How to remove the OptimumSearch unwanted app

Also Known As: search.optimum.icu redirect
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

OptimumSearch browser hijacker removal instructions

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.

search.optimum.icu browser hijacker

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 Summary:
Name OptimumSearch
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.
Browser Extension(s) OptimumSearch
Supposed Functionality This browser hijacker supposedly improves the browsing experience.
Promoted URL search.optimum.icu
Serving IP Address (search.optimum.icu) 163.172.203.117
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 Malwarebytes.
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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 Malwarebytes 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 displays results by google

OptimumSearch browser hijacker installer (unofficial activation/'cracking' tool):

Official OptimumSearch browser hijacker installation setup

OptimumSearch enables "Management" feature:

optimumsearch browser hijacker adds your browser is managed feature

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:
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Quick menu:

OptimumSearch browser hijacker removal:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

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:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

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:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

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.

search.optimum.icu browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing search.optimum.icu related Internet Explorer extensions

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options 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:

Removing search.optimum.icu from Internet Explorer homepage

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options 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:

Removing search.optimum.icu from Internet Explorer default search engine

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options 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".

Optional method:

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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing search.optimum.icu related Google Chrome extensions

Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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:

Removing search.optimum.icu from Google Chrome homepage

Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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:

Removing search.optimum.icu from Google Chrome default search engine

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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".

Optional method:

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 Google 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.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing search.optimum.icu related Mozilla Firefox extensions

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (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:

Removing search.optimum.icu from Mozilla Firefox homepage

To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (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:

Removing search.optimum.icu from Mozilla Firefox 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 Mozilla Firefox switch about:config entry button button.

Optional method:

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, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...

removing browser hijacker from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 3 - changing homepage

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.

removing browser hijackers from safari step 4 - changing the default Internet search engine

In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 3

To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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 Microsoft Edge (Chromium) puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".

Optional method:

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 Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sampleA 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.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove search.optimum.icu redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on search.optimum.icu redirect or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
search.optimum.icu redirect QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of search.optimum.icu redirect on your mobile device.
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