IncognitoSearchBox browser hijacker removal instructions
What is IncognitoSearchBox?
Browser hijackers are potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) that are designed to promote fake search engines. Usually, applications of this type promote their search engines by changing browser settings. IncognitoSearchBox promotes the incognitosearchbox.com address. Additionally, most browser hijackers are designed to gather data related to Internet browsing activities or other details. Apps like IncognitoSearchBox are called potentially unwanted applications because it is uncommon for them to be downloaded and installed by users on purpose.
Most browser hijackers change browser settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab. They change those addresses to an address of a fake search engine. It is known that the IncognitoSearchBox changes those addresses to incognitosearchbox.com. Therefore, this address gets opened when users of the IncognitoSearchBox app open a browser, new tab, or enter search queries into the URL bar. This browser hijacker provides results generated by Yahoo or by a questionable search engine. More precisely, incognitosearchbox.com redirects users to search.yahoo.com or searchlee.com. Searchlee.com may generate misleading results and (or) display ads alongside its results. In one way or another, fake search engines like incognitosearchbox.com should never be trusted as tools to browse the web. Typically, users cannot stop a browser hijacker from opening its address unless users remove that app from a browser or the operating system. In this case, incognitosearchbox.com can be removed from browser settings/changed to another address only when the IncognitoSearchBox is not installed anymore.
As mentioned in the introduction paragraph, browser hijackers can be designed to collect browsing-related data. For example, details like Internet Protocol addresses, entered search queries, URLs of visited websites, geolocations. Some browser hijackers can be designed to gather personal details as well. The biggest problem with it is that all gathered information could be used for marketing purposes, sold to third parties (potentially cybercriminals), or monetized in some other way. For these reasons, a browser hijacker is a type of app that can be the reason behind issues with online privacy, browsing safety, or even identity theft. Users who already have an app of this type installed on a browser or the operating system should uninstall it as soon as possible.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Improved web browsing experience|
|Serving IP Address (incognitosearchbox.com)||18.104.22.168|
|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.
More examples of potentially unwanted applications classified as browser hijackers are IncognitoSearchly, SearchConverterApp, and PDFSearchTip. It is common that these apps are advertised as legitimate, useful. For example, they are supposed to have certain features, generate accurate search results, and so on. However, most of them have only one purpose - to generate revenue for their developers. Therefore, apps like IncognitoSearchBox rarely are useful to their users and can be the culprit of various issues.
How did IncognitoSearchBox install on my computer?
Quite often, users cause unwanted downloads and installations through downloaders and installers for other programs (when PAUs are bundled with those other programs). Typically, users can find and decline unwanted offers. It can be done using "Advanced", "Custom," or other settings or by unticking checkboxes that mention additional downloads, installations. Although, not all users check and change those settings. When users leave default settings unchanged, they agree to offers to download or install bundled PUAs together with those other (wanted) programs. Sometimes users cause such downloads or installations via deceptive advertisements (by clicking on them). This applies to ads that can run certain scripts.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Downloaders and installers that have checkboxes, "Custom", "Advanced," and other settings, options should be inspected. It is common that they are bundled with PUAs. It is recommended not to finish downloads, installations without seeing if there are are any unwanted offers that could be declined. All programs and files should be downloaded from official web pages and using direct links. Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, third-party downloaders, installers, etc., should not be used as sources, tools for downloading or installing any programs. Advertisements on shady websites should not be trusted (clicked) as well. Very often those ads are used to advertise untrustworthy websites. In some cases, they can be designed to download, o even install unwanted, potentially malicious apps. Unwanted, suspicious extensions, add-ons, or plug-ins that are installed on a web browser should be uninstalled/removed. Programs of this kind installed on the operating system should be uninstalled too. If your computer is already infected with IncognitoSearchBox, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Incognitosearchbox.com redirects users to search.yahoo.com (GIF):
Incognitosearchbox.com redirects users 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 IncognitoSearchBox?
- STEP 1. Uninstall IncognitoSearchBox application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove IncognitoSearchBox browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove incognitosearchbox.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove incognitosearchbox.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove incognitosearchbox.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
IncognitoSearchBox 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, "IncognitoSearchBox"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the incognitosearchbox.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
IncognitoSearchBox 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 "IncognitoSearchBox" 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 "IncognitoSearchBox", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.incognitosearchbox.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 "incognitosearchbox.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 incognitosearchbox.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 "IncognitoSearchBox", 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 "IncognitoSearchBox", remove hxxp://incognitosearchbox.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 incognitosearchbox.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 incognitosearchbox.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://incognitosearchbox.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 "IncognitoSearchBox".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the incognitosearchbox.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 incognitosearchbox.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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