What is SearchAnything?
SearchAnything (also known as Search Anything) is an application designed to customize the browser and improve the browsing experience. In fact, it is a browser hijacker that promotes searchanything.co (the address of a fake search engine) by changing hijacked browser settings.
Furthermore, it can access and record information relating to users. Typically, apps of this type target browsing data. In most cases, users download and install apps such as SearchAnything (browser hijackers) inadvertently. Therefore, they are classified as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).
After installation, SearchAnything assigns the address of the default search engine, homepage, and new tab to searchanything.co. Like most apps of this type, it ensures that users are forced to visit the address of a specific fake search engine when they open a browser, new tab or enter search queries into the URL bar.
Commonly, these search engines provide results generated by other, often legitimate search engines or display misleading results. Note that searchanything.co redirects users to search.yahoo.com, thereby providing results generated by Yahoo. Search engines that do not generate any unique results are useless.
You can only stop a hijacked browser from opening the address of a fake search engine by uninstalling the hijacking software (in this case, SearchAnything). Furthermore, browser hijackers often collect information relating to users' browsing habits. They target details such as IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations, and other browsing data.
Furthermore, installed browser hijackers can also record private, sensitive information. The people behind these apps tend to misuse the data by selling it to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who then misuse it other ways. Installed browser hijackers can thus cause problems relating to online privacy, browsing safety, and other issues.
People are also exposed to risk of becoming victims of identity theft. Therefore, never trust or install SearchAnything or other browser hijackers.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Browser Extension(s)||SearchAnything, Search Anything.|
|Supposed Functionality||This app supposedly improves the browsing experience.|
|Serving IP Address (searchanything.co)||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.|
|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.
Shield My Searches, SearchStreams and Online Forms Hub are the names of other browser hijackers. Generally, these apps promote the address of a fake search engine and gather various information. Most are advertised as useful, legitimate apps that supposedly improve the browsing experience, deliver various features, etc.
In fact, browser hijackers are useless (do not deliver any value) and simply cause problems. Therefore, remove Shield My Searches and any other apps of this type from the browser and/or operating system immediately.
How did SearchAnything install on my computer?
Commonly, developers include browser hijackers, or other PUAs, into the download/installation set-ups of other (usually free) programs. These apps are presented as "additional offers" in "Advanced", "Custom" or other similar settings.
Many users fail to check and change these settings, thereby allowing PUAs to be downloaded and installed together with other, intentionally downloaded and/or installed programs.
This distribution method of software is known as "bundling". PUAs are also downloaded and installed through deceptive advertisements that execute certain scripts, however, this happens only when people click the ads.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
Third party downloaders, installers, unofficial pages, Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule, and other similar channels are used to distribute PUAs. Furthermore, they might be used to spread malicious programs. In any case, all programs should be downloaded from official websites and via direct download links.
Check "Custom", "Advanced", and "Manual" settings of all set-ups and decline offers to download or install unwanted software. Intrusive advertisements on dubious, unofficial websites can open potentially malicious websites or cause unwanted downloads and installations.
Therefore, it is never safe to click such ads, which can also appear on legitimate web pages.
Remove any suspicious, unwanted, unknown extensions, plug-ins and add-ons installed on the browser, and programs of this kind installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with SearchAnything, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
SearchAnything download web page opened with Chrome:
Notification stating that SearchAnything can read and change certain data:
SearchAnything download page opened with Firefox
Notification stating that SearchAnything can access various data:
Website which is opened after installation of the SearchAnything 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 SearchAnything?
- STEP 1. Uninstall SearchAnything application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove searchanything.co redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove SearchAnything browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove searchanything.co homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove searchanything.co redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
SearchAnything 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, "SearchAnything" or "Search Anything"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the searchanything.co website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
SearchAnything 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://searchanything.co 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 "SearchAnything" (or "Search Anything").
If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchanything.co 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 "SearchAnything" (or "Search Anything") 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 "SearchAnything" (or "Search Anything"), look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.searchanything.co) 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 "searchanything.co", 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 searchanything.co 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 "SearchAnything" (or "Search Anything"), 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 "SearchAnything" (or "Search Anything"), remove hxxp://searchanything.co 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 searchanything.co 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 searchanything.co 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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