This article reveals more about the impacts of Search.tools hijacker and guides you through its thorough removal process from affected browser and system.
Search.tools is classified as a browser hijacker that alters main settings of the browsers installed on affected PCs. It usually gains access to target machines by being distributed in software bundles and compromised installers. Once started on the computer its associated files implement several changes that set the main page of the hijacker as homepage, new tab page and default search engine in all targeted browsers. The presence of Search.tools in the browser means that you agree with its data collection practices that are known to affect either personally and non-personally identifiable data.
|Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, PUP|
|Short Description||A website that provides questionable search enigne in order to collect data from afected browsers and display targetted ads.|
|Symptoms|| The main page of the hijacker replaces browser homepage, new tab page and default search engine without your knowledge. Browser slowdowns may occur due to increased number of online ads.td>|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Search.tools.|
Search.tools – Spread Techniques
How did Search.tools infect your PC? The first thing that comes to our minds one is software bundle. This is the most common channel used for the distribution of potentially unwanted programs like this hijacker. With the help of free third-party programs, its owners could easily spread the installation code of their suspicious app.
Usually, the installation code of such extra programs is incorporated and concealed into the installers of third-party apps. So you might have unnoticeably installed this annoying program on your computer during the installation process of any recently downloaded desired free app. Such side effect could be is prevented with the options presented in the Advanced or Custom configuration steps. They should inform you about the existence of any additional apps and let you opt out their installation.
Frequently used web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari could be affected by Search.tools hijacker.
Search.tools Hijacker – More About Its Impact
After it is installed on the PC Search.tools hijacker starts to appear during each browsing session. Its files contain code that triggers several modifications of browser settings. They are most likely designed to set the main page of the hijacker as browser homepage, new tab page and default search engine. Once these changes occur you may start to see Search.tools each time you open the affected browser:
The main function of Search.tools is to provide searching services. What could be seen on its main page are a search field and a logo that resembles a lot the Google’s logo. Its simplistic design is an attempt by its owners to make you believe that its services alike the services of other trustworthy search engines are reliable and secure. However, its sudden and unexpected appearance in your browser is still a fact.
Search.tools aims to lure you into using its deceptive services and leave it on your system mainly because this enables it to spy on your online activities. More information about data collection practices associated with this hijacker is revealed in the next paragraph. Records with data of yours may be used by its owners for their business and advertising purposes. So as long as the undesired Search.tools resides on your system it could be used by them as a convenient advertising channel. As a result, you may become a target of lots of ads based on your interests.
Ads pushed by the hijacker may appear all over the browser in an attempt to leave you no other choice than visiting what they promote. This aggressive technique may be implemented due to the fact that each click on an ad injected by Search.tools generates revenue for its owners. The bad news is that it could display ads that land on compromised web pages set to trigger drive-by download attack each time a user loads them in the browser. So if you want to keep your system protected against malware you should install and activate a professional anti-malware tool on it.
According to information presented in the policy once the hijacker is running in your browser it automatically receives your permission to collect all of the following details:
- Visited URLs and websites
- Search queries
- Type of used browser
- Internet protocol (IP) address
- Cookie information
- The domain name of current Internet service provider (ISP)
The company owner that has the same name as the hijacker claims that their products do not collect personally identifiable information by default. However, SearchTools™ could attempt to trick you into providing some sensitive details of yours by presenting phishing web pages, questionnaires, polls, quests or other forms of inquiry.
“SearchTools™ does not automatically collect any personally identifiable information, such as names, e-mail, age, gender, address, telephone numbers, login names and passwords or other self-identifying information (“Personal Information”). SearchTools™ may request that a user provide an e-mail address if such user wishes to be contacted..”
Several cookies dropped on the hard drive by the hijacker allow it to obtain additional information related to your browsing habits, demographic data and Internet usage.
How to Remove Search.tools Browser Hijacker
In order to remove Search.tools hijacker and all associated files from your PC make sure to complete all the steps listed in the removal that follows. It presents both manual and automatic removal instructions that combined will help you to remove this undesired program in full. The automatic approach guarantees maximum efficiency as a scan with an advanced anti-malware tool reveals the exact location of all malicious files and objects created by Search.tools. The results enable you to access and remove all harmful files from the infected PC. Have in mind that files associated with this hijacker may be detected with different names than Search.tools.
In case that you have further questions or need additional help, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us via email.
- Guide 1: How to Remove Search.tools from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of Search.tools on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Search.tools in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase Search.tools from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall Search.tools from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove Search.tools from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate Search.tools from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable Search.tools Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
How to Remove Search.tools from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Search.tools
Step 2: Uninstall Search.tools 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 Search.tools 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 Search.tools there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of Search.tools from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Search.tools 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 Search.tools 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 Search.tools files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Search.tools, 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 Search.tools 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 Search.tools 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 Search.tools 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 Search.tools 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 Search.tools will be removed.
Eliminate Search.tools 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 Search.tools 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".