This page aims to help you remove Thesearch.net. These Thesearch.net removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.
If you have recently noticed numerous ads in your browser, often placed so you can hardly navigate various webpages, chances are you’ve been infected by one of the latest Browser hijacker versions – Thesearch.net. Those chances increase manifold if you’ve also come to notice a change in your browser’s homepage and default search engine. In this case it’s pretty safe to diagnose your machine with an Browser hijacker infection. There’s no reason to fret, though, as our removal guide below will help you promptly uninstall the annoying program, along with any remaining components. You will thus have removed all the intrusive adverts and will no longer have to deal with unwanted settings in your browser. However, before you move on to the instructions, it’s important you gain some knowledge regarding the issue at hand, so as to avoid future entanglements.
Why is Thesearch.net on my computer?
Probably the most important question. As it is with any program under the Browser hijacker category, they are all distributed with the sole purpose of generating various popups, banners, box messages and other advertising materials. Each of those ads has the potential of making a profit for the developers, based on whether or not they will be clicked. This is the so called Pay per click scheme, which is a pretty well-known online business model. Most programs like Thesearch.net operate based on this strategy and this dictates the bizarrely irritating placement of the ads on many of the websites you visit, as well as their insane quantity. However, there are several other questionable aspects to this business model and the way the software developers aim to squeeze out as much revenue from it as possible. For one, Browser hijacker is notorious for its ability to spy on your browsing activity. It collects information like your search queries, your favorite websites, the webpages you’ve bookmarked and even the occasional personal details you may have entered somewhere, without employing the safety of a secure connection. This data is then processed in order to customize the next wave of the advertising campaign the program will present you with. The ads are specifically selected and modified so as to suit the separate user’s unique taste and current interests. For example, if you have been lately searching for online piano lessons or deals on your favorite shoe brand, you will soon after start seeing ads featuring just those things. Though this might sound convenient at first, quite a large portion of the online community finds this behavior disturbing and sees it as a privacy violation.
Viruses and other risks regarding Thesearch.net “Malware”
With the above in mind, it’s logical to suspect that Thesearch.net might be some form of virus or malware. It’s not. We would like to emphasize on this – Thesearch.net “Malware” is not in fact malware nor it is a virus. In fact, it’s hardly even comparable due to the lack of characteristic traits that are specific to malware. Browser hijacker doesn’t have the capacity to format your drives, thus destroying the valuable information on them; it cannot self-replicate, it cannot blackmails you and it can’t access sensitive information such as your banking credentials, etc. These are all attributes of far worse online threats, such as Trojans and Ransomware. Nonetheless, there is a small chance of contracting one of these viruses through Browser hijacker. The ads we mentioned earlier, which are so desperately adjusted to attract those much-needed clicks, can often display things that don’t answer to the actual page you’ll be redirected to, once you click on the banner or popup of interest. Sometimes, the showcased images and slogans will simply be misleading, but will still lead you to a legitimate site. In other, rare cases, you could end up being sent to a dangerous and malicious website. It’s places like those that are usually flooded with various harmful programs that could exploit certain vulnerabilities in your system at any given moment and infect it, often without your knowledge.
Though such a series of events is of course rather unusual, it might still add more fuel to your desire of getting rid of Thesearch.net. To avoid future infections with programs of this kind, be aware of program bundles, which is among the most common distribution techniques. Always opt for the custom or advanced installation options of any new program you download, especially if it is some form of shareware/freeware and came from a files sharing site. In addition, be cautious with incoming emails and beware of spam emails, as they, too, may contain Browser hijacker.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Large quantities of online advertising materials distributed throughout your screen; possible correlation between featured ads and recent search queries.|
|Distribution Method||Most commonly distributed within program bundles along with shareware or freeware, typically downloaded from files sharing sites.|
|Detection Tool||Thesearch.net may be difficult to track down. Use SpyHunter – a professional parasite scanner – to make sure you find all files related to the infection.|
Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).
This was the first preparation.
- Do not skip this – Thesearch.net may have hidden some of its files.
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.
- Remember this step – if you have reason to believe a bigger threat (like ransomware) is on your PC, check everything here.
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.
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 Thesearch.net 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 Thesearch.net from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Find the Browser hijacker/malware —> Remove.
Remove Thesearch.net 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.
- At this point the threat is gone from Chrome, but complete the entire guide or it may reappear on a system reboot.
Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC simultaneously. Go to the Processes Tab. Try to determine which ones are dangerous. Google them or ask us in the comments.
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Right click on each of the problematic processes separately and select Open File Location. End the process after you open the folder, then delete the directories you were sent to.
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 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
Remember to leave us a comment if you run into any trouble!