What is Flash App+?
Flash App+ is a browser hijacker that changes browser settings to promote searchpowerapp.com (a bogus search engine).
Additionally, Flash App+ has data tracking capabilities, which are employed to monitor and record browsing-related information. Due to the dubious methods used to proliferate this app, Flash App+ is also classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).
Browser hijackers target Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and other popular browsers. Following successful infiltration, these hijackers assign the addresses of their fake search engines as the homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs.
These alterations may seem minor, yet they significantly diminish the browsing experience. To elaborate, with Flash App+ installed, each new browser tab/window opened and each search query typed into the URL bar redirects to searchpowerapp.com.
Most bogus search engines cannot provide unique results, and so they redirect (or cause redirection chains leading) to genuine search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.). Note that searchpowerapp.com is likewise unable to generate search results and simply redirects to search.yahoo.com.
Furthermore, these forced changes are not easy to undo, as access to the browser settings can be restricted or denied, and any permitted alterations made, automatically reset. Therefore, the hijacker must be eliminated to recover the hijacked browser. As mentioned, Flash App+ can track data.
It records users' browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collects their personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). This vulnerable data is often shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) seeking to misuse it for financial gain.
The presence of data-tracking software on systems can thus lead to various problems, such as serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To protect device integrity and user safety, remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Browser Extension(s)||Flash App+|
|Supposed Functionality||Improves the browsing experience.|
|Serving IP Address (searchpowerapp.com)||126.96.36.199|
|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.
Get Your Coupons Now, Your Streaming TV App, Gamez 4 Us Search and Play Radio Easily are some examples of other browser hijackers. Software within this category usually seems legitimate and useful, however, their advertised features rarely work as promised and, in most cases, are nonoperational.
All PUAs share these traits. The only purpose of these unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers at users' expense. Rather than delivering any real value, PUAs modify browsers and promote fake search engines, cause redirects to untrusted and malicious sites, deliver intrusive advertisements (e.g. pop-ups, surveys, banners, etc.) and track private data.
How did Flash App+ install on my computer?
At the time of research, Flash App+ was available for download on the Chrome Web Store. Some PUAs also have "official" download pages, which are commonly promoted in dubious ways. These applications can be downloaded/installed together with other programs as well.
This deceptive marketing method of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious content is called "bundling". When downloading/installing, ignoring terms, skipping steps, and using pre-set options increases the risk of potential infiltration and infection via bundled programs. Once an intrusive ad is clicked, it can stealthily download and install PUAs.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are strongly advised to research all products, before download/installation. All downloads should be performed from official and verified download channels. Untrustworthy sources such as free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.) and other third party downloaders can offer bundled and otherwise deceptive content.
Treat download/Installation processes with caution. Read the terms, study all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, functions and so on. Intrusive advertisements often seem normal and harmless, however, when clicked, they redirect to dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
If you encounter ads/redirects of this kind, eliminate all suspicious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins from systems without delay. If your computer is already infected with Flash App+, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Flash App+ browser hijacker asking for various permissions:
Website promoting Flash App+ 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 Flash App+?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Flash App+ application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove searchpowerapp.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Flash App+ browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove searchpowerapp.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove searchpowerapp.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Flash App+ 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, "Flash App+"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the searchpowerapp.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Flash App+ 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://searchpowerapp.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 "Flash App+".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchpowerapp.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 "Flash App+" 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 "Flash App+", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.searchpowerapp.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 "searchpowerapp.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 searchpowerapp.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 "Flash App+", 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 "Flash App+", remove hxxp://searchpowerapp.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 searchpowerapp.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 searchpowerapp.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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