How to remove searches.network from browser settings?

Also Known As: searches.network browser hijacker
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Searches.network redirect removal instructions

What is searches.network?

Searches.network is the address of a fake search engine. Typically, when users see such address in the settings of a web browser/they end up on that address on certain occasions, then it means that a browser has some browser hijacker installed on it. In most cases users download and install browser hijackers unknowingly, for this reason they are called potentially uwanted applications (PUAs). It is worthwhile to mention that quite often apps of this type are designed to gather information related to user's web browsing activities.

searches.network browser hijacker

As a rule, browser hijackers are designed to change browser setting such as the address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab. In this case such app changes those settings to searches.network which is designed to redirect users to webcrawler.com - the address of another shady search engine. It is advised not to use such search engines, they could be designed to generate results that would include links to untrustworthy websites. Typically, address of a fake search engine (searches.network) cannot be removed from browser settings unless users uninstall a browser hijacker that is designed to promote it. Although, there is another reason not to have such apps installed on browsers and/or computers. Quite often they are designed to collect information that their developers might misuse to generate revenue (e.g., they may sell it to third parties who may be cyber criminals). For example, IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, or even personal, confidential information. Such actions may cause users problems related to browsing safety, online privacy, it is possible that users become victims of identity theft as well.

Threat Summary:
Name searches.network browser hijacker
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Serving IP Address 172.67.151.247
Supposed Functionality Accurate search results
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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Charmsearching.com, directsearchapp.com and customsearch.info are examples of other fake, unreliable search engines. As a rule, in most cases they are designed to provide results generated by some legitimate search engine (like Google, Yahoo). However, in some cases they generate unique results that may include links to shady pages, or they provide results generated by some search engine that may function like this. In one way or another, fake search engines should bot be used, the same applies to browser hijackers.

How did searches.network install on my computer?

It is common that users download and/or install browser hijackers (and other PUAs) together with other programs. More precisely, when PUAs are included in download and/or installation setups of those programs as additional offers. In most cases the aforementioned offers can be declined through "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings that are available in setups (or via their checkboxes). When users finish downloads and/or installations without changing any settings, they download and/or install both desired software and PUAs. This method to distribute PUAs is known as "bundling". Sometimes unwanted apps get downloaded and/or installed through deceptive advertisements that users click. Although, it happens only when those ads are designed to execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is important to check download and installation setups for settings like "Custom", "Advanced" and see if they can be used to decline offers to download and/or install additionally included applications. Also, it is recommended to download files and programs only from official websites and via direct links. Unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, third party downloaders, installers, etc., should not be used neither to download or install software (or files). Furthermore, it is advised not to trust (click) advertisements that appear on dubious websites. Those ads can be designed to open other untrustworthy websites or even cause unwanted downloads, installations. Any unwanted, unknown or suspicious extensions, plug-ins or add-ons that are installed on a browser should be removed from it. The same applies to software of this kind that is installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate it.

Searches.network redirects to webcrawler.com (GIF):

searches.network redirects to webcrawler.com

Fake Flash player installer used to promote searches.network browser hijacker:

searches.network browser hijacker-promoting fake Flash player installation setup

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Quick menu:

searches.network redirect 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.

searches.network browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

searches.network redirect removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing searches.network 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 all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing searches.network 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.searches.network) 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 searches.network 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 "searches.network" 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 searches.network browser hijacker, 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 searches.network 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 all recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing searches.network 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://searches.network and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing searches.network 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 searches.network browser hijacker 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 searches.network browser hijacker, 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 searches.network 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 searches.network 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://searches.network 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 searches.network 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 "searches.network".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the searches.network browser hijacker, 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 searches.network browser hijacker from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on searches.network browser hijacker 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
searches.network browser hijacker QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of searches.network browser hijacker on your mobile device.
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