Search Sherpa browser hijacker removal instructions
What is Search Sherpa?
Search Sherpa is a browser hijacker. This piece of software modifies browser settings to promote search-sherpas.com, a fake search engine. Furthermore, it possesses data tracking capabilities employed to monitor users' browsing activity. Due to its dubious proliferation methods, Search Sherpa is also classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).
Popular browsers with large user bases, such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and others are common targets of browser hijackers. They operate by resigning the homepage, new tab/window and default search engine URLs to the addresses of bogus search engines. To elaborate, with Search Sherpa installed, each search query typed into the URL bar and each new tab/window opened redirects to search-sherpas.com. These fake search engines are usually unable to generate unique results, and so they redirect to (or cause redirection chains leading to) genuine sites. The web search engine promoted by Search Sherpa (search-sherpas.com) is no exception to this, and redirects to Bing (bing.com). Additionally, access to the browser settings is restricted or denied, and any permitted changes made, reset by the browser hijacker. Therefore, it is necessary to remove the browser hijacker to recover the affected browser. Furthermore, Search Sherpa can track data. It can monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries) and collect personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). It is likely the gathered data will be shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) seeking to misuse it for profit. To summarize, the presence of data-tracking content on devices can lead to serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To protect browser/system integrity and user safety, you are strongly advised to remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Browser Extension(s)||Search Sherpa|
|Serving IP Address (search-sherpas.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 Malwarebytes.
GalaxySpin, Tracker Package, and RecipeFox are some examples of other browser hijackers. They may seem legitimate and useful, however, their advertised capabilities are seldom operational. In fact, this applies to most PUAs. The sole purpose of these unwanted applications is to generate revenue at users' expense. Rather than delivering any real value, PUAs hijack browsers, cause redirects to untrusted/malicious websites, run intrusive ad campaigns and collect private data.
How did Search Sherpa install on my computer?
Search Sherpa has been observed being proliferated via deceptive website. PUAs commonly have "Official" promotional/download pages, which are use for varied tactics. For example, they make deceptive and unrelated claims or promote the untrusted software as "legitimate and useful". PUAs are often downloaded/installed inadvertently with other products. This deceptive marketing method of pre-packing regular content with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling". Rushing downloads/installations (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using presets, etc.) increases the risk of allowing bundled content onto systems, despite the presence of any opt-out options. Intrusive advertisements can infiltrate these applications into systems as well. Once clicked, they can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' permission.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are advised to research all products before download/installation or purchase. Use only official and verified download sources. Unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders are untrusted and can offer bundled content. When downloading/installing, read the terms, study all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, features and so on. Intrusive ads may seem normal and harmless, however, they can redirect to dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and others). If you encounter these ads/redirects, inspect the system and eliminate all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay. If your computer is already infected with Search Sherpa, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Search Sherpa browser hijacker asking for data-related permissions:
Website promoting Search Sherpa browser hijacker:
Appearance of Search Sherpa browser hijacker (GIF):
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 Search Sherpa?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Search Sherpa application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove search-sherpas.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Search Sherpa browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove search-sherpas.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove search-sherpas.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Search Sherpa 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, "Search Sherpa"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the search-sherpas.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Search Sherpa 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-sherpas.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 "Search Sherpa".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the search-sherpas.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 "Search Sherpa" 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 "Search Sherpa", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search-sherpas.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 "search-sherpas.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 search-sherpas.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 "Search Sherpa", 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 "Search Sherpa", remove hxxp://search-sherpas.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 search-sherpas.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 search-sherpas.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.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove search-sherpas.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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