If you notice that your search engine or other browser settings have modified without your knowledge or permission then it is possible that you are a victim of malware from the browser hijacker family. Browser hijacker is small program that can change your home page and search provider, redirect you to web sites you never intended to visit, gather search queries and your personal data. In the blog post below you will find guide about how to fix your search engine and other browser settings to their original defaults and completely get rid of browser hijacker from Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Edge.
When you are performing searches using the internet browser that has been affected by browser hijacker, the search results will be returned from Bing, Yahoo or Google Custom Search. The devs behind the hijacker infection are most likely doing this to generate advertisement profit from the advertisements opened in the search results.
As well as undesired browser redirects, the hijacker can collect your Web surfing activity by recording URLs visited, IP addresses, internet browser version and type, cookie information, Internet Service Provider (ISP) and web-pages visited. Such kind of behavior can lead to serious security problems or confidential info theft. This is another reason why your search engine and other browser settings should fixed as soon as possible.
Browser hijacker is usually written in ways common to malware, spyware and adware. In order to get rid of hijacker and thereby fix your search engine and other browser settings, you will need complete the steps below or use free removal utility listed below.
How to fix search engine and other browser settings in Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge
There are several steps to fix search engine and other browser settings, because the browser hijacker installs itself so deeply into Windows. You need to remove all suspicious and unknown apps, then get rid of harmful extensions from the Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox and Chrome and other web browsers you have installed. Finally, you need to reset your web-browser settings to fix any changes that browser hijacker has made, and then check your PC with Zemana AntiMalware, MalwareBytes Free or Hitman Pro to ensure the browser hijacker is fully removed. It will take a while.
To Fix Search engine and Browser settings, perform the steps below:
- Fix search engine and browser settings manually
- Scan your machine and fix search engine with free tools
- How to stay safe online
- Method of browser hijacker intrusion into your personal computer
- To sum up
Fix search engine and browser settings manually
Steps to fix your search engine without any tools are presented below. Be sure to carry out the step-by-step tutorial completely to fix all browser settings changed by malware.
Delete potentially unwanted apps using Microsoft Windows Control Panel
Some PUPs, browser hijacking apps and adware can be removed by uninstalling the free programs they came with. If this way does not succeed, then looking them up in the list of installed software in Windows Control Panel. Use the “Uninstall” command in order to delete them.
- If you are using Windows 8, 8.1 or 10 then press Windows button, next click Search. Type “Control panel”and press Enter.
- If you are using Windows XP, Vista, 7, then click “Start” button and click “Control Panel”.
- It will show the Windows Control Panel.
- Further, click “Uninstall a program” under Programs category.
- It will display a list of all software installed on the PC.
- Scroll through the all list, and uninstall suspicious and unknown apps. To quickly find the latest installed apps, we recommend sort applications by date.
See more details in the video tutorial below.
Fix Internet Explorer settings
The Internet Explorer reset is great to fix browser settings or if you’ve unwanted add-ons or toolbars on your web browser, that installed by a malicious software.
First, start the IE, click ) button. Next, press “Internet Options” as shown in the following example.
In the “Internet Options” screen select the Advanced tab. Next, click Reset button. The Internet Explorer will display the Reset Internet Explorer settings dialog box. Select the “Delete personal settings” check box and click Reset button.
You will now need to restart your personal computer for the changes to take effect. It will fix browser settings changed by malware, disable malicious and ad-supported web-browser’s extensions and restore the Internet Explorer’s settings such as homepage, new tab page and search engine by default to default state.
Fix search engine and Chrome browser settings
Run the Reset web-browser tool of the Chrome to reset all its settings like newtab, homepage and search provider by default to original defaults. This is a very useful utility to use, in order to fix browser settings changed by malware.
First start the Chrome. Next, click the button in the form of three horizontal dots ().
It will show the Chrome menu. Choose More Tools, then click 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 guide: Remove Google Chrome extensions installed by enterprise policy.
Open the Chrome menu once again. Further, click the option named “Settings”.
The internet browser will show the settings screen. Another solution to show the Google 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 displayed in the figure below and click the “Reset settings to their original defaults” button.
The Google Chrome will display the confirmation prompt as displayed on the image below.
You need to confirm your action, click the “Reset” button. The internet browser will start the procedure of cleaning. When it’s complete, the web browser’s settings including new tab, default search provider and homepage back to the values which have been when the Google Chrome was first installed on your PC.
Fix Mozilla Firefox browser settings
The Firefox reset will remove unwanted search engine and homepage, modified preferences, extensions and security settings. It will save your personal information such as saved passwords, bookmarks, auto-fill data and open tabs.
Start the Mozilla Firefox and click the menu button (it looks like three stacked lines) at the top right of the internet browser screen. Next, click the question-mark icon at the bottom of the drop-down menu. It will display 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 shown on the image below.
