How to remove the PDFSearchTip browser hijacker?
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is PDFSearchTip?
Typically, browser hijackers change some of the browser settings to promote a certain address (a fake search engine). It is also common that apps of this type collect information related browsing habits of their users. PDFSearchTip promotes the pdfsearchtip.com address.
It is noteworthy that most users download and install apps like PDFSearchTip (browser hijackers) inadvertently. Therefore, they are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).
In most cases, browser hijackers like PDFSearchTip change settings such as the address of a homepage, new tab, and default search engine. This apps changes them to pdfsearchtip.com, a fake search engine.
It is called fake because it shows results generated by Yahoo (redirects users to search.yahoo.com) or searchlee.com - another questionable search engine.
It is important to know that search engines like searchlee.com can be designed to promote untrustworthy pages and show dubious advertisements alongside their results. Therefore, it is strongly advisable not to use fake search engines.
Typically, users of browsers hijacked by apps like PDFSearchTip cannot change the address of a homepage, new tab, and default search engine from the address of a fake search engine to a preferred one.
In order to do it, users need to uninstall the browser hijacker first. In this case, users can stop a hijacked browser opening pdfsearchtip.com by uninstalling PDFSearchTip and then changing the settings.
Quite often, browser hijackers can read browsing-related data, for example, Internet Protocol addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of visited websites. There are browser hijackers that can access sensitive details (e.g., passwords, credit card details) as well.
What is worse, the collected information could be misused for marketing purposes, sold to third parties (potentially cybercriminals), or in other ways. Therefore, it is not safe to have apps like PDFSearchTip installed on a browser or the operating system.
Their users are likely to encounter issues related to online privacy, browsing safety, or other problems.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Improved browsing experience|
|Serving IP Address (pdfsearchtip.com)||220.127.116.11|
|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.
There are many various browser hijackers on the Internet. Some examples are SportSearchMaster, VideoSearchz, and SearchMusicStream. The main difference between them is the address (a fake search engine) they promote.
It is worthwhile to mention that most browser hijackers are useless, even if they are advertised as useful apps. Although, it is not common for apps of this type to be downloaded and installed by users on purpose (knowingly).
How did PDFSearchTip install on my computer?
In most cases, people download and install browser hijackers and other PUAs when they are distributed by bundling them together with other programs. In other words, when PAUs are included in downloaders, installers as extra offers.
As a rule, offers to download or install bundled applications can be found and declined in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings (or by unticking ticked checkboxes) that certain downloaders, installers have.
Users download and install browser hijackers or other PUAs bundled with other programs when they finish their downloads, installations without changing the aforementioned settings. Sometimes users unknowingly download, installs PUAs by clicking on deceptive ads designed to run certain scripts.
Typically, those ads appear on dubious, untrustworthy pages.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Programs and files should not be downloaded from unofficial websites, through Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, and so on), via third-party downloaders, installed through third-party installers, and so on. Apps, files should be downloaded from official websites.
Another important thing is not to finish downloads and installations without checking downloaders, installers for "Custom", "Advanced", or other settings, and declining unwanted offers. Furthermore, it is recommended not to click on ads that dubious pages have on them.
It is common that those ads are used to promote other questionable websites or cause unwanted downloads, installations. Unwanted extensions, plug-ins, or add-ons installed on a web browser and programs of this kind installed on the operating system should be removed.
If your computer is already infected with PDFSearchTip, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Pdfsearchtip.com redirects to search.yahoo.com (GIF):
Pdfsearchtip.com redirects to searchlee.com (GIF):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is PDFSearchTip?
- STEP 1. Uninstall PDFSearchTip application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove PDFSearchTip browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove pdfsearchtip.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove pdfsearchtip.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove pdfsearchtip.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
PDFSearchTip browser hijacker removal:
Windows 11 users:
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:
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:
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:
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, "PDFSearchTip"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the pdfsearchtip.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
PDFSearchTip 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 "PDFSearchTip" 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 "PDFSearchTip", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.pdfsearchtip.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 "pdfsearchtip.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 pdfsearchtip.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 "PDFSearchTip", 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 "PDFSearchTip", remove hxxp://pdfsearchtip.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 pdfsearchtip.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 pdfsearchtip.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://pdfsearchtip.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 "PDFSearchTip".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the pdfsearchtip.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.
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