Danger level:  
  (10/100)

Remove SearchAssist.net (Detailed Removal Instructions) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Browser hijacker

SearchAssist sparks concerns about its reliability

The screenshot revealing SearchAssist.net privacy policy and search results

SearchAssist.net functions as a browsing engine. It is promoted in questionable ways. As a result, some users may not even recall having installed this tool on their browsers. Besides, once you visit its homepage, you might also notice a pop-up offering to install its SearchAssist.me plug-in.

Both, the extension and the search engine, are fully compatible with Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox. Though there are even two identical versions of Search Assist and one called “SearchAssist Tools” browser extensions available on Chrome web store, they do not raise the overall reputation of Search Assist products.

First of all, the PUP is distributed as an optional program pinned to other free applications. Most likely, you might spot it during the installation wizard of a file converter or audio editor. Unfortunately, PUP-like programs are promoted in such way.

Secondly, though this browsing tool does not collect personal information nor it shares non-personal information with third parties, it cooperates with Trovi Search browsing tool. Search Assist provides some search results delivered by the former tool. The latter takes users’ privacy differently, In its privacy policy, some users might get astonished by the following line:

We may also share PII and non-personally identifiable information with our subsidiaries, affiliated, and parent companies but their use of such information must comply with this Privacy Policy.

As a result, not only does your privacy gets endangered, but within a while, more personalized commercial offers might start interrupting your browsing sessions. 

Due to these reasons, Search Assist has been classified as a browser hijacker. Therefore, certain functionalities of this PUP should not be ignored. For instance, SearchAssist.net redirect might mislead you to potentially insecure domains due to the very mentioned Trovi.com site.

Therefore, there are more than enough reasons to remove SearchAssist.net from the browser. You can do so faster with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or Malwarebytes. The tool will assist you in getting rid of all cookies and elements associated with the browsing tool.

More picky users may also spot that there are no full company credentials. Though there is a 'Contact Us' form, nonetheless, no official address of the company. It is another aspect which only accounts to the obscure reputation of this tool. Therefore, SearchAssist removal might be a wiser decision. You can do so manually or with the assistance with malware elimination tool. You may also combine these two methods to ensure that no SearchAssist.net elements remain.

Other variations of the hijacker

MyPrivacyAssistant.com virus is an identical version of SearchAssist.net. MyPrivacyAssistant displays the same home page. It is also promoted via SearchAssist Tools browser plug-in.

It does not seem to contain any exceptional features. Like its counterpart, it cooperates with Trovi search tool. If you get redirected there once in a while, it is time for you to eliminate its web scripts.

PUP distribution methods remain the same

The developers of this browsing tool have “expanded” the promotion network quite much. Either you install one of the two identical SearchAssist.me browser plug-ins or SearchAssist Tools plug-in, your default search engine will be replaced to MyPrivacyAssistant.com or SearchAssist.com.

Due to its relation to Trovi hijackers, you may spot the hijacker promoted in their domains. In addition, you should be careful while installing new programs. Instead of 'Express', opt for 'Advanced' installation mode. It will reveal optional programs, and you will be able to deselect unnecessary options. The sample of SearchAssist.net browsing engineThough SearchAssist.net is not an aggressive hijacker, its cooperation with Trovi hijacker may result in cyber problems.

Eliminate SearchAssist.net from the browser

If your default search engine was replaced as a result of adding one of the mentioned browser extensions, you will need to eradicate both of them. Delete the extensions manually. Afterward, you can scan with an anti-malware tool and remove SearchAssist.net virus elements faster.

You may rely on the automatic elimination entirely. Note that it would be better to carry out SearchAssist removal in all browsers if you have several of them.

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.

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Alternative Security Tools
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove SearchAssist.net, follow these steps:

Uninstall SearchAssist.net in Windows systems

Whether you opt for an automatic or manual SearchAssist.net removal, it is recommended to check for its registry entries in Registry Editor. launch it by pressing Windows key+R, type regedit and then press Enter. After that, go to Edit section and choose Find next option. Type in the title of the PUP and search for its related registry entries. If you find any, delete them.