Click the “Refresh Firefox” button at the top right of the Troubleshooting Information page. Select “Refresh Firefox” in the confirmation prompt. The Firefox will begin a task to fix search engine and other browser settings changed by malicious software. When, it’s finished, press the “Finish” button.
Scan your machine and fix search engine with free tools
If you’re an unskilled computer user, then we suggest to run free removal utilities listed below to fix browser settings for good. The automatic solution is highly recommended. It has less steps and easier to implement than the manual method. Moreover, it lower risk of system damage. So, the automatic fix is a better option.
How to fix search engine with Zemana
You can fix your search engine automatically with a help of Zemana. We suggest this malware removal tool because it can easily remove hijacker infections, PUPs, adware and toolbars with all their components such as folders, files and registry entries.
Now you can install and use Zemana Free to fix browser settings by following the steps below:
Visit the following page to download Zemana AntiMalware installer named Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup on your PC system. Save it on your Desktop.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
Start the installation package after it has been downloaded successfully and then follow the prompts to setup this tool on your personal computer.
During install you can change some settings, but we recommend you do not make any changes to default settings.
When install is complete, this malware removal utility will automatically start and update itself. You will see its main window as displayed below.
Now click the “Scan” button to perform a system scan for the browser hijacker and other malware.
Once finished, Zemana Free will show a list of found items. You may remove threats (move to Quarantine) by simply press “Next” button.
The Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM) will remove malware, fix browser settings changed by malware and move all threats to the program’s quarantine. When that process is finished, you can be prompted to reboot your system to make the change take effect.
Fix browser settings with HitmanPro
Hitman Pro will help you remove adware, PUPs, unwanted toolbars, internet browser add-ons and other unwanted programs and fix browser settings that changed by malicious software. This removal tool will help you enjoy your PC to its fullest. HitmanPro uses advanced behavioral detection technologies to look for if there are unwanted applications in your computer. You can review the scan results, and choose the items you want to erase.
Installing the HitmanPro is simple. First you will need to download Hitman Pro from the following link.
Category: Security tools
Update: June 28, 2018
Download and use HitmanPro on your PC. Once started, click “Next” button . HitmanPro utility will start scanning the whole personal computer to find out hijacker infection. This procedure can take some time, so please be patient. When a threat is found, the number of the security threats will change accordingly. .
Once HitmanPro completes the scan, HitmanPro will display a list of found threats.
You may remove threats (move to Quarantine) and fix your browser settings by simply click Next button.
It will show a prompt, click the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial to remove all malware found.
How to automatically fix search engine and browser settings with Malwarebytes
Fix search engine manually requires some computer skills. Some files and registry entries that created by the hijacker infection may be not completely removed. We suggest that run the Malwarebytes Free that are completely free your computer of hijacker infection and thereby fix all browser settings changed by malware. Moreover, this tool will help you to get rid of PUPs, adware and toolbars that your machine can be infected too.
Visit the following page to download MalwareBytes Anti Malware (MBAM). Save it to your Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: April 15, 2020
Once downloading is finished, run it and follow the prompts. Once installed, the MalwareBytes Anti Malware will try to update itself and when this task is done, click the “Scan Now” button to detect the browser hijacker infection responsible for changing your browser settings. A system scan may take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on your PC system. While the utility is scanning, you may see how many objects and files has already scanned. Make sure all items have ‘checkmark’ and click “Quarantine Selected” button.
The MalwareBytes Anti Malware (MBAM) is a free program that you can use to remove all detected folders, files, services, registry entries and so on. To learn more about this malicious software removal tool, we suggest you to read and follow the steps or the video guide below.
How to stay safe online
It is important to use ad-blocking software like AdGuard to protect your system from malicious web-pages. Most security experts says that it is okay to block unwanted advertisements. You should do so just to stay safe! And, of course, the AdGuard may to block misleading and other shady web-sites.
Visit the page linked below to download AdGuard. Save it on your MS Windows desktop.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: November 15, 2018
After the download is finished, start the downloaded file. You will see the “Setup Wizard” screen as shown on the screen below.
Follow the prompts. Once the installation is finished, you will see a window as displayed in the figure below.
You can press “Skip” to close the install program and use the default settings, or click “Get Started” button to see an quick tutorial that will help 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 start your personal computer, AdGuard will launch automatically and block unwanted advertisements, as well as other harmful or misleading web-pages. 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.
Method of browser hijacker intrusion into your personal computer
To sum up
Now your PC system should be free of the hijacker infection responsible for modifying your browser settings. We suggest that you keep AdGuard (to help you block unwanted popup ads and undesired malicious web pages) and Zemana (to periodically scan your system for new malware, browser hijacker infections and adware). Make sure that you have all the Critical Updates recommended for Windows operating system. Without regular updates you WILL NOT be protected when new browser hijacker infections, harmful software and adware are released.
If you are still having problems while trying to fix your search engine or other browser settings, then ask for help here.