Also Known As: MetaCrawler Virus, Type: Browser Hijacker, Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
MetaCrawler.com and Infospace.com - how to remove redirect to these websites?
What is MetaCrawler.com?
MetaCrawler is a search engine that combines search results from major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. MetaCrawler might appear as a legitimate project, but in fact the company behind it employs some dubious methods in order to promote their websites (MetaCrawler and Infospace). Recently, we received many complaints from users reporting that they were being redirected to these websites. Furthermore, computer users should express great caution whilst using the search services provided by MetaCrawler and Infospace - although the organic search results are legitimate (they originate from reputable search engines), the sponsored results are generated by MetaCrawler and often lead to dubious software installation methods or misleading websites.
If you fail to pay close attention to where you click, you might inadvertently install unwanted toolbars or scam software on your PC. The latest complaints indicate that computer users are being redirected to fantastigames.metacrawler.com, one of the sub-domains of MetaCrawler.com If you notice that your Internet browsers redirect to this website, this means your PC is infected with redirect malware. In this case, you are advised to scan your computer with legitimate antivirus and anti-spyware programs.
Commonly, these 'redirect infections' infiltrate computers when users visit malicious websites. To protect your computer from such incidents, always use legitimate antivirus and antispyware programs and keep your installed programs and operating system up-to-date. If your computer is already infected with MetaCrawler redirect virus, use the removal information provided to help you eliminate it from your PC.
- What is MetaCrawler.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall MetaCrawler.com application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove MetaCrawler add-on from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove MetaCrawler plugin from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove MetaCrawler extension from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove MetaCrawler manually by deleting files.
MetaCrawler redirect removal:
Check if you have installed any software related to Metacrawler or Infospace.
Windows 7 users:
Click "Start" ("Windows Logo" in the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose "Control Panel". Locate and click "Programs and Features".
Windows XP users:
Click "Start", choose "Settings" and click "Control Panel". Locate and click "Add or Remove Programs".
WIndows 8 users:
Right-click in the screen’s bottom-left corner, select Control Panel. In the opened window choose "Uninstall a Program".
In the uninstall programs window, look for MetaCrawler or Infospace-related entries, select them and click " Uninstall" or "Remove"
After uninstalling MetaCrawler and Infospace-related software (toolbars etc.), it is recommended to scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use a recommended anti-spyware program. Remove all entries that this software detects to ensure your PC is clean from any possible spyware and malware infections.
Check your Internet browsers for any possibly left MetaCrawler extensions:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove MetaCrawler from Internet Explorer:
Click on the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Manage Add-ons". Look for MetaCrawler-related entries (Infospace, fantastigames, etc.) and disable them.
If you continue to have problems with removal of MetaCrawler,reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click "Start", click "Run", in the opened window type "inetcpl.cpl" In the opened window click the "Advanced" tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type "inetcpl.cpl" and click enter. In the opened window click the "Advanced" tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the "gear" icon. Select "Internet Options".
In the opened window, select the "Advanced" tab.
Click the "Reset" button.
Confirm that you want to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the "Reset" button.
Remove MetaCrawler from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon(at the top right corner of Google Chrome) select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate any MetaCrawler-related entries, select them and click on the trash can icon.
If you continue having problems with the removal of MetaCrawler you can reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon(at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select "Tools". From the opened menu, select "Extensions". In the opened window, select "Settings" (at the left corner of the screen). Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the "Show advanced settings…" link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen click the "Reset browser settings" button.
In the opened window confirm that you want to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the "Reset" button.
Remove MetaCrawler Toolbar from FireFox:
Click on the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window) select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and disable MetaCrawler-related entries
If you continue to have problems with removal of MetaCrawler, reset your Mozilla FireFox settings to default.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window click the Firefox menu,in the opened menu, click the "Open Help Menu" icon,
Select "Troubleshooting Information".
In the opened window click the "Reset Firefox" button.
In the opened window confirm that you want to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the "Reset" button.
Manual Metacrawler removal:
If you were unable to remove MetaCrawler using the steps above, you can use this manual removal instruction. Use it at your own risk, since if you do not have strong computer knowledge, you could harm your operating system. Be careful and use it only if you are an experienced computer user. (Instructions on how to end processes, remove registry entries...)
Remove these Metacrawler files:
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Fantastigames Toolbar\
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Fantastigames Toolbar\Uninstall Fantastigames Toolbar.lnk
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Fantastigames Toolbar\Fantastigames Toolbar.lnk
A browser hijacker is a type of adware that alters user's Internet browser settings by changing one's homepage and default Internet search engine to some unwanted website. Most commonly this type of adware infiltrates user's operating system through free software downloads. While browser redirects might seem as a low risk security infection, computer users should know that the websites to which they are being redirected to commonly contain deceptive online advertisements and the Internet search engine that is presented in such websites might return shady Internet search results. Using such websites for one's daily Internet searches might easily end up in privacy issues, identity theft or malware infections.
A computer that is affected by a browser hijacker is exposed to high risk security infections. To prevent further privacy and security issues it's recommended removing any Internet browser settings altering adware as soon as possible. Here are some examples of free software download clients that are used in MetaCrawler.com redirect distribution:
To avoid installation of MetaCrawler.com redirect be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. If your download is managed by a download client be sure to opt out of installing advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine:
Some of the mentioned free software download clients don't allow downloading the chosen free program if user decides to decline installation of it's offered toolbars, in such cases it's recommended to cancel the installation and look for an alternative download source.
Symptoms indicating that your Internet browsers are affected by a browser hijacker:
- Your homepage and/or default Internet search engine is changed.
- Appearance of new toolbars.
- Slow performance of Internet browsers.
- New Bookmarks or Favorites added.
- You can't change your homepage or default search engine.
- You see online ads on your screen that are not served by the website.
- You get redirected to pages you never intended to visit.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove MetaCrawler.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.
If you have additional information on MetaCrawler.com redirect or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.