Active Search Bar Virus

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Active Search Bar

Active Search Bar is a browser hijacking tool that fills the screen of the main web browser with pay-per-click adverts, banners and pop-ups. Active Search Bar also alters the default settings of the browser and installs a new homepage or a search engine.

Active Search Bar 1024x422
The Active Search Bar virus will corrupt your search engine settings.

A piece of software like Active Search Bar may easily be mistaken for a virus but is generally categorized as a PUP, which is shorthand for “potentially unwanted program”. Users whose browsers include Active Search Bar are generally bombarded with an endless stream of promotional content such as pop-ups, banners, redirect links, and pop-under advertisements that come in a variety of forms and sizes. Any web browser, even well-known and generally trustworthy browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft Edge, is susceptible to having software that generates advertisements, such as Active Search Bar, attached to it.

In addition to filling the screen with advertisements, the majority of browser hijackers may alter the user’s default search engine as well as the homepage to one that is sponsored, and they will do this without the user’s knowledge or agreement. Here we have to point out that none of the aforementioned modifications to the browser that are done by a software such as Active Search Bar and are harmful or hazardous directly. However, they may possibly expose the user’s system to many other hazards in an indirect manner.  That’s why, uninstalling this kind of software is typically the best course of action if you want to minimize the risk of bumping into online dangers.

In general, any hijacker you find on your system should be removed as soon as it is discovered. For one thing, software similar to this one may cause your browser to become slow, unresponsive, or unstable since it will constantly interrupt you with adverts and make changes to the settings of your browser. Getting rid of Active Search Bar from your computer is also the best way to stop it from redirecting you to unwanted advertisements and pages.

When it comes to the pop-ups and banners that appear at random, you may not want to click on them because, if you aren’t careful, you could easily find yourself on a fake site that uses phishing forms to obtain personal data, such as credit or debit card numbers. For these reasons, we cannot stress enough how important it is for you to follow the steps outlined in this article in order to successfully uninstall Active Search Bar and remove all of its components from your computer.

Future safety

The majority of the time, browser hijackers take advantage of users’ lack of attention to details, such as the lack of attention paid to the “custom settings” option within an installation package or the aggressive pop-ups that various websites display on your screen when you access them. If you click on pop-ups that seem to be captchas but, in fact, operate as consent buttons, a browser hijacker may take control of your browser and make unauthorized changes.

To stay away from them, you should also know that hijackers like Active Search Bar are often included as a “bonus” or “extra component” In the installers of other, more appealing applications. They are often included under the Advanced/Custom installation options, which the vast majority of users do not pay much attention to. If you click on those options and uncheck these bonus components, this will usually be enough to prevent their installation. Of course, to protect your computer and personal information from viruses and malware like Trojans, Ransomware, and Spyware, you should avoid visiting suspicious websites and carefully install any new software using the most detailed and advanced settings that are available. Only then will you be able to keep your system safe.


NameActive Search Bar
Type Adware/Browser Hijacker
Detection Tool

*Source of claim SH can remove it.

Remove Active Search Bar Virus

Begin by following these time-saving instructions to remove Active Search Bar from your computer:

  • Click the main menu button on the hijacked browser (typically found top right).
  • Find and choose More Tools/Add-ons from the drop-down list.
  • Go to the Extensions menu or tab.
  • Each new extension should be thoroughly inspected before deciding whether to leave it or remove it. The “delete” or “trash” button may be used to remove any extensions that are suspicious, redirecting, or causing ad interruptions.

If the Active Search Bar problem has been handled after you’ve removed the potentially unwanted extensions, you can simply close the guide and start using your browser as normal. If the hijacker is still causing you problems, however, please follow the instructions in this article and let us know if you have any problems.


You will need to restart your computer and browser in the following steps, thus if you want to successfully finish this removal guide, we recommend bookmarking the page before proceeding. This way, anytime you need it, you may access it right away. If it’s more convenient for you, you may also open the instructions on another device.

As a next step, please use the instructions on this link to restart your computer in Safe Mode. Because only the most critical processes and apps are running in Safe Mode, browser hijackers may be more easily detected and removed.



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Hold down CTRL, SHIFT, and ESC together. The Windows Task Manager should now be shown on the screen.

