Searchawesome “Virus” Uninstall ( Sept. 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 Searchawesome “virus” . Our uninstall instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.

In this article we will discuss a special type of programs known as “browser hijackers”, and a typical representative of theirs called Searchawesome “virus”. If you have this particular program on your computer and it is causing you certain disturbance, we suggest you not to overreact before you carefully familiarize yourself with its specifics. A browser hijacker is generally software that can bother you by placing some changes in your default browser’s settings. As soon as it gets inside your computer, Searchawesome “virus” may integrate with your Chrome, Firefox, Explorer and any other popular browser application. What is more, it can place a new search engine or homepage, install a new toolbar in your menu and start to redirect your web searches to many unknown websites. As a result, you may be exposed to a never-ending flow of new tabs, ads, banners, pop-ups, offers and different blinking notifications that prompt you to click on them, visit their website or purchase something. You will read more about the potential effects of this activity in the paragraphs that follow, and in case you want to remove the annoying changes, we suggest you use the instructions in the removal guide below and carefully uninstall Searchawesome “virus” from your system. 

Searchawesome “Virus”

Browser hijackers are not viruses, yet they can be very irritating!

What one should know when they are facing a browser hijacker like Searchawesome “virus” is that this software has never been described as malicious and does not represent a serious virus threat to their system. In fact, this software is used generally as an advertising tool and cannot corrupt or destroy your files or your OS the way that a real Trojan horse, Ransomware or some other malware would do. However, such statements need more specific evidence to support them. That’s why, below, we will list the differences between Searchawesome, for example, and serious viruses like Trojans or Ransomware. This comparison can hopefully give you a good idea about the danger level of these two categories of malware and help you understand why you should remove them. 

Searchawesome “Virus” Uninstall

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 Searchawesome 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  Searchawesome from Firefox:

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

pic 6

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

Browser hijackers vs malware – the differences:

Usually, the ways in which viruses are typically installed on your device are significantly different from how hijackers do this. How does Searchawesome spread on the web? Typically, many users may get the browser hijacker installed on their system through the incorrect installation of a software package (aka software bundle). This is usually a set, full of free programs, that is widely available on the Internet in different free download platforms, free download links, automatic installers, spam messages, and emails. Still, unlike the real viruses that can infect your system in a stealthy way without your consent, the hijackers need your permission to get installed on your PC. To prevent them from becoming part of your system, you only need to carefully customize the software bundles, they are packed in and disable them from the installation wizard. The right settings that you have to select for that are usually labeled as Advanced/Manual/Custom and when you click on them, a detailed menu will open, where you can unselect all the potentially unwanted programs, such as Searchawesome. Note that they may be labeled as “recommended downloads” or “additional elements” which is a marketing trick of their developers.

The ways that viruses and hijackers typically affect your device is another significant difference. For instance, what you should expect from a program like Searchawesome is for it to slow down your computer’s performance by generating too many pop-ups, or by allowing too intense redirection of your searches. These are probably the most irritating and suspicious activities that we can relate to this type of software, but still, they cannot result in any major harm for your data and your system. A Trojan horse or Ransomware cryptovirus, on the other hand, can definitely cause severe damage to your computer and harm you personally in a number of ways. Such threats not only can but, in fact, are programmed to steal private data from your PC (such as bank data or account data) or encrypt all of your files and keep them locked until you pay a ransom.

Last, but not least, a very major difference is the legal status of these two software categories. The viruses are definitely illegal and they are mainly used to help their criminal developers cause some types of cyber crime. Programs like Searchawesome, on the other hand, are seen as potentially unwanted, but still a legal type of software. The developers of browser hijacking programs are not criminals and their software is basically advertising-oriented. Despite that, it can cause some browsing disturbance and irritation to some users, which may want to uninstall it.

SUMMARY:

Name Searchawesome
Type  Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms  Intrusive generation of ads and pop-ups, changes in your homepage or search engine, installation of new toolbars. 
Distribution Method This software can be found mostly in software bundles, torrents, automatic installers, emails messages, spam, ads, free download links and shareware sites. 
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.