When you run your browser like Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Edge and Chrome, the website named Social Search opens automatically instead of your homepage? Or this annoying webpage has been set as new tab page and browser’s search engine ? Then it’s possible your internet browser has been affected by the obnoxious browser hijacker infection. The Social Search browser hijacker usually get installed as a part of certain freeware. Do not be surprised, it happens, especially if you are an active Net user. But this does not mean that you should reconcile with the annoying Social Search start page. You need to free your PC of malware such as this browser hijacker as soon as possible. Because the Social Search can be a way to infect your PC system with more malicious software like viruses and trojans.
Except that the Social Search imposes certain changes to web-browser’s start page and newtab, 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 lot of ads, links to unwanted and ad web pages and only the remaining part is search results for your query from well-known search engines like Google or Bing.
While the Social Search hijacker is active, you won’t be able to restore the Internet Explorer, MS Edge, Chrome and Mozilla Firefox’ settings such as new tab page, default search provider and startpage. If you try to set your home page to be Google, Bing or Yahoo, those settings will be automatically modified to Social Search with the next computer reboot. But this does not mean that you should just ignore it or get along with this fact. Because this is not the best option, due to the Social Search you can have problems with the Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Edge, annoying ads and even privacy info theft.
The hijacker like Social Search often alter all web browser shortcuts which located on your Desktop to force you visit some undesired web pages and show unwanted pop-up advertisements. As a result, your browser can still reroute you to an annoying web-page despite your internet browser is actually free of browser hijacker.
In order to remove Social Search hijacker from your computer, clean the affected web-browsers and restore the Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome settings to its default state, please use the removal guide below.
Remove Social Search from Google Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge
Fortunately, it’s not hard to remove the Social Search hijacker. In the following instructions, we will provide two methods to free your PC of this hijacker. One is the manual removal way and the other is automatic removal way. You can choose the solution that best fits you. Please follow the removal tutorial below to delete Social Search right now!
To remove Social Search, complete the following steps:
- How to delete Social Search redirect without any software
- Remove Social Search related applications through the Control Panel of your machine
- Remove Social Search from Google Chrome
- Remove Social Search redirect from Microsoft Internet Explorer
- Get rid of Social Search from Mozilla Firefox
- Disinfect the web browser’s shortcuts to remove Social Search redirect
- Scan your machine and get rid of Social Search with free utilities
- Use AdBlocker to stop Social Search and stay safe online
- How to avoid installation of Social Search hijacker
- To sum up
How to delete Social Search redirect without any software
The following instructions is a step-by-step guide, which will help you manually remove Social Search from the MS Edge, IE, Google Chrome and Firefox.
Remove Social Search related applications through the Control Panel of your machine
First method for manual browser hijacker removal is to go into the Windows “Control Panel”, then “Uninstall a program” console. Take a look at the list of applications on your computer and see if there are any dubious and unknown software. If you see any, you need to remove them. Of course, before doing so, you can do an Internet 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 browsers and other software. Press CTRL, ALT, DEL keys together to open the Windows Task Manager.
Click on the “Processes” tab, look for something suspicious that is the browser hijacker infection responsible for redirects to Social Search then right-click it and select “End Task” or “End Process” option. Most commonly, malware masks itself to avoid detection by imitating legitimate MS Windows processes. A process is particularly suspicious: it is 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, uninstall any unrequested and suspicious programs from your Control panel.
Windows 10, 8.1, 8
Now, press 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 apps installed on your computer. Most probably, one of them is the hijacker that redirects your web browser to annoying Social Search web-site. Select the dubious program or the program that name is not familiar to you and delete it.
Windows Vista, 7
From the “Start” menu in Windows, select “Control Panel”. Under the “Programs” icon, select “Uninstall a program”.
Select the questionable or any unknown apps, then press “Uninstall/Change” button to remove this unwanted program from your system.
Click the “Start” button, select “Control Panel” option. Click on “Add/Remove Programs”.
Choose an undesired program, then press “Change/Remove” button. Follow the prompts.
Remove Social Search from Google Chrome
Like other modern web-browsers, the Google Chrome has the ability to reset the settings to their default values and thereby recover the browser newtab, search engine and homepage that have been modified by the Social Search hijacker infection.