In the Processes tab (the “Details” tab on Windows 8 and 10) search for processes with weird names, excessive CPU or RAM usage, or processes that are related to ad-generation or page redirection. You may also look for processes that include the hijacker’s name in their name.

The files of each suspicious process may be accessed by right-clicking and selecting Open File Location.

Malware Start Taskbar 1

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    If any of the files contain malicious code, go back to the process in the Processes tab, right-click on it and select End Process. After that, you’ll be able to delete any potentially hazardous files or directories that the scanner has detected.


    Use Windows and R keyboard keys in a combination to open a new Run window for entering command-line parameters. Enter appwiz.cpl in the Run window and press OK.


    You should see a new Control Panel window that lists all of your computer’s apps. There may be new apps that were installed by the hijacker, so go through the list. Remove any hijacker components you find as soon as possible.

    Open Windows search in the Start menu (in Windows 10 it is the magnifying glass icon bottom left next to the Windows Start menu).

    Search for msconfig by typing it in the search box. In the Startup tab of System Configurations, uncheck all Active Search Bar-related items. As a result, the hijacker will not be able to start up when the system boots.



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    Hold down the Windows and R keys together again to launch a new Run window. Next, copy and paste the following line in it:

    notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

    Then press the OK button. A Notepad window should open with a Hosts file. The text section under Localhost should be searched for any questionable IPs.

    Do not remove IPs that appear suspicious until you are certain that they pose a threat. Instead, make a note of the suspect IP addresses and share them in the comments below this guide. After taking a look at the IPs, we can help you make decisions about your next actions.

    hosts_opt (1)

    You’ll also want to check your Network Connections settings. For that, use Windows’ built-in search to search for “Network Connections” (On Windows 10 you just write it in the search bar).

    Then, select Properties by right-clicking on the Network Adapter you’re currently using.

    Find Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP) in the Properties window, select it, and click the Properties button.

    Click Advanced after selecting the Obtain DNS server address automatically.

    Select the DNS tab in the new window and remove any rogue DNS entries.

    To put your changes into effect, click OK when you’re finished.



    To open the Registry Editor, type Regedit in the Windows search bar, and then Enter. Then, press the CTRL and F buttons on the keyboard simultaneously. Search for “Active Search Bar” in the Find box and press Enter. When you click Find Next, the registry’s search for Active Search Bar-related entries should start. Right-click to remove everything that is discovered. The search may have to be repeated until no further results are found.

    Next, use the Registry Editor’s left panel to manually look for suspicious entries in the following locations:

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory.
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

    Note! It’s possible to have problems with your computer and apps if you make modifications to the registry, especially if you delete registry files that are critical to their operation. To avoid this, we strongly recommend you to use a third-party removal program and avoid causing further damage to your machine.


    In this step, make sure that you repeat the following instructions in all of your browsers in order to prevent the browser hijacker from bothering you once you restart your computer.

    Right-click on the shortcut icon of your browser. Afterwards, click Properties.


    Click Shortcut in the top of the Properties window to open it. Go to the text box labeled “Target” and see whether anything has been added to the end of the line after “.exe”. Remove it as shown in the image below if you notice something unusual.

    Browser Hijacker Removal Instructions

    ie9-10_512x512  Remove Active Search Bar from Internet Explorer:

    Remove Active Search Bar from Internet Explorer by clicking the gear symbol in the upper right corner of the browser when it opens. Select Manage Add-ons and remove any Active Search Bar-related items in the Add-ons section.

    pic 3

    Next, click the gear icon again and select Internet Options. If the URL of your homepage has been altered without your permission, you should take steps to have it restored. Before exiting, press the Apply button.

    firefox-512 Remove Active Search Bar from Firefox:

    Go to the browser’s main menu icon and select Add-ons>> Extensions from the drop-down menu.

    Remove any unwanted Active Search Bar-related extensions from the Extensions page.

    pic 6

    chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Active Search Bar from Chrome:

    Close Chrome and to go to the following locaation on your computer:

     C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. 

    Rename the Default folder to Backup Default. Then relaunch Chrome to complete the process.

    Rename the Folder to Backup Default

    The anti-virus software on this page and our free online virus scanner can both help you remove Active Search Bar and any files linked with the browser hijacker if this manual removal guide fails to do so. Any questions or comments you may have can be left in the comments space below, and we will do our best to get back to you soon.


    About the author


    Lidia Howler

    Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.

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