Search-Plus Hijacker Removal From Browsers

Search-Plus is yet another dubious program that hijacks the homepage and redirect the searches to useless sites. Despite promising popular searches and convenient browsing, it is not capable of generating unique search results.

If you install this extension, then Search-Plus will start making several modifications to the default settings of the browser. Thus, you see your current search address set as “hsearch-plus.co” which is marked as a fake search engine. Apart from that, such programs keeps on silently collecting browsing data, thus it is considered as a browser hijacker. So, this can raise browsing as well as various privacy issues.

Overview

Name Search-Plus
Type Fake Browser Extension, Browser Hijacker, Search Redirect, Hijacker, Toolbar, Homepage/ New Tab
Risk level Low
Description It is a bogus extension that promotes fake search engine to display manipulates search results.
Occurrence Freeware downloads via unofficial websites, Visiting suspicious pages and clicking on ads, Browser Redirection to questionable sites.
 Symptoms Changes in default settings of browsers, ads appear frequently, browser becomes unstable.
Detection

Run A Scan NowTo Eliminate Search-Plus hijacker and reset browser.

How “Search-Plus” Redirects occurs?

Like HideMyHistory, the Search-Plus is distributed via software bundling method. So, users often install it unknowingly by downloading/installing freeware from third-party sources. As such, the program silently enters to the system and gets the required permission by default. Apart from that, users may download it from the official website or Chrome web store. As it is advertised as a useful tool.

Another tricky approach used by adware distributors are fake flash player installers. When users install updates from scam sites, they contains other adware/PUA bundled within the installer. So, if users do not uncheck the option of additional program installation, then they may get easily installed on the system.

So, beware users when you next time download any freeware, as they may install other unwanted program, which may not initially appear to be harmful. But soon, they attempt to take over the browser and interfere with the browsing activities.

How Does Search-Plus Hijacker Affects The Browsing? 

Once you install Search-Plus extension, you see “hsearch-plus.co” as your default search address, which you won’t be able to reset. Perming any searches will first redirect the search queries to “query.hsearchplus.co”. As such fake programs are not capable to generate unique search results, thus they often use the custom search results by Yahoo legitimate search engine to show the result.

However, it may also send the queries to other websites to fetch sponsored search results that should not be trusted.

Search-plus Browser Hijacker

Search-plus Browser Hijacker

Once installed, Search-Plus can show the following symptoms:

  • Default homepage and new tab is changed to Search-Plus New Tab;
  • The search engine address redirects to hsearch-plus.co;
  • Unknown toolbars, extensions and add-ons gets active on the browser;
  • Most of the search results are loaded with sponsored links and ads;
  • Users may notice excessive ads, pop-up notifications from unknown apps and frequent browser redirects.

As mentioned above, it may appear to be legitimate and useful, as it provides useful features. However, it is nothing more than a PUA that takes over the browser. Most of the time, search results generated by such program are misleading, and may redirect to questionable sites. Such sites are often misleading and may contain harmful scripts to download additional threats or cryptominers.

Besides that, it is capable to read the browsing history, which means it can easily gather various data of the individuals. Most such data contain,  the search queries, URL visited, links/ads clicks, geo-location, IP address and so on. These data helps the authors to inject intrusive advertisements to gain pay-per click revenue. However, these actions can be risky for users, may even cause serious issues later on. Thus, it is important to remove Search-Plus as well as the fake search engine.

How To Remove Search-Plus Hijacker?

Browser hijackers are designed in such a way that don’t allow users to reset their settings back. As they also alter system settings that launches the extension each time user opens it browser. You may face trouble uninstalling such extension or its homepage from the browser, as it configures system settings, add registry entries and creates task scheduler that runs its program within the background. This makes the manual removal a tricky process.

Thus, here is both the manual and automatic removal solution provided to help get rid of Search-Plus hijacker.

“Windows OS: Use Anti-Malware To Scan And Remove Search-Plus (Recommended)”

SpyHunter is a giant among the security programs. It uses advance threat detection method to remove any sort of Adware/PUPs, Browser hijacker, Trojans, Rootkits, Fake system optimization tools, worms, and rootkits.

Besides that, it provides 24/7 protection from any unsolicited programs, vulnerability or rootkits attacks. Thus, keeping SpyHunter actively running on your computer add an extra security layer.

Click here for Full review And Installation Guide. 

