How to remove OptimumSearch(S) browser hijacker from a browser?

Also Known As: optimumsearch.net redirect
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

OptimumSearch(S) browser hijacker removal instructions

What is OptimumSearch(S)?

Since OptimumSearch(S) is classified as a browser hijacker, it promotes a fake search engine (the optimumsearch.net address) by changing certain browser settings. Also, it reads browsing data and adds the "Managed by your organization" feature (on Chrome browsers). It is worthwhile to mention that in most cases users download and install browser hijackers unknowingly, unintentionally, for this reason apps of this type (including Since OptimumSearch(S)) are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

optimumsearch.net browser hijacker

After installation OptimumSearch(S) changes the address of a homepage, default search engine and new tab to optimumsearch.net. Its main purpose is to make sure that users would visit this address when they open a browser, enter search queries into URL bar and open a new tab. Optimumsearch.net is a fake search engine because it redirects users to search.yahoo.com - it displays results generated by Yahoo. In order to be able to remove optimumsearch.net from browser settings users need to uninstall the OptimumSearch(S) app first, otherwise it will reassign its settings after every attempt to modify, change them. Furthermore, it is common that apps like OptimumSearch(S) are designed to collect browsing data (e.g., entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, IP addresses, geolocations). In some cases they are designed to gather sensitive details as well. The problem is that collected information may be used to generate revenue by selling it to third parties (potentially cyber criminals) or in other ways. In such case users may experience problems related to browsing safety, online privacy, or even become victims of identity theft. It is advised not to download and install browser hijackers and uninstall any already installed ones as soon as possible.

Threat Summary:
Name OptimumSearch(S)
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) OptimumSearch(S)
Supposed Functionality Improved browsing experience
Promoted URL optimumsearch.net
Serving IP Address (optimumsearch.net) 162.255.119.128
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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It is worthwhile to mention that most browser hijackers are advertised as tools that include some features, help users to improve browsing experience, etc. However, more often than not they are designed only to promote some fake search engine and collect certain data. In other words, they are designed only to generate revenue for their developers and are useless to their users. Here are some examples of other apps that are classified as browser hijackers: PDFt Search, Default Search and IConverterSearch.

How did OptimumSearch(S) install on my computer?

It is common that users download and/or install browser hijackers (or other types of PUAs) either by clicking deceptive advertisements that are designed to execute certain scripts, or when developers distribute them by using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". In the second case users download and/or install PUAs together with other programs that download and/or install intentionally - when PUAs are included setups of other programs as additional offers and users do not decline them. Typically, such offers can be declined in "Advanced", "Custom and other similar settings of setups.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (like eMule. torrent clients), third party downloaders, installers, etc., tend to be used as tools to distribute unwanted, potentially malicious apps. Therefore, files and programs should be downloaded only from official pages and through direct download links. Download and installation setups that have settings like "Custom", "Advanced" often are used to distribute PUAs too. Therefore, they should be always checked for offers to download and/or install unwanted apps. Intrusive advertisements that appear on shady pages can open untrustworthy websites or cause downloads and/or installations of unwanted apps as well. For this reason such ads should not be clicked. Any unwanted, suspicious extensions, add-ons and plug-ins that are installed on a browser should be removed. Software of this kind that is installed on a computer should be uninstalled too. If your computer is already infected with OptimumSearch(S), we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Screenshot of the added the "Managed by your organization" feature:

optimumsearch(s) adds your browser is managed feature

Screenshot of the notification saying that OptimumSearch(S) can read certain data:

optimumsearch (s) browser hijacker notification

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Quick menu:

OptimumSearch(S) 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.

optimumsearch.net browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

OptimumSearch(S) browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing optimumsearch.net 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 "OptimumSearch(S)" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing optimumsearch.net 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 "OptimumSearch(S)", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.optimumsearch.net) 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 optimumsearch.net 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 "optimumsearch.net", 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 optimumsearch.net 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 optimumsearch.net 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 "OptimumSearch(S)", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing optimumsearch.net 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 "OptimumSearch(S)", remove hxxp://optimumsearch.net and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing optimumsearch.net 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 optimumsearch.net 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 optimumsearch.net 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.

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing optimumsearch.net 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 optimumsearch.net 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://optimumsearch.net 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 optimumsearch.net 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 "OptimumSearch(S)".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the optimumsearch.net 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

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 optimumsearch.net redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on optimumsearch.net 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.

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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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
optimumsearch.net redirect QR code
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