is an untrustworthy search engine that delivers multiple sponsored links and ads is a potentially unwanted application that might access your web browser and change its settings without permission is a potentially unwanted application that might access your web browser and change its settings without permission is one of many websites that can be used as a search engine on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or another web browser. However, this URL is usually attached to the homepage and new tab due to a computer infection known as a browser hijacker[1] – a type of potentially unwanted program. hijack typically occurs without user consent, as PUPs are mostly distributed via software bundle packages downloaded from third-party websites, so users rarely notice the entry point. However, as soon as they open their web browser, they can see that the default search engine is changed, and all the searches are redirected to Yahoo. Browser hijackers like are also known to be tracking users’ web browsing activities and using that information for marketing purposes.

Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program
Distribution Software bundle packages from freeware sites, deceptive advertisements, fake Flash Player updates, and other sources
Symptoms Unknown browser extension installed on the web browser; is set as a default search engine, homepage, and new tab address; all searchers are redirected to; search results are filled with sponsored ads
Dangers Installation of other potentially unwanted programs/malware, privacy risks, financial losses
Removal You can uninstall unwanted browser extensions by accessing the settings of your web browser; in case you have a potentially unwanted program installed on your machine, you can eliminate it by following our manual guide below or scan the computer with anti-malware software
Optional steps In case you are struggling with browser add-on termination, you should reset all the installed web browsers. Additionally, in case you encounter errors, BSODs, stuttering, crashes, and other stability issues, you can attempt to fix them with tools such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

Due to unexpected appearance on the system, users might believe that is a virus. However, browser hijackers are considered to be minor computer infections and are much less dangerous than such threats like trojans or ransomware. However, it does not mean that you should ignore it, especially if you care about your search provider, search results, and your privacy.

Unwanted browser changes can be related to multiple different potentially unwanted apps, including Quick Search Tool, Smedia, Mazy SearchAuto Purge, and many others. Therefore, in order to remove from your browser, you will have to find and eliminate a related application.

Once on the system, the virus can perform a variety of tasks, some of which might not be that apparent to the infected users. For example, many browser hijackers are created in a way that would use a reputable search engine for the delivery of search results. However, instead of showing genuine links, users will be presented with affiliated and sponsored content.

When users click ads and visit sponsored websites, the developers of gain commission. Since this practice is often extended to the installation of apps or service purchases, users might be linked to various survey scams or suspicious sites that advertise useless applications. 

Thus, users infected with PUPs are more prone to falling victims to online scams, fake update prompts, malware infections, sensitive information loss, and much more. Besides, with the help of cookies and other technologies,[2] browser hijackers also track various user data in order to serve targeted advertisements  By performing removal, you can eliminate such issues once and for all. browser hijacker is a browser hijacker that is distributed via software bundle packages or other deceptive methods browser hijacker is a browser hijacker that is distributed via software bundle packages or other deceptive methods

In case the ads and redirects are related to a browser extension, you can eliminate it easily – simply access the installed add-on list and get rid of everything suspicious. If there is a program that is installed on your computer, removal steps will be a little bit more complex.

The best way to uninstall all the unwanted apps and malware is by using powerful security software. Additionally, a virus damage fix can be performed with the help of tools like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Research freeware apps before installing them

Potentially unwanted programs such as browser hijackers are typically useless to users, as they usually fail to provide what they promise. In other cases, the functionality of the app is very basic and performs the same functions as those that are built-in browsers or operating systems already. Besides, PUPs are also often linked to privacy and computer security issues.

Thus, it is best to avoid unwanted applications completely. According to researchers from,[3], it is not difficult to prevent unwanted app installation, as long as caution is practiced. Here are a few tips that might help you:

  • If possible, always choose official sources for your downloads;
  • Always research apps you are about to install – look for forum or blog posts, reviews, and other articles that would provide adequate feedback;
  • Install powerful anti-malware software with PUP detection feature;
  • Do not be misguided by Recommended/Quick setup settings and always choose Advanced/Custom ones instead. You will remain in control of the process in such a way;
  • Watch out for pre-ticked boxes, fine print text, misleading offers, misplaced buttons, and other tricks employed by developers to make you install optional components on your device. Policy privacy policy discloses data gathering and sharing practices Policy privacy policy discloses data gathering and sharing practices removal guide removal should not be difficult if the associated app is a browser extension. All you have to do is access the extensions section and get rid of the suspicious app. However, some PUPs use various techniques in order to prevent their termination. “Managed by your organization” setting is a relatively common method to prevent users from uninstalling extensions from Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or another web browser. In such a case, we suggest you remove virus by resetting all the installed browsers (we provide instructions below).

If the hijack is related to an installed application, you can eliminate it by accessing a full program list on your computer – we provide a step-by-step guide for that as well.

However, we highly recommend checking your computer with a robust anti-malware program, as there is a chance that there are other PUPs or malware installed that you are not aware of. Simply download an app of your choice, update it to the latest version, and then perform a full system scan.

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.

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can’t grant a full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. 

Nevertheless, there’s a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various circumstances, malware is also one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. Potentially unwanted programs may clear files that keep the application from running smoothly.

More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, or images get locked. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them. Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system.

In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection.