Search.safefinderds.com redirect removal instructions
What is search.safefinderds.com?
search.safefinderds.com is a fake web search engine that, according to the developers, enhances the browsing experience by generating improved results. Initially, this functionality may appear legitimate and useful, however, this is deceptive. Research shows that developers promote search.safefinderds.com using a browser-hijacking app called Safe Finder DS. Furthermore, this website (and Safe Finder DS) continually records various information relating to users' Internet browsing activity.
Safe Finder DS targets Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Following infiltration, Safe Finder DS assigns the new tab URL, default search engine, and homepage options as search.safefinderds.com. These changes may seem insignificant, however, users are unable to revert them - Safe Finder DS reassigns settings when attempts are made to change them. Therefore, as long as Safe Finder DS is present, returning browsers to their previous states is impossible and users are forced to visit search.safefinderds.com when they open a new browser tab or search via the URL bar. This significantly diminishes the web browsing experience. After entering a search query, users are redirected to search.yahoo.com and end up searching the Internet via Yahoo (a legitimate web search engine). This makes search.safefinderds.com useless. Furthermore, search.safefinderds.com and Safe Finder DS are designed to gather information relating to web browsing activity. Collected data (IP addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, etc.) usually includes personal details that developers later sell to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). These people misuse private information to generate revenue - behavior that can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. For these reasons, uninstall the Safe Finder DS browser hijacker and never return to search.safefinderds.com
|Name||Safe Finder DS 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 Malwarebytes.
The Internet is full of fake web search engines that share similarities with search.safefinderds.com (for example, stabers.club, sm.de, findgofind.co, and many others). All claim to enhance the browsing experience by providing various "useful features" (improved search results, shortcuts to popular websites, weather forecasts, etc.), however, these false promises are merely attempts to give the impression of legitimacy. The only purpose of all fake web search engines is to generate revenue for the developers. They deliver no real value for regular users, cause unwanted redirects, and gather sensitive data. Furthermore, some feed users with misleading search results and intrusive ads, typically leading to potentially malicious websites. Therefore, using fake search engines can lead to various system infections.
How did Safe Finder DS install on my computer?
Safe Finder DS is free for anyone to download on its official website. Despite this, it typically infiltrates systems without consent. Developers promote this browser hijacker using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" and intrusive advertisements. "Bundling" is essentially stealth installation of third party applications with regular software/apps. Developers do not disclose these installations properly - all "bundled" PUPs are hidden within "Custom/Advanced" settings or other sections of the download/installation processes. Intrusive ads redirect users to malicious sites and execute scripts that stealthily download and install malware/PUPs. Skipping download/installation steps and clicking various advertisements often leads to inadvertent installation of bogus programs such as Safe Finder DS.
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, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and especially when downloading/installing software. Bear in mind that intrusive ads look legitimate, but once clicked, redirect to dubious sites (gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.) Intrusive ads are usually delivered by adware-type PUPs. Therefore, if you encounter them, immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. Furthermore, carefully analyze each step of the download/installation processes and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. You are advised to download your software from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are commonly monetized by promoting PUPs and, for this reason, should not be used.
Website promoting Safe Finder DS browser hijacker:
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.safefinderds.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Safe Finder DS application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove search.safefinderds.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Safe Finder DS browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove search.safefinderds.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove search.safefinderds.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Safe Finder DS 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, "Safe Finder DS"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted programs that cause browser redirects to the search.safefinderds.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Safe Finder DS 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://search.safefinderds.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 "safefinderds".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the safe finder ds 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 "Safe Finder DS" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
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.search.safefinderds.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 "search.safefinderds.com", 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 safe finder ds 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 "Safe Finder DS", 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://search.safefinderds.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: "search.safefinderds.com"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with safe finder ds 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 safe finder ds 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 safe finder ds browser hijacker from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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