Ad-supported and browser-hijacking software may not be malicious but it definitely can lead to serious consequences, if not removed on time. The more you postpone taking measures, the more vulnerable your system becomes to various forms of malware and spyware. Also, keep in mind that adware and browser hijackers often come bundled, which makes their removal even more challenging.
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The two GsearchFinder browser hijackers (HoboSearch and YesSearches) add an extra Firefox profile.
Unwanted advertisements, unusual browser behavior, extra Firefox profile.
Researchers at Malwarebytes recently found out that two GsearchFinder browser hijackers, YesSearches and HoboSearch, add an extra Firefox profile on the compromised system. Continue reading, as we’re about to tell you how to fix the issue.
YesSearches Technical Resume
When YesSearches is installed on your computer, several unwanted changes may occur. The browser hijacker may change DNS settings, browser settings, including the homepage, new tab page and default search engine of all browsers. Affected browsers are Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
Keep in mind that YesSearches uses a secondary technique, a standalone process called “ShortcutBoost.exe”. That process rearranges the launch options of the Desktop and Quick Launch items of all browsers, so they all project “Yes Searches” upon initiating any browser. The homepage of all browsers is changed to “YesSearches.com”.
As reported by Enigma Software researchers, Hobosearch(.) com is likely promoted as a customized search engine for users in Asia. However, it’s only available in English and is in fact a crooked version of Google, created to display third party advertisements that may not be safe to interact with.
Keep in mind that Hobosearch may appear in your Plug-ins Manager with the name HohoSearch Enhancer and HohoSearch Toolbar.
The browser hijackers also add a scheduled task, which means that various (unwanted and intrusive) advertisements will be displayed at set intervals. Researchers have observed the scheduled task be triggered every two hours. Here we get to the novel activity performed by YesSearches and HoboSearch – the creation of an extra Firefox profile.
This may sound as something difficult to deal with, but in fact fixing it is not that hard at all. Instead of altering your default browser profile, the browser hijackers create a new, pre-hijacked one.
How to Remove the Extra Firefox Profile Created by YesSearches and HoboSearch?
First, make sure to close all Firefox processes;
Then, simultaneously click Windows key + R to open the Runbox;
Write the command Firefox –P to open the Firefox profile manager;
Select the Firefox Default profile (not the “default” one) and select Delete Profile;
When asked if you want to delete the fake profile, click Delete Files;
Select Use the selected profile without asking at startup;
Keep in mind, that in case more than one profile is in the list, you should choose the one you want to use. Nonetheless, only the default profile should be left and selected automatically.
Click the Start Firefox button.
After you’re done with removing the extra Firefox profile, you should definitely consider scanning your system via an anti-malware program. If you’re experiencing other “classical” issues with YesSearches or HoboSearch, consider following the removal manual below.
Delete GsearchFinder from Windows and Your Browser
1.Remove or Uninstall GsearchFinder in Windows
Remove or Uninstall GsearchFinder in Windows.
Step 1: Remove/Uninstall GsearchFinder in Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps to remove that program.No matter if you are using Windows 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 get left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, mistakes 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:
Hold the Windows Logo Button and “R” on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear (fig.1).
In the field type in “appwiz.cpl” and press ENTER (fig.2).
This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC.
Select the program that you want to remove, and press “Uninstall” (fig.3).
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall GsearchFinder.
2.Remove GsearchFinder from Your Browser
Remove GsearchFinder from Your Browser.
Remove a toolbar from Mozilla FirefoxRemove a toolbar from Google Chrome Remove a toolbar from Internet Explorer Remove a toolbar from Safari
Start Mozilla Firefox Open the menu window
Select the “Add-ons” icon from the menu
Select GsearchFinder and click “Remove“
After GsearchFinder is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.
Start Google Chrome and Open the drop menu
Move the cursor over “Tools” and then from the extended menu choose “Extensions“
From the opened “Extensions” menu locate GsearchFinder and click on the garbage bin icon on the right of it.
After GsearchFinder is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.
Start Internet Explorer:
Click “‘Tools’ to open the drop menu and select ‘Manage Add-ons’
In the ‘Manage Add-ons’ window, make sure that in the first window ‘Add-on Types’, the drop menu ‘Show’ is on ‘All add-ons’
Select GsearchFinder to remove, and then click ‘Disable’. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected toolbar, and some additional toolbars might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click ‘Disable’.
After GsearchFinder has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red ‘X’ in the top right corner and start it again.
Open the drop menu by clicking on the sprocket icon in the top right corner.
From the drop menu select ‘Preferences’
In the new window select ‘Extensions’
Click once on GsearchFinder
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall GsearchFinder. Select ‘Uninstall’ again, and the GsearchFinder will be removed.
Remove GsearchFinder automatically by downloading an advanced anti-malware program.
1. Remove GsearchFinder with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
Remove GsearchFinder with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
1. Install SpyHunter to scan for and remove GsearchFinder.2. Scan with SpyHunter to Detect and Remove GsearchFinder.
Step 1:Click here to go to SpyHunter’s download instruction page. Step 2: Guide yourself by the download instructions provided for each browser. Step 3: After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to automatically update.
Step1: After the update process has finished, click on the ‘Scan Computer Now’ button. Step2: After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any GsearchFinder files, click on the ‘Fix Threats’ button to remove them automatically and permanently. Step3: Once the intrusions on your PC have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart it.
2. Back up your data to secure it against attacks related to GsearchFinder in the future
Back up your data to secure it against attacks in the future
IMPORTANT! Before reading the Windows backup instructions, we highly recommend to back up your data automatically with cloud backup and insure it against any type of data loss on your device, even the most severe. We recommend reading more about and downloading SOS Online Backup.
