How to remove Mazy Search browser hijacker?

Also Known As: browser.mazysearch.com redirect
Distribution: High
Damage level: Medium

Mazy Search browser hijacker removal instructions

What is Mazy Search?

Mazy Search is the name of a browser hijacker which is designed to certain browser's settings to browser.mazysearch.com. Although, this app is designed not only to promote an address of a fake search engine but also adds the "Managed by your organization" feature to Google Chrome browsers. Also, most browser hijackers operate as information tracking tools, they gather data related to user's browsing habits. It is common that users download and install apps of this type unknowingly, therefore, they are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). This particular app is distributed through a deceptive installer, an unofficial activation ('cracking') program.

browser.mazysearch.com browser hijacker

Mazy Search promotes browser.mazysearch.com by making it as an address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab. The main purpose of this is to ensure that users would visit this address when they open a browser, new tab and enter search queries into URL bar. When used to search the web, browser.mazysearch.com displays results generated by Google, it redirects users to google.com. It does not generate individual, unique results which makes it completely useless. Also, most browser hijackers are designed to prevent users from removing address of a fake search engine from the aforementioned settings as long as they are installed. It means that browser.mazysearch.com can be removed from settings only when Mazy Search is no longer installed. One more reason to uninstall Mazy Search or any other app of this type is that they often are designed to record browsing data. For instance, IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations, etc. In some cases they are capable of gathering sensitive details as well. What is worse, collected information may be sold to third parties (potentially cyber criminals) or misused to generate revenue in other ways. Having an app like Mazy Search installed on a browser and/or computer could be the reason behind problems related to privacy, browsing safety, or even identity theft. Therefore, browser hijackers should never be downloaded and installed.

Threat Summary:
Name Mazy Search
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Detection Names (deceptive installer) Avast (Win32:AdwareSig [Adw]), BitDefender (Adware.GenericKD.43245734), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Adware.TekhNetvork.A), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.MSIL.KabanInst.gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Browser Extension(s) Mazy Search;
Supposed Functionality This app supposed to improve browsing experience
Promoted URL browser.mazysearch.com
Serving IP Address (browser.mazysearch.com) 163.172.119.234
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)

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Mazy Search is virtually identical to CapitaSearch and shares similarities with many other apps of this type (e.g., Easy Email Checker, Track Net Speed, Stream Radio Live. What most browser hijackers have in common is that they are designed to promote some fake search engine by changing browser's settings. Also, quite often they are designed to collect browsing data as well. It is recommended not to trust such apps and remove any already installed ones right away.

How did Mazy Search install on my computer?

Typically, users download and install apps like Mazy Search and other potentially unwanted applications unknowingly. It is common that apps of this type are distributed through setups of other programs. To be more precise, by including them in setups as additional offers. In most cases such offers are mentioned in their settings like "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual". When users download and install programs without checking and changing default settings, they often allow for included PUAs to be downloaded or/and installed too. This distribution method of PUAs is known as "bundling". Sometimes unwanted downloads, installations can be caused by clicking deceptive ads that are designed to execute certain scripts. Research shows that Mazy Search is distributed through an unofficial activation ('cracking') tool which supposed to illegally activate Adobe Photoshop. It is worthwhile to mention that such tools are not only illegal but also can be designed to install some malware (e.g., some ransomware, Trojan).

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is strongly recommended to download files and programs only from official websites and use direct links for that. Other channels can be and often are used to distribute unwanted, potentially malicious applications. Examples of unreliable download (and installation) channels are third party downloaders, installers, unofficial websites, free file hosting pages, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule). Also, it is recommended to check download and/or installation setups for offers to download and/or install additionally included apps and decline them before completing download and/or installation processes. Additionally, it is recommended not to trust intrusive ads that appear on questionable websites. Those ads can be designed to open other pages of this kind or even execute scripts that would download (or even install) unwanted applications. If there are any unwanted, suspicious apps (extensions, add-ons, plug-ins) installed on a browser and/or programs of this kind installed on the operating system, then should be uninstalled immediately. If your computer is already infected with Mazy Search, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Browser.mazysearch.com redirects to google.com (GIF):

mazy search browser hijacker displays results by google

Deceptive installer (unofficial Adobe Photoshop activation tool) used to distribute Mazy Search:

mazy search browser hijacker deceptive installer

Notification saying that Mazy Search can read and change certain data:

mazy search browser hijacker asks for a permission to be installed

Mazy Search browser hijacker managing Google Chrome:

mazy search browser hijacker adds managed by your organization feature

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Quick menu:

Mazy Search 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.

browser.mazysearch.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications (for example, "Mazy Search"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the browser.mazysearch.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Mazy Search browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing browser.mazysearch.com 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 browser.mazysearch.com 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://browser.mazysearch.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:

Removing browser.mazysearch.com 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 "Mazy Search".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the browser.mazysearch.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.

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 browser.mazysearch.com 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 "Mazy Search" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing browser.mazysearch.com 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 "Mazy Search", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.browser.mazysearch.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:

Removing browser.mazysearch.com 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 "browser.mazysearch.com", 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 browser.mazysearch.com 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 plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing browser.mazysearch.com 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 "Mazy Search", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing browser.mazysearch.com 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 "Mazy Search", remove hxxp://browser.mazysearch.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing browser.mazysearch.com 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 browser.mazysearch.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, 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 browser.mazysearch.com 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 browser.mazysearch.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
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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
browser.mazysearch.com 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 browser.mazysearch.com redirect on your mobile device.
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