SearchSpace browser hijacker removal instructions
What is SearchSpace?
SearchSpace supposedly improves the browsing experience, however, this app is a potentially unwanted application (PUA), a browser hijacker. It promotes the address of a fake search engine (search-space.net) by changing browser settings. Therefore, SearchSpace hijacks browsers by forcing users to search with a fake search engine. Note that apps of this type often collect user-system information. Browser hijackers are classified as PUAs, since many people download and install them unintentionally.
Most browser hijackers promote fake search engines by modifying browser settings such as the address of the default search engine, homepage, and new tab. SearchSpace assigns these settings to search-space.net. In this way, it ensures that people visit this address when they open a hijacked browser, new tab and enter search queries into the URL bar. Note that search-space.net is a fake search engine, since it displays results generated by Google. I.e., it does not generate unique results and simply redirects to google.com. Typically, the address of the fake search engine cannot be removed from browser settings unless the browser hijacker is uninstalled. In this case, search-space.net can be stopped from being opened only by uninstalling the SearchSpace application. Most browser hijackers promote fake search engines and collect user-system information. They usually target data such as IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited/opened web pages, geolocations, and other browsing-related information, however, in some cases, they collect sensitive, personal data. The details are sold to third parties (cyber criminals) who would misuse them in other ways. If you have a browser hijacked by an app of this type, you might experience problems relating to online privacy, browsing safety, or even become a victim of identity theft. Therefore never download or install PUAs. Remove SearchSpace and other PUAs from the browser and operating system immediately.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Supposed Functionality||This app supposedly improves the browsing experience.|
|Serving IP Address (search-space.net)||220.127.116.11|
|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 Malwarebytes.
Unit Conversion Tab, Tab Recovery, and Shipment Trackers are the names of other browser hijackers. Unfortunately, there are many more apps of this type on the internet. Typically, browser hijackers are advertised as supposedly delivering various features, improving the browsing experience, etc., however, most are useless and simply cause problems. If your browser or computer is already hijacked by an app of this type, remove it immediately.
How did SearchSpace install on my computer?
Typically, users download and install PUAs through intrusive ads that they have clicked or together with other (usually free) programs. Commonly, developers distribute PUAs using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". I.e., they include rogue apps into the download/installation set-ups of other programs as 'additional offers'. In most cases, these offers are listed in "Advanced", "Custom" and other similar settings of the download/installation set-ups. Many users allow unwanted apps to infiltrate when they download or install their software without checking and changing settings that are included in the set-ups. Intrusive ads can also cause rogue downloads and installations by running certain scripts.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are advised against using third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule), unofficial sites, and other similar channels to download or install your software. Files and programs should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites, and via direct links. Download and installation set-ups often contain various settings (e.g., "Custom", "Advanced") - check these and decline offers to download or install additional, unwanted apps. Do not click intrusive ads that are shown on suspicious, dubious websites, since they can open untrusted websites or even lead to download and installation of an unwanted application. Remove any unwanted extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons installed on the browser. Also remove programs of this kind that are installed on the computer. If your computer is already infected with SearchSpace, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Website promoting SearchSpace browser hijacker:
Notification stating that SearchSpace can read and change various data:
SearchSpace browser hijacker adding "Your browser is managed by your organization" Chrome entry:
Fake Adobe Photoshop cracking tool promoting SearchSpace browser hijacker:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is SearchSpace?
- STEP 1. Uninstall SearchSpace application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove search-space.net redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove SearchSpace browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove search-space.net homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove search-space.net redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
SearchSpace browser hijacker removal:
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.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.
Mac 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, "SearchSpace"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the search-space.net website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
SearchSpace 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-space.net 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 "SearchSpace".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search-space.net 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 "SearchSpace" 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 "SearchSpace", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search-space.net) 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 "search-space.net", 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-space.net 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 "SearchSpace", 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 "SearchSpace", remove hxxp://search-space.net 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-space.net 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-space.net 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.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove search-space.net redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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