Search Awesome Adware

Also Known As: Ads by SearchAwesome
Type: Adware
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

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.

Search Awesome adware

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:

Search Awesome adware distributing installer

Deceptive free software installer distributing Search Awesome adware to Mac users:

search awesome adware installer (Mac)

Instant automatic removal of Ads by SearchAwesome: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Ads by SearchAwesome. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Search Awesome adware 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 click Uninstall a program.

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 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

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:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

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.

uninstalling search awesome adware via Control Panel

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:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing Search Awesome ads from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for "Search Awesome", select this entry and click "Remove".

Removing Search Awesome ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

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.

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 wish 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 malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing Search Awesome  ads from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Removing Search Awesome ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by searchawesome, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

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

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing Search Awesome ads from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove "Search Awesome".

Removing Search Awesome ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

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, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge logoRemove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 1

In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 2

Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 3

  • If this didn't help, please follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, 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.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove ads by searchawesome from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on ads by searchawesome or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Removal Instructions in other languages
Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Ads by SearchAwesome QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by SearchAwesome on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Spyhunter:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

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