How to uninstall the Quick Search Tool browser hijacker from your system
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is the Quick Search Tool browser hijacker?
Quick Search Tool is a rogue application categorized as a browser hijacker. It operates by making changes to browsers to promote quicksearchtool.com (a fake search engine). This browser hijacker also has data tracking capabilities, which are employed to monitor users' browsing habits.
Furthermore, due to the dubious methods used to proliferate Quick Search Tool, it is classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).
Quick Search Tool browser hijacker overview
Browser hijackers primarily target Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and other popular browsers with large user bases. Following successful installation, these dubious apps reassign the homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs to the addresses of fake search engines.
Therefore, with this software installed, new browser tabs/windows opened and web searches made via the URL bar redirect to the promoted address. Quick Search Tool promotes quicksearchtool.com in this manner. Rogue search engines are rarely capable of providing search results, and so they redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) legitimate sites.
The web searcher of Quick Search Tool (quicksearchtool.com) is no exception to this, and simply redirects to Yahoo (search.yahoo.com), which is a genuine search engine. Browser hijackers can restrict/deny access to browser settings and/or undo any permitted changes made.
Therefore, without removing the browser hijacker, it is impossible to recover the affected browser. Furthermore, Quick Search Tool can track data, which is a common capability of browser hijackers.
It can monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather vulnerable information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The collected data often contains personally identifiable information, which developers typically monetize by sharing it with and/or selling to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
In summary, the presence of data-tracking software on browsers/systems can lead to system infections, financial loss, serious privacy issues and even identity theft. To ensure device integrity and user safety, it is crucial to eliminate all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Name||Quick Search Tool|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:Adware-gen [Adw]), DrWeb (Adware.Spigot.157), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/WinWrapper.V Potentiall), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:Downloader.Win32.WinWra), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal).|
|Browser Extension(s)||Quick Search Tool|
|Serving IP Address (quicksearchtool.com)||184.108.40.206|
|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.
Browser hijacker examples
Flare Search, DPS Websafe, Remove Notifications, and StreaminSearchs are some examples of other browser hijackers. This software may seem legitimate and useful, and people are often enticed into download/installation with offers of a wide variety of functionality.
In most cases, however, the advertised features are nonoperational, and this applies to most PUAs. The only purpose of these unwanted applications is to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than delivering any real value, PUAs modify browsers, cause redirects, run intrusive advertisement campaigns and collect private data.
How did Quick Search Tool install on my computer?
Certain PUAs (including Quick Search Tool) have "official" download sites. These apps can also be downloaded/installed with other products. "Bundling" is the term used to define this deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions.
By rushing through download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, etc.), many users risk unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive ads proliferate PUAs as well - once clicked, they can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are advised to research all software prior to download/installation and/or purchase. All downloads must be done official and verified sources. Untrusted channels such as unofficial and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders can offer bundled content.
When downloading/installing, it is important to read the terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, features and other additions. Intrusive advertisements may seem normal, however, they can redirect to dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and so on).
If you encounter these ads/redirects, inspect the system and immediately remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Quick Search Tool, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Quick Search Tool browser hijacker installation setup:
Quick Search Tool browser hijacker asking for various permissions:
Websites promoting Quick Search Tool browser hijacker:
Appearance of Quick Search Tool browser hijacker (GIF):
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 Quick Search Tool?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Quick Search Tool application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove quicksearchtool.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Quick Search Tool browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove quicksearchtool.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove quicksearchtool.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Quick Search Tool 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, "Quick Search Tool"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the quicksearchtool.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Quick Search Tool browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove Quick Search Tool browser hijacker using Combo Cleaner:
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://quicksearchtool.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 "Quick Search Tool".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the quicksearchtool.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 "Quick Search Tool" 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 "Quick Search Tool" (or simply "QuickSearchTool"), look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.quicksearchtool.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 "quicksearchtool.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 quicksearchtool.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 "Quick Search Tool", 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 "Quick Search Tool", remove hxxp://quicksearchtool.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 quicksearchtool.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 quicksearchtool.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.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users to visit quicksearchtool.com website?
Redirects to websites like quicksearchtool.com are caused because cyber criminals (i.e., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers) generate revenue through them.
Is visiting quicksearchtool.com a threat to my privacy?
Most likely, yes. Websites like quicksearchtool.com typically collect (and sell) visitor data.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are primarily distributed through bundled installers, deceptive promotional webpages, freeware and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, online scams, fake updates, spam browser notifications, and intrusive advertisements.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Quick Search Tool browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan devices and eliminate detected browser-hijacking applications. It is noteworthy that manual removal (performed without the aid of security programs) might be ineffective, especially in cases where multiple browser hijackers have infiltrated the system. In some instances, even after one is removed – the others might simply reinstall it. Furthermore, browser-hijacking software may be able to restrict access to removal-related settings. Hence, it is crucial to eliminate browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.
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