ZenSearch.com Virus

Also Known As: ZenSearch.com Redirect
Type: Browser Hijacker
Damage level: Medium
Distribution: High
Damage Level

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.

Zensearch.com redirect

The ZenSearch.com browser hijacker is similar to other browser settings-changing adware, including, for example Awesomehp.comSweet-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:

Zensearch installer

Quick menu:

ZenSearch.com virus removal:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click "Start" ("Windows Logo" at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose "Control Panel". Locate "Programs and Features."

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click "Start", choose "Settings" and click "Control Panel". Locate and click "Add or Remove Programs".

Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click at the screen’s bottom-left corner, select Control Panel. In the opened window choose "Uninstall a Program".

zensearch uninstall

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.

Remover for ZenSearch.com Virus

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ZenSearch.com virus removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer logoRemove ZenSearch.com from Internet Explorer:

Removing zensearch.com from Internet Explorer extensions

Click on the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options 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:

Removing zensearch.com from Internet Explorer default search engine settings

Click on the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options 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".

Optional method:

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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the "gear" icon. Select "Internet Options".

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the "Advanced" tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the "Reset" button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you want to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the "Reset" button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove ZenSearch.com from Google Chrome:

Removing zensearch.com from Google Chrome extensions

Click the Chrome menu iconGoogle Chrome options 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:

Removing zensearch.com from Google Chrome default search engine settings

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu iconGoogle Chrome options 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.

Reseting Google Chrome settings

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with browser redirects to zensearch.com, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu iconGoogle Chrome options 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.

Resetting Google Chrome setting to default - accessing settings

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen click the "Reset browser settings" button.

Resetting Google Chrome settings to default - advanced settings

 In the opened window confirm that you want to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the "Reset" button.

Resetting Google Chrome settings to default - confirm that you want to reset Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove ZenSearch.com from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing zensearch.com from Mozilla Firefox extensions

Click on the Firefox menu firefox menu icon(at the top right corner of the main window) select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "ZenSearch".

Change your homepage:

Removing zensearch.com from Mozilla Firefox homepage

To reset your homepage, click on the Firefox menu firefox menu icon(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.

Optional method:

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,firefox menu iconin the opened menu, click the "Open Help Menu" icon,firefox help menu

Resettings Mozilla Firefox settings to default - accessing

Select "Troubleshooting Information".

Resetting Mozilla Firefox settings to default - accessing

In the opened window click the "Reset Firefox" button.

Resetting Mozilla Firefox settings to default - clicking the

In the opened window confirm that you want to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the "Reset" button.

Resetting Mozilla Firefox settings to default - confirming settings reset by clicking the

Summary:

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:

Free software download managers distributing browser hijackers

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:

Declining installation of browser hijackers

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.

About the author:

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010.

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