DirectSportSearch browser hijacker removal instructions
What is DirectSportSearch?
Usually, the main purpose of browser hijackers is to force their users to visit specific addresses/use fake search engines. It is common that apps of this type gather data relating to Internet browsing activities as well. DirectSportSearch is used to promote the directsportsearch.com address. It is noteworthy that users download, install browser hijackers unintentionally. Therefore, DirectSportSearch and other apps of this type are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).
DirectSportSearch is a typical browser hijacker: it changes settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab to promote a fake search engine. Usually, the only main difference between browser hijackers is the address that they promote. As mentioned in the introduction, DirectSportSearch promotes directsportsearch.com. It opens this address each time its users open a browser, new tab, or enter search queries into the URL bar. Depending on the geolocation of its visitors, directsportsearch.com redirects them to searchlee.com or search.yahoo.com. In other words, DirectSportSearch's fake search engine shows results generated by another unreliable search engine or by Yahoo. It is noteworthy that there are fake search engines that generate misleading results, show dubious ads. In one way or another, fake search engines should not be used. Typically, their addresses can be removed from settings of the hijacked browsers only when browser hijackers are no longer installed.
Another reason not to have apps like DirectSportSearch installed on a browser or the operating system is that they can be used to collect information relating to Internet browsing activities, for example, IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of visited web pages, entered search queries. Nevertheless, some browser hijackers can be used to gather sensitive details, such as passwords and credit card details. Typically, browser hijackers collect information so that their developers could monetize it, for example, sell it to third parties (potentially cybercriminals). Therefore, users of browsers that are hijacked by apps like DirectSportSearch may encounter problems related to online privacy, web browsing safety, or even become victims of identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Improved browsing experience|
|Serving IP Address (directsportsearch.com)||184.108.40.206|
|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, a browser hijacker is a type of unwanted software that alters a web browser's settings to promote some fake search engine (its address) and collects details related to a user's browsing habits. Usually, a browser hijacker is utterly useless to its user and can cause various issues. Users who have their browsers hijacked by apps like DirectSportSearch should remove them. More examples of browser hijackers are PDFConverterSearchApp, Streaming Madness, and SearchConverterNet.
How did DirectSportSearch install on my computer?
It is common that browser hijackers and other potentially unwanted applications are distributed using downloaders or installers of other programs. This distribution method is known as "bundling". Typically, unwanted offers can be opted out/declined using "Custom", "Advanced" or other settings, or by unticking certain checkboxes that the downloaders or installers of those programs have. Users download or install included browser hijackers (or other PUAs) when they leave the aforementioned settings unchecked and unchanged. It is common that users finish downloads, installations without even checking setups for bundled apps. Sometimes users unintentionally download or install PUAs by clicking deceptive advertisements. However, only when they click on ads that are designed to execute certain scripts.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is advisable to use official, trustworthy websites and direct links when downloading files or programs. It is not safe to use third-party downloaders (or installers), Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, questionable websites, and so on. They can be used to distribute questionable or even malicious programs. Downloads and installations should not be finished without checking downloaders, installers for settings like "Advanced", "Custom" or checkboxes that could be used to opt out unwanted offers. Additionally, it is recommended to avoid clicking on advertisements that appear on shady websites. There are two reasons not to click on those ads: they can be designed to promote other shady pages or cause unwanted downloads, installations. Lastly, if there are any unwanted, suspicious extensions, plug-ins, or add-ons already installed on a browser, then they should be removed. The same should be done with programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with DirectSportSearch, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Directsportsearch.com redirects to searchlee.com (GIF):
Directsportsearch.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 DirectSportSearch?
- STEP 1. Uninstall DirectSportSearch application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove DirectSportSearch browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove directsportsearch.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove directsportsearch.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove directsportsearch.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
DirectSportSearch 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, "DirectSportSearch"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the directsportsearch.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
DirectSportSearch 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 "DirectSportSearch" 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 "DirectSportSearch", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.directsportsearch.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 "directsportsearch.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 directsportsearch.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 "DirectSportSearch", 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 "DirectSportSearch", remove hxxp://directsportsearch.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 directsportsearch.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 directsportsearch.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://directsportsearch.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 "DirectSportSearch".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the directsportsearch.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 directsportsearch.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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