Home Search Design Virus

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Home Search Design

“Home Search Design” is a browser hijacker that changes the starting page and search engine of Chrome, Firefox, and other popular browsers, and also force them to page-redirect the user to different sites. The main goal of “Home Search Design” is to earn Pay-Per-Click/Pay-Per-View revenue from its ads.

Home Search Design
the Home Search Design virus is trying to further push its agenda associated with online advertising.

If you are a PC users who is faced with unpleasant browser-related issues such as unauthorized changes to the browser like replacement of the homepage or of the search engine tool or frequent display of irritating adverts and obstructive page redirects, then you are advised to read the following article. Here, we will tell you about the browser hijacker software category. This is a category of software apps for popular browsing programs like Edge, Chrome, Firefox and so on. The specific thing about hijacker apps and the actual reason why they are called hijackers lies in their ability to gain control over certain aspects and settings of your browsing programs and impose certain unwanted changes to them, as well as force them to carry out certain activities that you might find unpleasant.

The Home Search Design Virus

The Home Search Design “virus” is an unwanted ad-generating software tool that gets added to the user’s main browser and changes its settings and shows obstructive ads in its tabs. The Home Search Design “virus”also triggers redirects to different sites in order to market them and generate Pay-Per-View revenue.

If Home Search Design has managed to get itself added to your browser, you are likely now encountering different types of obstructive advertising materials every time you try to use your browser. Another common symptom associated with browser hijackers is the unauthorized replacement of the starting page and/or the default search engine of the infected browser. The addition of new browser extensions without the user’s permission is also a commonly-encountered browser hijacker symptom.

All of those changes in the browser could make it difficult to surf the Internet normally and may also negatively impact the computer’s safety and security. For this reason, it’s strongly advised to make the removal of this browser-hijacking software a top priority.

We already mentioned that if you have such a software component added to your browser you are likely to start seeing many different pesky banners, pop-ups, page redirects and other similar advertising materials on your screen during each and every browsing session. It’s even possible that sometimes you might get ads on your screen when the browser is closed. Also, the changed homepage, the replaced search engine and the modified toolbar are also potential symptoms of the presence of a browser hijacker on your machine which you might find rather unpleasant. In many cases, it is actually claimed that the new components added to your browser such as the custom search engine tool or the new homepage (or new-tab page) would actually improve your Internet experience in one way or another. However, in most case, the main reason why a hijacker might introduce such changes to your browsing program would be because the pesky app is trying to further push its agenda, which agenda typically is associated with online advertising.

After all, it should have been obvious by now – apps of this category are all about their adverts and the money they could generate through them. A good example of a software piece that can be regarded as a hijacker is the intrusive “Home Search Design” app. Many users complain about the nagging capabilities of this piece of software and since many of you might have come here in search of help against this app, we can offer you an effective way to remove it in the following guide.

The Home Search Design Malware

The Home Search Design “malware” is not very dangerous, but its presence on your system could make it more likely for more harmful programs such as Trojans or Ransomware to infect the computer. Another dangerous aspect of the Home Search Design “malware” is that this hijacker may land you on phishing pages.

In most cases, browser hijackers are not intentionally designed to compromise the security of the computers they get installed on. However, most such apps often tend to market and promote sites and pages that are unreliable. Unfortunately, some of those pages may get you redirected to other, even more, unsafe web locations, and in this way you could end up becoming a victim of phishing or the target of Trojan Horse viruses, Spyware, Ransomware, and other highly-dangerous online threats. Therefore, although Home Search Design is not a damaging app and is unlikely to directly harm your computer, the indirect results of its presence in the system can be quite problematic, which is why this software shouldn’t be allowed to remain on your PC.

The reason why you might need to use the removal guide or the security tool added to it is because it is normally not that easy to uninstall a hijacker the likes of the “Home Search Design” virus. Remember, the developers of the “Home Search Design” virus need to ensure that their product stays on your PC for as long as possible so that the revenue they could gain from it would be maximized.

Of course, you don’t really benefit from that in any way – quite the opposite. If an app like “Home Search Design” is on your machine, the only thing that you’d get from it is irritation and some potential security hazards.

