Mazy Search

Mazy Search is a browser hijacker that actively collects and shares user data for marketing purposes

Mazy Search
Mazy Search is a potentially unwanted application that stets the browser status to “Managed by your organization”

Mazy Search
Mazy Search is a potentially unwanted application that stets the browser status to “Managed by your organization”

Mazy Search is a search tool that is applied as soon as a browser extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or MS Edge is installed. While such apps can be downloaded from legitimate sources such as Chrome Web Store, users might be misled into installing them in deceptive ways – by using software bundle packages, or obscure ads/update prompts.

Once installed, Mazy Search changes the profile of the web browser in various ways. For example, it sets as the homepage and the new tab URL, appends a customized search engine that directs all results to Yahoo, and also controls the browser by applying the “Managed by your organization” feature. The latter prevents users from Mazy Search removal and the retrieval of default browser settings. Besides, this browser hijacker uses various tracking technologies to collect information about users.

Name Mazy Search, otherwise known as MazySearch
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program 
Distribution  Official app stores, software bundle packages, deceptive advertisements on various websites (e.g., fake Flash Player update prompts) 
  • New tab address and homepage set to
  • All searchers redirect to Yahoo
  • Searches are filled with sponsored links and ads
  • The browser says “Managed by your organization”
  • Overall increased amount of advertisements
Dangers  Users might install additional potentially unwanted programs on their computers due to various ads; additionally, the search provider also tracks a lot of various information about users, which might lead to privacy risks
Elimination  You can employ anti-malware application for automatic elimination process of follow our guide provided at the bottom section below 
Optimization  To optimize your system and revert the damage done by the infection, scan your computer with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego 

Generally, browser hijackers are by far the least dangerous computer/browser infections around, as they typically do not engage in intensive computer system file modifications. However, the developers of potentially unwanted programs like Mazy Search are constantly developing new techniques to ensure that the app remains on users’ computers for as long as possible.

Once the Mazy Search virus is installed, it changes web browser settings automatically – it provides an alternative search engine that users use for their web browsing activities. While all the search results are directed to a legitimate provider Yahoo. PUPs often do not have their own engines, so they employ ones provided by industry giants like Google or Yahoo, although the search results are not genuine – they are often filled with sponsored links and various ads.

When users browse the web by using the Mazy Search engine, the top search results are ads, which can not always be differentiated by inexperienced users. As a result, users access websites they normally would not, although developers of browser hijackers receive pay-per-click revenue for such practice. In other words, they present fake search results at the top to acquire profits from users’ clicks. This also artificially increases the visibility of particular services or applications, artificially increasing site rankings.

Mazy Search hijack
Mazy Search is a browser hijacker that comes in a form of an extension/add-on

Mazy Search hijack
Mazy Search is a browser hijacker that comes in a form of an extension/add-on

To provide search results that are more appropriate to end-users, Mazy Search tracks users’ online activities with the help of cookies, web beacons, and other technologies. The following data might be collected automatically:

  • Personal information provided voluntarily (email, phone number, name, username/password)
  • IP address 
  • Browser-related information (language, browser type, time stamps, etc.)
  • Search queries
  • Links/ads clicked
  • Visited websites
  • Installed applications, etc.

As evident, data tracking is extremely important for browser hijackers likes Mazy Search, as this information is typically used to increase profits. In this case, however, the developer is also sharing this information with business partners, affiliates, and other related sources:

We may share your information with our authorized service providers that perform certain services on our behalf. <..>

As described above under “Information Collected By Third Parties and Behavioral Advertising”, third party advertisers and ad networks, data management platforms, and other third parties may collect information themselves from the DefaultSearch Services and/or we may provide them with the information described above for purposes of delivering relevant ads.

Besides extensive data tracking and sharing practices, the developers of this browser hijacker employ the “Managed by your organization” trick that is applied as soon as the browser plugin is installed. As a result, users who want to remove Mazy Search from their machines might be unable to do so, as the browser is controlled by the PUP.

“Managed by your organization” is a prompt that users can see once Mazy Search infiltrates their web browsers, which performs changes to Google Chrome’s policies. To reset this status, a prompt PUP elimination must be completed. For that, you can refer to the bottom section of the article.

Finally, we also highly advise scanning the device with anti-malware software that would detect not only potentially unwanted applications but also malware. If you found that your system was infected with multiple threats, you should also reset all the web browsers and fix system damage with the help of repair tools like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Ways to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications easily

As previously mentioned, potentially unwanted programs are often distributed in deceptive ways, the primary one being software bundlers. The bundling method is used to monetize on the per-per-install[1] method, which increases profits for each installation made by users. Since most PUPs are undesired apps that users would not install intentionally, program bundling becomes an excellent choice for distribution.

Mazy Search privacy policy
Mazy Search explains that various user details are gathered with the help of such tracking technologies like cookies and web beacons

Mazy Search privacy policy
Mazy Search explains that various user details are gathered with the help of such tracking technologies like cookies and web beacons

Quite often, users go to third-party websites to download apps for free. However, most apps are not free (unless they are open-source), and some type of monetization is used. In most cases, these programs are poor quality and often even fail to deliver what they promised in the first place. Instead, users receive an app that bombards their browsers with intrusive ads or directs them to less than secure websites.

To avoid being victimized by a software bundling, security experts from advise the following:[2]

  • Employ reputable anti-malware software that would warn you about PUPs before you install them;
  • If possible, always choose official sources for your apps and their updates;
  • Before downloading, make sure that you click a correct button, as many “Download” buttons are just ads that might redirect to malicious websites;
  • Ensure that the app provides ToS and Privacy Policy prior to the installation;
  • When prompted, always pick Advanced/Custom settings instead of Recommended ones;
  • Remove all the ticks next to browser extensions, media players, driver updaters, system optimizers, and similar bloatware[3]

Get rid of MazySearch hijack

To remove Mazy Search from your web browser, all you have to do is right-click on the extension and pick “Remove from Chrome,” or another web browser that you are using. Alternatively, you could visit the Google Chrome settings panel. However, since the app applies the “Managed by your organization” status, it might not be possible to eliminate the PUP in a conventional way.

In such a case, we recommend resetting all the installed web browsers for a full Mazy Search removal. Also, there might be other unwanted apps or malware installed on your device. Just to be sure, you should perform a full system scan with a reputable anti-malware application. This way, you can eliminate all the unwanted components and leftover files quickly. Nonetheless, we also provide a manual guide for program removal below if you choose to get rid of unwanted apps without installing additional software on your machine.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.