Keytar.com redirect removal instructions
What is keytar.com?
keytar.com is a fake Internet search engine that supposedly allows users to search the Internet safely and privately. Initially, this functionality my seem legitimate and useful, however, keytar.com is promoted via a potentially unwanted program (PUP) called Keytar Search that stealthily infiltrates the system and records various information. Furthermore, keytar.com is categorized as a browser hijacker - a form of unwanted software that modifies Internet browser options without permission.
Following infiltration, Keytar Search hijacks Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, stealthily assigning the new tab URL, default search engine, and homepage options to keytar.com. These changes may seem insignificant, and yet, users are unable to revert them. Keytar Search continually reassigns browser settings when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, returning browsers to their previous states becomes impossible and users are encouraged to visit keytar.com when they open a new browser tab or search via the URL bar. These redirects significantly diminish the browsing experience. At time of research, there were scenarios in which keytar.com was used to promote another fake search engine called ampxsearch.com. Another downside is information tracking. keytar.com and Keytar Search continually record various data that is likely to include personal details. IP addresses, websites visited, keystrokes, search queries, and other collected data is later sold to third parties. These people (potentially, cyber criminals) generate revenue by misusing personal details. Therefore, information tracking might lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. Furthermore, some browser hijackers exploit system resources to mine cryptocurrency or run other unwanted processes. In doing so, PUPs significantly reduce overall system performance. For these reasons, we strongly advise you to uninstall Keytar Search and other browser hijackers immediately. Do not return to the keytar.com website.
|Name||Keytar Search browser hijacker|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Symptoms||Manipulated 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 methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.|
|Damage||Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)|
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
The Internet is full of fake search engines similar to keytar.com. The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) bettersearch.co, search.searchquicks.com, nowsearch.info, and many others. All claims to enhance users' Internet browsing experience by generating improved search results and providing other "useful features" (e.g., shortcuts to popular websites, weather forecasts, currency exchange rates, etc.) In fact, many fake search engines deliver no real value for regular users. These websites are designed only to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than providing any of the features promised, they cause unwanted redirects and record information. In some cases, these websites also feed users with fake search results and intrusive ads (coupons, banners, etc.) The generated results and ads typically lead to malicious websites. The ads might also execute scripts that download and install malware/PUPs. Therefore, use of fake Internet search engines is very risky.
How did keytar.com install on my computer?
Keytar Search is typically distributed using intrusive advertisements, and a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" (stealth installation of third party applications together with regular software/apps). Therefore, Keytar Search often infiltrates systems without users' consent. Developers hide "bundled" apps within the "Custom/Advanced" settings or other sections of the download/installation processes. Many users click various advertisements and skip most of the download/installation steps, thereby exposing their systems to risk of various infections and putting their privacy at risk.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, be very careful when browsing the Internet and especially when downloading/installing software. Be aware that intrusive ads typically look legitimate, however, they are distinguishable for their redirects - most lead to survey, gambling, pornography, and other dubious websites. Therefore, if you encounter such ads, immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. Furthermore, select the "Custom/Advanced" settings, carefully analyze each download/installation step, and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. The key to computer safety is caution.
Website promoting Keytar Search browser hijacker:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is keytar.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Keytar Search application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove keytar.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Keytar Search browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove keytar.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove keytar.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Keytar Search 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, "Keytar Search"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted programs that cause browser redirects to the keytar.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Keytar Search 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://keytar.com 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 "keytar".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the keytar search 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 "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Keytar Search" and other recently-installed suspicious browser 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, look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.keytar.com) 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:
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 engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list, look for "Keytar", and when located, click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the keytar search 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 "Keytar Search", as well as 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://keytar.com 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: "keytar.com"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with keytar search 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 keytar search 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 keytar search browser hijacker from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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