How to remove FastSearch “Virus” from Mac (Oct. 2018 Update)


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

Many web users may mistake FastSearch for some sort of a nefarious computer virus from the ranks of the fearful Ransomware cryptoviruses or the stealthy Trojans Horse infections. However, luckily, if you have detected this piece of software on your PC, there is no need to get panicked. FastSearch is nothing more than an irritating online advertising software tool, which belongs to the browser hijackers family. As a typical representative of this group of software, this application may affect any browser that you may have installed on your system. Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer are some of the most commonly affected browsers since they are also some of the most popular ones. However, other browsing programs may also get hijacked and may have their homepage or search engine replaced with some new ones that get imposed by the browser hijacker. Since FastSearch is programmed to advertise, it may start to flood your screen with tons of sponsored ads, pay-per-click links, banners, pop-ups, and aggressive commercials during each browsing session. You may not be able to remove the nagging ads no matter what you do if you still have the nagging and invasive piece of software operating from within your browser. Every time you open your browser, intrusive pop-ups may start disturbing you and may often redirect you to some third-party pages and offers. We cannot say how reliable the content that such software may generate could be. Sometimes, you may find some good deals for yourself, but in other cases you may even land on some shady websites where security hazards may lurk. That’s why it is generally advisable to be cautious if a browser hijacker like FastSearch operates on your system. The creators of such software may greatly benefit from having it on your computer because every time you click on the sponsored commercials and links that it displays, they earn revenue from your clicks and visits.

FastSearch Removal

Step1

The first thing you need to do is to Quit Safari (if it is opened). If you have trouble closing it normally, you may need to Force Quit Safari:

You can choose the Apple menu and click on Force Quit.

Alternatively you can simultaneously press (the Command key situated next to the space bar), Option (the key right next to it) and Escape (the key located at the upper left corner of your keyboard).

If you have done it right a dialog box titled Force Quit Applications will open up.

In this new dialog window select Safari, then press the Force Quit button, then confirm with Force Quit again.

Close the dialog box/window.

Step2

WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

Start Activity Monitor by opening up Finder, then proceed to activity-monitor

Once there, look at all the processes: if you believe any of them are hijacking your results, or are part of the problem, highlight the process with your mouse, then click the “i” button at the top. This will open up the following box:

chromeinfo

Now click on Sample at the bottom:

chromesample

Do this for all processes you believe are part of the threat, and run any suspicious files in our online virus scanner, then delete the malicious files:

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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


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Step3

The next step is to safely launch Safari again. Press and hold the Shift key while relaunching Safari. This will prevent Safari’s previously opened pages from loading again. Once Safari is opened up, you can release the Shift key.

On the off chance that you are still having trouble with scripts interrupting the closing of unwanted pages in Safari, you may need to take some additional measures.

First, Force Quit Safari again.

Now if you are using a Wi-Fi connection turn it off by selecting Wi-Fi off in you Mac’s Menu. If you are using a cable internet (Ethernet connection), disconnect the Ethernet cable.

Step4

Re-Launch Safari but don’t forget to press and hold the Shift button while doing it, so no previous pages can be opened up. Now, Click on Preferences in the Safari menu,

Preferences in Safari

and then again on the Extensions tab,

extensions in safari

Select and Uninstall any extensions that you don’t recognize by clicking on the Uninstall button. If you are not sure and don’t want to take any risks you can safely uninstall all extensions, none are required for normal system operation.
Step5

The threat has likely infected all of your browsers. The instructions below need to be applied for all browsers you are using.

Again select Preferences in the Safari Menu, but this time click on the Privacy tab,
Privacy in Safari

Now click on Remove All Website Data, confirm with Remove Now. Keep in mind that after you do this all stored website data will be deleted. You will need to sign-in again for all websites that require any form of authentication.

Still in the Preferences menu, hit the General tab

General Tab in Safari

Check if your Homepage is the one you have selected, if not change it to whatever you prefer.
Default Home Page

Select the History menu this time, and click on Clear History. This way you will prevent accidentally opening a problematic web page again.

firefox-512 How to Remove FastSearch From Firefox in OSX:

Open Firefoxclick on mozilla menu (top right) ——-> Add-onsHit Extensions next.

pic 6

The problem should be lurking somewhere around here –  Remove it. Then Refresh Your Firefox Settings.


chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundHow to Remove FastSearch From Chrome in OSX:

 Start Chrome, click chrome menu icon —–>More Tools —–> Extensions. There,  find the malware and  select  chrome-trash-icon.

pic 8

 Click chrome menu icon again, and proceed to Settings —> Search, the fourth tab, select Manage Search Engines.  Delete everything but the search engines you normally use. After that Reset Your Chrome Settings.

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!

It is debatable how beneficial the browser hijacker could be for you and if there’s any actual reason for you to keep it on your PC. In most of the cases, such software apps fail to provide any useful functionality which can compensate for the aggressive ads exposure and the overall intrusiveness that they tend to cause. What is more, sometimes (though not purposefully), a hijacker may even expose you to nasty viruses and malware. For this reason, we would suggest that you consider the uninstallation of FastSearch as a solution to your browsing disturbance. Once the hijacker is removed, you won’t be seeing its nagging ads anymore and the likelihood of getting redirected to something suspicious will greatly decrease.

Can FastSearch cause damage to your PC?

FastSearch is not a virus, therefore, it is very unlikely that it will damage your system in any way. Unlike notorious computer threats such as Ransomware or Trojans, which are specifically created to perform cybercrimes, the purpose of the browser hijacker is simply to advertise and to benefit its creators via paid clicks on its ads. It has no malicious code which can corrupt your data or steal your information. Therefore, the security experts do not regard it as highly dangerous software. However, the hijacker can be seen as potentially unwanted and should still be uninstalled due to the reasons described in the first paragraph. What is more, typically, such software can become part of your system in a bit sneaky way, without actually being wanted. It often can be found inside different spam messages, ad-supported sites, free download links and various application bundles. That’s why, when you are installing some new application on your PC, make sure you carefully check for additionally bundled applications by selecting the Advanced/Custom settings and make the necessary changes according to your preferences.

SUMMARY:

Name FastSearch
Type  Adware/Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms  This program may replace your browser’s homepage or search engine with another one and may spam your screen with ads. 
Distribution Method Often found inside free program bundles, torrents, spam messages and email attachments, ads, free download links. 
Detection Tool We generally recommend SpyHunter or a similar anti-malware program that is updated daily.

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!


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