How to Remove Default-search.net (Chrome/Edge/Firefox) | Updated

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I wrote this article to help you remove Default-search.net. This Default-search.net removal guide works for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Default-search.net is a search engine with a set of functions. The platform features tabs for extended web search, including filters for images, videos, shopping, news, and games. There is a language bar covering 23 essential tongues from across the globe: English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Greek, Czech, Polish, Slovenian, Croatian, Serbian, Turkish, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, Vietnamese, and Thai. Default-search.net lists the day of the week, as well as the current date and time. The website may be convenient and well built, but it involves security risks. The domain is a pawn of a hijacker. A puppeteer controls all tasks conducted through it.

The hijacker targets the web browser. Most clients are vulnerable to its attacks, including Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Opera. The sinister program renders the DNS settings. It resets the homepage and default search provider to Default-search.net. The affected user is left powerless, as the appended changes are made permanent. The hijacker has the ability to detect attempts to alter the settings back and reset the browser again. You will be forced to conduct your searches through Default-search.net. This would be inefficient and dangerous for your security. The furtive program adds supported websites amid the regular search results. Their reliability is not confirmed or accounted for.

The same is true for the advertisements you will be bombarded with. The Default-search.net displays heaps of pop-up windows on a constant basis. The clandestine program will flood your screen with banners, coupon boxes, in-text links, freebies, rebates, comparison, interstitial, transitional, floating, contextual, and inline ads. The covert tool embeds third party links into them. The developers of the hijacker get paid to support other publishers’ content. They get paid according to the number of links users follow. This monetizing method is called the pay-per-click system. Since the developers of the Default-search.net hijacker depend on your activity, they will show you a great number of ads with diverse content. This includes deals for clothes, accessories, sports gear, technological devices, toys, games, furniture, decorations, gardening equipment, and many other items.

Remove Default-search.net
The Default-search.net Virus

Do not be fooled that the Default-search.net hijacker is working in your favor. The sinister program only serves its proprietors. The Default-search.net website belongs to Aztec Media, Inc., a company with headquarters in Limassol, Cyprus. The entity has established a privacy policy which does not benefit the end user. People do not have the option to seek compensation for security-related issues, caused by the website. Any infections and data breaches will be your problem to handle. Be advised that the Default-search.net hijacker collects personal information. It can record your surfing history, tracking cookies, keystrokes, IP address, geographic location, email account, telephone number, user names, and passwords. The gathered data will be packed into catalogs and sold on the darknet.

There are several ways to distribute the Default-search.net hijacker. The most common propagation vector is bundling. The secluded program often travels with freeware, shareware, and pirated tools. When purchasing a utility, make sure the software vendor is reliable. When running the installation, read the end user license agreement (EULA). Keep in mind that extra tools are usually listed in the advanced settings. If you choose the basic installation, the option may not be shown. Furthermore, it should be noted that landing on an unreliable website can result in contacting the Default-search.net hijacker without downloading a program or file. A process called a drive-by automates the transfer of the contained software. Entering a faulty website or following a link to such is all it takes.

Spam emails are another viable option. The sender can pack the Default-search.net hijacker together with an attached file. The document will be described as a notification from a reputable company or entity, like the national post, the local police department, a courier firm, an institution, a government branch, a bank, or a social network. The sender will state that the matter is urgent and ask for a quick response. The purpose is to get you to open the appended file. Doing so would unleash the contained software into your machine. Before following instructions from an email, proof its reliability. Check the sender’s contacts.

Default-search.net Uninstall

STEP-1 Before starting the real removal process, you must reboot in Safe Mode. If you are familiar with this task, skip the instructions below and proceed to Step 2. If you do not know how to do it, here is how to reboot in Safe mode:

For Windows 98, XP, Millenium and 7:
Reboot your computer. When the first screen of information appears, start repeatedly pressing F8 key. Then choose Safe Mode With Networking from the options.
Safe Mode with Networking
For Windows 8/8.1
Click the Start button, next click Control Panel —> System and Security —> Administrative Tools —> System Configuration.‌
Windows 8 Safe Mode with Network
Check the Safe Boot option and click OK. Click Restart when asked.
For Windows 10
Open the Start menu and click or tap on the Power button.
win10 safemode 1
While keeping the Shift key pressed, click or tap on Restart.
win10 safemode 2

STEP-2Here are the steps you must perform to remove the hijacker from the browser:

Remove From Mozilla Firefox:

Open Firefox, click on top-right corner , click Add-ons, hit Extensions next.
firefox extensions
Look for suspicious or unknown extensions, remove them all.

Remove From Chrome:

Open Chrome, click chrome menu icon at the top-right corner —>More Tools —> Extensions. There, identify the malware and select chrome-trash-icon(Remove).
chrome extensions

Remove From Internet Explorer:
Open IE, then click IE gear icon on the top-right corner —> Manage Add-ons.
ie gear
Find the malicious add-on. Remove it by pressing Disable.

STEP-3

Right click on the browser’s shortcut, then click Properties. Remove everything after the .exe” in the Target box.

ff shortcut

STEP-4

Open Control Panel by holding the Win Key and R together. Write appwiz.cpl in the field, then click OK.

appwiz

Here, find any program you had no intention to install and uninstall it.

STEP-5

Run the Task Manager by right clicking on the Taskbar and choosing Start Task Manager.

task manager

Look carefully at the file names and descriptions of the running processes. If you find any suspicious one, search on Google for its name, or contact me directly to identify it. If you find a malware process, right-click on it and choose End task.

STEP-6

Open MS Config by holding the Win Key and R together. Type msconfig and hit Enter.

msconfig

Go in the Startup tab and Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer.

Still can not remove Default-search.net from your browser? Please, leave a comment below, describing what steps you performed. I will answer promptly.

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Daniel Stoyanov
Daniel Stoyanov has a Master's degree in Computer Science from the Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria. He is also a Microsoft Certified Professional. Daniel provides top cyber security news with in-depth coverage of malware, vulnerabilities, PC and Network security, online safety.If you have any questions feel free to ask him right now.

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