  1. Go to Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, open Add/Remove Programs). Go to 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, open 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, click on Windows icon in the lower left corner of the screen to open Quick Access Menu. Then click Control Panel and select Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, click on Windows icon in the lower left corner of the screen to open 'Quick Access Menu'. Then click 'Control Panel' and select 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Remove SearchAssist.net and programs related to it
    Now, take a look at the list of programs and find SearchAssist.net or other programs that you do not remember installing.
  4. Right-click on these programs and select "Uninstall." Then click OK to save changes. Right-click every suspicious program and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Delete SearchAssist.net from Windows shortcuts
    Right-click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and click Properties. Right-click on web browsers' icon and click 'Properties'
  6. Now, go to Shortcut tab and find Target field. Then delete the URL that is associated with your virus. Open 'Shortcut' tab and erase 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other shady URL

Follow the same steps as explained above with all other shortcuts of Internet browsers, including Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. Please check Start Menu, Desktop, and taskbar to find all shortcuts.

Uninstall SearchAssist.net in Mac OS X system

  1. Users who use OS X should click on Go button, which can be found at the top left corner of the screen and select Applications. Click on 'Go' to open a drop-down menu and select 'Applications'.
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for SearchAssist.net or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on each malicious application and select 'Move to Trash'

Delete SearchAssist.net from Internet Explorer (IE)

Eliminate all toolbars and browser extensions associated with SearchAssist.net.

  1. Delete suspicious browser add-ons
    Launch Internet Explorer, and then open IE by clicking on the Gear icon, which is located at the top right corner of the Internet browser. Then, click Manage Add-ons. Open browser menu and go to 'Manage add-ons'
  2. Manage Add-ons window will appear on your screen. Now, search for SearchAssist.net and other questionable browser add-ons. Right-click them on each of them and select Disable. To eliminate malicious applications, right-click on each of them and click 'Disable'
  3. If virus altered your homepage, change it:
    Click the Gear icon at the top right corner of the Internet browser and then click Internet Options. Stay in General section.
  4. Now, delete malicious URL and enter Delete suspicious URL, type in your preferable site name and click 'Apply' to save
  5. Reset all Internet Explorer settings
    Click on Gear icon and then opt for Internet options. Then go to Advanced section.
  6. Click Reset.
  7. A new window appears, and then you have to tick Delete personal settings and click Reset to finalise SearchAssist.net removal. In 'Advanced' tab, click 'Reset'. Then tick 'Delete personal settings' and click 'Reset'.

Delete SearchAssist.net from Microsoft Edge

Reset settings in Microsoft Edge (Technique No.1):

  1. Open Microsoft Edge browser, then click on More button, which is situated at the top right edge of the screen
  2. Select Settings from the drop down menu.
  3. When the Settings panel appears, find Clear browsing data section and hit Choose what to clear button. Open Settings and click on 'Choose what to clear' button
  4. Then mark all components that you wish to delete and after that hit Clear. Click 'Clear'
  5. Right-click the Start button (that has Windows logo on it) and choose Task Manager. Right-click the Start button again and choose 'Task Manager'
  6. Go to Processes tab and look for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and select Go to details. If there is no Go to details option, select More details and carry out previous instructions. Right-click on 'Microsoft Edge' and choose 'Go to details' option If 'Go to details' option does not show up, choose 'More details' instead
  8. Once Details tab appears, look for entries that contain Microsoft Edge name. Right-click on such individual entries and choose End Task option to terminate them. Locate all entries that relate to Microsoft Edge and click 'End Task'

Reset Microsoft Edge (Technique No.2):

In case the Technique No.1 did not help you to fix the problem, use advanced Edge reset option.

  1. Important: you must backup your files before you use these tips
  2. Locate this folder on your PC: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select all items in this folder and right-click with your mouse. Select Delete. Open Microsoft Edge folder on your PC, click every entry with the right mouse button and select 'Delete'
  4. Click on the Start button (that has Windows Logo on it) and in Search my stuff field, type in window power.
  5. With the right button of your mouse, click on every entry and select Run as administrator. Locate where Windows PowerShell is, right-click on it and click on 'Run as administrator' option
  6. Once you get Admin's rights, Windows PowerShell window should show up shortly. Paste this line:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and hit Enter. Copy and then paste the necessary command and hit 'Enter'

After completing these steps, Microsoft Edge should be SearchAssist.net-free.

Delete SearchAssist.net from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

After performing these instructions, restart the browser and make sure no traces of SearchAssist.net  remain.

