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How to remove the YourIncognitoSearch application?

Also Known As: yourincognitosearch.com redirect
Damage level: Medium

What is YourIncognitoSearch?

YourIncognitoSearch is a browser hijacker created to promote the yourincognitosearch.com address, a fake search engine. Like most apps of this type, YourIncognitoSearch changes the browser settings to promote its fake search engine.

It is not uncommon for browser hijackers to constantly collect information relating to Internet browsing activities or other data. One more detail about browser hijackers is that most users download and install them unintentionally. Therefore, they are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

yourincognitosearch.com browser hijacker

Typically, browser hijackers change settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab to promote their fake search engines. YourIncognitoSearch changes those settings to yourincognitosearch.com.

In other words, it forces users to use/visit yourincognitosearch.com when they enter search queries into the URL bar, open a browser, or new tab. Typically, fake search engines show results generated by some legitimate or questionable search engine.

Yourincognitosearch.com can do both: it shows results from Yahoo (redirects users to search.yahoo.com) or shows results generated by searchlee.com (another shady search engine). Fake, shady search engines cannot be trusted: they could provide misleading results, show dubious ads.

As a rule, the address of a fake search engine can be removed from the browser's settings only when a browser hijacker that promotes it is uninstalled. In this particular case, yourincognitosearch.com can be changed to a preferred address only after uninstallation of the YourIncognitoSearch browser hijacker.

YourIncognitoSearch could be designed to collect geolocations, Internet Protocol addresses, enter search queries, URLs of visited sites, etc., or even sensitive information (e.g., credit card details, telephone numbers, passwords).

The major problem with apps like YourIncognitoSearch is that their developers could sell gathered information to other people (potentially cybercriminals), use it for marketing purposes, or choose another way to monetize it.

Therefore, a browser hijacker is a type of app that can be the reason behind issues with browsing safety, online privacy, or other problems. It is strongly recommended not to have apps of this type installed on browsers or computers.

Threat Summary:
Name YourIncognitoSearch
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) YourIncognitoSearch
Supposed Functionality Improved web browsing experience
Promoted URL yourincognitosearch.com
Serving IP Address (yourincognitosearch.com) 104.21.44.165
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 Combo Cleaner.
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There is a great number of browser hijackers on the Internet. Some more examples are Stay Web, SearchConverterOnline, and TopIncognitoSearch.

It is worthwhile to mention that most of these apps are advertised as apps that improve web browsing experience (provide various features, generate accurate search results, and so on), or are useful in some another way.

Although, most apps of this type are designed only to alter the browser's settings to make sure that users would visit a certain address, and gather various information. Browser hijackers (including the YourIncognitoSearch app) are useless to their users and can cause them various issues.

How did YourIncognitoSearch install on my computer?

As mentioned in the first paragraph, most users download and install apps like YourIncognitoSearch inadvertently. It often happens when they download or install programs that have PUAs bundled in their downloaders, installers.

Typically, information about bundled apps can be found in the settings that are available in those downloaders, installers. For example, "Manual", "Custom", "Advanced". Those settings (or checkboxes) not only mention bundled apps but also can be used to decline offers to download or install those apps.

If users do not even check any of those settings, they download or install various apps that they had no intention to download or install.

Another way deceptive method to distribute PUAs is through ads by designing them to run certain scripts. Those ads cause unwanted downloads or installations when users click on them.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is important to download programs, files from official websites (and via direct links) and not to use third-party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), unofficial pages, etc. Third-party installers should not be used too.

Download and installation setups that have settings like "Custom", "Advanced" should always be checked for offers to download or install bundled applications, and those offers should be declined.

One more way to prevent unwanted apps from being installed is not to click on ads is they appear on sites relating to gambling, pornography, adult dating, and other questionable pages.

It is worth remembering that such ads often are designed to open potentially malicious pages or cause unwanted downloads or even installations.

If there is some unwanted or suspicious add-on, plug-in, or extension installed on a browser or program of this kind installed on the operating system, then it should be removed.

If your computer is already infected with YourIncognitoSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Yourincognitosearch redirects to search.yahoo.com (GIF):

yourincognitosearch browser hijacker yourincognitosearch.com redirects to search.yahoo.com

Yourincognitosearch redirects to searchlee.com (GIF):

yourincognitosearch browser hijacker yourincognitosearch.com redirects to searchlee.com

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Quick menu:

YourIncognitoSearch browser hijacker removal:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.

Windows 10 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.

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.

macOS (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.

yourincognitosearch.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

YourIncognitoSearch browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing yourincognitosearch.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 "YourIncognitoSearch" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing yourincognitosearch.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 "YourIncognitoSearch", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.yourincognitosearch.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 yourincognitosearch.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 "yourincognitosearch.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 yourincognitosearch.com 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 yourincognitosearch.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 "YourIncognitoSearch", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

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

Change your default search engine:

Removing yourincognitosearch.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 yourincognitosearch.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, 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 yourincognitosearch.com 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 yourincognitosearch.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 yourincognitosearch.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://yourincognitosearch.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 yourincognitosearch.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 "YourIncognitoSearch".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the yourincognitosearch.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.

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.

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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.

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