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|
|Detection Tool|| 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 from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove GhostSearch Hijacker from 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.
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:
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:
- 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 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.
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.