What is OptimumSearch?
OptimumSearch (search.optimum.icu) is a potentially unwanted application (PUA), a browser hijacker designed to promote search.optimum.icu (the address of a fake search engine) by changing browser settings and adding the "Managed by your organization" feature.
It might also collect various data. Browser hijackers are categorized as PUAs, since people often download and install them unintentionally.
OptimumSearch promotes its associated fake search engine by setting the address of the default search engine, homepage, and new tab to search.optimum.icu. In this way, it ensures that users visit this address when they open a browser, new tab or enter search queries into the URL bar.
Note that search.optimum.icu is classified as a fake search engine, since it provides results generated by the Google search engine (it simply redirects to google.com). The only way to remove the address of fake search engines from the aforementioned settings is to uninstall the browser hijacker that assigned them.
In this case, users would have to uninstall OptimumSearch so that they can enter a preferred address rather than search.optimum.icu. This, however, is not the only reason to uninstall OptimumSearch. This app modifies browser policies. For example, it can prevent users from accessing certain websites, disable features, etc.
OptimumSearch and other apps can often gather information. For example, IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations, etc. Some of the data might include personal, sensitive information. Developers misuse the recorded data by selling it to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who can then misuse it to generate revenue in other ways.
In doing so, they put users at risk of problems relating to browsing safety, privacy or even more serious problems such as identity theft. Therefore, OptimumSearch and other, similar apps should never be trusted.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Supposed Functionality||This browser hijacker supposedly improves the browsing experience.|
|Serving IP Address (search.optimum.icu)||188.8.131.52|
|Detection Names (of rogue installer used to promote this app)||Avast (Win32:AdwareSig [Adw]), BitDefender (Adware.Agent.YCA), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/ClassInstaller.A Potentially Unwanted), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.MSIL.KabanInst.gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|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.
Typically, browser hijackers and other PUAs are advertised as useful, legitimate applications, however, they do not provide any valid features, improve the browsing experience, or any other value. Most are designed only to help the developers to generate revenue.
In summary, they are useless and can be the reason behind serious problems. Therefore, OptimumSearch and other installed PUA should be uninstalled immediately. Examples of other browser hijackers are SearchZone, Sealoid and Spinyon.
How did OptimumSearch install on my computer?
Typically, users download and install PUAs through deceptive advertisements that execute certain scripts, or during download/installation of other software. In most cases, this happens when developers distribute PUAs by including them into the download/installation set-ups of other software and present them as 'additional offers'.
This distribution method is known as "bundling". Offers to download and install unwanted apps are often listed in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings of the set-ups. PUAs are downloaded and installed when people download and install their programs without checking and changing the settings.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
Download/installation channels such as third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule) are often used to distribute potentially unwanted programs and malware. Therefore, it is not safe to use these methods to download or install software.
The safest way to is to use official websites and direct download links. Check all "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings and decline offers to download or install additional, unwanted software. Do not trust or click intrusive ads appearing on dubious websites, since these can cause unwanted downloads/installations or open untrusted websites.
Remove all unwanted, suspicious extensions, add-ons and plug-ins from the browser immediately. Also remove software of this kind that is installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with OptimumSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
search.optimum.icu redirects to google.com (provides search results generated by Google) (GIF):
OptimumSearch browser hijacker installer (unofficial activation/'cracking' tool):
OptimumSearch enables "Management" feature:
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 OptimumSearch?
- STEP 1. Uninstall OptimumSearch application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove search.optimum.icu redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove OptimumSearch browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove search.optimum.icu homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove search.optimum.icu redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
OptimumSearch 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, "OptimumSearch"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the search.optimum.icu website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
OptimumSearch 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.optimum.icu 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 "OptimumSearch".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search.optimum.icu 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 "OptimumSearch" 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 "OptimumSearch", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search.optimum.icu) 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.optimum.icu", 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.optimum.icu 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 "OptimumSearch", 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 "OptimumSearch", remove hxxp://search.optimum.icu 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.optimum.icu 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.optimum.icu 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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