First open the Chrome. Next, press the button in the form of three horizontal dots ().
It will show the Chrome menu. Select More Tools, then press Extensions. Carefully browse through the list of installed addons. If the list has the extension signed with “Installed by enterprise policy” or “Installed by your administrator”, then complete the following instructions: Remove Chrome extensions installed by enterprise policy.
Open the Chrome menu once again. Further, click the option named “Settings”.
The browser will display the settings screen. Another method to show the Chrome’s settings – type chrome://settings in the web 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 shown in the figure below and press the “Reset settings to their original defaults” button.
The Google Chrome will display the confirmation dialog box as displayed in the figure below.
You need to confirm your action, click the “Reset” button. The internet browser will run the procedure of cleaning. When it is finished, the web browser’s settings including search engine, start page and newtab page back to the values which have been when the Google Chrome was first installed on your computer.
Remove Social Search redirect from Microsoft Internet Explorer
The Internet Explorer reset is great if your web browser is hijacked or you have unwanted plugins or toolbars on your internet browser, that installed by a malware.
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 click the “Internet Options” as displayed in the figure below.
In the “Internet Options” screen, select the “Advanced” tab, then click the “Reset” button. The IE will open the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” dialog box. Further, click the “Delete personal settings” check box to select it. Next, press the “Reset” button as displayed in the figure below.
Once the process is finished, click “Close” button. Close the Internet Explorer and reboot your computer for the changes to take effect. This step will help you to restore your browser’s search engine by default, new tab page and startpage to default state.
Get rid of Social Search from Mozilla Firefox
The Mozilla Firefox reset will remove unwanted search provider and homepage like Social Search, modified preferences, extensions and security settings. It will keep your personal information like browsing history, bookmarks, passwords and web form auto-fill data.
Click 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 on the image below.
A small menu will appear, click the “Troubleshooting Information”. On this page, press “Refresh Firefox” button as shown in the figure below.
Follow the onscreen procedure to return your Firefox web browser settings to their default values.
Disinfect the web browser’s shortcuts to remove Social Search redirect
When installed, the hijacker which cause Social Search website to appear, may add an argument like “http://site.address” into the Target property of the desktop shortcut for the Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Due to this, every time you start the internet browser, it will show an intrusive website.
Open the properties of the browser shortcut. Right click on the shortcut file of affected web browser and select the “Properties” option and it will display the properties of the shortcut. Next, select the “Shortcut” tab and have a look at the Target field as displayed in the figure 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 shortcuts which have been changed by browser hijacker infection responsible for modifying your internet browser settings to Social Search, usually point to .bat, .cmd or .url files instead of .exe as shown 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 like below.
In order to fix the infected 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 Social Search browser hijacker and other web-browser’s malicious extensions.
|Google Chrome||C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe|
|Firefox||C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe|
|IE||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 finished, press OK to save changes. Repeat the step for all web-browsers that are redirected to the Social Search intrusive web-page.
Scan your machine and get rid of Social Search with free utilities
Manual removal instructions may not be for an unskilled computer user. Each Social Search removal step above, such as removing questionable programs, restoring infected shortcuts, removing the hijacker from system settings, must be performed very carefully. If you are in doubt during any of the steps listed in the manual removal above, then we recommend that you use the automatic Social Search removal tutorial listed below.
Run Zemana Free to remove browser hijacker
Zemana Free is a tool that can remove ad supported software, PUPs, browser hijackers and other malicious software from your machine easily and for free. Zemana Anti-Malware is compatible with most antivirus software. It works under Windows (10 – XP, 32 and 64 bit) and uses minimum of computer resources.
- Zemana can be downloaded from the following link. Save it on your Windows desktop.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
- 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 apps and open windows on your system. Next, start a file named Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup.
- This will run the “Setup wizard” of Zemana AntiMalware onto your PC system. Follow the prompts and don’t make any changes to default settings.
- When the Setup wizard has finished installing, the Zemana Anti-Malware will start and display the main window.
- Further, press the “Scan” button . Zemana utility will start scanning the whole PC to find out hijacker that causes browsers to show intrusive Social Search web page. A scan may take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of files on your computer and the speed of your PC system. During the scan Zemana Anti Malware (ZAM) will scan for threats exist on your machine.
