This page aims to help you remove default-search.net. Our removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.
Programs like default-search.net are often seen as annoying and irritating. These programs are usually classified as browser hijackers because of their ability to take control over the user’s default browser (be it Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.) and enforce various potentially unwanted changes to its homepage, or search engine. If your browser settings have recently been modified and now you frequently experience search redirects, generation of various strange ads, pop-ups or banners, and some new tabs keep interrupting your normal web surfing, then you are probably already facing the effects of default-search.net over your system. Some users simply ignore it, others consider this activity as very annoying, and some get panicked and think that their computer has been invaded by some nasty virus such as a Trojan horse, a Ransomware or another tricky threat. All in all, the browser hijacker’s behavior and the activities it usually initiates do not represent a serious security threat, however, they are not a pleasant thing either, that’s why most people prefer to remove this software from their machine. In case you are looking for some help on that, the guide below contains exact instructions on how to detect and remove default-search.net and all of its traces from your browser. Simply read the information that follows and scroll down to the steps.
What issues may default-search.net relate to?
Browser hijackers are quite different from most known malware such as viruses, Trojan horses, Ransomware or Spyware infections. Normally, security experts don’t see a real threat in pieces of software like default-search.net because their primary purpose is not to cause harm to the users’ computers but to advertise. Having this in mind, you can easily understand why your searches get redirected to various sponsored sites, ads and pop-ups the moment this software gets installed on your system. By exposing you to certain promotional materials, the browser hijacker increases your chances of clicking on some of them, visiting the suggested website and eventually making a purchase, which will benefit the vendors and the advertisers, who stand behind these items. As you can see, your files and your OS cannot be directly harmed by such activity but still, your browsing may get really interrupted. That being said, you may consider uninstalling such software rather than tolerating its constant redirects and intrusive pop-ups. What is more, even if the hijacker is not harmful on its own, your system may still be exposed to some risks from the unknown sites and ads you may land on. After all, you never know how safe the popping messages are, as well as the links that constantly appear on your screen as a result of the ad-generation activity. Therefore, we believe that removing default-search.net is the most reliable way to stop it from bombarding you with sketchy promotional content.
Where is default-search.net mostly distributed and how to prevent it from getting inside your PC?
If you want to ensure that no browser hijackers or some other potentially unwanted programs become part of your system, you should first start with paying more attention when surfing the web. Programs like default-search.net are widely spread all over the web and if you are not attentive when you interact with different web content, you may unknowingly end up with something you don’t want on your PC. Usually, the people who develop browser hijackers and other ad-generating software tend to spread it via attractive ads, emails and attachments, spam messages, social shares, torrents and various misleading links and sketchy web pages. In most of the cases, the ad-generating software is bundled inside the installer of another program, which if downloaded and installed, will automatically install the hijacker as “suggested/recommended” application. You need to manually check such installers (especially free setups, automatic installation managers and free download packages from the web) and carefully read their EULA before you agree to their terms. The best and quickest way to have control over a given software bundle is to use the “Advanced/Custom” options in the wizard and manually to uncheck the check boxes of all the “recommended” but possibly unwanted programs that you may find there.
How to safely uninstall default-search.net?
If you want to get your browser settings back to normal, all you need to do is to remove the browser hijacker and all of its related files from your system. This can be done manually, by using the instructions in the guide below as well as automatically, by scanning your PC with the default-search.net removal tool. If you are feeling confident in detecting the right hijacker files, you can proceed to the steps in the guide. If you have doubts what you need to delete, however, we suggest you not to remove anything because you may delete by mistake some vital system files that can cause an irreparable damage to your OS. Better scan the system with the specialized tool to eliminate the confusion and then delete the right files.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Generation of intrusive ads, pop-ups, banners, frequent search redirects, homepage or search engine modifications.|
|Distribution Method||Attractive ads, software bundles, emails and attachments, spam messages, social shares, torrents and various misleading links and sketchy web pages.|
If you are a Windows user, continue with the guide below.
If you are a Mac user, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.
If you are an Android user, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.
Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.
Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab (the “Details” Tab on Win 8 and 10). Try to determine which processes are dangerous.
Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/online-virus-scanner/
After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders.
Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections.
Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.
You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them.
Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:
Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.
Hold the Start Key and R – copy + paste the following and click OK:
A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:
If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.
Open the start menu and search for Network Connections (On Windows 10 you just write it after clicking the Windows button), press enter.
- Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click Properties.
- The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
- Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.
- After you complete this step, the threat will be gone from your browsers. Finish the next step as well or it may reappear on a system reboot.
Right click on the browser’s shortcut —> Properties.
NOTE: We are showing Google Chrome, but you can do this for Firefox and IE (or Edge).
Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.
Remove default-search.net from Internet Explorer:
Open IE, click —–> Manage Add-ons.
Find the threat —> Disable. Go to —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.
Remove default-search.net from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
Remove default-search.net from Chrome:
Close Chrome. Navigate to:
C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:
Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.
To remove parasite on your own, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. If you were to do this, you need to be extremely careful, because you may damage your system.
If you want to avoid the risk, we recommend downloading SpyHunter - a professional malware removal tool - to see whether it will find malicious programs on your PC.
Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.
Inside, press CTRL and F together and type the threat’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show up this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random
If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!