What is the Movies Searcher browser hijacker?
Movies Searcher is dubious software classified as a browser hijacker. Following successful installation, it operates by making modifications to browser settings to promote movies-searcher.com (a fake search engine). Most browser hijackers monitor users' browsing activity, and it is highly likely that this is the case with Movies Searcher.
Due to the dubious techniques used to proliferate Movies Searcher, it is classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).
Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and other popular browsers with large user bases are common targets of browser hijackers. They assign the addresses of fake search engines as the homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs.
These seemingly minor alterations significantly affect the browsing experience. To elaborate, with Movies Searcher installed, each new browser tab/window opened and search query typed into the URL bar redirects to movies-searcher.com.
Rogue search engines have no genuine value to regular users, as they are often unable to provide unique results - they simply redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Google, Yahoo, Bing or other legitimate sites. Note that movies-searcher.com is no exception to this, and simply redirects to Yahoo (search.yahoo.com), a legitimate search engine.
Furthermore, browser hijackers can undo any changes users attempt to make to their browsers and/or limit/deny access to the settings. Therefore, recovering a hijacked browser is impossible without removing the software affecting it. As mentioned, most PUAs (browser hijackers included) can track data.
They monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect sensitive information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details).
The gathered data typically contains personally identifiable information, which is often shared with and/or sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) intent on likewise misusing the details for profit. In summary, the presence of data-tracking software on devices can lead to financial loss, serious privacy issues and even identity theft.
To ensure device and user safety, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated without delay.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Browser Extension(s)||Movies Searcher|
|Serving IP Address (movies-searcher.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.
Maps-N-Directions, Breaking News Now and Find New Coupons are some examples of other browser hijackers. This software may seem legitimate and offers various "useful" functions. Despite how good the advertised functionality may sound, the features rarely work as promised and in most cases do not work at all.
This applies to most PUAs. The only purpose of these unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than delivering any real value, PUAs can hijack browsers, force-open untrusted and malicious sites, run intrusive advertisement campaigns and gather private information.
How did Movies Searcher install on my computer?
Some PUAs have "official" promotional pages from which they can be downloaded. These applications are also distributed via the download/installation set-ups of other products. This deceptive marketing technique of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling".
By rushing through download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, etc.), many users risk unintentionally allowing bundled content into their devices. Intrusive advertisements 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 before download/installation and/or purchase. All downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Untrusted channels such as unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (e.g. 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 possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, features and other additions. Intrusive ads may seem normal, however, they can redirect to dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
If you encounter ads or redirects of this type, inspect all devices and immediately remove any suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Movies Searcher, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Appearance of Movies Searcher browser hijacker promoting movies-searcher.com (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 Movies Searcher?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Movies Searcher application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove movies-searcher.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Movies Searcher browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove movies-searcher.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove movies-searcher.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Movies Searcher 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, "Movies Searcher"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the movies-searcher.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Movies Searcher 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://movies-searcher.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 "Movies Searcher".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the movies-searcher.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 "Movies Searcher" 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 "Movies Searcher", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.movies-searcher.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 "movies-searcher.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 movies-searcher.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 "Movies Searcher", 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 "Movies Searcher", remove hxxp://movies-searcher.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 movies-searcher.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 movies-searcher.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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