THREAT REMOVAL

What Is OptimumSearch

The domain search.optimum.icu is used by a potentially undesired program categorized as a browser hijacker. Optimum Search browser hijacker alters main browser settings behind your back and gains access to the installed browsers. So once started on a computer operating system, the hijacker access commonly used web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Opera and Safari, and applies changes to the homepages, new tab pages and default search engines. Security experts advise affected users to locate and remove all files associated with the unwanted appearance of OptimumSearch hijacker. Its search engine is a hoax and is primarily used for unsolicited data collection.

Optimum Search hoax search engine removal guide

In this guide, you will find instructions on how to remove OptimumSearch undesired program from the affected browser and its files from the system.

Threat Summary

NameOptimum Search
TypeBrowser Hijacker, Redirect, PUP
Short DescriptionPretends to be an useful and reliable search engine. Applies modifications to browser homepage, new tab page and default search engine without asking for perission.
Symptoms The homepage, new tab page and search enigne in preferred web browser are set to display the hoax search engine search.optimum.icu
Browser is slowed down by an increased number of online ads.
Distribution MethodFreeware Installations, Bundled Packages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Optimum Search.

Optimum Search Unwanted Program

Optimum Search is a browser hijacker that pushes its hoax search engine in an attempt to harvest data. Yet another purpose of this unwanted program is to generate revenue for its developers. To complete this goal, OptimumSearch’s search engine generates lots of sponsored results while the program delivers lots of additional advertisements on almost all websites you visit.

Optimum Search is considered to be a potentially unwanted program due to the fact that it lands on computer systems without users’ knowledge and permission. Once installed on a computer system, it accesses installed browsers to hijack some of their main settings. Usually, browser hijackers like Optimum Search affect the homepage, start page, new tab page and default search engine of commonly used browsers. Unfortunately, your connection to this search engine is not secure and private. This issue is alerted by Firefox browser as well. Here is a picture of what statement appears in Firefox when search.optimum.icu is loaded:

search.optimum.icu connection is not private

Hijackers like OptimumSearch tend to activate different tracking technologies in browsers they affect. By doing this, the programs become able to spy on entered search queries, as well as on browsing history, clicks on links, IP address, browser type and version, etc. All data records are sent and stored on the hijacker’s remote servers.

On the one hand, the owners of this nasty app use the details to launch specialized advertising campaigns. On the other hand, they can share data records on dark web markets for additional revenue.

It is a common consequence that users whose systems are affected by OptimumSearch start noticing an increased number of ads in all affected browsers. These annoying ads may be troublesome sometimes. Beware some of them may try to force you into visiting sponsored content that is either hosted on a hacked website or endangering your online privacy. The appearance of all these ads may make affected browsers sluggish and even unresponsive as well.

How does OptimumSearch hijack computer systems and browsers?

There are several common techniques that are known to be spreading PUPs like OptimumSearch hijacker on computer systems. Among these techniques are software bundles, malvertising, freeware with corrupted installers, fake software updates, and other. Software bundles and corrupted software installers are preferred by PUP developers. So it is very likely that OptimumSearch hijacker has landed on your system as part of software a bundle. The app that may have delivered it on your computer via its installer may be another bogus freeware like a reader, a rogue FlashPlayer, and even another browser hijacker like Hidemysearches.com

For the sake of your PC security, it’s best to consider the complete removal of OptimumSearch hijacker from the affected browser and system.

How to Remove OptimumSearch Browser Hijacker

In order to remove OptimumSearch browser hijacker along with all associated files, you should complete several removal steps in a precise order. The guide below presents you 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 OptimumSearch 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.

In case you have further questions or need additional help with the removal process, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment.

Removal Guide as a video for Optimum Search hijacker:

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana has a bachelor's degree in Marketing. She has been with the STF team for five years, researching malware, reporting on the latest computer infections, and following digital marketing trends.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove Optimum Search from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Optimum Search

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall Optimum 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. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Optimum Search on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Optimum Search there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for Optimum Search with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of Optimum Search from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Optimum Search and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Optimum Search:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Optimum Search. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Optimum Search. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • 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 Optimum 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:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Optimum Search. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Optimum 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.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase Optimum 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall Optimum 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Optimum 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".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Optimum Search will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate Optimum 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.


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