How to stop getting redirected to and from customsearch.info?

Also Known As: find.customsearch.info redirect
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

Customsearch.info redirect removal instructions

What is the customsearch.info website?

Customsearch.info (find.customsearch.info) is the address of a fake search engine. Illegitimate 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 illegitimate search engines are notorious for their data tracking abilities. Due to the questionable methods used to distribute browser hijackers, they are also deemed to be PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). Custom Search has been observed being proliferated via licensed software "cracking" tools. Aside from being illegal, these activation tools can distribute not just PUAs but trojans, ransomware and other malware as well.

find.customsearch.info browser hijacker

Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and other popular browsers are typical targets of browser hijackers. They assign the addresses of illegitimate web searching tools as browsers' homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs. These seemingly minor alterations seriously affect the browsing experience. To elaborate, with a browser hijacker promoting customsearch.info installed (e.g. Custom Search): every single web search done via the URL bar and new browser tab/window opened - redirect to customsearch.info. Fake search engines are usually unable to provide search results, so they tend to redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) legitimate ones. This is the case with customsearch.info as well, it 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 browser's settings. Most browser hijackers can track data. They can record browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather personal information inferred 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, presence of data-tracking software on browsers/systems can result in severe privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To protect device and user safety, it is strongly advised to eliminate all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name find.customsearch.info redirect
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Serving IP Address 51.159.88.203
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)

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Searchmulty.comsearchfort.online and mybrowser-search.com are a few examples of other fake search engines and The Global Weather TabTest iNet SpeedAccess Online Forms - of browser hijackers, respectively. Neither illegitimate search engines nor the software promoting them appear suspicious, they tend to look ordinary and harmless. Browser hijackers entice users into download/installation with offers of various "handy" features. However, the promised functionalities are seldom operational and this is common for all PUAs. The only purpose of unwanted apps is to generate revenue at user expense. Therefore, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs can hijack browsers, run intrusive advertisement campaigns, force-open untrustworthy/malicious sites, and/or track private information.

How did Custom Search install on my computer?

PUAs are distributed via download/installation setups of other products. This false marketing technique of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". By rushing through download/installation processes (e.g. by ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using "Quick/Express" options, etc.) - users risk unintentionally allowing harmful and/or bundled content into their devices. Some PUAs have "official" promotional webpages, from which they can be downloaded. Intrusive adverts can infiltrate these applications into systems as well. When clicked on, they can execute scrips, designed to download/install PUAs without user permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to always research 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, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders - commonly offer deceptive and/or bundled content. Download and installation processes must be treated with caution. Therefore, it is important to read terms, study all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features and other additions. Intrusive ads appear legitimate, however they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g. gambling, adult-dating, pornography, and so on). In case of encounters with advertisements and/or redirects of this kind, users must check their 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 Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Custom Search browser hijacker installation setup (illegal activation "cracking" tool):

Custom Search browser hijacker distributed via licensed software cracking tool

Custom Search browser hijacker asking for data-related permissions:

Custom Search browser hijacker asking for permissions

Custom Search browser hijacker promoting find.customsearch.info (GIF):

Custom Search browser hijacker appearance GIF

"Managed by your organization" feature added to Google Chrome browsers by Custom Search browser hijacker:

Managed by your organization feature affed to Chrome by  Custom Search browser hijacker

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Quick menu:

Custom 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.

customsearch.info browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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 (which 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:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing customsearch.info 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 customsearch.info 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://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:

Removing customsearch.info 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 "Search".

Optional method:

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.

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 customsearch.info 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 "Custom Search" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing customsearch.info 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, 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:

Removing customsearch.info 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 "customsearch.info" 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 find.customsearch.info 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 customsearch.info 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 "Custom Search", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing customsearch.info 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 remove hxxp://customsearch.info and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing customsearch.info 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 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, 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 find.customsearch.info 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 find.customsearch.info redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on find.customsearch.info redirect or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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.

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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
find.customsearch.info redirect QR code
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