How to remove browser-hijacking software causing redirects to my-search.com
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is my-search.com?
My-search.com is a fake web search engine that, as usual, claims to enhance the browsing experience by generating improved results. Judging on appearance alone, my-search.com may seem legitimate and useful, however, do not be deceived.
Research shows that this site is promoted using a browser-hijacking application called FullTab, which modifies browser options without permission. Furthermore, my-search.com and FullTab are designed to record information relating to users' Internet browsing activity.
How do browser hijackers promote my-search.com?
Research shows that FullTab targets Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Following infiltration, it assigns the new tab URL, default search engine, and homepage options to my-search.com. These changes may seem insignificant, but users are unable to revert them. FullTab continues to reassign browser settings when attempts are made to change them.
Therefore, as long as FullTab is present, returning browsers to their previous states is impossible. FullTab essentially forces users to visit my-search.com when they open a new browser tab or search via the URL bar. In this way, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) significantly diminish the web browsing experience.
In addition, after entering a search query into my-search.com, users are redirected to searchroute-1560352588.us-west-2.elb.amazonaws.com and search.yahoo.com Therefore, they end up searching the web via the Yahoo search engine (making my-search.com useless).
As mentioned above, my-search.com and FullTab continually record data relating to browsing activity. IP addresses, web URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, and other collected data usually includes personal details that developers share with third parties - potentially, cyber criminals who misuse private information to generate revenue.
This behavior can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. Therefore, if you encounter redirects to my-search.com, immediately eliminate the FullTab browser hijacker and never return to this website.
|Name||FullTab 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.
Fake search engines in general
My-search.com is a regular fake search engine and thus shares many similarities with m.smartsrch.com, srcbar.com, go.bonanzoro.com, and many others.
As with my-search.com, these sites also offer improved results and, sometimes, other 'useful features' (e.g., weather forecasts, currency exchange rates, etc.), however, such claims are merely attempts to give the impression of legitimacy. The only purpose of all fake search engines is to generate revenue for the developers.
Rather than enabling the functions promised, they cause unwanted redirects and gather sensitive data. Some even generate misleading search results and intrusive advertisements (coupons, banners, and so on). Both lead to potentially malicious sites. Therefore, using fake web search engines can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft.
How did FullTab install on my computer?
FullTab is free for anyone to download on its official website, however, due to the lack of knowledge and careless behavior of many users, FullTab usually infiltrates systems without permission. Developers promote this PUP using intrusive advertisements and the "bundling" method.
Intrusive ads redirect users to malicious websites and execute scripts that stealthily download and install malware/PUPs. "Bundling", on the other hand, is stealth installation of PUPs together with regular programs. Developers hide "bundled" apps within "Custom/Advanced" settings or other sections of the download/installation processes.
Furthermore, many users click various ads and skip download/installation steps - behavior that often leads to inadvertent installation such as FullTab. Users expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
To prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Bear in mind that intrusive ads typically seem legitimate, but once clicked, redirect to gambling, adult dating, pornography, and other dubious sites. They are usually delivered by adware-type PUPs.
Therefore, if you encounter dubious redirects, immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. Furthermore, carefully analyze each step of the download/installation processes using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings. Opt-out of all additionally-included programs.
If you are unable to do so, cancel the entire process. You are also advised to avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since developers monetize them by promoting ("bundling") PUPs. Software should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links. The key to computer safety is caution.
Website promoting FullTab 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 my-search.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall FullTab application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove my-search.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove FullTab browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove my-search.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove my-search.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
FullTab 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, "FullTab"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted programs that cause browser redirects to the my-search.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
FullTab browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects (Windows OS):
Video showing how to remove my-search.com browser hijacker using Combo Cleaner (Mac OS):
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://my-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 "my-search".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the fulltab 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 "FullTab: Search and Newtab" 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, disable "FullTab: Search and Newtab", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.my-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 "FullTab", 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 fulltab 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 on "Extensions" and remove "FullTab: Search and Newtab", 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, disable "FullTab: Search and Newtab", remove hxxp://my-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: "moz-extension"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with fulltab 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 fulltab 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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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users to visit my-search.com website?
Redirects to sites like my-search.com are caused because cyber criminals (i.e., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers) generate revenue through them.
Is visiting my-search.com a threat to my privacy?
Most likely, yes. Websites like my-search.com usually collect (and sell) visitor data.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are primarily distributed through software bundling, deceptive promotional webpages, freeware and free file-hosting sites, online scams, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (Torrent clients, eMule, etc.), fake updates, intrusive ads, and spam browser notifications.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove browser hijackers?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your system and eliminate detected browser-hijacking applications. Note that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be ideal. In cases when multiple browser hijackers are present, after one is removed - the others might simply re-install it. Furthermore, browser-hijacking software may restrict/deny access to removal-related settings. Hence, browser hijackers must be removed thoroughly and all at once.
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