How to remove the Search Lovely browser hijacker?

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

Search Lovely browser hijacker removal instructions

What is Search Lovely?

Apps like Search Lovely are classified as browser hijackers because they change browser settings to force users to visit a certain address (use a certain fake search engine). This particular app promotes tailsearch.com. Another common issue with browser hijackers is that they collect browsing-related and/or other information. In most cases users download and install apps like Search Lovely unknowingly, therefore, they are categorized as potentially unwanted applications.

search lovely browser hijacker tailsearch.com redirects to google.com

In most cases when a browser is hijacked by an app like Search Lovely, its users are forced to visit a certain address when they open a browser, new tab and/or enter search queries into URL bar. It is because browser hijackers change setting such as the address of a homepage, new tab and/or default search engine to an address of some fake search engine. As mentioned in the first paragraph, Search Lovely promotes tailsearch.com, although, it does not always change the aforementioned settings. In such cases it opens tailsearch.com when it detects that users enter search queries into URL bar. Tailsearch.com redirects users either to google.com or bing.com (via my-search.com and search-checker.com), it is a fake search engine that displays results generated by Google or Bing. To be able to remove tailsearch.com from browser settings users need to uninstall Search Lovely (or other app that promotes it) first.

Additionally, browser hijackers tend to be designed to gather browsing-related information. For example, geolocations, addresses of visited websites, entered search queries, IP addresses. Although, in some cases they can read personal, confidential data as well. The biggest issue is that gathered data could be monetized by selling it to third parties, potentially, cyber criminals or misused for other malicious purposes. Therefore, users may become victims of identity theft, encounter problems related to browsing safety, online privacy, and/or other issues.

Threat Summary:
Name Search Lovely
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) Search Lovely
Supposed Functionality Improved 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)

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A couple examples of apps that are classified as browser hijackers too are Finding Pro, XoXoEmoticons and mylucky Tab. Usually they are advertised as apps that improve browsing experience and/or are useful in some other way. Although, most of them are useless to their users and designed to promote certain address (or addresses) and/or gather various data. Therefore, browser hijackers should never be installed on browsers and/or the operating systems.

How did Search Lovely install on my computer?

One of the most popular methods to distribute PUA is to include them in download and/or installation setups of other programs as extra offers. This distribution method is known as "bundling". Typically, users can decline unwanted offers before completing downloads and/or installations - they can do that via "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings, or by unticking certain checkboxes. Users download and/or install included PUAs together with other programs when they leave the aforementioned settings unchanged. In some cases PUAs are distributed via deceptive advertisements by designing them to run certain scripts. Those ads cause unwanted downloads and/or installations after being clicked.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Software should be downloaded from official websites and through direct download links. Third party downloaders, installers, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), and other similar sources, tools should not be trusted/used. Downloads and installations should not be finished without declining unwanted offers. Advertisements on questionable web pages should not be clicked as well. It is common for those ads to be designed to promote shady pages. In some cases they could be used to distribute (download and/or install) unwanted software. There should not be any unwanted, unknown, or suspicious extensions, add-ons or plug-ins installed on a browser, or programs of this kind installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with Search Lovely, 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):

search lovely browser hijacker tailsearch.com redirects to bing.com

Website promoting Search Lovely browser hijacker:

Website used to promote Search Lovely browser hijacker

Notification saying that Search Lovely can read browsing history:

search lovely browser hijacker notification

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Quick menu:

Search Lovely 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, "Search Lovely"), 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.

Search Lovely 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 "Search Lovely" 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 "Search Lovely", 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 search lovely 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 "Search Lovely", 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 "Search Lovely", 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 search lovely 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 search lovely 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 "Search Lovely".

Optional method:

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

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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.

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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
Search Lovely 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 Search Lovely redirect on your mobile device.
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