Written by Tomas Meskauskas
Damage level: Medium
ZenSearch.com redirect virus removal instructions
What is ZenSearch.com?
The ZenSearch.com virus is a browser hijacker, which infiltrates users' Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox) through free software downloads and modifies the homepage and default search engine settings by assigning them to zensearch.com While this website may seem legitimate (it offers Internet searching using various search engines), computer users should be aware that ZenSearch is categorized as adware or a potentially unwanted application. Developers of this browser settings-changing adware use a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling', and thus, Internet users often install this potentially unwanted program (PUP) inadvertently without their consent.
Today, most freeware download websites use 'download clients' - small programs that manage the download process of the chosen free program. While this is a valid function, download clients also offer installation of advertised browser plug-ins. Some download clients under test promoted browser plug-ins in a deceptive manner, and thus, the majority of Internet users install PUPs such as Zensearch inadvertently without their consent.
The ZenSearch.com browser hijacker is similar to other browser settings-changing adware, including, for example Awesomehp.com, Sweet-page.com, and Nationzoom.com These browser plug-ins claim to enhance users' Internet browsing experience by enabling easy Internet searches, however, they add no real value and cause unwanted browser redirects. Apart from redirect issues, Zensearch adware also tracks users' Internet browsing activity by recording search requests, Internet Protocol addresses, and general web browser information. Having this browser hijacker installed on your system can lead to privacy issues and malware infections. Computer users who experience browser redirects to zensearch.com are advised to use this removal guide to eliminate adware from their Internet browser/s.
Screenshot of the zensearch.com installer:
- What is ZenSearch.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall ZenSearch application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove ZenSearch.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove ZenSearch.com browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove ZenSearch.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
ZenSearch.com virus removal:
Windows 7 users:
Click "Start" ("Windows Logo" at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose "Control Panel". Locate "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 at the screen’s bottom-left corner, select Control Panel. In the opened window choose "Uninstall a Program".
In the uninstall programs window: look for "ZenSearch", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the PUP (which causes browser redirects to the ZenSearch.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
ZenSearch.com virus removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove ZenSearch.com from Internet Explorer:
Click on the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Manage Add-ons". Look for "ZenSearch", select this entry and click "Remove".
Change the default search engine:
Click on the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window, select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing" or any other preferred search engine as your default, then remove "ZenSearch".
If you continue to have problems with redirects to zensearch.com, 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 ZenSearch.com from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon(at the top right corner of Google Chrome) select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate "ZenSearch", select this entry and click the trash can icon.
Change the default search engine:
To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon(at the top right corner of Google Chrome) select "Settings", in the "Search" section, click on "Manage Search Engines...", in the opened window remove "ZenSearch" and add or select your preferred Internet search engine.
If you continue to have problems with browser redirects to zensearch.com, 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 ZenSearch.com from Mozilla Firefox:
Click on the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window) select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "ZenSearch".
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click on the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window) select "Options", in the opened window remove zensearch.com and enter your preferred URL that will open every time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change default search engine:
In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
Click "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: "zensearch.com"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore the default values.
If you continue to have problems with browser redirects to zensearch.com, 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.
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 ZenSearch.com Virus distribution:
To avoid installation of ZenSearch.com Virus 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 ZenSearch.com Virus from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.
If you have additional information on ZenSearch.com Virus or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.