Combo Search. Moreover, I want to note that it’s not always safe to get rid of browser hijacker manually, if you do not have much experience in setting up and configuring the Microsoft Windows operating system. The best way to search for and remove hijackers is to use free malware removal applications.
Remove Combo Search with Zemana Anti Malware (ZAM)
You can remove Combo Search automatically with a help of Zemana Free. We advise this malicious software removal utility because it can easily get rid of browser hijackers, potentially unwanted software, adware and toolbars with all their components such as folders, files and registry entries.
Please go to the following link to download the latest version of Zemana Anti-Malware for Microsoft Windows. Save it on your Microsoft Windows desktop or in any other place.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
Once the download is finished, close all software and windows on your system. Open a directory in which you saved it. Double-click on the icon that’s called Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup as shown in the following example.
When the installation starts, you will see the “Setup wizard” that will allow you install Zemana Anti Malware on your system.
Once setup is complete, you will see window like below.
Now press the “Scan” button to perform a system scan with this utility for the browser hijacker infection that redirects your web browser to undesired Combo Search site. While the Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM) application is scanning, you can see how many objects it has identified as threat.
When Zemana AntiMalware (ZAM) has completed scanning, you can check all items found on your computer. Review the scan results and then click “Next” button.
The Zemana Free will begin to remove hijacker that redirects your browser to annoying Combo Search web-site.
Get rid of Combo Search homepage with Malwarebytes
We suggest using the Malwarebytes Free. You can download and install Malwarebytes to scan for and get rid of Combo Search from your system. When installed and updated, the free malicious software remover will automatically scan and detect all threats present on the PC system.
- Download MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) from the following link. Save it on your Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: April 15, 2020
- At the download page, click on the Download button. Your internet browser will show the “Save as” prompt. Please save it onto your Windows desktop.
- When downloading is done, please close all applications and open windows on your personal computer. Double-click on the icon that’s called mb3-setup.
- This will open the “Setup wizard” of MalwareBytes AntiMalware (MBAM) onto your computer. Follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
- When the Setup wizard has finished installing, the MalwareBytes will run and display the main window.
- Further, click the “Scan Now” button . MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) application will scan through the whole PC for the browser hijacker responsible for redirecting user searches to Combo Search. Depending on your computer, the scan may take anywhere from a few minutes to close to an hour. During the scan MalwareBytes will search for threats exist on your PC system.
- When the scan get completed, MalwareBytes AntiMalware (MBAM) will open a list of detected items.
- Make sure all threats have ‘checkmark’ and click the “Quarantine Selected” button. Once finished, you may be prompted to reboot the PC system.
- Close the Anti-Malware and continue with the next step.
Video instruction, which reveals in detail the steps above.
Scan your system and delete Combo Search with AdwCleaner
AdwCleaner is a completely free utility. You do not need expensive ways to remove browser hijacker that responsible for web browser redirect to the unwanted Combo Search site and other shady applications. AdwCleaner will remove all the undesired applications such as adware and hijackers at zero cost.
Installing the AdwCleaner is simple. First you will need to download AdwCleaner on your computer by clicking on the following link.
Author: Xplode, MalwareBytes
Category: Security tools
Update: June 30, 2021
After the downloading process is finished, open the folder in which you saved it and double-click the AdwCleaner icon. It will run the AdwCleaner utility. If the User Account Control dialog box will ask you want to run the program, click Yes button to continue.
Next, click “Scan” . AdwCleaner utility will begin scanning the whole system to find out browser hijacker responsible for redirections to Combo Search. Depending on your personal computer, the scan may take anywhere from a few minutes to close to an hour. While the AdwCleaner tool is scanning, you can see how many objects it has identified as being infected by malicious software.
When AdwCleaner completes the scan, AdwCleaner will open you the results like below.
Review the scan results and then press “Clean” button. It will display a prompt. Click “OK” button. The AdwCleaner will remove browser hijacker responsible for redirections to Combo Search and add threats to the Quarantine. When the clean up is finished, the utility may ask you to reboot your PC. After restart, the AdwCleaner will display the log file.
All the above steps are shown in detail in the following video instructions.
How to stop Combo Search
Use an ad blocker utility like AdGuard will protect you from malicious ads and content. Moreover, you may find that the AdGuard have an option to protect your privacy and stop phishing and spam pages. Additionally, adblocker apps will help you to avoid unwanted popup ads and unverified links that also a good way to stay safe online.
Click the following link to download AdGuard. Save it on your Microsoft Windows desktop or in any other place.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: November 15, 2018
After the downloading process is done, run the downloaded file. You will see the “Setup Wizard” screen as shown on the image below.
Follow the prompts. After the setup is complete, you will see a window as displayed on the image below.
You can click “Skip” to close the install application and use the default settings, or press “Get Started” button to see an quick tutorial which will help 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 launch your PC system, AdGuard will run automatically and stop pop-ups, web-pages such as Combo Search, as well as other harmful or misleading web sites. For an overview of all the features of the application, or to change its settings you can simply double-click on the AdGuard icon, that can be found on your desktop.
How to prevent Combo Search browser hijacker infection from getting inside your personal computer
After completing the step by step guidance outlined above, your computer should be clean from this browser hijacker and other malicious software. The Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome and Edge will no longer show intrusive Combo Search web-site on startup. Unfortunately, if the few simple steps does not help you, then you have caught a new hijacker infection, and then the best way – ask for help.
Please start a new thread by using the “New Topic” button in the Spyware Removal forum. When posting your HJT log, try to give us some details about your problems, so we can try to help you more accurately. Wait for one of our trained “Security Team” or Site Administrator to provide you with knowledgeable assistance tailored to your problem with the undesired Combo Search home page.