Steps To Perform System Scan with SpyHunter 5

  • Once the program is installed successfully, the SpyHunter 5 Anti-malware program will launch automatically. If it does not then locate the SpyHunter icon on the desktop or click on “Start” ? “Programs” ? Select “SpyHunter”.
  • Now, To start the scan click on the “Home” tab and select “Start Scan Now” button. The program will now start scanning for Search-Plus and other associated programs.
    Start Scan Now For Search-Plus

    Start Scan Now

  • The scan will report will all the details of the result about Search-Plus along with system errors, vulnerabilities and malware found.
    Search-Plus PUP Found

    Search-Plus PUP Found

  • Once you have found Search-Plus as shown in the screenshot below:
Search-Plus PUP Removal

Search-Plus PUP Removal

  • To select an object for removal, just select the checkbox at the left of the object and click on “Next“. You can select or deselect any objects displayed in the “Malware,” “PUPs” or “Privacy” tabs. It has a “Select All” feature that allows to select or deselect all objects displayed in a specific tab. To utilize this feature, simply select the checkbox at the left in the specific tab (9).
Select Objects To Remove

Select Objects To Remove

  • Once you have selected which objects you would like to remove, click the “Next” button.
    Press Next To Remove Search-Plus

    Press Next To Remove Search-Plus

If you want to know more about it, you are welcomed to check out the full review of SpyHunter 5.

Remove Search-Plus browser hijacker Manually

To Manually Remove Search-Plus browser hijacker, follow the below steps carefully:

The manual steps guided below are the links separately made with caution, to avoid any confusion to our readers. Please follow the links below and perform them one by one. If you are going for the manual removal process, then we recommend you to print/download these instructions or open it from another uninfected computer or laptop and follow step-by-step manual removal instruction. Windows OS PDF Guide.

Step1: Remove Search-Plus extension And Homepage from the web browsers

  1. Google Chrome

    To Remove Search-Plus related Extension follow the steps:

      • Click the Chrome menu appearing on the top right corner of the browser as three vertical dots;
      • Select “Settings”;
      • Click “Extensions,” (steps by slightly differ due to browser versions, to avoid any clash simply copy this URL “chrome://extensions/” and paste it within the search bar).
        Remove Search-Plus Extension

        Remove Search-Plus Extension

      • Once the extension page appears, look for Search-Plus related extension that you may have choose to install. If it shows the extension is managed by the organisation then follow the guide (How To Fix “Managed by Your Organization” in Chrome (Windows))
      • Click on the trash icon or “Remove” button.
      • In the Settings page, under Appearance Tab, check the Show Home Button box.
        Remove Search-Plus homepage

        Remove Search-Plus homepage

      • Remove the Search-Plus homepage address.
      • Type in your favorite homepage URL as default home page.
      • Next click on “Manage Search Engine”.
        Remove Search-Plus from Search engine list

        Remove Search-Plus from Search engine list

      • It will show all search engines installed, select the one which appears to be virus or suspicious.
      • To remove it, click on the three dots, choose “Remove from list;
  2. Mozilla Firefox

      • Start your Firefox browser and click on three horizontal lines on top right corner to open menu then select “Add-ons”. You can also press Ctrl+Shift+A on your keyboard or copy and paste “about:addons” to the address bar to open the ‘Add-Ons Manager’ page. This page will show you the list of all extensions/add-ons installed on your browser.
      • Select Extensions, and check for Search-Plus;
        Firefox Remove Search-Plus Extension

        Firefox Remove Search-Plus Extension

      • Click on Remove button.
      • You may be prompted to restart the browser then do it make the changes successful.
      • Again open main menu. And select “Options” then switch to the “General Taband reset the default homepage or simply go to URL “about:preferences#home”.
        Remove Search-Plus Homepage From Firefox

        Remove Search-Plus Homepage From Firefox

      • You can simply “Restore Defaults” or set your custom homepage. follow the below image.
  3. Internet Explorer

      • On Internet Explorer browser click “Tools,” icon;
      • Select “Manage add-ons.” Within the Manage add-ons window on show section choose “All add-ons”. This will list all the toolbars and extensions installed on the browser.
        Remove Extensions Internet Explorer

        Click on Manage Add-ons

      • Select Search-Plus or other Adware;
      • Click “Disable.”
        Disable Extension From Internet Explorer

        Disable Search-Plus Extension From Internet Explorer

      • Repeat the steps for all unwanted add-ons and extensions.
      • On the same very window, click on “Search Providers”;
      • You will see the list of search engines, choose the ones which you like to “set as default”;
        Remove unknown homepage Internet Explorer

        Remove Search-Plus homepage Internet Explorer


Step 2: Reset web browsers

To Remove Search-Plus homepage from web browsers, it is better to reset the browsers one-by-one. These are the separate guide designed to reset the browsers to its default settings. And also contains Advanced browser settings, so that these stuffs don’t bother you again.

