Search Awesome removal instructions
What is Search Awesome?
Search Awesome is an updated version of adware-type applications Wajam and Social2Search. By offering 'improved search results' (including content shared by users' friends on social networks), Search Awesome attempts to give the impression of legitimacy. In fact, this app is categorized as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and adware. There are three main reasons for these negative associations: 1) installation without consent; 2) display of intrusive advertisements, and; 3) tracking of users' Internet browsing activity.
Following infiltration, Search Awesome delivers various intrusive advertisements (banners, coupons, pop-ups, etc.) To achieve this, developers employ a "virtual layer" - a tool that enables placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, displayed ads often conceal underlying content, thereby significantly diminishing the browsing experience. In addition, these ads might lead to malicious websites. Clicking them is risky and can lead to further adware or malware infections. Furthermore, Search Awesome records IP addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, queries entered into search engines, and other similar information that is shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who generate revenue by misusing private data. Therefore, the presence of an information-tracking app such as Search Awesome can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. We strongly advise you to uninstall Search Awesome adware immediately.
Search Awesome shares similarities with hundreds of other adware-type applications such as History Open, AdBlaster, Weather Inspect, and Open Plugins. By falsely claiming to provide 'useful functionality', adware-type applications attempt to give the impression of legitimacy, however, their only purpose is to generate revenue for the developers, whilst regular users receive no significant value. Rather than providing the functionality promised, these apps display intrusive ads (via the "Pay Per Click" advertising model) and continually record user-system information (which is later shared with third parties to generate revenue).
How did Search Awesome install on my computer?
Search Awesome is free for anyone to download on its official website, however, it is also distributed using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". Therefore, many users install Search Awesome inadvertently, without their consent, since they often rush the download/installation processes and skip steps. Aware of this, developers hide bundled apps within the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings. Skipping this section exposes systems to risk of various infections.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
There are two simple steps you should take to prevent this situation. Firstly, never rush when downloading and installing software. Select the "Custom/Advanced" settings and carefully analyze each step. Secondly, decline offers to download/install additional applications and opt-out of those already included. Never install bundled software.
Deceptive free software installer distributing Search Awesome adware to PC users:
Deceptive free software installer distributing Search Awesome adware to Mac users:
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 Search Awesome?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Search Awesome application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Search Awesome adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Search Awesome ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove 'Ads by Search Awesome' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove Search Awesome extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Search Awesome adware 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 "SearchAwesome", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program that causes Search Awesome ads, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Search Awesome adware from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
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 "Search Awesome", select this entry and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by searchawesome, 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 "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Search Awesome", select this entry and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by searchawesome, 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", in the opened window, remove "Search Awesome".
Computer users who have problems with ads by searchawesome 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, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
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 upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by searchawesome, 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.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove ads by searchawesome from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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