Now, here we are not talking about a nasty malware program. “Home Search Design” is no Trojan or ransomware or some other similar malicious virus. However, if you aren’t careful around this app you might as well get your machine infected with some insidious ransomware infection or a Trojan horse program. The thing that is most problematic and potentially hazardous is, as you can imagine, the ads. The problem with the ads, the page redirects, the banners and the pop-ups that “Home Search Design” or Good Captcha Top may place on your screen is that some of them might be linked with shady sources and online addresses. The Internet is a great thing but could also be a dangerous place for your computer’s safety and there are indeed a lot of ads out there that could land you on unsafe sites and pages. That’s why, the advice we give all our readers is to use the provided guides on our site and use them to eliminate any potentially unwanted software before any actual problem has occurred.

Keeping the machine clean

Awareness while browsing is key when it comes to maintaining a safe and clean system. Naturally, anything suspicious such as spam, questionable adverts, offers and requests, pirated and illegal software or low-quality downloads, suspicious sites and pages and so on must be avoided. Another really important tip is to only install a new program after you have thoroughly explored and examined the setup manager and disabled any optional bundled software components that you might not want to have on your computer. Only after you do that would it be safe to continue with the installation knowing that no undesirable applications would get installed on your PC.

SUMMARY:

Name“Home Search Design”
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger LevelMedium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms A hijacker will not try to hide itself – it will instead show you nagging ads, intrusive page redirects and will also likely impose certain modifications on your browser which is how you can notice the unwanted app’s presence.
Distribution MethodThe hijacker can get to your PC with the help of a file bundle, a spam message, a misleading advert or through some other similar distribution method.
Detection Tool

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How to remove Home Search Design

Home Search Design may be difficult to uninstall for those who have never dealt with browser hijackers previously. That’s why, to save you time and effort, we suggest following the quick instructions below, which have been found to work for many people.

  • Open Extensions in your browser’s menu by selecting More Tools (or Add-ons) from the main menu.
  • Then, spend some time looking through the list of extensions and see if there are any that are interfering with your browser experience.
  • Remove the extensions that you believe are problematic by clicking on the Remove/Trash bin button.
  • After that, restart the browser to see how it functions after removing the suspicious extensions.

If deleting the potentially unwanted extensions from the browser does not solve your hijacker-related issue, we recommend following our full Home Search Design removal guide below.

If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed “Home Search Design” removal guide below.

If you have a Windows virus, continue with the guide below.

If you have a Mac virus, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.

If you have an Android virus, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.

If you have an iPhone virus, please use our iPhone Virus Removal guide


Step1

As a first step, please follow the instructions in this link and restart your computer in Safe Mode. This will hopefully allow you to easily spot any browser-hijacker related entries in the system.

Before you reboot, however, make sure you save this page with Home Search Design removal instructions as a bookmark on your browser so that you can return to it when the computer has restarted.

Step2

WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

The next thing that you need to do is open the Task Manager, (CTRL + SHIFT + ESC) key combination and choose Processes from the tabs at the top.

Right-click on a process that looks suspicious from the list and select Open File Location to see whether it’s connected to Home Search Design or not.

malware-start-taskbar

After that, you may check the files of that process by dragging and dropping them into the free online virus scanner below:

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    The process should be immediately ended if any of the scanned files is identified as dangerous.

    Step3

    Press the Start button (bottom left) and then enter appwiz.cpl into the search field. Open the Control Panel item and take a look at the applications that have been installed on your computer. Using the date of installation as a filter, you may try to determine whether any of the recently installed applications had a connection to or introduced Home Search Design.

    appwiz

    If you locate an app like this, it’s a good idea to remove it and all of its components (or hijackers). Just choose the application you want to remove, click the Uninstall button at the top, and follow the uninstallation wizard’s instructions.

    Next, close the Control Panel window and click the Start menu button once again. In the search bar, type msconfig and open the System Configuration app.

    msconfig_opt

    Then, go to the Startup tab and see whether Home Search Design has added any new items to the list. Remove the checkmarks of the items that look suspicious and click OK.

    Step4

    Next, you’ll need to use the Start Key and R key combination from the keyboard to open a Run box on the screen.

