Search Engine Hijacking-Useful Steps


A short explanation of search engine hijackers: Or in other words -

what’s this annoying thing that took over my browser? 😒 

Browser hijackers are a form of unwanted software that modifies web browser settings without the users’ permission or knowledge

Amongst the many frustrating things browser hijackers cause, the most common are:

  • Replacing your preferred search engine with another
  • Opening new tabs unrequested
  • Injecting explicit ads and popups. 

Besides being annoying, some browser hijackers can also make users’ personal information highly vulnerable; by using keyloggers, the hijackers can gather the users’ personal information, such as account credentials, passwords, billing information, and more.

The most frustrating part about browser hijackers is that it’s usually incredibly complicated for users to revert back to their preferred settings. Updating the default preferences in the browser doesn’t work as the browser hijacker overrides those settings.

But wait, we have some good news! 😇

There are some simple steps you can take to get back to safety, and one of those is installing browser protection. 

How will I know if my browser was hijacked? 

  • When you search, you are automatically redirected to different websites.
  • Numerous popups advertisement notifications appear.
  • The websites load very slowly.
  • Multiple toolbars appear in your browser that you didn’t install.


How can I remove the browser hijacker & go back to my normal settings?

Once installed, Guardio will scan your device for any malware that is sitting on your device. As you browse the web, Guardio will block malicious sites, intrusive push notifications, and disable harmful extensions that can lead to browser hijacks.


How to remove a browser hijacker with Guardio: 

Use Guardio’s Free Cleanup Tool to rid your computer of any browser extensions that may be hijacking your browser. If you aren’t already a Guardio member, you’ll first be prompted to activate a free trial and install the Guardio Chrome extension. Once that’s done (or if you’re already a Guardio member), select “Perform Cleanup,” and that’s it! Guardio will work its magic silently in the background and remove any extensions overriding your browser settings. You’ll then be able to view those on your Personal Dashboard.


For more stubborn browser hijackers:

Guardio removes most browser hijackers that live within your browser, but sometimes a browser hijacker is packaged with a program outside of your browser. These are less common, and removal can be tricky, but don’t worry. We’re right here with you 🤓

Here are some next steps that you should take: 

  1. Remove any browser extension that you don’t need and any that you don’t remember adding. This can be done by typing chrome://extensions into your web browser then choosing “remove” next to any unwanted extensions.
  2. Next, do the same with any programs on your computer. To do this, Windows users should press the Windows key on their keyboard and then type “Uninstall Programs” to see a list of installed programs. Mac users should open their OS X Finder and press Command+Shift+A to jump to the /Applications folder.
  3. Reset your web browser to its default settings and clean your browser’s cache. Ensure that any unwanted search engines are from each of your browsers as well. Here are instructions on how to do this on your Chrome browser. If you use multiple Chrome users, make sure to do this for each user.
  4. As a final step, search online for information specific to the search engine hijacker afflicting your browser, Yahoo Search Virus, for example, to find more information about how others have successfully removed the hijacker.

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