How to remove the Pro Search browser hijacker?

Also Known As: Pro Search redirect
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Pro Search browser hijacker removal instructions

What is Pro Search?

A browser hijacker is an app that is designed to promote some fake search engine (its address). The Pro Search application is designed to promote tailsearch.com. Also, quite often apps of this type function as data collectors - they gather various information. It is common that users download and install browser hijackers inadvertently, therefore, Pro Search is categorized as potentially unwanted application (PUA).

tailsearch.com redirects to google.com

After installation browser hijackers changes settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab to an address of a certain fake search engine. In other words, they make sure that users would visit a certain address when they enter search queries into URL bar, open a browser or new tab. It is known that Pro Search does not always change the aforementioned settings, however, it detects when users enter search queries into URL bar and redirects them to tailsearch.com even if it leaves browser settings unchanged. Depending on user's geolocation, tailsearch.com redirects either to google.com or bing.com - it provides results generated either by Google or Bing. In one way or another, it does not generate unique results and that is the main reason why it is called a fake search engine. It is worthwhile to mention that before opening the bing.com page tailsearch.com opens redirects users through my-search.com and search-checker.com, a couple of other shady addresses. In most cases users can remove address of a fake search from browser settings only when a browser hijacker that is designed to promote it is not longer installed on a browser. Another reason not to have Pro Search or any other app of this type installed on a browser and/or computer is that apps of this type tend to be designed to collect various data. Usually they target details like IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, etc. However, in some cases they can be designed to gather confidential, sensitive information as well. The main reason why that is a problem is that collected information could be sold to third parties (potentially cyber criminals) or misused to generate revenue in some other ways. It means that a browser hijacker can be the culprit of problems related to browsing safety, privacy, or even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Pro Search
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) Pro Search
Supposed Functionality Improved web browsing experience
Promoted URL tailsearch.com
Serving IP Address (tailsearch.com) 104.27.146.124
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 Malwarebytes.
▼ Download Malwarebytes
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

A couple of examples of other browser hijackers that function like Pro Search are DirectStreamSearch, Stop Notifications and ConverterSearchPlus. Usually apps of this type are advertised as useful (as apps that have various features, improve browsing experience, etc.). Nevertheless, most of them not only useless but also can cause various issues. As mentioned in the first paragraph, most of the times users download browser hijackers (and other PUAs) unknowingly.

How did Pro Search install on my computer?

In most cases users download and/or install potentially unwanted applications via download and/or installation setups of other programs. More precisely, when PUAs are integrated in setups as extra offers. As a rule, such offers can be declined before completing downloads and/or installations. It can be done by using "Advanced", "Custom", or other settings of setups, or by unticking certain checkboxes that are available in them. When users download and/or install programs without checking and changing any of the default settings, they download and/or install included PUAs too. In some cases users cause such downloads and/or installations by clicking deceptive advertisements. However, only when they click ads that are designed to execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), questionable websites, etc., should not be used neither to download or install software. Files and programs should be downloaded from official websites and through direct links. Download and/or installation setups that have settings like "Custom", "Advanced" (and/or some checkboxes) should be always checked for offers to download and/or install additionally included applications. Such offers can and should be declined before completing downloads and installations. Advertisements that appear on shady websites (e.g., on pages related to pornography, gambling, adult dating) should not be clicked as well. Quite often those advertisements are designed to open other unreliable pages. In some cases they can be designed to download, install unwanted applications. Any unwanted, suspicious apps (extensions, plug-ins or add-ons) that are already installed on a web browser should be removed. The same should be done with programs of this type that are installed on a computer/operating system. If your computer is already infected with Pro Search, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Tailsearch.com redirects to bing.com via my-search.com and search-checker.com (GIF):

tailsearch.com redirects to bing.com

Website promoting Pro Search browser hijacker:

Website used to promote Pro Search browser hijacker

Notification saying that Pro Search can read and change certain data:

pro search browser hijacker notification

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Malwarebytes By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Pro 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.

tailsearch.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

Pro Search browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing tailsearch.com 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 "Pro Search" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing tailsearch.com 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 "Pro Search", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.tailsearch.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:

Removing tailsearch.com 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 "tailsearch.com", 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 pro search 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 tailsearch.com 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 "Pro Search", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing tailsearch.com 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 "Pro Search", remove hxxp://tailsearch.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing tailsearch.com 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 pro search 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 pro search 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 tailsearch.com 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 tailsearch.com 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://tailsearch.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:

Removing tailsearch.com 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 "Pro Search".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the pro search 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 pro search redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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

Click to post a comment

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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

Removal Instructions in other languages
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
Pro Search redirect 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 Pro Search redirect on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Windows malware infections today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW
Download Malwarebytes

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Malwarebytes:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.