Google Custom Search is a legitimate search engine, however there are plenty of browser hijackers which will redirect the users search queries to cse.google.com. This is most likely done to generate advertising revenue by using Google Custom Search for its search results.
These are a few examples of known browser hijackers who are abusing the Google Custom Search feature:
These unwanted Google Custom Search redirects are caused by browser hijackers which is installed by the users, whether that is knowingly or not. Often, this type of program is offered through advertisements or bundled with other software, leaving the user puzzled where this software came from.
Browser hijackers are a type of malware created for the purpose of modifying Internet browser settings without the user’s knowledge or consent.
When the Google Custom Search browser hijacker is installed on a PC, common symptoms include:
- Changing the web browser’s default homepage to Google Custom Search
- Changing the browser’s search provider, built-in search box to Google Custom Search
- Ability to modify the ‘new tab’ functionality to launch the modified search portal page
- Loads into the web browser via an extension or add-on
- Web Browser shortcuts are hijacked to redirect to Google Custom Search
Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.
Table of Contents
How to remove Google Custom Search redirect (Virus Removal Guide)
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.
To remove the Unwanted Google Custom Search redirect, follow these steps:
- STEP 1: Uninstall the malicious programs from Windows
- STEP 2: Use Malwarebytes to remove the Google Custom Search redirect
- STEP 3: Use HitmanPro to scan for malware and unwanted programs
- (OPTIONAL) STEP 4: Reset the browser settings to their original defaults
- (OPTIONAL) STEP 5: Double-check for malicious programs with Zemana AntiMalware
STEP 1 : Uninstall the malicious programs from Windows
In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious program that might be installed on your computer.
To uninstall a program on Windows 10, follow the below steps.
Go to “Apps and Features”.
Right-click on the Start button in the lower-left corner and select “Apps and Features”. This will take you directly to your list of installed programs.
If you can’t find the “Apps and Features” option in the Start menu, click on the Start button, then go to “Settings” > “Apps”
Find the malicious program and uninstall it.
The “App and Features” screen will be displayed with a list of all the programs installed on your PC. Scroll through the list until you find the malicious program, click it, and then click “Uninstall”.
Known malicious programs: Search Module, Search Module Plus or Google.Vc, OtherSearches, YeaDesktop, Wajam, 126.96.36.199, DNS Unlocker, Cinema Plus, Price Minus, SalesPlus, New Player, MediaVideosPlayers, Browsers_Apps_Pro, PriceLEess, Pic Enhance, Sm23mS, Salus, Network System Driver, SS8, Save Daily Deals, Word Proser, Desktop Temperature Monitor, CloudScout Parental Control, Savefier, Savepass, HostSecurePlugin, CheckMeUp or HD-V2.2.The malicious program may have a different name on your computer. If you cannot find any malicious programs on your PC, you can proceed with the next step
Follow the on-screen prompts to uninstall the program.
You will now see a pop-up window informing you that the program and its related info will be uninstalled. Click on the “Uninstall” button to complete the process (you may also see a pop-up asking if you want to let this program make changes to your computer, hit “Yes” to proceed).
Make sure to read all of the prompts carefully, because some malicious programs try to sneak things in hoping that you won’t read closely.
STEP 2: Use Malwarebytes to remove the Google Custom Search redirect
Malwarebytes is one of the most popular and most used anti-malware software for Windows, and for good reasons. It is able to destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss, without costing you absolutely nothing. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.
The first time you install Malwarebytes, you’re given a free 14-day trial of the premium edition, which includes preventative tools like real-time scanning and specific protection from ransomware. After two weeks, it automatically reverts to the basic free version that will detect and clean up malware infections only when you run a scan. It is important to note that Malwarebytes will run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.
You can download Malwarebytes by clicking the link below.MALWAREBYTES DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes)
Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.
When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the mb3-setup-consumer-x.x.x.xxxx.exe file to install Malwarebytes on your PC. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow Malwarebytes to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.
When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process. To install Malwarebytes on your PC, click on the “Agree and Install” button.
Click on “Scan Now”.
