How to uninstall the SearchYA browser hijacker
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is SearchYA?
SearchYA is one of many potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) that are categorized as browser hijackers. SearchYA supposedly improves the browsing experience, however, it actually promotes the feed.search-ya.com fake search engine (by changing browser settings) and collects information relating to users' browsing habits.
Note that people do not usually download browser hijackers or other PUAs intentionally.
SearchYA promotes feed.search-ya.com by appointing it as the address of the default search engine, homepage, and new tab. Therefore, SearchYA's users arrive at feed.search-ya.com when they open a browser, new tab and enter search queries into the URL bar.
Note that feed.search-ya.com is classified as a fake search engine, since it does not generate unique results - it simply displays those generated by Yahoo by redirecting users to search.yahoo.com. Typically, browser hijackers prevent users from reassigning the address of the fake search engine to another, preferred address as long as they are installed.
To stop feed.search-ya.com from being opened at certain times, users must uninstall SearchYA, however, this is not the only reason to uninstall this rogue app and other installed browser hijackers. Apps of this type usually gather information relating to users' browsing activities.
For example, the addresses of visited web pages, entered search queries, geolocations, IP addresses, and other browsing data. In some cases, PUAs can also access and record private, sensitive details. The developers sell all collected data to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it in other ways.
People who use apps such as SearchYA might thus become victims of identity theft, experience problems relating to privacy, browsing safety, etc. Therefore, software of this type should never be trusted, downloaded, or installed.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Supposed Functionality||This app supposedly improves the browsing experience and delivers various features.|
|Serving IP Address (feed.search-ya.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.
More examples of browser hijackers include Searchsio, MyDocsToPDF and Protect My Search Daily. Typically, browser hijackers do not deliver any real value or features and simply cause problems. They are designed only to help the developers to generate revenue by gathering user-system information and promoting fake search engines.
Remove all browser hijacker installed from the browser and operating system immediately.
How did SearchYA install on my computer?
In most cases, people download and install PUAs inadvertently by clicking deceptive advertisements (that run certain scripts) or through the download/installation set-ups of other programs. In the latter case, developers include PUAs into the set-ups as 'additional offers'.
This distribution method is known as "bundling". Offers to download or install additionally-included software can be found in settings such as "Advanced", "Custom", and "Manual", however, many people fail to check and change them when they download/install their software. This allows bundled PUAs to be downloaded and installed together with regular programs.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
Programs and files should be downloaded only from official websites and through direct links. It is not safe to use third party downloaders/installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (eMule, torrent clients), dubious websites or other sources/channels of this kind, since they are used to promote PUAs and, in some cases, even malicious programs.
Check all download and installation settings such as "Custom" and "Advanced" and decline offers to download or install unwanted software before finishing the process. Do not click intrusive ads that appear on dubious web pages, since these can redirect to malicious web pages or cause unwanted download/installation of PUAs.
Remove all unknown, unwanted and suspicious add-ons, plug-ins and extensions that are installed on the browser, and software of this kind installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with SearchYA, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
SearchYA download websites:
SearchYA browser hijacker asks permission to read and change data:
SearchYA (feed.search-ya.com) redirects to search.yahoo.com (GIF):
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 SearchYA?
- STEP 1. Uninstall SearchYA application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove feed.search-ya.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove SearchYA browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove feed.search-ya.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove feed.search-ya.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
SearchYA 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, "SearchYA"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the feed.search-ya.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
SearchYA 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://feed.search-ya.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 "SearchYA".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the feed.search-ya.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 "SearchYA" 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 "SearchYA", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.feed.search-ya.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 "feed.search-ya.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 feed.search-ya.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 "SearchYA", 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 "SearchYA", remove hxxp://feed.search-ya.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 feed.search-ya.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 feed.search-ya.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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