I wrote this article to help you remove ForgeSearch.com. This ForgeSearch.com removal guide works for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
ForgeSearch.com is a search engine, targeted at French speakers. The website supports basic keyword web search, filters for images, videos, news, and more. If you are looking for a better alternative, you should discard this platform. ForgeSearch.com is considered unreliable because of its connection to a hijacker. The rogue program uses the domain as a gateway to the web browser. It will interfere with your DNS settings and exploit your system’s resources. The application of the hijacker is monetary. It generates revenue for its developers by conducting advertising campaigns and collecting information on computer users. Both of these monetizing techniques involve a security risk in their own way.
The hijacker will reset your homepage and default search provider to ForgeSearch.com. You will not have the option to revert back to your preferred settings. This allows the insidious program to make changes to the search results. It will insert sponsored websites amid the actual matches to your search queries. The supported content will not differ from the regular results. This is the first technique for promoting third party platforms. The second is more straightforward and more highly effective. The shady tool displays advertisements, containing bargain offers for various consumer goods. They are brought in different shapes and sizes, including pop-ups, pop-unders, banners, coupon boxes, in-text links, freebies, transitional, interstitial, contextual, floating, inline, and comparison ads.
To highlight the ad windows, the ForgeSearch.com hijacker decorates them with bright and colorful schemes, cursive fonts, flash animations, and other special effects. They will contain exclusive deals for garments, accessories, technological devices, household items, furnishing, decorative elements, gardening equipment, sports gear, games, and other commodities. As enticing as the product listings may be, you should refrain from following the ads to their source. Their reliability is not guaranteed. The owners of the ForgeSearch.com website have disclaimed responsibility for third party websites. The domain is registered to a company from Oakland, California called IAC Publishing Labs.
Apart from the security risk for your computer, your personal data will also be put in jeopardy. The ForgeSearch.com hijacker has tracking capabilities. It will monitor your online sessions and record input from your web browser. The nefarious program can access details like your browsing history, cookies, keystrokes, IP address, geographic location, demographic profile, email account, telephone number, postal code, residency, user names, passwords, and financial credentials. The gathered data will be sold on darknet markets without your knowledge or consent. These illegal trade channels are frequented by cyber criminals.
If you have never entered the ForgeSearch.com website, you may be wondering how and when the clandestine program entered your computer. The hijacker is distributed through propagation vectors which are unrelated to the domain. The most common method is bundling. The furtive program can travel in a merged setup file with another tool. The usual hosts are freeware, shareware, and pirated copies of paid utilities. The hijacker is conveniently listed as an extra program between the lines. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of all applications you add to your system. Select the custom or advanced installation mode to have all options shown.
Other distribution channels include spam emails, corrupted websites, and compromised links. A fake message will have the ForgeSearch.com hijacker hidden behind an attachment. Opening the said file would initiate the download and install of the contained program. The sender can describe the bogus letter as a notification from an existing company or organization to make it seem genuine. To check whether a given email is legitimate, proof the available contacts. For reference, you can consult the official website of the corresponding entity. The simplest way to contract malware is by entering an infected domain. This distribution pattern is called a drive-by installation. It is advised to keep your guard up at all times and select your online sources with the utmost caution.
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.
For Windows 8/8.1
Click the Start button, next click Control Panel —> System and Security —> Administrative Tools —> System Configuration.
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.
While keeping the Shift key pressed, click or tap on Restart.
Here 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.
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).
Remove From Internet Explorer:
Open IE, then click IE gear icon on the top-right corner —> Manage Add-ons.
Find the malicious add-on. Remove it by pressing Disable.
Right click on the browser’s shortcut, then click Properties. Remove everything after the .exe” in the Target box.
Open Control Panel by holding the Win Key and R together. Write appwiz.cpl in the field, then click OK.
Here, find any program you had no intention to install and uninstall it.
Run the Task Manager by right clicking on the Taskbar and choosing Start 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.
Open MS Config by holding the Win Key and R together. Type msconfig and hit Enter.
Go in the Startup tab and Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer.
Still can not remove ForgeSearch.com from your browser? Please, leave a comment below, describing what steps you performed. I will answer promptly.