1. For Windows 7 and earlier 1. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 1. Enabling the Windows Defense Feature (Previous Versions)
1-Click on Windows Start Menu
2-Type Backup And Restore
3-Open it and click on Set Up Backup
4-A window will appear asking you where to set up backup. You should have a flash drive or an external hard drive. Mark it by clicking on it with your mouse then click on Next.
5-On the next window, the system will ask you what do you want to backup. Choose the ‘Let Me Choose’ option and then click on Next.
6-Click on ‘Save settings and run backup’ on the next window in order to protect your files from possible attacks by GsearchFinder.
1-Press Windows button + R
2-In the window type ‘filehistory’ and press Enter
3-A File History window will appear. Click on ‘Configure file history settings’
4-The configuration menu for File History will appear. Click on ‘Turn On’. After its on, click on Select Drive in order to select the backup drive. It is recommended to choose an external HDD, SSD or a USB stick whose memory capacity is corresponding to the size of the files you want to backup.
5-Select the drive then click on ‘Ok’ in order to set up file backup and protect yourself from GsearchFinder.
1- Press Windows button + R keys.
2- A run windows should appear. In it type ‘sysdm.cpl’ and then click on Run.
3- A System Properties windows should appear. In it choose System Protection.
5- Click on Turn on system protection and select the size on the hard disk you want to utilize for system protection.
6- Click on Ok and you should see an indication in Protection settings that the protection from GsearchFinder is on. Restoring a file via Windows Defense feature:
1-Right-click on the encrypted file, then choose Properties.
2-Click on the Previous Versions tab and then mark the last version of the file.
3-Click on Apply and Ok and the file encrypted by GsearchFinder should be restored.
Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools
Remove GsearchFinder Using Other Alternative Tools
STOPZilla Anti Malware
1. Download and Install STOPZilla Anti-malware to Scan for And Remove GsearchFinder. Step 1: Download STOPZilla by clicking here. Step 2: A pop-up window will appear. Click on the ‘Save File’ button. If it does not, click on the Download button and save it afterwards. Step 3: After you have downloaded the setup, simply open it. Step 4: The installer should appear. Click on the ‘Next’ button. Step 5: Check the ‘I accept the agreement’ check circle if not checked if you accept it and click the ‘Next’ button once again. Step 6: Review and click on the ‘Install’ button. Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button.
2. Scan your PC with STOPZilla Anti Malware to remove all GsearchFinder associated files completely. Step 1:Launch STOPZilla if you haven’t launched it after install. Step 2: Wait for the software to automatically scan and then click on the ‘Repair Now’ button. If it does not scan automatically, click on the ‘Scan Now’ button. Step 3: After the removal of all threats and associated objects, you should Restart your PC.
NOTE! Substantial notification about the GsearchFinder threat: Manual removal of GsearchFinder requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.
An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum since the project started. A professional with 10+ years of experience in creating engaging content. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles!
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How to Remove GsearchFinder from Windows.
Step 1: Scan for GsearchFinder with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
1.1 Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.
1.2 After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.
1.3 After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.
1.4 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.
If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.
Step 2: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode
2.1 Hold Windows key + R
2.2 The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.
2.3 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.
2.4 When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.
2.5 You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.
Step 3: Uninstall GsearchFinder 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:
3.1 Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.
3.2 In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.
3.3 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 4: Clean Any registries, Created by GsearchFinder on Your PC.
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 GsearchFinder there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
4.1 Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.
4.2 When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.
4.3 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.
Video Removal Guide for GsearchFinder (Windows).
Get rid of GsearchFinder from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall GsearchFinder and remove related files and objects
1.1 Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
1.2 Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:
1.3 In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to GsearchFinder:
Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.
1.4 Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.
1.5 In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to GsearchFinder. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.
1.6 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 GsearchFinder. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.
1.7 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 GsearchFinder 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 GsearchFinder. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.
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 GsearchFinder files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as GsearchFinder, 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.
Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for GsearchFinder:
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 GsearchFinder 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 GsearchFinder 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 GsearchFinder 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 GsearchFinder 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.
Eliminate GsearchFinder 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 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".
It may slow your computer down significantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear on your device.
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your computer to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your OS.
What Are the Symptoms of GsearchFinder?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also unwanted apps in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your computer may become slow and have poor performance in general.
Symptom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Task Manager.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts recommend that you check your computer for viruses.
What Types of Unwanted Programs Are There?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently affect your device can be rogue antivirus software, adware, browser hijackers, clickers, fake optimizers and any forms of PUPs.
What to Do If I Have a "virus" like GsearchFinder?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1:Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2:Change all of your passwords, starting from your email passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activities with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7:(Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8:Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these recommendations, your network and all devices will become significantly more secure against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
How Does GsearchFinder Work?
Once installed, GsearchFinder can collect data using trackers. This data is about your web browsing habits, such as the websites you visit and the search terms you use. It is then used to target you with ads or to sell your information to third parties.
GsearchFinder can also download other malicious software onto your computer, such as viruses and spyware, which can be used to steal your personal information and show risky ads, that may redirect to virus sites or scams.
Is GsearchFinder Malware?
The truth is that PUPs (adware, browser hijackers) are not viruses, but may be just as dangerous since they may show you and redirect you to malware websites and scam pages.
Many security experts classify potentially unwanted programs as malware. This is because of the unwanted effects that PUPs can cause, such as displaying intrusive ads and collecting user data without the user’s knowledge or consent.
About the GsearchFinder Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this GsearchFinder how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific, adware-related problem, and restore your browser and computer system.
How did we conduct the research on GsearchFinder?
Please note that our research is based on independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware, adware, and browser hijacker definitions.
Furthermore, the research behind the GsearchFinder threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand this online threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.