GhostSearch Browser Hijacker
GhostSearch is a browser hijacker that pushes а hoax search engine. This search engine is configured to redirect all searches to Yahoo search which means that GhostSearch is yet another PUP related to the so-called Yahoo search virus. Browser hijackers are potentially unwanted apps that alter main browser settings without users’ knowledge and permission. Once started on a target system, such apps become able to change the homepages, new tab pages, and default search engines in commonly used web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Safari. The techniques used for the propagation of browser hijackers like GhostSearch are designed in a way that enables the unnoticed delivery of PUPs on computer operating systems.
Security experts advise affected users to remove GhostSearch and associated files from their affected devices as soon as possible. In this guide, you will find instructions on how to remove GhostSearch hijacker from the affected browser and associated files from the system.
GhostSearch Hijacker Summary
|Name||GhostSearch / ghost-search.com|
|Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, PUP|
|Short Description||A website with questionable search enigne that hijacks browser homepage, new tab page and default search engine. All modifications happen without any notifications.|
|Symptoms|| The homepage, new tab page and search enigne in preferred web browser are set to display the hoax search engine ghost-search.com
Browser is slowed down by an increased number of online ads.
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by Malware
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss GhostSearch Hijacker.|
GhostSearch is a search engine that has simple and intuitive design. However, this search engine can start forcing you to use its services by replacing your default search engine, homepage and new tab URL. This behavior makes the GhostSearch yet another browser hijacker that attempts to spy on users’ online activities and gather certain details about their browsing. Furthermore, the sudden appearance of ghost-search.com is often an alert that there is a potentially unwanted program that is running on the machine.
PUPs are delivered on computer systems with the help of shady propagation techniques, including software bundles, malvertising, freeware with corrupted installers, and fake software updates. Typically, software bundles and corrupted software installers are the most preferred by PUPs’ developers. Which means that you might have installed the hijacker along with another supposedly useful app. Unfortunately, it is easy to agree with the installation of some undesired apps without noticing their presence. This could be explained by the fact that details about all freeware installer’s components are not disclosed properly.
The moment the hijacker gains access to the system it alters some main browser preferences like those of the homepage, start page, new tab page and default search engine to set them display ghost-search.com.
Take note that GhostSearch seems to be a trustworthy search engine but is in fact one that primarily aims to generate revenue to its owners. So it may be set to collect data, generate sponsored results and display additional online ads. The ads that appear in the affected browser may make it sluggish and even unresponsive sometimes. Furthermore, some of the presented ads may open poorly secured or hacked web pages.
For the sake of your PC security, it’s best to consider the complete removal of GhostSearch from the affected browser and system.
GhostSearch Removal Guide
In order to remove GhostSearch browser hijacker along with all associated files that enable it to redirect your browser, 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 GhostSearch 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.
- Guide 1: How to Remove GhostSearch Hijacker from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of GhostSearch Hijacker on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove GhostSearch Hijacker in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase GhostSearch Hijacker from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall GhostSearch Hijacker from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove GhostSearch Hijacker from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate GhostSearch Hijacker from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable GhostSearch Hijacker Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
How to Remove GhostSearch Hijacker from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove GhostSearch Hijacker
Step 2: Uninstall GhostSearch Hijacker 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 GhostSearch Hijacker 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 GhostSearch Hijacker there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.
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.
Step 4: Scan for GhostSearch Hijacker with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
Video Removal Guide for GhostSearch Hijacker (Windows).
Get rid of GhostSearch Hijacker from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall GhostSearch Hijacker 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:
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 GhostSearch Hijacker. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.
- 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 GhostSearch Hijacker 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 GhostSearch Hijacker files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as GhostSearch Hijacker, 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.
Video Removal Guide for GhostSearch Hijacker (Mac)
Remove GhostSearch Hijacker 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 GhostSearch Hijacker 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 GhostSearch Hijacker 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 GhostSearch Hijacker 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 GhostSearch Hijacker will be removed.
Eliminate GhostSearch Hijacker 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 GhostSearch Hijacker 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".
What Is GhostSearch Hijacker?
The GhostSearch Hijacker threat is adware or browser redirect virus. 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 GhostSearch Hijacker?
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 Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Browser hijackers.
- Fake optimizers.
What to Do If I Have a "virus" like GhostSearch Hijacker?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most adware or unwanted programs by firstly isolating them and then removing them from your browser and computer. One recommended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter is one of the recommended anti-malware apps that can scan your computer for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps and eliminate them quickly. This saves time when compared to doing the removal manually.
How to Secure My Passwords and Other Data from GhostSearch Hijacker?
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.
More tips you can find on our website, where you can also ask any questions and comment underneath the articles about your computer problems. We will try to respond as fast as possible.
How Does GhostSearch Hijacker Work?
The GhostSearch Hijacker threat is typically installed as part of another application that you may have downloaded from the internet. Unwanted apps are often disguised as helpful programs, such as browser add-ons or toolbars, but they can also be included in software downloads without your knowledge.
Threats such as GhostSearch Hijacker can also be installed through malicious websites, email attachments, and other dubious sources. Once installed, GhostSearch Hijacker can collect data about your web browsing habits, such as the websites you visit and the search terms you use. This data is then used to target you with ads or to sell your information to third parties. GhostSearch Hijacker can also download other malicious software onto your computer, such as viruses and spyware, which can be used to steal your personal information.
Is GhostSearch Hijacker Malware?
If you have noticed GhostSearch Hijacker on your computer, you may be wondering if it is considered malware. The answer is yes, it is possible for an unwanted program to be classified as malware.
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. The best way to protect your computer from PUPs is to be careful when downloading software from the internet. Be sure to read the terms of service and privacy policies before downloading any software, and be wary of any suspicious download links or ads.
About the GhostSearch Hijacker Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this GhostSearch Hijacker 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 GhostSearch Hijacker?
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 GhostSearch Hijacker threat is backed with VirusTotal https://www.virustotal.com/gui/home/upload.
To better understand this online threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
1.Browser Redirect – What Is It?
2.Adware Is Malicious, and It Uses Advanced Techniques to Infect
3.The Thin Red Line Between Potentially Unwanted Programs and Malware
4.The Pay-Per-Install Affiliate Business – Making Millions out of Adware
5.Malicious Firefox Extensions Installed by 455,000 Users Blocked Updates