Obituary Search browser hijacker removal instructions
What is Obituary Search?
Obituary Search is a browser hijacker advertised for allowing access to various ancestry-related content. It is supposedly capable of providing access to ancestry sites and obituary databases. Obituary Search is classed as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA), as most users install it inadvertently. This rogue application operates by modifying browser settings to promote its fake search engine (search.obituarysearchtab.com). It also tracks user data, recording browsing activity and personal information. Updated variant of Obituary Search browser hijacker promotes search.newobituarysearchtab.com.
Browser hijackers control Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and other popular browsers. These apps change the homepage, default search engine, and new tab/window URL to their fake search engine tool addresses. Obituary Search promotes search.obituarysearchtab.com in this manner. Subsequently, each new tab/window opened and each search query typed into the URL bar redirects to search.obituarysearchtab.com. While these changes may seem insignificant, they cannot be reverted without removing the browser hijacker. Any user changes are reset and access to the settings can be limited or even denied. Most fake search engines are unable to provide unique results, and thus they redirect to legitimate search engines. This is the case with search.obituarysearchtab.com, which redirects to search.yahoo.com. Note that Obituary Search is often distributed together with the Hide My Searches unwanted application. As mentioned, Obituary Search has data tracking abilities. By monitoring users' browsing habits (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, etc.), it can collect personal information (IP addresses, geolocations, and other private details). This sensitive data is then sold to third parties who can misuse it to generate revenue. Therefore, the presence of data tracking content on devices can lead to serious privacy issues, financial loss, and even identity theft. To protect browsers and systems from various infiltration/infections, and ensure user safety, remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:AdwareSig [Adw]), DrWeb (Adware.Spigot.145), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/WinWrapper.V Potentially Unwanted), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.Win32.WebSearch.gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Browser Extension(s)||Obituary Search, Ancestry.|
|Supposed Functionality||Access to mortuary records.|
|Serving IP Address (search.obituarysearchtab.com)||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.|
|Additional Information||Obituary Search is distributed with another browser hijacker called Hide My Searches.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.|
|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.
Browser hijackers share many similarities, and those released by the same developers tend to be identical. Applications similar to Obituary Search include Local Classifieds Hub, Online Manuals App, and Download Forms Now. In general, PUAs seem legitimate and offer "useful" features, however, they rarely posses the capabilities advertised. The only purpose of these unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the designers, whilst regular users receive no real value. PUAs operate by hijacking browsers, redirecting to untrustworthy and malicious websites, running intrusive advertisement campaigns (pop-ups, coupons, banners, etc.), and tracking data.
How did Obituary Search install on my computer?
Obituary Search has an "official" download website, however, PUAs can also be unintentionally installed with content. This marketing method of pre-packing regular software with unwanted applications is called "bundling". By rushing through the download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using pre-set options, etc.), many users install unwanted or malicious content onto their devices. Intrusive advertisements also proliferate PUAs. Once clicked, they can execute scripts designed to make rogue downloads/installs of PUAs.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are strongly advised to research all software and content to verify its legitimacy, before downloading/installing. Only official and verified channels should be used for downloading, as opposed to Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.), free file-hosting websites, third party downloaders, and similar sources. Untrustworthy download channels are more likely to offer deceptive or bundled software. Download and installation processes should be treated with caution. Read the terms, explore possible options, use "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of downloading/installing additional apps and features. Intrusive ads typically seem normal and harmless, however, they often redirect to dubious websites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.). If you encounter these advertisements/redirects, inspect the device and immediately remove all suspicious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Obituary Search, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Obituary Search browser hijacker installer set-up:
Website promoting Obituary Search browser hijacker;
IMPORTANT NOTE! This deceptive 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 Obituary Search?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Obituary Search application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove search.obituarysearchtab.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Obituary Search browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove search.obituarysearchtab.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove search.obituarysearchtab.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Obituary 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, "Obituary Search"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the search.obituarysearchtab.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Obituary 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://search.obituarysearchtab.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 "Obituary Search".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search.obituarysearchtab.com 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 "Obituary Search" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons (e.g., "Hide My Searches"), 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 "Obituary Search" or "Hide My Searches", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://search.obituarysearchtab.com or hxxps://hidemysearches.com) 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 "hxxp://search.obituarysearchtab.com" and "hxxp://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.obituarysearchtab.com 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 "Obituary Search" (or simply "Ancestry"), as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins (e.g., "Hide My Searches").
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 "Obituary Search" (or simply "Ancestry") or "Hide My Searches", remove hxxp://search.obituarysearchtab.com or hxxp://hidemysearches.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 search.obituarysearchtab.com 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.obituarysearchtab.com 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.obituarysearchtab.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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