      1. Google Chrome
      2. Mozilla Firefox
      3. Internet Explorer
      4. Microsoft Edge

Step 3: Uninstall Search-Plus/ suspicious program from your computer

  • In the taskbar, click on the “Search” icon. And Type “Apps And Features;”
    Apps And Feature Windows 10

    Apps And Feature Windows 10

  • When the “Apps And Features” window opens, you can see the list of applications installed;
  • Go through it carefully and search for Search-Plus or other apps that looks suspicious to you. If you don’t remember to install yourself;
  • If you find such, click on it to expand; And click on “Uninstall”.
    Uninstall application Windows 10

    Uninstall application Windows 10

  • Repeat for all such apps.

If the program does not allow you to remove it, or says the program is running in the background. Then you need to first finish the task from the task manager.

How To End A Task From Task Manager

  • Press “Window key+ R” and type “taskmgr”.
    Open Task Manager Windows 10

    Open Task Manager Windows 10

  • Now once the task manager window opens, perform these steps:
  • Under the process tab, check for the suspicious program still running;
  • If you find it, right click on the name and select “Open file location”;
  • Then click on “End Task”;
    Task manager End Task Windows 10

    Task manager End Task Windows 10

  • Now go to the file location window opened and select the program and delete that file.

Now, follow the above steps to uninstall the suspicious program from your system.


Step 4: Scan your computer for complete removal of Search-Plus.

Note: The above manual steps may not guarantee the full removal, as the complete removal of any harmful program means more than that. They have the ability to modify the browser settings again and again, till its associated files and registries are not completely removed.

If you are not familiar with the above steps then, we recommend you to choose the automatic removal of Search-Plus Adware.

Remove Search-Plus using HitmanPro.Alert.

HitmanPro.Alert

HitmanPro.Alert is an advanced anti-malware program that takes on proactive approach towards threat behavior and its activities. This is a real-time malware program that delivers protection from latest threat. Including crypto-malware, ransomware, exploits, spyware, risks related to online transactions.

Thus, running HitmanPro.Alert on your computer will provide your real-time status, checks the browser integrity and alerts or any suspicious activity. So that you can have a safe browsing and online transactions. Read the full review of HitmanPro.Alert here.

Steps To Install And Run HitmanPro.Alert

      • Click on the provided link to download HitmanPro.Alert anti-malware;
        HitManPro.Alert Step1

        HitManPro.Alert Step1

      • Now, open the download folder or where your program is downloaded to locate “hmpalert3”;
        HitmanPro.Alert Step 2

        HitmanPro.Alert Step 2

      • Click on it, to begin the installation;
      • It will ask your User Account control, if prompted click on “yes”;
      • The download should begin shortly. HitmanPro.Alert window will appear, where you need to choose the options:
        HitManPro.Alert Step3

        HitManPro.Alert Step3

        Choose Protection level as Maximum
        And tick the other boxes and finally click on “Install”.
        HitmanPro.Alert only takes 5MB of your memory and is very quick to install.

        HitManPro.Alert Step4

        HitManPro.Alert Step4

      • After the installation is complete, the scan will start. First scan may take up some minutes, as it will scan the whole computer.
        HitmanPro.Alert step 4

        HitmanPro.Alert step 4

      • The scan results are displayed. Carefully look down the list. You can here, the scan has found 1 Riskware and thousands of traces which can be risky.
        HitmanPro.Alert step 5

        HitmanPro.Alert step 5

      • You can select the threat to delete, quranantize, ignore or, mark as safe. If you want to remove all the threats, then simply click on the “Next” button below.
        HitmanPro.Alert step 6

        HitmanPro.Alert step 6

      • HitmanPro.Alert first creates a restore point and then starts the removal process. This helps to recover from any damage.
        HitmanPro.Alert step 7

        HitmanPro.Alert step 7

This is the removal process with HitmanPro.Alert.

HitmanPro.Alert step 8

HitmanPro.Alert step 8

However, these steps may help you successfully remove Search-Plus browser hijacker. But you should be cautious while you do any kind of online activity. So, always pay attention to what you choose to download, as various freeware downloads come as software bundles.

Most often, these bundles may purposely drop other harmful programs on the computer. Therefore, it is better to opt for Advanced or custom installation procedure to avoid installation of unknown programs.

Hopefully, you may find this article helpful.

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