    Once you do that, copy the line below in the Run box and click OK:

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

    Please let us know if you see anything out of the ordinary under Localhost, as shown in the figure below.

    hosts_opt (1)

    If everything is fine, just close the file without making any changes in it.

    Apps like Home Search Design may change your computer’s DNS settings in certain instances. In order to see whether this has occurred on your computer, open Network Connections (type it in the Windows Search bar) and follow these steps:

    1. Open the Network Adapter’s Properties by right-clicking on it.
    2. Highlight Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP) and click on the Properties button to the right.
    3. Make sure that Obtain DNS server automatically option is checked and click the Advanced button.
    4. If there is something suspicious, added in the DNS tab, make sure you remove it before clicking —> OK.
    DNS

    Step5

    Home Search Design should be removed from your browsers now. This is critical if you want to prevent the browser hijacker from reappearing and reinstalling itself when you restart your computer.

    Right-click on the browser’s shortcut icon and choose Properties.

    Aside from Google Chrome, which we are demonstrating below, the same thing be done to Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer (or Edge).

    browser-hijacker-taskbar-properties

    Select Shortcut from the Properties window and then remove anything that has been added after .exe in Target and then click OK.

    Browser Hijacker Removal Instructions

    ie9-10_512x512  Remove Home Search Design from Internet Explorer:

    In Internet Explorer, open the browser, click  IE GEAR and select Manage Add-ons.

    pic 3

    Disable any extensions that you suspect to be associated with Home Search Design and its activities and remove them from your system.

    After that, go to the gear icon where the main menu is, click it, then select —–> Internet Options. If your homepage has been changed to a sponsored address, you can modify your homepage’s URL to a trustworthy one and then click Apply.

    firefox-512 Remove Home Search Design from Firefox:

    Start the Firefox browser and head to the upper right corner. Then, click  mozilla menu  and choose > Add-ons —-> Extensions as shown below.

    pic 6

    You can remove any extension that looks suspicious to you by selecting it and choosing the Remove button.

    chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Home Search Design from Chrome:

    If Google Chrome is open, exit the browser and go to:

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

    Make a right-click selection of the Default folder and change its name to “Backup Default“. Restart the browser after saving the new name.

    Rename the Folder to Backup Default

    Step6

    Finally, check your Registry to see if Home Search Design has made any entries there without your permission. Enter Regedit in the Windows search field and then press Enter.

    The Registry Editor will be shown. Press CTRL and F at the same time and type the hijacker’s name inside the Find pop-up box. Search for Home Search Design-related content, then remove it if it is detected.

    If nothing appears in the search, a manual search of the directories listed below may potentially provide results:

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

    If you are afraid that you may accidentally delete anything legitimate and corrupt your OS, we highly recommend using a professional removal program, like the one on this website, or our free online virus scanner. These tools can safely remove files and folders linked to Home Search Design if you aren’t sure whether they need to be deleted or not.

    How to get rid of Home Search Design?

    1. Locate the program responsible for the browser hijacker

      To remove Home Search Design, you first need to ensure that if there’s a program on your computer that infected you with it, that program needs to be deleted. After that, to get rid of Home Search Design, you must clean the settings of your system and all your browsers.

    2. Explore Programs and Features

      To start, you need to explore the Programs and Features list in the Control Panel, search it for any potentially unwanted programs, and delete any such programs that you may find there.

    3. Use the Task Manager

      Now, you must ensure that there are no hijacker processes that are still active on your computer by using the Task Manager tool.

    4. Check the Registry

      Go to the Hosts file, the Task Scheduler, the Startup items list, and the Registry, and revoke any modifications that the hijacker may have made there.

    5. Clean your browsers

      The last step is to clean the browsers on your computer – delete from them any unwanted add-ons and also clear their cookies, history, and caches.

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    About the author

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    Violet George

    Violet is an active writer with a passion for all things cyber security. She enjoys helping victims of computer virus infections remove them and successfully deal with the aftermath of the attacks. But most importantly, Violet makes it her priority to spend time educating people on privacy issues and maintaining the safety of their computers. It is her firm belief that by spreading this information, she can empower web users to effectively protect their personal data and their devices from hackers and cybercriminals.

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