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How to uninstall the Nok App browser hijacker?

Also Known As: Nok App redirect
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Nok App browser hijacker removal instructions

What is Nok App?

Typically, browser hijackers are designed to promote fake search engines (their addresses). They promote them by making changes in browser settings. Also, they often are designed to collect details relating to their browsing habits of their users. Most users download and install browser hijackers unknowingly. For this reason, applications like the Nok App browser hijacker are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). Nok App promotes the keysearchs.com address/fake search engine.

nok app browse hijacker notification

As a rule, browser hijackers change the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab to promote a fake search engine. They change those addresses (browser settings) to an address of a fake search engine. Research shows that Nok App can promote keysearchs.com without changing any settings. It can leave settings unchanged and open keysearchs.com only when it has detected that users entered a search query into the URL bar. Depending on the geolocation of its visitors/users, keysearchs.com redirects them either to google.com or to bing.com (through my-search.com and search-checker.com). It means that users of the Nok App application get search results from Google or Bing, legitimate search engines. However, they get them through keysearchs.com, which makes it completely useless. It is important to mention that not all fake search engines show results generated by legitimate search engines. Sometimes they generate their own results. Their results contain links to shady websites, deceptive ads. Also, Nok App is not the only browser hijacker promoting the keysearchs.com address. In one way or another, keysearchs.com can be removed from settings only when the installed browser hijacker that promotes it is no longer installed.

As mentioned in the first paragraph, it is common that browser hijackers collect various browsing-related data. Some examples of details that they target are IP addresses, entered search queries, URLs of visited websites, geolocations, and so on. Although, some browser hijackers could be capable of accessing personal details as well. It is important to know that PUAs collect data to generate revenue for their developers. All gathered information can be used for marketing purposes, sold to third parties (potentially cybercriminals), or monetized in other ways. A browser hijacker is a type of app that can be the reason behind issues with online privacy, browsing safety, or even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Nok App
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) Nok App
Supposed Functionality Improved browsing experience
Promoted URL keysearchs.com
Detection Names Fortinet (Malware), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (keysearchs.com) 172.67.185.145
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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More examples of potentially unwanted applications that hijack browsers are Tag Search, Direct Search Online, and Instant Safe Web. It is noteworthy that browser hijackers tend to be advertised as useful applications. They are supposed to include various features, improve the browsing experience, and so on. Although, most browser hijackers useless to their users and can cause various issues. Users who have an app of this type installed on a browser or the operating system should remove it as soon as possible.

How did Nok App install on my computer?

It is common that users cause unwanted downloads and installations when developers distribute potentially unwanted apps by bundling them together with other, mainly free programs. In other words, when PUAs are included in downloaders, installers as additional offers. In most cases, those offers can be found and declined using "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings, or through checkboxes that those downloaders, installers have. However, not all users check and change those settings. They agree with offers to download or install additional included apps (PUAs) by leaving them unchanged. Another examples of how users unintentionally download or install PUAs is by clicking on deceptive advertisements that can execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Always download software using only official and trustworthy websites (or other sources) and direct links. Various third-party tools such as third-party software installers, peer-to-peer networks, unofficial websites, etc., should not be used. Never skip any download or installation set-up steps without checking all the "Custom", "Advanced" and other options/settings. If there are any additionally included applications that you do not wish to install (or download) deselect them and only then finish the process. Avoid clicking on ads that appear while visiting questionable websites. It is common that such ads open other websites of this kind or cause unwanted downloads, installations. Remove all suspicious, unwanted extensions, add-ons, or plug-ins from a web browser and programs of this kind from the operating system. If your computer is already infected with Nok App, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Keysearchs.com redirects to to bing.com through my-search.com and search-checker.com (GIF):

nok app browser hijacker keysearchs.com redirects to bing.com

Keysearchs.com redirects to google.com (GIF):

nok app browser hijacker keysearchs.com redirects to google.com

Website promoting Nok App browser hijacker:

Website used to promote Nok App browser hijacker

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Quick menu:

Nok App 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.

keysearchs.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

Nok App browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing keysearchs.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 "Nok App" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing keysearchs.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 "Nok App", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.keysearchs.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 keysearchs.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 "keysearchs.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 nok app 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 keysearchs.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 "Nok App", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

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

Change your default search engine:

Removing keysearchs.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 nok app 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 nok app 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 keysearchs.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 keysearchs.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://keysearchs.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 keysearchs.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 "Nok App".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the nok app 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 nok app 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.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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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
Nok App 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 Nok App redirect on your mobile device.
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