Written by Tomas Meskauskas
Damage level: Medium
MetaCrawler.com and Infospace.com - how to remove redirect to these websites?
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.
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". Look for MetaCrawler and Infospace-related entries, select them and click Uninstall.
Windows XP users:
Click "Start", choose "Settings" and click "Control Panel". Locate and click "Add or Remove Programs". Look for MetaCrawler or Infospace-related entries, select them and click 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 "Tools" (or gear icon in Internet Explorer 9), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for MetaCrawler-related entries (Infospace, fantastigames, etc.) and disable them.
Remove MetaCrawler from Google Chrome:
Click on the wrench icon (top right of the screen), select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate any MetaCrawler-related entries, select them and click on the trash can icon.
Remove MetaCrawler Toolbar from FireFox:
Click "Tools" (at the top of the window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and disable MetaCrawler-related entries
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.