What is ViewPDF?
ViewPDF is the name of an app designed to allow users to view PDF files and convert other files into this format directly from the browser.
In fact, ViewPDF is a browser hijacker that promotes the pdfsrch.com fake search engine by changing browser settings. Apps of this type are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs), since people often download and/or install them inadvertently. Furthermore, browser hijackers usually gather browsing data.
Browsers hijacked by ViewPDF open the pdfsrch.com address when users open a new window, tab or enter search queries into the URL bar - ViewPDF appoints pdfsrch.com as the address of the default search engine, homepage, and new tab.
Typically, it is impossible to remove the address of the fake search engine from these settings without first uninstalling the browser hijacker that originally modified them (in this case, users must uninstall ViewPDF to prevent redirects to pdfsrch.com). Note that pdfsrch.com is classified as a fake search engine, since it provides results generated by Yahoo.
I.e., it does not generate any unique results and simply redirects users to search.yahoo.com. Furthermore, most browser hijackers collect data such as IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations, and so on. In some cases, they might gather personal (sensitive) details as well.
Developers tend to misuse the information to generate revenue and/or sell it to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). These actions can lead to problems relating to privacy, browsing safety, and identity theft. Therefore, do not download or install ViewPDF or any other PUAs. Also remove any that are already installed immediately.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Supposed Functionality||This app supposedly allows users to view PDF documents and convert various files to PDF format.|
|Serving IP Address (pdfsrch.com)||22.214.171.124|
|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.|
|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 Combo Cleaner.
Watch Online Streams App, Radio Streaming Tool and Get Your Obituaries Now are PUAs that are also categorized as browser hijackers. There are many other examples. These apps supposedly deliver various features, however, most are useless and simply cause problems. In most cases, they are designed only to promote fake search engines and gather data.
How did ViewPDF install on my computer?
Most people download and install apps of this type inadvertently when they click deceptive advertisements that execute certain scripts. More commonly, they are downloaded and installed through the download/installation set-ups of other software. I.e., when PUAs are included into the set-ups and presented as additional offers.
This distribution method of rogue software is called "bundling". Typically, information about these additional apps is not properly disclosed and hidden in settings such as "Custom", "Advanced", and so on. People often fail to check these settings, leave them unchanged, thereby agreeing by default with offers to download or install PUAs included in the setup.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
Do not download programs (especially if they are free) from unofficial web pages, through Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), third party downloaders, and so on. Software should not be installed via third party installers. The safest way to download files and programs is using official websites and direct download links.
Check the settings of download/installation setups and decline any offers to download or install additionally-included apps before completing the process. People who click ads displayed on dubious web pages are often redirected to other untrusted sites, or they cause unwanted downloads and installations.
Do not trust or click these ads. Remove any suspicious, unwanted apps (extensions, add-ons, plug-ins) installed on the browser and programs of this kind installed on the computer immediately. If your computer is already infected with ViewPDF, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Website promoting ViewPDF browser hijacker:
ViewPDF asks permission to read and change data on Google Chrome browser:
ViewPDF asks permission access, read and change various data on Mozilla Firefox:
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 ViewPDF?
- STEP 1. Uninstall ViewPDF application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove pdfsrch.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove ViewPDF browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove pdfsrch.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove pdfsrch.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
ViewPDF 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, "ViewPDF"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the pdfsrch.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
ViewPDF 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://pdfsrch.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 "ViewPDF".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the pdfsrch.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 "ViewPDF" 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 "ViewPDF", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.pdfsrch.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 "pdfsrch.com", 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 pdfsrch.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 "ViewPDF", 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 "ViewPDF", remove hxxp://pdfsrch.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: "extensionControlled"
Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the button.
Computer users who have problems with pdfsrch.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 pdfsrch.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.
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