How to stop redirects to and from customsearch.info
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is the customsearch.info website?
customsearch.info (and find.customsearch.info) is the address of a fake search engine. Rogue web searching tools are usually promoted by software categorized as browser hijackers. One browser hijacker observed promoting customsearch.info is simply named Custom Search.
Software within this category promotes fake search engines by making certain modifications to browser settings and restricting/denying access to them. Additionally, Custom Search adds the "Managed by your organization" feature to Google Chrome browsers.
Both browser hijackers and bogus search engines are notorious for their data tracking capabilities. Due to the dubious methods used to proliferate browser hijackers, they are also classified as Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs). Custom Search has been observed being proliferated via licensed software "cracking" tools.
As well as being illegal, these activation tools can distribute not just PUAs but also Trojans, ransomware and other malware.
Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and other popular browsers are typical targets of browser hijackers. They assign the addresses of bogus search tools as the homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs. These seemingly minor alterations significantly affect the browsing experience.
To elaborate, with a browser hijacker promoting customsearch.info installed (e.g. Custom Search), each search made via the URL bar and new browser tab/window opened redirects to customsearch.info. Fake search engines are usually unable to provide unique results, and so they tend to redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) legitimate sites.
This is the case with customsearch.info, which redirects to the Google search engine (google.com). Furthermore, recovering a hijacked browser is impossible without removing the software affecting it, since browser hijackers can undo any changes users try to make to their browsers and/or limit/deny access to the settings.
Most browser hijackers can track data. They can record browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather personal information derived from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The collected data is then shared with and/or sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals), intent on likewise misusing it for financial gain.
Therefore, the presence of data-tracking software on browsers/systems can result in serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To protect device and user safety, you are strongly advised to eliminate all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Serving IP Address||22.214.171.124|
|Browser Extension(s)||Custom Search|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine.|
|Detection Names (rogue installer)||Avast (Win32:AdwareSig [Adw]), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Adware.KabanInst.5), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Adware.TekhNetvork.A), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.MSIL.KabanIns), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal).|
|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.
searchmulty.com, searchfort.online and mybrowser-search.com are some examples of other fake search engines, whilst The Global Weather Tab, Test iNet Speed, and Access Online Forms are examples of browser hijackers. The bogus search engines and software promoting often seems normal and harmless.
Browser hijackers entice users into download/installation with offers of various "useful" features, however, the promised functionality is seldom operational, and this is common to most PUAs.
The only purpose of these unwanted apps is to generate revenue at users' expense. Rather than delivering any real value, PUAs can hijack browsers, run intrusive advertisement campaigns, force-open untrusted/malicious sites, and track private information.
How did Custom Search install on my computer?
PUAs are 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, using "Quick/Express" options, etc.), many users risk unintentionally allowing harmful and bundled content into their devices. Some PUAs have "official" promotional web pages, from which they can be downloaded.
Intrusive ads can infiltrate these applications into systems as well. When clicked, they can execute scrips, designed to download/install PUAs without users' permission.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are advised to research all products to verify their legitimacy, prior to download/installation and/or purchase.
All downloads must be done from official and trustworthy sources, since dubious download channels such as unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders commonly offer deceptive and bundled content.
Download and installation processes must be treated with caution. Read the terms, study all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, features and other additions. Intrusive ads may seem legitimate, however, they can redirect to highly dubious sites (e.g. gambling, adult-dating, pornography, and so on).
If you encounter advertisements or redirects of this kind, check all devices and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Custom Search, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Custom Search browser hijacker installation setup (illegal activation "cracking" tool):
Custom Search browser hijacker asking for data-related permissions:
Custom Search browser hijacker promoting find.customsearch.info (GIF):
"Managed by your organization" feature added to Google Chrome browsers by Custom Search browser hijacker:
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 customsearch.info?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Custom Search application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove customsearch.info redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Custom Search browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove customsearch.info homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove customsearch.info redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Custom Search 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, "Custom Search"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the customsearch.info website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Custom Search 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://customsearch.info 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".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the find.customsearch.info 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 "Custom Search" 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, look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.customsearch.info) 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 "customsearch.info", and 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 find.customsearch.info 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 "Custom Search", 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 remove hxxp://customsearch.info 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 find.customsearch.info 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 find.customsearch.info 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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