How to Uninstall Search Awesome “Virus” (Dec.2017 Update)

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware & virus scanner is free. To remove the infection, you'll need to purchase its full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.


This page aims to help you uninstall Search Awesome “Virus”. Our uninstall instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.

If you have recently noticed ads that intrusively pop up in your Chrome, Firefox or Explorer browser and offer you various products, services, and sales, your computer may be hijacked by a browser hijacker called Search Awesome “Virus”. This software basically works as an online advertising tool. This means that its main purpose is to display promotional offers, banners, and daily deals that attract new visitors to certain sponsored sites and make them click on the displayed ads. For this reason, you may often find your web searches being redirected or manipulated, or your homepage or search engine being replaced by some new one, which leads you to the sponsored content. However, the ads generated by Search Awesome “Virus” may often be very aggressive and may interfere with your normal web surfing. That’s why you may want to remove them. If you landed on this page, for this reason, we suggest you use the instructions in the removal guide below. It is important to uninstall this hijacker before it has crossed the border of your patience with its annoying pop-ups. You can also remove it automatically. More about the specifics of this software and the elimination process you will find in the next lines.

Search Awesome “Virus”

Can Search Awesome be dangerous?

Browser hijackers are a group of software, which may often be mistaken for viruses, however, they are usually not capable of causing serious harm to the users’ systems. The most annoying feature of all browser hijacking applications is their ability to redirect users and generate ads permanently. This is not a malicious action but part of an online marketing strategy. You can meet ads from Search Awesome every time you open your browser. The never-ending stream and the common changes in the browser’s homepage or search engine may become quite annoying in a short time.

How to Uninstall Search Awesome “Virus”

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.


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!

We get asked this a lot, so we are putting it here: Removing parasite manually may take hours and damage your system in the process. If you want a fast safe solution, we recommend SpyHunter. 

>> Click to Download Spyhunter. If you don't want this software, continue with the guide below.

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware & virus scanner is free. To remove the infection, you'll need to purchase its full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.

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 Search Awesome 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 Search Awesome from Firefox:

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

pic 6

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

WARNING!
To remove parasite, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. Making a mistake and deleting the wrong thing may damage your system.
Avoid this by using SpyHunter - a professional Parasite removal tool.

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware & virus scanner is free. To remove the infection, you'll need to purchase its full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.

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

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!

A reason for you to generally not keep such software on your PC is the fact that these promotional offers may not always be safe and legitimate. Keep in mind that among the stream of pop-ups and redirects, there may be some potentially infected or misleading ads or web pages. That’s why an encounter with a virus such as a Trojan horse or Ransomware is not excluded, especially if you often click on the suggested pop-ups. So, for your computer and your data to be safe, we generally advise you to stop clicking on random pages, suggested by the hijacker and avoid interacting with any suspicious links. Moreover, this potentially unwanted program may offer you to install additional apps or tools from some unknown developers. It is best to cancel such invitations because you can never be sure about their reliability and reputation. In addition, the constant ad-generating activity may negatively affect the performance of the system by taking up a huge amount of system resources. Therefore, it would be best not to delay the uninstallation process of Search Awesome any longer, especially if you feel that this program is disturbing your normal user experience.

How can Search Awesome get inside of my computer?

You may have installed this potentially unwanted program after logging into a file-sharing site or after installing any free apps. Unfortunately, the legitimate software acts as a cover for this browser hijacker, and other types of potentially unwanted programs. In other words, when you install a careless Skype update, or when you update your Flash Player, you may not notice this software since it usually is bundled inside the setup. Not reading the EULA and using the “Automatic/ Quick” settings during the installation, usually allows you to install such potentially unwanted programs by default. That’s why, if you want to avoid that, the next time you install a new application, you should carefully check all of the extra plug-in windows and unmark any unwanted applications by using the Advanced/ Custom option.

Steps to remove Search Awesome

You basically have two ways to effectively uninstall Search Awesome from your system – manual and automatic. For those of you, who will use the first option, keep in mind that attention and precision are vital in order to be able to detect and remove the potentially unwanted program entirely. You can save time by installing a professional removal tool. It speeds up the elimination process and completely removes Search Awesome. In addition, the application checks other potentially unwanted or dangerous files in the operating system.

For the future, we’d like to advise you to be careful when installing new apps. You are not safe even when downloading applications from trusted sources. That’s why you should always make use of the Advanced/Manual/Custom installation options and carefully choose your installation options in order to prevent potentially unwanted programs or even more serious threats like Trojans and Ransomware from sneaking inside your system.

SUMMARY:

Name Search Awesome
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms A new toolbar or a search engine may appear on your browser without your approval.
Distribution Method Software bundles, shareware sites, freeware platforms, torrents, ads, free download links, spam emails.
Detection Tool We generally recommend SpyHunter or a similar anti-malware program that is updated daily.

Keep in mind, SpyHunter’s malware detection tool is free. To remove the infection, you’ll need to purchase the full version. More information about SpyHunter and steps to uninstall.