  1. Delete suspicious browser extensions
    Launch Mozilla Firefox, and then open menu (click a button at the top right corner). Then, go to Add-ons Extensions. Open browser menu and go to 'Add-ons'
  2. Now, locate SearchAssist.net and other suspicious extensions. Click Remove to eliminate them. Go to 'Extensions' and locate malicious browser add-ons. Hit 'Remove' button to delete each entry
  3. If virus altered your homepage, change it:
    Open Firefox menu (click the button at the top right corner), and go to Options General.
  4. Delete malicious URL and then enter the address of the website that you want to set as your homepage.
  5. Click OK to save the changes. Open 'General' tab and delete the URL from 'Home Page' field or just simply click 'Restore to Default'. Then click on 'OK' button to apply changes.
  6. Reset all Mozilla Firefox settings
    Click on the Firefox at the top left corner and then click the question mark. Then, select Troubleshooting Information. Open menu by clicking on the indicated icon and on '?'. Then select 'Troubleshooting Information'.
  7. Reset Firefox to its default state message should appear then. You will see Reset Firefox button. Click this button a few times and finalise SearchAssist.net removal. Hit 'Reset Firefox' button a few times

Delete SearchAssist.net from Google Chrome

  1. Remove malicious extensions
    Launch Google Chrome, and then open menu (click a button at the top right corner). Then, go to Tools Extensions. Open browser's menu, then click 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Now, look for SearchAssist.net and other suspicious extensions and then click the trash icon to remove them. Find malicious extensions and click on the Trash bin icon to remove them
  3. If virus altered your homepage, change it:
    Open menu and select Settings.
  4. Find Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup section and click Set pages. Open browser's menu, then go to 'Settings' and select 'Set pages' under 'On startup' section
  5. An additional window should pop-up. Here, remove dubious URLs and add a new page that you wish to set as a homepage. Remove malicious search sites by clicking 'X'
  6. Open Chrome menu and go to Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. Once you open browser's 'Settings', click on 'Manage search engines...' button
  7. In Search Engines..., configure default search engine settings. Remove untrustworthy ones. We advise you to leave only Google or another reputable website of your choice. Remove malicious search sites by clicking 'X'
  8. Reset all Google Chrome settings
    Open menu by clicking the button at the top right corner of Google Chrome, and go to Settings.
  9. Scroll down to find Reset browser settings button. Click on it. When in 'Settings', click Show advanced settings and then find 'Reset browser settings' button. Click on it.
  10. Click Reset to approve this action and finish SearchAssist.net removal. Click 'Reset' to finish the removal process.

Delete SearchAssist.net from Safari

  1. Delete suspicious browser extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and then select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for SearchAssist.net or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and remove untrustworthy extensions
  3. If virus altered your homepage, change it:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by SearchAssist.net, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. Go to 'General' section and find Homepage field. Delete suspicious URL and replace it with a URL of your choice.
  5. Reset all Safari settings
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and then select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete SearchAssist.net removal process. Select all checkboxes and click 'Reset'

Securely connect to your website wherever you are

Sometimes you may need to log in to a content management system or server more often, especially if you are actively working on a blog, website, or different project that needs constant maintenance or that requires frequent content updates or other changes. In this case, you may need to connect to the server from different locations, which is especially inconvenient when your website is protected from unauthorized IP addresses and suspicious connections.

Avoiding this problem can be easy if you choose a dedicated/fixed IP address. It's a static IP address that only belongs to a specific device and does not change when you are in different locations. With dedicated/fixed IP, you can connect to your content management system wherever you are without any security issues. Also, in exactly the same way, you will avoid authentication problems when logging in to your bank accounts from different locations.

VPN service providers such as Private Internet Access can help you with these settings. This tool can help you control your online reputation and successfully manage your projects wherever you are. It is important to prevent different IP addresses from connecting to your website. With a dedicated/fixed IP address, VPN service, and secure access to a content management system, your project will remain secure.

Reduce the threat of viruses by backing up your data

Due to their own careless behavior, computer users can suffer various losses caused by cyber infections. Viruses can affect the functionality of the software or directly corrupt data on your system by encrypting it. These problems can disrupt the system and cause you to lose personal data permanently. There is no such threat if you have the latest backups, as you can easily recover lost data and get back to work.

It is recommended to update the backups in parallel each time the system is modified. This way, you will be able to access the latest saved data after an unexpected virus attack or system failure. Backing up your files daily or weekly should become your habit.

By having the latest copies of important documents and projects, you will avoid serious inconveniences. File backups are especially useful if malware attacks your system unexpectedly. We recommend using the Data Recovery Pro program to restore the system.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall

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