What is feed.combo-search.com?
Combo Search is a deceptive application that supposedly allows users to change their Internet search engine. This functionality often tricks them into believing that Combo Search is legitimate and useful, however, this potentially unwanted program (PUP) often infiltrates systems without consent and continually gathers sensitive data.
Furthermore, Combo Search is categorized as a browser hijacker - a form of rogue software that modifies web browser options without users’ permission.
Immediately after infiltration, Combo Search hijacks Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, stealthily assigning the new tab URL, default search engine, and homepage options to feed.combo-search.com (or simply combo-search.com) - a fake Internet search engine. These changes may not seem significant, however, users are unable to revert them.
Research shows that Combo Search continually reassigns browser options when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, users are unable to return browsers to their previous states. Essentially, they are encouraged to visit feed.combo-search.com when they open a new browser tab or search via the URL bar.
By forcing users to visit various sites, cyber criminals significantly diminish the Internet browsing experience. Combo Search is known to record various user-system information. There is a high probability that the collected data will include personal details that developers of browser-hijacking apps sell to third parties.
These people (potentially, cyber criminals) generate revenue by misusing personal details, often leading to serious privacy issues.
Be aware that some PUPs misuse system resources to run various unwanted processes (e.g., to mine cryptocurrency). In doing so, potentially unwanted programs reduce overall system performance. Therefore, we strongly advise you to uninstall programs such as Combo Search immediately.
|Name||Combo 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.
There are dozens of browser-hijacking applications virtually identical to Combo Search. The list of examples includes (but is not not limited to) Search fort pro, GamerzLand, Your Streaming Radio Now, and Microcosm. As with Combo Search, these apps also offer certain "useful features", however, claims to provide them are merely attempts to give the impression of legitimacy.
The only purpose of browser hijackers is to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than giving any real value for regular users, browser hijackers pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety. Be aware that some fake search engines feed users with various intrusive advertisements (coupons, banners, etc.) and/or false search results.
Generated ads/results typically lead to infectious websites. Furthermore, they often run scripts that download and install malware. Therefore, use of fake search engines is very risky.
How did feed.combo-search.com install on my computer?
This browser hijacker has an official download website, however, due to lack of knowledge and careless behavior by many users, Combo Search often infiltrates systems without users’ permission. Criminals proliferate browser hijackers by employing a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" (stealth installation of PUPs together with regular software) and intrusive ads.
Developers hide "bundled" apps within "Custom/Advanced" settings or other sections of the download or installation processes. In addition, many users rush these procedures, skip steps, and click various advertisements without considering the possible consequences. In doing so, they expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and especially when downloading/installing software. Be aware that criminals invest many resources into intrusive ad design.
Therefore, these ads typically look legitimate, however, they redirect to various dubious websites (e.g., pornography, adult dating, gambling, etc.) They are often displayed by various adware-type programs.
If you encounter them, uninstall all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. Furthermore, carefully analyze each download/installation step and opt-out of all additionally-included programs.
Website promoting Combo 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 feed.combo-search.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Combo Search application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove feed.combo-search.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Combo Search browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove feed.combo-search.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove feed.combo-search.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Combo Search browser hijacker removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 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.
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.
macOS (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, "Combo Search"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted programs that cause browser redirects to the feed.combo-search.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Combo 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://feed.combo-search.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 "Combo Search".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the combo 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 "Combo" 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.feed.combo-search.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 "Combo", 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 combo 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 "Combo 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://feed.combo-search.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: "feed.combo-search.com"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with combo 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 combo 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.
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