This page aims to help you remove Discrete Search “Virus”. Our removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.
You have probably heard of the term browser hijackers before, but what does it really mean? The term is most commonly used to describe a certain type of programs that are designed to take control of your Chrome, Firefox or other popular browser and change some of its settings, including the default search engine and homepage. Furthermore, this type of software is also very well known for flooding users’ screen with sponsored messages, ads, redirecting them to new websites and just being overwhelmingly annoying. We’re guessing you’ve landed on this page due to a specific program of this type called Discrete Search “Virus”. If so, then you’re certainly in luck, because here we will provide you with all the necessary details you will need to successfully remove this program from your machine. Below is a detailed removal guide with step by step instructions that will help you do just that. But before you head over to it, read on and find out what hidden dangers Discrete Search “Virus” may be harboring and why exactly it’s important that you keep your system safe from similar software in the future.
What’s the big deal with browser hijackers? Are they dangerous?
One of the first and most common misconceptions most people encounter when dealing with a browser hijacker (especially when for the first time) is that they’ve been infected by some form of virus. This is decidedly not the case and you needn’t worry that you’ll end up having your files destroyed or encrypted, which is often the result of other infections and viruses like ransomware and Trojans. With that said, the genuine purpose of these programs is relatively harmless and serves the interests of the online marketing industry. All the ads, the banners, the popups and various other promotional materials you keep seeing on your screen – these are all paid for and are there with the aim of generating profit for the hijacker developers and those distributing the various products and services that the ads advertise.
Discrete Search “Virus” Removal
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 Discrete Search “Virus” 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 Discrete Search “Virus” from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
Remove Discrete Search “Virus” 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.
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!
Most often the developers profit based on remuneration models like the famous Pay Per Click scheme, which ensures that each and every one of your clicks on those ads generates a small amount of money. Now, up until now everything sounds pretty legit and innocent, right? Well, now let’s get to the more interesting part. In order to squeeze out as much profit as possible from the PPC scheme and such, the developers of programs like Discrete Search “Virus” often resort to various data tracking techniques, in order to optimize the flow of ads. This basically means, that it’s pretty much commonplace for Discrete Search “Virus” and others like it to monitor what you do online. For example, they can keep track of the websites you visit most often and the type of content you like and share on social media. Your latest online search requests are usually also of great importance to the hijacker. And all of this combined provides it with a better idea of the type of ads you will be more likely to interact with.
Obviously, snooping around like this is not a good thing. It’s not completely illegal, however, as technically – you allowed it to happen by installing Discrete Search “Virus” yourself. We can hear your outrage all the way here, but let us explain: the only possible way for this program to have gotten installed on your machine is if you knowingly or unknowingly gave it permission to do so. This most likely happened when you downloaded and installed some other piece of software and rushed the installation process by choosing the Automatic or Default settings. Never do this from now on. The safety of your machine depends on you being very cautious and thorough with the introduction of new programs to your system, so always be sure to customize the setup, so you don’t end up with problems like this.
With that much in mind, there’s another very important thing we would like to add, before you move on to the removal instructions below. Though Discrete Search “Virus” is not a virus and doesn’t aim to harm you or your PC, it would be wise to abstain from any and all interaction with its ads. The reason for this is that they may potentially put you at risk of running into real malware and that is not something you want happening to you.
|Name||Discrete Search “Virus”|
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Mainly given away by the presence of a new homepage and default search engine in your browser.|
|Distribution Method||The primary sources include program bundles, open source download platforms, various freeware and shareware distribution sites.|
Some threats of this type reinstall themselves repeatedly if you don't delete their core files. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to scan for malicious programs. This may save you hours and cut down your time to about 15 minutes.