GoIncognitoSearch browser hijacker removal instructions
What is GoIncognitoSearch?
GoIncognitoSearch is designed to promote the goincognitosearch.com address, an address of a fake search engine. Like most apps of this type, GoIncognitoSearch promotes goincognitosearch.com by modifying certain browser's settings. Also, it is likely that it collects browsing data. Either way, apps of this type should not be installed on browsers. It is worthwhile to mention that in most cases users download and install them unknowingly, for this reason they are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).
Browser hijackers promote fake search engines by modifying browser's settings such as address of a default search engine, homepage and/or new tab. After installation this particular app (GoIncognitoSearch ) changes them to goincognitosearch.com and does not allow users to remove it from browser's settings as long as it is installed. In other words, GoIncognitoSearch is designed to make sure that its users would visit the goincognitosearch.com address when they open a browser (new window), new tab and enter search queries into URL bar. Typically, users can remove address of a fake search engine from settings (change it to another, preferred address) only after uninstallation of a browser hijacker that is designed to promote that address. It is worthwhile to mention that search engines that are promoted by browser hijackers are called fake because they do not generate any unique results. Goincognitosearch.com provides search results generated by Yahoo, it redirects users to search.yahoo.com. Another problem with browser hijackers is that most of them are designed to gather browsing-related information. For example, geolocations, addresses of visited websites, entered search queries, IP addresses. However, some browser hijackers can be designed to gather personal, confidential data as well. What is worse, their developers could sell gathered information to third parties, potentially, cyber criminals or misuse it to generate in other ways. In such cases users may become victims of identity theft, encounter problems related to browsing safety, online privacy, and/or other issues.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Improved browsing experience|
|Serving IP Address (goincognitosearch.com)||22.214.171.124|
|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.
To sum up, most browser hijackers are more or less the same: they are designed to change certain browser settings (promote some fake search engine) and collect browsing data (and/or other details). Quite often they do not include any features or are useful to their users in any other way. Also, apps of this type may be the culprit of certain issues. A couple of examples of other browser hijackers like GoIncognitoSearch are VideoSearchNet, Online Searcher and WebSearchConverter.
How did GoIncognitoSearch install on my computer?
Quite often PUAs are integrated in various download and/or installation setups of other programs as extra offers. In most cases such offers can be declined via their "Advanced", "Custom" and other similar settings, or by unticking certain checkboxes. However, not all users check those settings - they leave them unchanged. In such cases they download and/or install included PUAs alongside with programs that they download and/or install intentionally. Sometimes users cause such downloads and/or installations through deceptive ads - by clicking ads that are designed to run certain scripts.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Third party downloaders, installers, unofficial pages, freeware download sites, Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), etc., should not be used as tools to download or install any software. Files and programs should be downloaded from official websites and via direct links. Download and installation setups that have "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings, or some checkboxes in them should be always checked for offers to download and/or install unwanted apps. Intrusive advertisements that are appear on questionable sites should not be trusted - they can be designed to open various untrustworthy, potentially malicious pages or cause unwanted downloads, or even installations. There should no be any suspicious, unwanted, unknown extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons installed on a web browser and programs of this kind installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with GoIncognitoSearch, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Goincognitosearch.com redirects to search.yahoo.com (GIF):
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 GoIncognitoSearch?
- STEP 1. Uninstall GoIncognitoSearch application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove GoIncognitoSearch browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove goincognitosearch.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove goincognitosearch.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove goincognitosearch.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
GoIncognitoSearch 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, "GoIncognitoSearch"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the goincognitosearch.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
GoIncognitoSearch 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 "GoIncognitoSearch" 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, disable "GoIncognitoSearch", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.goincognitosearch.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:
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 "goincognitosearch.com", 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 goincognitosearch.com redirect, 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 "GoIncognitoSearch", 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 disable "GoIncognitoSearch", remove hxxp://goincognitosearch.com 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 goincognitosearch.com redirect 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 goincognitosearch.com redirect, 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://goincognitosearch.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:
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 "GoIncognitoSearch".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the goincognitosearch.com 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.
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 goincognitosearch.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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