Once installed, Malwarebytes will automatically start and update the antivirus database. To perform a system scan, click on the “Scan Now” button.
Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.
Malwarebytes will now start scanning your computer for adware and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
Click on “Quarantine Selected”.
When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine Selected” button.
Reboot your computer.
Malwarebytes will now remove all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.
When the malware removal process is complete, you can close Malwarebytes and continue with the rest of the instructions.
STEP 3: Use HitmanPro to scan for malware and unwanted programs
HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner that takes a unique cloud-based approach to malware scanning. HitmanPro scans the behavior of active files and also files in locations where malware normally resides for suspicious activity. If it finds a suspicious file that’s not already known, HitmanPro sends it to the their clouds to be scanned by two of the best antivirus engines today, which are Bitdefender and Kaspersky.
Although HitmanPro is shareware and costs $24.95 for 1 year on 1 PC, there is actually no limit in scanning. The limitation only kicks in when there is a need to remove or quarantine detected malware by HitmanPro on your system and by then, you can activate the one time 30 day trial to enable the clean up.
You can download HitmanPro by clicking the link below.HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
When HitmanPro has finished downloading, double-click on “hitmanpro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “hitmanpro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows) to install this program on your PC. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow HitmanPro to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
Follow the on-screen prompts.
When HitmanPro starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below. Click on the “Next” button to perform a system scan.
Wait for the HitmanPro scan to complete.
HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malicious programs. This process will take a few minutes.
Click on “Next”.
When HitmanPro has finished the scan, it will display a list of all the malware that the program has found. Click on the “Next” button to remove the malicious programs.
Click on “Activate free license”.
Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your PC.
When the process is complete, you can close HitmanPro and continue with the rest of the instructions.
(OPTIONAL) STEP 4: Reset the browser settings to their original defaults
If your PC is being redirected to the Google Custom Search site, we will need to reset the web browser settings to their original defaults. This step should be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.
Google Chrome has an option that will reset itself to its default settings. Resetting your browser settings will reset the unwanted changes caused by installing other programs. However, your saved bookmarks and passwords will not be cleared or changed.
Open Chrome’s “Settings” menu.
Click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled “Settings“.
At the bottom, click “Advanced”.
Chrome’s “Settings” should now be displayed in a new tab or window, depending on your configuration. Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Advanced” link (as seen in the below example).
Under the section “Reset,” click “Reset”.
Chrome’s advanced settings should now be displayed. Scroll down until the “Reset and clean up” section is visible, as shown in the example below. Next, click on the “Reset settings to their original defaults” button.
Confirm by clicking “Reset”.
A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the “Reset Settings” button.
(OPTIONAL) STEP 5: Double-check for malicious programs with Zemana AntiMalware Free
Zemana AntiMalware is a free popular on-demand antivirus scanner which can detect and remove malware that even the most well-known anti-virus and anti-malware applications fail to find.
While the Malwarebytes and HitmanPro scans are more than enough, we’re recommending Zemana AntiMalware to users who still have malware related issues or just want make sure their PC is 100% clean.
This step should be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.
Download Zemana AntiMalware.
You can download Zemana AntiMalware Free by clicking the link below.ZEMANA ANTIMALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new web page from where you can download Zemana AntiMalware)
Double-click on the setup file.
Double-click on the file named “Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup.exe” to start the installation of Zemana AntiMalware. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
Install Zemana AntiMalware Free.
Click on the “Next” button to install Zemana AntiMalware on your PC. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the install process.
When you reach the “Select Additional Tasks” screen, you need to opt-out the “Enable Real Time Protection” option, then click on the “Next” button.
Click on “Scan”.
When Zemana AntiMalware will start, click on the “Scan” button to perform a system scan.
Wait for the Zemana AntiMalware scan to complete.
Zemana AntiMalware will now scan your PC for malicious files. This process can take a few minutes.
Click on “Next”.
When Zemana AntiMalware has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found. Click on the “Next” button to remove the malicious files from your computer.
Restart your PC.
When the malware removal process is complete, Zemana AntiMalware may need to restart your computer. Click on the “Reebot” button to reset your PC.
Your computer should now be free of the Google Custom Search redirect.