Remove SearchScopes “Malware” (Oct. 2018 Update)


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

SearchScopes is no virus, it is not some nasty Trojan Horse that can ruin your computer system and it is not some Ransomware that can encrypt your files and ask you to pay a ransom for their release. However, what SearchScopes “Malware” is, is a browser hijacker and while this isn’t something that should get you panicked in case you have this software component on your PC, it’s still important to know the main traits and characteristics of this potentially unwanted app. The reason why SearchScopes (as well as most other hijackers) are seen a unwanted has to do with their ability to get added to any browser (Chrome, Opera, IE, Edge, Firefox, Vivaldi, etc.) and then introduce unwanted changes to the browser such as homepage, search engine and new-tab page replacement. In addition, there would usually be frequent page redirects and ads generation conducted by a hijacker app like this one. All of this is, of course, done with the purpose of promoting something. The object of promotion and advertisement could be anything – sites, web stores, software or physical products, online services, Internet games, etc. Now, the advertisement campaigns conducted by hijackers, although quite aggressive in most of the cases, aren’t typically harmful to your PC. Sure, your machine might get slowed-down due to the ceaseless generation of advertising contents and redirects to random sponsored pages but this won’t really harm your machine in any way.

Why you should get rid of the browser hijacker

As we already said, SearchScopes “Malware” isn’t a Trojan, a Ransomware or some other form of computer virus. However, it’s still best if you remove this unpleasant hijacker if it’s in your system right now. The more obvious reason is the sheer irritation that would likely come from it. You surely don’t want to be constantly getting subjected to all kinds of web advertising activities each time you try to use your browsing program.

Remove SearchScopes “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).

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 SearchScopes 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 SearchScopes from Firefox:

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

pic 6

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove SearchScopes 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

However, this isn’t actually the only problem you could encounter if a hijacker like SearchScopes is in your system. The greater issue actually comes from the nature of the ads displayed by such apps and their unverified reliability. You see, a hijacker’s developer doesn’t really care what ads come to your screen as long as you interact with them. This means you could easily get displayed sketchy and unreliable advertising content and, as you probably know, a lot of online criminals and hackers tend to use such promotional web content for their criminal activities (mainly, for distributing the malware they’ve created). So, it’s actually really easy and likely to land on some unsafe ads that could actually redirect you to hazardous web locations should you interact with the said ads. Of course, the fact that you have SearchScopes on your machine doesn’t automatically mean that your machine will get immediately targeted by hackers that want to infect it with malware. However, the risk is still there which is why it’s best if you take care of the hijacker issue on time, before it has turned into something worse.

Hijacker distribution and removal

Similarly to most other forms of undesirable software, browser hijackers tend to get distributed through sneaky distribution methods like spam messages, malvertising, social network spam, unreliable downloadable content, shady streaming sites and so on. Some hijackers even have their official sites where they are promoted as useful and helpful tools for the user’s browser (which, of course, is hardly ever the case in reality). File bundles are also frequently used to distribute unpleasant apps like SearchScopes. For instance, you could land a hijacker by installing some other program that has had the pesky software component added to its installer as a bonus feature. The good news is you could prevent that from happening in the future by simply unchecking the checkmarks next to any bundled components that you might not want to have on your PC.

As far as the removal of SearchScopes is concerned,we are confident you could handle this yourself as long as you follow the instructions presented in our removal guide manual on this page. Still, if you feel like the steps in the guide are too advanced and you don’t feel confident going through them on your own, know that you could instead use the suggested removal software available in the guide and uninstall the pesky hijacker with its help. Needless to say, you could combine both of the removal methods and that way really make sure there’s no undesirable and unwanted data related to the intrusive hijacker left on your computer.

SUMMARY:

Name SearchScopes
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms  Most hijackers reveal themselves by making changes to the user’s browser and filling it with nagging ads.
Distribution Method Spam, malvertising and software bundles are the three main methods for hijacker distribution.
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!


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