Searchgoose Virus

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Searchgoose

Searchgoose is an app belonging to the junkware category known as browser hijackers. Browser hijackers like Searchgoose get installed in the browser and fill its tabs and pages with various forms of ads. 

Searchgoose
The Searchgoose.com virus uses said elements to redirect your searches

Searchgoose might even redirect you to questionable sites and promote sham software. Searchgoose is an application intended to use your screen as advertising space by infiltrating your browser and installing ad-generating and page-redirecting elements in it. Searchgoose uses said elements to redirect your searches, show ads in your browser, and artificially create traffic for certain sites. Though much of its activity may resemble that of a virus, the goal of what a hijacker does is different from that of most viruses and malware programs. This isn’t a Ransomware that will make you unable to open your files or a Trojan that will turn your computer into a BitCoin-mining bot. Regardless, there are more than enough problems with the presence of a hijacker in the computer to make most users want to uninstall such apps. 

Searchgoose is a hijacker for popular browsing programs that may expose the user to online hazards via showing misleading ads on his or her screen. Searchgoose will also directly reroute the user’s traffic to ad-heavy sites, some of which may not be safe. This alone should be enough of a reason to uninstall this app from any computer and browser. The chances of encountering threats like Spyware, Ransomware, Worms, and Trojans go up if you have such ad-generating software in the computer. However, that’s not the only issue with this sort of apps.

Searchgoose is a junkware application that could look through your browser history and collect data related to your habits while surfing the Internet. Searchgoose will use such data to customize the ads it shows you but it may also sell it to undisclosed third-parties.

If the ads created by Searchgoose are overwhelming you, the notion that some obscure app has access to your browsing history is disturbing you, and the automatic page-redirect make it difficult for you to reach the sites you are actually interested in, the way to solve all this is to uninstall the invasive browser hijacker. However, as some of you have probably already realized, removing an app such as this one may turn out to be more difficult than uninstalling any other regular software. Even though the browser hijacker representatives are technically not viruses, they are oftentimes quite tricky to remove, which is a trait typical for most forms of malware. Nevertheless, uninstalling this app is the only truly effective way to stop its ads, remove the new homepage it has imposed on your browser and bring back your preferred search engine as the browser’s default. Regardless of what browser you are using (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and so on), the hijacker would probably not give you the option to remove it from the affected browser. There aren’t uninstallation wizards for apps like Searchgoose and also they typically don’t appear in the Uninstall a Program list in the Control Panel on Windows computers. Also, you may not even see the unwanted app in the add-ons manager in the browser so you will probably not have the option to uninstall it from there. And in the rare cases where you may find a straightforward way to uninstall the browser hijacker, the unwanted app would most likely return to your browser the next time you go online or after you restart your computer. This is because, aside from tinkering with the settings of the browsers, most hijackers also introduce some changes in the OS and add some new entries to the system’s settings, which allows them to re-install themselves even after the user seemingly removes them.

So, how could one remove a hijacker?

There are two main paths you can follow to remove an app like Searchgoose from your browser. The first one is to do it manually, but you will have to be really careful so as not to delete any system file or Registry keys from your OS. Our guide below shows how one can get rid of Searchgoose manually. The second option is to use a specialized removal program. We have linked one such tool in the guide and we advise those of you who aren’t sure they can handle the manual steps use that tool to remove Searchgoose – it is a reliable anti-malware program tested against such unwanted software and it will allow you to clean your browser in no time. 

SUMMARY:

NameSearchgoose
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger LevelMedium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms The symptoms of a hijacker usually include changes in the search engine, the toolbar, or the homepage of the main browser.
Distribution MethodThe hijackers are bundled with other software and distributed under the guise of helpful bonus apps.
Detection Tool

anti-malware offerOFFER *Read more details in the first ad on this page, EULA, Privacy Policy, and full terms for Free Remover.

Remove Searchgoose

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:

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    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.

    Browser Hijacker Removal Instructions

    ie9-10_512x512  Remove Searchgoose 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 Searchgoose from Firefox:

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

    pic 6


    chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Searchgoose 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

    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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    About the author

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    Brandon Skies

    Brandon is a researcher and content creator in the fields of cyber-security and virtual privacy. Years of experience enable him to provide readers with important information and adequate solutions for the latest software and malware problems.

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