Written by Tomas Meskauskas
Damage level: Medium
Safesearch.net - how to remove browser redirects to this website?
The Safesearch.net website was created by AVSoftware LLC and promoted using a browser extension called SafeSearch. This browser add-on is compatible with Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Creators of this website claim that they have created a unique search engine, which filters malicious websites that may harm users' computers. Whilst this initiative may seem useful, there is a downside of safesearch.net - creators of this website use deceptive promotion methods.
Many users report that they are redirected to safesearch.net without their consent, a situation that may occur if the SafeSearch toolbar was installed together with free software downloaded from the Internet. Many popular download websites and freeware developers bundle their free downloads and programs with unwanted browser add-ons in order to monetize their incoming web traffic. Internet users can avoid unwanted browser toolbars such as this by disallowing additional software installation during the installation phase of any freeware. When installing, closely check each step, opting-out of additional software installs and any suggestions to modify your Internet browser homepage or default search engine settings. Note that the safesearch.net search engine adds no real value, and redirects to this website are applied for monetization purposes only (clicking on the sponsored search results is not recommended - this may lead to additional unwanted software installation).
SafeSearch.net is not related to malware or virus infections, however, redirects to this website are caused by unwanted browser toolbars installed together with free software downloaded from the Internet. Internet users should express caution when downloading free software, since many download websites use silent installers. Furthermore, opting-out of unwanted additional software does not always guarantee that it will not be installed. Ensure that you download software from legitimate sources only. If you wish to eliminate redirects to safesearch.net and remove the unwanted SafeSearch toolbar, use the removal instructions provided.
SafeSearch.net redirect (SafeSearch toolbar) removal:
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 "SafeSearch", select this entry and click Uninstall.
Windows XP users:
Click "Start", choose "Settings" and click "Control Panel". Locate and click "Add or Remove Programs". Look for "SafeSearch", select it and click Remove.
After uninstalling the SafeSearch toolbar, which causes redirects to safesearch.net, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software. Remove all entries that this program detects to ensure your PC is clean from any possible spyware and malware infections.
SafeSearch.net redirect (SafeSearch toolbar) removal from browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove SafeSearch.net redirect from Internet Explorer:
Click "Tools" (or the gear icon in Internet Explorer 9), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for AVSoftware EOOD related entries (SafeSearch Toolbar, SafeSearch) and disable them. To change your homepage from safesearch.net to your preferred domain, click "Tools" (or the gear icon in Internet Explorer 9), select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove safesearch.net and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer.
Remove SafeSearch.net redirect from Google Chrome:
Click on the wrench or bars icon (top right of the screen), select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate "SafeSearch", select it and click on the trash can icon. To change your homepage from safesearch.net to your preferred domain, click on the wrench (bars) icon, select "Settings". In "On startup" section click "set pages", hover your mouse over safesearch.net and click the x symbol. Now you can add your preferred website as your homepage.
Remove SafeSearch.net redirect from FireFox:
Click "FireFox" (at the top left of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "SafeSearch". To reset your homepage click "Tools", then select "Options", in the opened window remove safesearch.net and enter your preferred domain.
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 SafeSearch.net Redirect distribution:
To avoid installation of SafeSearch.net 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 SafeSearch.net Redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.