Universal Converter browser hijacker removal instructions
What is Universal Converter?
Universal Converter is advertised as an application that, when installed on browsers, gives easy access to various file converter tools. This app is presented as legitimate and useful, however, Universal Converter is a browser hijacker - it changes browser settings (promoting a fake search engine) and collects information relating to users' browsing habits. Typically, people download and install apps of this type inadvertently and are thus categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). Furthermore, developers distribute Universal Converter with another PUA called Hide My Searches.
Browser hijackers can be installed on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer. When a browser is hijacked by Universal Converter, certain settings are modified. This app assigns the default search engine, homepage, and new tab URL to search.huniversalconverter.co, a fake search engine that provides no unique results. When used, it simply redirects to search.yahoo.com, a legitimate search engine. Search engines that behave in this way are useless. People who have browsers hijacked with Universal Converter are forced to visit search.huniversalconverter.co when they open a new browser window, tab, or enter search queries into the URL bar. It is impossible to remove search.huniversalconverter.co from the aforementioned settings unless Universal Converter is uninstalled. This is not the only reason to uninstall it: most browser hijackers (with promoted fake search engines) gather IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of opened web pages, entered search queries and other data relating to users' browsing habits. Some browser hijackers also record personal details. People who develop these applications share collected details with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse private information to generate revenue. These actions can cause problems with online privacy, browsing safety, and so on. Some of the recorded details might be misused to steal identities. We recommend that you uninstall Universal Converter and other browser hijackers immediately.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Detection Names (MyEmailCenter-23999925.exe)||Avast (Win32:AdwareSig [Adw]), AVG (Win32:AdwareSig [Adw]), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/WinWrapper.V Potentially Unwanted), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:Downloader.Win32.AdLoad.afaqc), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Browser Extension(s)||Universal Converter|
|Supposed Functionality||This app supposedly provides access to various file converter tools.|
|Serving IP Address (search.huniversalconverter.co)||18.104.22.168|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). Users are forced to visit the 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.|
|Additional Information||Developers distribute this app together with another browser hijacker called Hide My Searches.|
|Damage||Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
Other examples of browser hijackers that are distributed together with Hide My Searches are Find My Route, Simple Package Tracker, and Track Your Transit Info. These apps are supposedly useful, provide various features, and so on. In fact, they gather data and promote fake search engines to enable the developers to generate revenue without providing users with any real value.
How did Universal Converter install on my computer?
Most PUAs are downloaded and installed without users' knowledge. Developers often successfully trick users into this situation using the "bundling" method - they include PUAs into download or installation set-ups of other software. Information about the inclusion of additionally-included apps can usually be found in "Custom", "Advanced", and other similar options of software set-ups, however, not all people check or change these options. Leaving them unchanged, they agree to download and install potentially unwanted programs by default. In other cases, PUAs are installed through intrusive, deceptive ads that, if clicked, run certain scripts. These scripts cause unwanted downloads and installations.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Download software from legitimate, official and trustworthy websites. Third party software downloaders, torrent clients, eMule (other Peer-to-Peer networks), and other such tools cannot be trusted. Handle all downloads and installations properly. If a setup contains "Custom", "Advanced" or other settings, they should be checked. Dismiss offers to download or install PUAs. Do not click ads displayed on dubious web pages. For example, those relating to gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc. These ads open other dubious web pages or lead to unwanted downloads/installations. Browsers often display ads and open dubious web pages, since they are infiltrated by PUAs. To resolve this issue, remove all suspicious, unwanted extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins that are installed on the browser and/or programs installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with Universal Converter, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Universal Converter browser hijacker installer set-up:
Website promoting Universal Converter browser hijacker:
Universal Converter download page asking for various permissions:
IMPORTANT NOTE! This site asks to enable web browser notifications:
Therefore, before commencing, perform these steps:
Google Chrome (PC):
- Click the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen
- Select "Settings", scroll down to the bottom and click "Advanced"
- Scroll down to the "Privacy and security" section, select "Content settings" and then "Notifications"
- Click three dots on the right hand side of each suspicious URL and click "Block" or "Remove" (if you click "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again)
Google Chrome (Android):
- Click on the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen and click "Settings"
- Scroll down, click on "Site settings" and then "Notifications"
- In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs and click on them one-by-one
- Select "Notifications" in the "Permissions" section and set the toggle button to "OFF"
- Click the Menu button (three bars) on the right upper corner of the screen
- Select "Options" and click on "Privacy & Security" in the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen
- Scroll down to the "Permissions" section and click the "Settings" button next to "Notifications"
- In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs, click the drop-down menu and select "Block"
- Click the Gear button on the right upper corner of the IE window
- Select "Internet options"
- Select the "Privacy" tab and click "Settings" under "Pop-up Blocker" section
- Select suspicious URLs under and remove them one by one by clicking the "Remove" button
- Click the menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the Edge window
- Scroll down, find and click "Settings"
- Scroll down again and click "View advanced settings"
- Click "Manage" under "Website permissions"
- Click the switch under each suspicious website
- Click "Safari" button on the left upper corner of the screen and select "Preferences..."
- Select the "Websites" tab and then select "Notifications" section on the left pane
- Check for suspicious URLs and apply the "Deny" option for each
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 Universal Converter?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Universal Converter application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove search.huniversalconverter.co redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Universal Converter browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove search.huniversalconverter.co homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove search.huniversalconverter.co redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Universal Converter 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, "Universal Converter"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the search.huniversalconverter.co website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Universal Converter browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects (Windows OS):
Video showing how to remove Universal Converter browser hijacker using Combo Cleaner (MacOS):
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.huniversalconverter.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:
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 "Universal Converter".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search.huniversalconverter.co redirect, 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 "Universal Converter" and "Hide My Searches", 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, disable "Universal Converter" (and "Hide My Searches") and look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search.huniversalconverter.co) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present, click on 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.huniversalconverter.co" and/or "hidemysearches.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 search.huniversalconverter.co redirect, 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 "Universal Converter", 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 "Universal Converter", remove hxxp://search.huniversalconverter.co 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 search.huniversalconverter.co redirect 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 search.huniversalconverter.co redirect, 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 search.huniversalconverter.co redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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