What is App Discovery Tools?
App Discovery Tools is one of many potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) that are categorized as browser hijackers. These apps promote various fake search engines (by changing browser settings) and collect browsing related details. App Discovery Tools promotes search.tappdiscovery.tools in this manner.
Note that it is also installed with another PUA called Encrypted Search. In most cases, people download and install this type of software unintentionally.
After installation App Discovery Tools appoints search.tappdiscovery.tools as the address of the default search engine, new tab and homepage. In summary, this app forces users to visit search.tappdiscovery.tools when they open a browser (new window), new tab and enter search queries into the URL bar.
Note that search.tappdiscovery.tools is classified as a fake search engine, since it provides results generated by Yahoo (it simply redirects users to search.yahoo.com). Search engines that do not generate unique results are useless.
In most cases, users cannot remove the address the fake search engine from the aforementioned settings without first uninstalling the browser hijacker. Most browser hijackers do not allow users to change/undo the settings as long as the hijacker is installed.
Furthermore, apps such as App Discovery Tools usually collect browsing data and sometimes personal, sensitive details as well. Generally, browser hijackers record IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of visited websites, entered search queries, and other browsing data.
Developers sell the details to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse them to generate revenue. People who have apps such as App Discovery Tools installed on their browsers and/or operating systems thus risk becoming victims of identity theft, experiencing problems relating to browsing safety, privacy, and other issues.
Therefore, never download or install these apps. If App Discovery Tools, Encrypted Search or other PUAs are already installed, remove them immediately.
|Name||App Discovery Tools|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Detection Names||Fortinet (Malware), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal).|
|Browser Extension(s)||App Discovery Tools|
|Supposed Functionality||Quick access to various software download pages.|
|Serving IP Address (search.tappdiscovery.tools)||188.8.131.52|
|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||App Discovery Tools is distributed with another browser hijacker called Encrypted Search.|
|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.
Typically, these apps change browser settings (to promote a fake search engine) and collect data. Most deliver no value or features and are designed only to help developers to generate revenue. Furthermore, users are exposed to risk of various issues.
How did App Discovery Tools install on my computer?
Developers often distribute PUAs by including them into the download/installation set-ups of other software. This distribution method is known as "bundling" and is used to trick users into downloading and installing PUAs with other (mainly free) software.
Information about additionally-included apps (offers to download/install them) is not properly disclosed and usually found in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings of the download/installation set-ups. Many people fail to check and change these settings, thereby granting permission for PUAs to be downloaded and/or installed with regular programs.
PUAs are commonly downloaded and installed through deceptive ads that, if clicked, execute certain scripts.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
It is not safe to click advertisements that are displayed on dubious websites (e.g., those relating to gambling, adult dating, pornography, and so on) - they can open untrusted websites or cause download/installation of unwanted apps. Files and programs should be downloaded only from official websites and via direct links.
It is not safe to use third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial pages or other similar channels to download and/or install programs. Check "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings of the set-ups, since they often contain offers to download or install additional, unwanted software.
Check for any unwanted, suspicious extensions, plug-ins and add-ons installed on the browser, and programs of this kind installed on the operating system. Remove unwanted entries immediately. If your computer is already infected with App Discovery Tools, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Website promoting App Discovery Tools browser hijacker:
App Discovery Tools asks permission to read and change data on Chrome:
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 App Discovery Tools?
- STEP 1. Uninstall App Discovery Tools application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove search.tappdiscovery.tools redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove App Discovery Tools browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove search.tappdiscovery.tools homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove search.tappdiscovery.tools redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
App Discovery Tools 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, "App Discovery Tools"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the search.tappdiscovery.tools website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
App Discovery Tools 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.tappdiscovery.tools 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 "App Discovery Tools".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search.tappdiscovery.tools 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 "App Discovery Tools" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons (e.g., "Encrypted Search"), 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 "App Discovery Tools" or "Encrypted Search", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://search.tappdiscovery.tools or hxxps://encryptedsearch.org) 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.tappdiscovery.tools" and "hxxps://encryptedsearch.org", 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.tappdiscovery.tools 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 "App Discovery Tools", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins (e.g., "Encrypted Search").
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 "App Discovery Tools" or "Encrypted Search", remove hxxp://search.tappdiscovery.tools or hxxps://encryptedsearch.org 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 search.tappdiscovery.tools 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.tappdiscovery.tools 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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