Cactus Search Hijacker
Cactus Search browser hijacker is a potentially undesired program that forces people to use the deceptive services of a bogus search engine. Usually, PUPs like Cactus Search obtain access to computer systems without users’ knowledge. Once such an app obtains access to a system, it receives the chance to alter main browser settings. Affected by this browser hijacker may be the start page, new tab page, and default search engine.
Another side effect of having an active PUP on your PC is the unnoticed activation of tracking technologies. Tracking technologies may collect specific data related to your device and online behavior. The collected data, in turn, may be misused for the launch of intrusive advertising campaigns that flood the affected browsers with lots of ads. This issue gives hijacker’s owners the chance to gain revenue every time you click on an ad generated by their bogus software.
We should warn you that sponsored content generated by hijackers like Cactus Search may trick you to visit sites that host online scams or other rogue applications. Beware and proceed to a removal process that will help you stay safe online.
Cactus Search Summary
|Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, PUP|
|Short Description||A questionable search enigne site that hijacks browser homepage, new tab page and default search engine. All changes happen without your knowledge.|
|Symptoms|| The homepage, new tab page and search enigne in preferred web browser are set to display the hoax search engine Cactus Search.
Browser is slowed down by an increased number of online ads.
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
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Cactus Search – Distribution and Impact
Cactus Search is yet another potentially unwanted program that pushes a suspicious unreliable search engine. The site related to this software hijacks the homepage, new tab page, and default search engine. This potentially unwanted program is categorized as a browser hijacker due to the impact it causes on systems it affects.
The simple design of this bogus search engine should not mislead you that its services are secure and reliable. Browser hijackers are apps developed to generate revenue for their owners. They do not provide a guarantee for your online security. Hence, you could happen to see an ad that links to a poorly secured site or a hacked one.
In addition, some tracking technologies such as cookies may be added to collect specific data. Harvested data helps Cactus Search’s owners to configure advertising campaigns in accordance with your interests and demographics.
Another thing to consider about the Cactus Search hijacker is its searching services. Cactus Search is one of those nasty persistent apps that cause browser redirect loops that endanger the overall system security. In some cases browser hijackers are misused for the spread of the so-called Yahoo Redirect virus as well.
For the sake of your PC security, it’s best to consider the complete removal of Cactus Search from the affected browser and system.
How to Remove Cactus Search Hijacker
In order to remove the Cactus Search browser hijacker along with all associated files, you should complete several removal steps in precise order. The guide below presents you with a manual and automatic removal approach. In order to fully get rid of files installed by undesired programs and strengthen PC security, we recommend that you combine the steps. The manual Cactus Search removal might be quite a complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. If you don’t feel comfortable with the manual steps, navigate to the automatic part of the guide.
- Guide 1: How to Remove Cactus Search from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of Cactus Search on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Cactus Search in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase Cactus Search from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall Cactus Search from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove Cactus Search from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate Cactus Search from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable Cactus Search Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
How to Remove Cactus Search from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Cactus Search
Step 2: Uninstall Cactus Search and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Cactus Search on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Cactus Search there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of Cactus Search from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Cactus Search and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove Cactus Search via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove Cactus Search files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Cactus Search, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove Cactus Search from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase Cactus Search from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall Cactus Search from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove Cactus Search from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Cactus Search will be removed.
Eliminate Cactus Search from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.
Remove Push Notifications caused by Cactus Search from Your Browsers.
Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome
To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.
Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:
Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:
Step 4: Open “Notifications”:
Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:
Remove Push Notifications on Firefox
Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.
Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":
Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”
Stop Push Notifications on Opera
Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings
Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.
Step 3: Open Notifications:
Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):
Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari
Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.
Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".