searchassistant.co redirect removal instructions
What is searchassistant.co?
Search Assistant is a dubious application that supposedly enhances the browsing experience by improving the Internet search results. On initial inspection, Search Assistant may seem legitimate and useful, however, this app is often distributed using the bundling method. Furthermore, it causes unwanted browser redirects and gathers various user/system data. For these reasons, Search Assistant is classed as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and a browser hijacker.
Search Assistant hijacks web browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox), assigning the new tab URL, homepage, and default search engine options to searchassistant.com. This behavior may seem insignificant, however, users are unable to revert these changes, since Search Assistant reassigns the aforementioned settings when attempts are made to change them and users are forced to continually visit searchassistant.com website without their consent. Continual unwanted browser redirects significantly diminish the Internet browsing experience. Furthermore, Search Assistant collects a variety of data relating to users' Internet browsing activity. Information such as Internet Protocol (IP) addresses (to determine geo-location), website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, etc., might contain personally identifiable details. Developers of Search Assistant (Searchme) share this gathered data with cooperating third parties (possibly, cyber criminals) who misuse private details to generate revenue. Thus, the presence of an information-tracking app on your system can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. You are strongly advised to eliminate Search Assistant from your system immediately.
Research shows that there are hundreds of browser-hijacking applications similar to Search Assistant. Examples include Gaming Assistant, PokeDex Search, Galactica Games, and many others. All browser hijackers gives fake promises to enhance the web browsing experience by enabling certain 'useful functions', however, these claims are merely attempts to give the impression of legitimate software. In fact, apps such as Search Assistant provide no real value for regular users. Browser hijackers collect personal data, cause unwanted browser redirects, and deliver intrusive online advertisements. Fake Internet search engines promoted by browser-hijacking apps can generate results leading to malicious sites. Thus, using a fake Internet search engine often results in high-risk adware or malware infections.
How did searchassistant.co install on my computer?
Search Assistant is free for anyone to download on its official website, however, many users install this browser hijacker inadvertently without their consent. Developers promote Search Assistant using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling", since they know that many users do not express enough caution when downloading and installing software. For these reasons, hiding bundled programs within the "Custom/Advanced" settings of the download/installation processes is very effective. Many users rush and skip this section, thereby exposing their systems to risk of various infections.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Installation of PUPs can be prevented by taking a number of simple steps. Potentially unwanted programs are often distributed using the bundling method. Therefore, you should closely analyze the download/installation processes using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings. Furthermore, decline all offers to download or install additional applications, and cancel of those already included.
Website promoting Search Assistant browser hijacker:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is searchassistant.co?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Search Assistant application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove searchassistant.co redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Search Assistant browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove searchassistant.co homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove searchassistant.co redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Search Assistant browser hijacker removal:
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Mac OSX users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently-installed suspicious applications (for example, "Search Assistant"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted programs that cause browser redirects to the searchassistant.co website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Search Assistant browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://searchassistant.co and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter about: blank to open a blank page when you start Internet Explorer.
Change your default search engine:
Click 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 and then remove "SearchAssistant".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search assistant browser hijacker, 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 wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Search Assistant", and other recently-installed suspicious add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, click "set pages", hover your mouse over hxxp://searchassistant.co and click the x symbol. Now, you can add your preferred website as your homepage.
Change your 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 "Manage Search Engines...", remove "searchassistant.co" and add or select your preferred domain.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search assistant browser hijacker, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions" and remove "Search Assistant" and all other recently-installed browser plug-ins.
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://searchassistant.co and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change your 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: "searchassistant"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with search assistant browser hijacker removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...
In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker - change it.
In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage and new tab settings:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section look for the name of the browser hijacker and click "Disable".
Change your default Internet search engine:
To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Privacy and services", scroll to bottom of the page and select "Address bar". In the "Search engines used in address bar" section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the "Disable" button near it. Alternatively you can click on "Manage search engines", in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search assistant browser hijacker, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
A browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove search assistant browser hijacker from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
Post a comment:
If you have additional information on search assistant browser hijacker or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.