Browser Redirect

Remove Defendsearch.com “Malware” from Win/Mac (Safari/Chrome/FF/IE) Feb. 2019 Update


How irritating is this problem? (10 votes, average: 5.00)
Loading...

This page aims to help you remove Defendsearch.com. Our removal instructions work for Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows and Mac OSX.

If you are struggling to overcome and deal with the intrusive advertisements and page-redirects that your browsing program is getting spammed with each and every time you try to open the browser, then you should read the information that this article can offer you as here you will learn about an application named Defendsearch.com that is likely the main cause behind the ad-related issue you are currently struggling with. Defendsearch.com is a piece of software that most cyber security specialists would categorize as a browser hijacker. Browser hijackers are software components that normally cannot operate on their own and instead need to get attached to a given browser – the browser could be Chrome, IE, Edge, Firefox, Safari or some other one, it doesn’t really matter. Upon their installation in the targeted browser, the hijackers would likely replace the homepage address, the default search engine tool and maybe some of the toolbar’s buttons (or maybe the whole toolbar).

Defendsearch.com

These changes may be promoted by the hijacker’s developers as useful modifications made to your browser that would make your web-surfing experience safer and better optimized. However, most users who have encountered a hijacker like Defendsearch.com and have had their browsers’ settings modified in such a way report that the changes are rather unpleasant and do not improve the functionality of the browser in any way. Also, in most cases where a hijacker has gotten installed inside a given browser, the changes that it is likely to make to the said browser can’t be overridden unless the annoying app gets removed. The same applies to the ads, the banners and the pesky page-redirects that apps like Defendsearch.com are likely to spam you with – the only surefire way of stopping them is uninstalling the hijacker that’s causing them. To help you with the successful removal and uninstallation of Defendsearch.com, we have prepared a guide with detailed manual instructions that we advise you to follow.

Remove Defendsearch.com “Malware”

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

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).

Was this step helpful? Please vote – we use the feedback to improve our guides.
 
Yes
No

Step2

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. 

malware-start-taskbar

Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

Drag and Drop Files Here to Scan
Maximum file size: 128MB.

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/




Scan Results


Virus Scanner Result
ClamAV
AVG AV
Maldet


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. 

Step3

Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.

appwiz

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:

msconfig_opt

Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.

Step4

Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

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

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:

hosts_opt (1)

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.

  1. Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click  Properties.
  2. The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
  3. Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.

DNS

Step5

  • 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).

browser-hijacker-taskbar-properties

Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.

ie9-10_512x512  Remove Defendsearch.com from Internet Explorer:

Open IE, click  IE GEAR —–> Manage Add-ons.

pic 3

Find the threat —> Disable. Go to IE GEAR —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.

firefox-512 Remove Defendsearch.com from Firefox:

Open Firefoxclick  mozilla menu  ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.

pic 6

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Defendsearch.com from Chrome:

Close Chrome. Navigate to:

 C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:

Rename the Folder to Backup Default

Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.

Step6

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

Some potential risks related to Defendsearch.com

Defendsearch.com, unlike what many of you may think, is not actually a malicious malware program. Sure, at first you may think that your computer has been attacked by an insidious Trojan Horse virus or may be a Ransomware infection but the truth is that the representatives of the hijacker family typically posses no malicious abilities since their purpose isn’t normally linked to any criminal agendas and harmful and illegal schemes.

However, we still need to warn all of you that the presence of a hijacker like Defendsearch.com inside your computer should still be regarded as a potential security risk and the main reason for that is the nature of the various ads, pop-ups, redirects pop-unders and other advertising materials that apps like this one are able to spam you with. While a lot of those advertisements are going to be legit, some of them may land you one questionable pages and sites. In the worst case scenario, your machine may even get targeted by scary malware programs the likes of Ransomware, Rootkits, Spyware, Trojans and many more. Due to this and in spite of the otherwise harmless nature of most hijackers, it is still important that you get rid of any such apps that may currently be residing inside your computer.

SUMMARY:

Name Defendsearch.com
Type  Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms  If you see that there are ads constantly getting spammed inside your browser and that the browser’s search engine and/or homepage and new-tab page addresses have been changed, know that you likely have a hijacker inside your system.
Distribution Method The typical ways of distributing such apps are through adding them to other program’s installers as bonus components.
Detection Tool

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!


Leave a Comment