OptimumSearch is a browser hijacker that can disturb your web browsing by modifying your browser’s settings without asking for approval. Most users complain that OptimumSearch can change their preferred search engine and set a new homepage address that redirects to unfamiliar websites.
Usually, what you can expect from a browser hijacker like this one is to spam the web pages that you visit with pop-up ads, colorful banners, and notifications that aggressively prompt you to click on them. As soon as you interact with any of the ads that OptimumSearch displays, you typically will get redirected to specific sites that promote some products, services, or software. The most annoying thing is that no matter how hard you may try to avoid the nagging ads, you won’t be able to remove them from your screen.
The OptimumSearch Virus
OptimumSearch is typically distributed in free software packages and becomes part of the system when the users perform automatic or default installation of the entire bundle. The browsers that typically get hijacked by the OptimumSearch virus are the most commonly used ones (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, etc.) but the good news is that, in this article, you will find a removal guide which explains how to remove the annoying program all of them.
No ad-blocker will prove effective in limiting the never-ending ads streaming that OptimumSearch generates. On top of that, the newly set search engine and the imposed homepage will ensure that every time you open your browser, you will automatically be rerouted to sponsored search results.
Users who are faced with a browser hijacker for the first time typically confuse it for a virus due to its behavior. The fact that the changes that this software imposes cannot be removed or uninstalled like most other browser add-ons also adds up to the confusion and the frustration and raises questions about the nature of this software and its purpose. Fortunately, there is no place for concerns because the representatives of the browser hijacker category of software aren’t related to any particularly harmful activities. They simply operate as online advertising tools and are not expected to cause damage to the system they operate on unlike popular computer threats such as Trojans, Ransomware, Spyware, and viruses.
Most of the time, however, the users can’t explain how they have ended up with a program like OptimumSearch on their computer. This is because the browser hijackers are often distributed and installed on the system not on their own but as additional components to other software installers. They are bundled in the main setup package and when the users run it without customizing its settings, they allow the hijacker to integrate.
That’s one explanation why many people continue to see browser hijackers as potentially unwanted programs and seek for ways to uninstall them. Besides, such apps can redirect users to sketchy web locations where real threats (for example Trojans, Spyware, Ransomware, and other viruses) can hide. That’s why, even though they certainly are not harmful, treating their content with caution is strongly recommended.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Most commonly the users may detect modifications in their browser’s search engine and homepage settings and unstoppable ads on their screen.|
|Distribution Method||Spam messages, torrents, free download sites, and program bundles are common distribution methods for such programs.|
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How to Remove OptimumSearch
To try and remove OptimumSearch quickly you can try this:
- Go to your browser’s settings and select More Tools (or Add-ons, depending on your browser).
- Then click on the Extensions tab.
- Look for the OptimumSearch extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
- Remove OptimumSearch by clicking on the Thrash Bin icon next to its name.
- Confirm and get rid of OptimumSearch and any other suspicious items.
If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed OptimumSearch 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
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 OptimumSearch 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 OptimumSearch from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
Remove OptimumSearch 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!