Free.hyperlinksearch.net redirect removal instructions
What is free.hyperlinksearch.net?
Free.hyperlinksearch.net is the address of a fake search engine that is promoted by HyperLink Search - a browser hijacker. It is worthwhile to mention that this app is designed not only to change certain browser settings to free.hyperlinksearch.net but also to add the "Managed by your organization" feature on Google Chrome browsers. It is likely that it is designed to collect browsing data as well. Typically, users download and install apps like HyperLink Search unknowingly, for this reason they are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).
Typically, browser hijackers promote fake search engines (their addresses) by changing browser settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab. HyperLink Search sets them to free.hyperlinksearch.net. It is a fake search engine because it redirects users to google.com/provides results generated by Google. It is common that users cannot undo the changes that were made by a browser hijacker unless they uninstall it. In this case free.hyperlinksearch.net can be removed from browser settings/changed to another, preferred address only if HyperLink Search is no longer installed on a browser. Another issue with most browser hijackers is that they tend to be designed to gather various browsing data (e.g., IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of opened websites, entered search queries). In some cases they can be designed to collect sensitive details as well. Moreover, gathered data could be sold to third parties (potentially cyber criminals) or misused to generate revenue in different ways. Therefore, it is likely tat users who have apps like HyperLink Search installed on their browsers may encounter issues related to web browsing safety, online privacy, or even become victims of identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||HyperLink Search|
|Supposed Functionality||Improved browsing experience|
|Serving IP Address (free.hyperlinksearch.net)||126.96.36.199|
|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.
In conclusion, most browser hijackers are designed to promote some fake search engine/its address and/or collect certain data. It is common that apps of this type are advertised as tools that provide quick access to various websites, include various features, improve web browsing experience, etc. However, most of them are useless to their users and designed only to generate revenue for their developers. A couple of examples of other browser hijackers are WRTenets, FreeStreamSearch and FindConverterSearch.
How did HyperLink Search install on my computer?
Quite often potentially unwanted applications are distributed by using method called "bundling" - by including PUAs in download and/or installation setups as additional offers. Typically, those offers can be found and declined in "Custom", "Advanced" or other settings of setups (or by unticking certain checkboxes). However, not all users check and change those settings when they download and install programs, therefore, they allow for additionally included apps to be downloaded and/or installed too. Also, unwanted downloads and/or installations can be caused by clicking deceptive advertisements that are designed to download and/or install PUAs by executing certain scripts.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Software should be downloaded from official websites and via direct download links. It is not safe to use third party downloaders, installers, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), etc. Software download and installation setups that have settings like "Custom", "Advanced" and/or some checkboxes should be always checked for offers to download and/or install potentially unwanted apps. Also, it is advised not to click advertisements that are displayed on shady web pages. Those ads tend to be designed to open other questionable sites, or even cause unwanted downloads, installations. If there are any unwanted, unknown, or suspicious extensions, add-ons or plug-ins installed on a browser, then they should be removed. Programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system should be uninstalled too. If your computer is already infected with HyperLink Search, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Free.hyperlinksearch.net redirects to google.com (GIF):
Screenshot of the installer that is used to promote HyperLink Search:
Screenshot of the "Managed by your organization" feature added on Chrome by HyperLink Search browser hijacker:
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:
- What is free.hyperlinksearch.net?
- STEP 1. Uninstall HyperLink Search application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove HyperLink Search browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove free.hyperlinksearch.net homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove free.hyperlinksearch.net redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove free.hyperlinksearch.net redirect from Internet Explorer.
HyperLink Search browser hijacker removal:
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.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.
Mac 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, "HyperLink Search"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the free.hyperlinksearch.net website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
HyperLink Search browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
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 "HyperLink 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.free.hyperlinksearch.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:
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 "free.hyperlinksearch.net" 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 hyperlink search browser hijacker, 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 plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "HyperLink 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://free.hyperlinksearch.net 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 hyperlink search 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, 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 hyperlink search browser hijacker, 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.
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://free.hyperlinksearch.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:
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 hyperlink search 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.
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.
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.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove hyperlink search browser hijacker from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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