What is Dictionary Search?
Dictionary Search is a browser hijacker endorsed as an easy access tool to online dictionaries. Typically, software within this category makes alterations to browser settings in order to promote fake search engines.
In some cases, Dictionary Search modifies browsers to promote togosearching.com, and in others - it does not. Additionally, Dictionary Search spies on users' browsing habits.
Due to the dubious techniques used to distribute browser hijackers, they are also classified as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).
Dictionary Search browser hijacker in detail
Browser hijackers assign fake web searcher addresses as browsers' homage, default search engine, and new tab/window URLs. Hence, with such a piece of software installed: new browser tabs/windows opened and web searches done via the URL bar - redirect to the promoted search engine (e.g., togosearching.com). Dictionary Search does not always operate in this manner.
Illegitimate web searchers usually cannot provide search results, so they redirect to or cause redirection chains ending with Bing, Yahoo, Google, and other genuine search engines. This also applies to the web searcher promoted by Dictionary Search. Togosearching.com causes a redirect chain consisting of my-search.com, a random website, and concluding with the Bing (bing.com) search engine.
Furthermore, browser hijackers can restrict/deny access to the browser settings and/or undo any changes users try to make to their browsers. Therefore, restoring an affected browser is impossible without removing the software hijacking it.
Dictionary Search also has data tracking abilities, which is a standard functionality of browser hijackers. They record browsing activity (URLs visited, webpages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect vulnerable information extracted from it (IP addresses/ geolocations, personally identifiable details, etc.).
Browser hijacker developers monetize the collected data by sharing it with and/or selling it to third-parties, likewise intent on misusing it for profit. To summarize, the presence of data-tracking software on devices can lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
It is crucial to remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection - to ensure device integrity and user privacy.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Dictionary Search|
|Supposed Functionality||Easy access to online dictionaries|
|Detection Names||Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (togosearching.com)||188.8.131.52|
|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.
Browser hijackers in general
Browser hijackers also offer a wide variety of "useful" and "advantageous" functions. However, despite how good the advertised features may sound - they are rarely operational.
Functionality and user safety are irrelevant for practically all PUAs. These applications only aim to generate revenue for the developers; they have no real value to users.
Therefore, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs can hijack browsers, cause redirects, run intrusive advertisement campaigns (adware), and gather private information.
How did Dictionary Search install on my computer?
Some PUAs (e.g., Dictionary Search) have "official" promotional/download sites.
These applications are most commonly downloaded/installed together with other software. The false marketing method of packing regular programs with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling".
Rushed download/installation processes (e.g., ignored terms, skipped steps, used "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system.
Intrusive adverts are used to spread PUAs as well. Upon being clicked, the advertisements can execute scripts to download/install this software stealthily.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is recommended to research products before download/installation and/or purchase. All downloads must be performed from official and verified sources. Untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - often offer bundled and/or hazardous content.
When downloading/installing, it is important to read terms, explore possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features, and so forth.
Intrusive adverts appear ordinary and harmless; however, they redirect highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.).
In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this type, the system must be checked and all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - removed from it without delay. If your computer is already infected with Dictionary Search, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Website promoting Dictionary Search browser hijacker:
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 Dictionary Search?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Dictionary Search application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Dictionary Search browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove togosearching.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove togosearching.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove togosearching.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
Dictionary Search browser hijacker removal:
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, "Dictionary Search"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the togosearching.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Dictionary Search 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 "Dictionary Search" 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 "Dictionary Search", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.togosearching.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 "togosearching.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 dictionary search 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 "Dictionary Search", 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 "Dictionary Search", remove hxxp://togosearching.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 dictionary search 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 dictionary search 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://togosearching.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 "Dictionary Search".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the dictionary search 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 dictionary search redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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