Bettersearch.co Redirect

Also Known As: bettersearch.co browser hijacker
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Bettersearch.co redirect removal instructions

What is bettersearch.co?

bettersearch.co is another fake Internet search engine that supposedly enhances users' browsing experience by generating improved results. Judging on appearance alone, bettersearch.co may seem similar to Yahoo, Bing, Google, and other legitimate search engines. Therefore, many users believe that bettersearch.co is also legitimate and useful. In fact, this site is promoted using rogue download/installation set-ups designed to modify Internet browser options without permission. In addition, bettersearch.co records various user-system information relating to Internet browsing activity.

bettersearch.co browser hijacker

Immediately after infiltration, rogue set-ups hijack Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, stealthily assigning the default search engine, new tab URL, and homepage options to bettersearch.co. From this point, users continually encounter unwanted redirects to bettersearch.co when they open a new browser tab or search via the URL bar. Furthermore, although these changes may seem insignificant, users are unable to revert them - set-ups stealthily install a number of browser extensions and/or potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). These so-called "helper objects" continue to reassign browser settings when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, returning browsers to their previous states becomes impossible. By deceptively building bettersearch.co traffic, developers significantly diminish users' Internet browsing experience. Another downside is information tracking. This fake search engine and "helper objects" continually record various sensitive information: IP addresses, keystrokes, search queries, website URLs visited, and other information is shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In doing so, developers put your privacy at risk. Modification of browser options and information tracking is very common to browser-hijacking apps, however, in some cases, browser hijackers run unwanted processes (e.g., to mine cryptocurrency) in the background, without permission. They misuse system resources, thereby diminishing overall system performance. If you encounter redirects to bettersearch.co, immediately eliminate all suspicious programs/add-ons and never visit this website again.

Threat Summary:
Namebettersearch.co browser hijacker
Threat TypeBrowser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
SymptomsManipulated Internet browser(s) settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). User's are forced to visit hijacker's website and search the Internet using their search engines.
Distribution methodsDeceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.
DamageInternet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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bettersearch.co is virtually identical to nowsearch.info, searchdimension.com, newtab.today, and dozens of other fake search engines. Note that, although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, all have identical behavior. By falsely claiming to generate improved search results and to provide other 'useful features' (shortcuts to popular websites, weather forecasts, etc.), fake search engines attempt to give the impression of legitimacy. In fact, however, these sites are useless for regular users. The only purpose of all fake search engines is to increase developers' revenue. Rather than giving any real value for regular users, websites such as bettersearch.co cause unwanted redirects and record private information. Research shows that some fake search engines generate intrusive advertisements and false search results. These rogue ads and results typically lead to malicious websites. Furthermore, there is a high probability that the ads will execute scripts that download and install malware/PUPs. Therefore, using a fake Internet search engine risks computer infection.

How did bettersearch.co install on my computer?

To promote bettersearch.co, developers employ a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". They hide all information regarding modification of browser settings within the "Custom/Advanced" options or other sections of the download/installation processes. Many users rush and skip the associated steps, thus inadvertently granting set-ups permission to change various settings and exposing their systems to risk of various infections.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Potentially unwanted programs are proliferated using the "bundling" method and via intrusive advertisements. Therefore, be cautious during the download/installation processes, and when browsing the Internet in general. Carefully analyze each window of the download/installation processes and cancel all additionally-included programs. Criminals monetize third party downloaders/installers by promoting dubious apps (the "bundling" method). Therefore, we strongly advise you to download your apps from official sources only, using a direct download link. Many intrusive ads look legitimate, since developers invest many resources into their design, however, once clicked, they redirect to pornography, adult dating, gambling, and other dubious websites. These ads are commonly delivered by adware-type programs. Therefore, if you encounter them, immediately eliminate all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins.

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Quick menu:

bettersearch.co browser hijacker 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.

bettersearch.co browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently-installed suspicious applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted programs that cause browser redirects to the bettersearch.co website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

bettersearch.co browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing bettersearch.co related Internet Explorer extensions

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options 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:

Removing bettersearch.co from Internet Explorer homepage

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://bettersearch.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:

Removing bettersearch.co from Internet Explorer default search engine

Click 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 and then remove "bettersearch".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the bettersearch.co 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.

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 bettersearch.co related Google Chrome extensions

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Change your homepage:

Removing bettersearch.co from Google Chrome homepage

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.bettersearch.co) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present, click the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.

Change your default search engine:

Removing bettersearch.co from Google Chrome default search engine

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list, look for "bettersearch", and when located, click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the bettersearch.co browser hijacker, 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 bettersearch.co related Mozilla Firefox extensions

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions" and remove all recently-installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing bettersearch.co from Mozilla Firefox homepage

To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://bettersearch.co and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing bettersearch.co from Mozilla Firefox 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: "bettersearch.co"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with bettersearch.co 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, 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 browser hijackers from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

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

removing browser hijacker from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 3 - changing homepage

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.

removing browser hijackers from safari step 4 - changing the default Internet search engine

In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.

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 (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 3

To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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 Microsoft Edge (Chromium) puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the bettersearch.co browser hijacker, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sampleA 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.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove bettersearch.co browser hijacker from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on bettersearch.co browser hijacker 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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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
bettersearch.co browser hijacker 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 bettersearch.co browser hijacker on your mobile device.
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