- When Zemana has finished scanning your system, Zemana AntiMalware will show a scan report.
- Next, you need to click the “Next” button. The tool will start to remove hijacker that cause Social Search web page to appear. When the process is done, you may be prompted to reboot the machine.
- Close the Zemana AntiMalware (ZAM) and continue with the next step.
Remove Social Search startpage from internet browsers with HitmanPro
The Hitman Pro tool is free and easy to use. It may scan and remove hijacker responsible for redirecting user searches to Social Search, malware, PUPs and adware from computer (Microsoft Windows 10, 8, 7, XP) and thereby restore browsers default settings (search engine by default, newtab and homepage). Hitman Pro is powerful enough to find out and delete malicious registry entries and files that are hidden on the PC system.
Visit the following page to download Hitman Pro. Save it on your MS Windows desktop or in any other place.
Category: Security tools
Update: June 28, 2018
Once downloading is finished, open the file location and double-click the Hitman Pro icon. It will start the HitmanPro tool. If the User Account Control dialog box will ask you want to run the application, press Yes button to continue.
Next, press “Next” to scan for hijacker that redirects your internet browser to undesired Social Search web page. A system scan can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on your PC system.
When Hitman Pro completes the scan, HitmanPro will show a screen that contains a list of malicious software that has been found as on the image below.
You may get rid of threats (move to Quarantine) by simply click “Next” button. It will display a prompt, click the “Activate free license” button. The HitmanPro will begin to delete hijacker that cause a redirect to Social Search web-page. Once finished, the utility may ask you to restart your PC.
How to automatically delete Social Search with Malwarebytes
You can remove Social Search automatically with a help of Malwarebytes Free. We advise this free malware removal utility because it can easily remove hijacker infections, adware, potentially unwanted applications and toolbars with all their components such as files, folders and registry entries.
- Installing the MalwareBytes Free is simple. First you will need to download MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) on your Microsoft Windows Desktop from the link below.
Category: Security tools
Update: April 15, 2020
- 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 is finished, please close all programs and open windows on your machine. Double-click on the icon that’s named mb3-setup.
- This will launch the “Setup wizard” of MalwareBytes Anti-Malware onto your system. Follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
- When the Setup wizard has finished installing, the MalwareBytes Free will open and display the main window.
- Further, click the “Scan Now” button to begin scanning your system for the browser hijacker which cause a redirect to Social Search website. This procedure can take quite a while, so please be patient. While the MalwareBytes Free is checking, you may see how many objects it has identified either as being malware.
- Once the scanning is done, a list of all threats detected is prepared.
- Review the report and then click the “Quarantine Selected” button. Once disinfection is complete, you may be prompted to reboot the computer.
- Close the Anti-Malware and continue with the next step.
Video instruction, which reveals in detail the steps above.
Use AdBlocker to stop Social Search and stay safe online
In order to increase your security and protect your computer against new unwanted ads and harmful websites, you need to use ad blocking program that stops an access to harmful ads and web sites. Moreover, the application can block the display of intrusive advertising, that also leads to faster loading of web sites and reduce the consumption of web traffic.
- Download AdGuard by clicking on the link below.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: November 15, 2018
- After downloading it, launch the downloaded file. You will see the “Setup Wizard” program window. Follow the prompts.
- After the installation is finished, click “Skip” to close the installation application and use the default settings, or click “Get Started” to see an quick tutorial which will assist you get to know AdGuard better.
- In most cases, the default settings are enough and you do not need to change anything. Each time, when you run your system, AdGuard will start automatically and block popup advertisements, Social Search redirect, as well as other malicious or misleading webpages. For an overview of all the features of the application, or to change its settings you can simply double-click on the icon called AdGuard, which can be found on your desktop.
How to avoid installation of Social Search hijacker
To sum up
Now your system should be clean of the browser hijacker infection responsible for redirecting your web-browser to Social Search site. We suggest that you keep AdGuard (to help you block unwanted pop up ads and intrusive harmful pages) and Zemana Anti Malware (ZAM) (to periodically scan your personal computer for new hijackers and other malware). 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 Social Search redirect from the Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome and Edge, then ask for help in our Spyware/Malware removal forum.