SearchSpace is a rogue ad-displaying Windows app that can be described as a browser hijacker extension for Firefox, Chrome, and Edge. SearchSpace will spam various ads (e.g. banners, popups, etc.) in the browser, change the default homepage without permission, and suddenly open new tabs and/or trigger obstructive page redirects.
Other possible symptoms caused by this unpleasant software are the replacement of the search engine that the browser uses by default in its Omnibox and the addition of new buttons to the toolbar. All of these changes and unpleasant actions that the SearchSpace hijacker is likely to result in if it gets installed in your browser are usually aimed at advertising something – it could be a software product, an online service, and, most commonly, a website (or websites).
Most apps of the browser hijacker family are basically advertising tools optimized for generating as much marketing revenue as possible through the implementation of the Pay-Per-View and Pay-Per-Click remuneration methods. However, aside from advertising things in a variety of ways and causing obstruction within one’s browser, there’s little else that these apps can do. They rarely offer the user any helpful functions and there’s typically nothing they could do to compensate for the disruption caused by their advertising actions. This is why, for the most part, apps from the browser hijacker family are labeled as unwanted apps and why most experts advise users who have them on their computers to uninstall them. Of course, there are exceptions where a given browser attachment does indeed offer useful features but needs to display ads in order to financially sustain its creators. However, those are more of an exception to the rule and, according to most users and experts, SearchSpace is not among those exceptions.
The SearchSpace Virus
While browser hijackers such as this one certainly do seem to possess characteristics typical for viruses and dangerous malware, the apps like SearchSpace themselves are not all that dangerous. If you are worried that your computer may have been infected by some dangerous virus from the ranks of Trojan horses or Ransomware, know that this is not the case with SearchSpace or any other similar browser hijacker.
As we pointed out above, the main purpose of most such applications is to advertise stuff and make money that way. Of course, this could be really irritating to the user, but it will rarely cause any actual harm to the computer where the hijacker is installed. There, however, is one very important thing to consider here and it is the main reason you should remove the unwanted app even if its ads don’t bother you too much. Even though SearchSpace isn’t inherently harmful, the content it may sometimes promote may not always be as safe as it seems. It is no secret that many sketchy sites and obscure web locations tend to employ the advertising services of browser hijackers in order to reach more users. Unfortunately, it’s even possible that sites that spread Trojans, Spyware, Ransomware, or other virus threats could also get indirectly promoted by hijackers so, because of this, it’s best to not allow such an advertising app to operate inside your browser.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||The main symptoms almost all hijackers cause are changes in the browser homepage and sudden page redirects to promoted sites.|
|Distribution Method||A common distribution method is when the hijacker is added to another app or program and is disguised as a helpful bonus feature.|
Some threats reinstall themselves if you don't delete their core files. We recommend downloading SpyHunter to remove harmful programs for you. This may save you hours and ensure you don't harm your system by deleting the wrong files.
How to remove SearchSpace
To try and remove SearchSpace 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 SearchSpace extension (as well as any other unfamiliar ones).
- Remove SearchSpace by clicking on the Trash Bin icon next to its name.
- Confirm and get rid of SearchSpace and any other suspicious items.
If this does not work as described please follow our more detailed SearchSpace 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:
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 SearchSpace 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 SearchSpace from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
Remove SearchSpace 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!