How to remove the Movie stuff browser hijacker?
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is the Movie stuff browser hijacker?
Movie stuff is a browser hijacker promoting (by causing redirects to) the search.movieapp.net fake search engine. This software operates by making modifications to browser settings in order to promote its web searcher.
Additionally, most browser hijackers spy on users browsing activity. Hence, Movie stuff likely has such data tracking abilities as well. Due to the questionable methods used to distribute browser hijackers, they are also classified as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).
Movie stuff browser hijacker in detail
Browser hijackers primarily target popular browsers with large user bases. This software reassigns browsers' homepage, default search engine, and new tab/window URLs - to fake web searcher addresses.
Movie stuff works like this as well. Hence, with this browser hijacker installed: every single new browser tab/window opened and web search done via the URL bar - redirect to the search.movieapp.net web searcher.
Illegitimate search engines usually cannot provide search results, so they tend to redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Yahoo, Bing, Google, and other genuine ones. Search.movieapp.net is not an exception to this, yet where it redirects to - varies.
The web searcher promoted by the Movie stuff browser hijacker has been observed redirecting to Yahoo (search.yahoo.com) and causing a redirection chain consisting of my-search.com, trafficjunction.com, and concluding with Bing (bing.com).
Furthermore, browser hijackers can reset any changes users try to make to their browsers. In other cases, this software restricts or denies access to the browser settings outright. Therefore, restoring a hijacked browser is impossible without removing the software affecting it.
What is more, most browser hijackers can track data. They monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, webpages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect vulnerable information extracted from it (IP addresses/ geolocations, personally identifiable details, etc.).
The collected data is monetized by being shared with and/or sold to third-parties, likewise intent on misusing it for profit. In summary, the presence of data-tracking software on devices can result in severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
To ensure device integrity and user safety, it is crucial to eliminate all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Movie stuff|
|Serving IP Address (search.movieapp.net)||126.96.36.199|
|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
SportSearchStream, GameSearchWorld, SearchConvertersBox, and GoSportSearch are some examples of browser hijackers. They appear legitimate and offer a wide variety of "handy" features. However, the promised functionalities are rarely operational.
In fact, nearly all PUAs use nonexistent functions as bait. Functionality and user safety are irrelevant, as the only aim of unwanted apps is to generate profit for the developers. PUAs are designed to modify browsers, cause redirects, run intrusive ad campaigns (adware), and collect private data.
How did Movie stuff install on my computer?
Select PUAs (e.g., Movie stuff) have "official" promotional/download pages. Intrusive adverts are used to distribute these applications as well. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to download/install this software without user permission.
PUAs are most commonly downloaded/installed together with other products. This false marketing tactic of packing ordinary programs with unwanted/malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed downloads/installations (e.g., skipped steps, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the device.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is recommended to research software products before download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, only official and trustworthy download sources must be used. Dubious download channels, e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, P2P sharing networks (Torrent clients, eMule, Gnutella, etc.), and other third-party downloaders - often offer bundled and/or hazardous content.
When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, explore all possible options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, functions, and other additions.
Intrusive advertisements appear legitimate and innocuous; however, they redirect to questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.). In case of encounters with such ads and/or redirects, the device must be checked and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - removed from it without delay.
If your computer is already infected with Movie stuff, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Website promoting the Movie stuff browser hijacker:
Appearance of search.movieapp.net redirecting to the Yahoo search engine (GIF):
Appearance of search.movieapp.net redirecting (via my-search.com and trafficjunction.com) to the Bing search engine (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 Movie stuff?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Movie stuff application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Movie stuff browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove search.movieapp.net homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove search.movieapp.net redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Movie stuff 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, "Movie stuff"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the search.movieapp.net website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Movie stuff 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 "Movie stuff" 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 "Movie stuff" (or "Moviestuff"), look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search.movieapp.net) 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 "search.movieapp.net", 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 search.movieapp.net 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 "Movie stuff", 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 "Movie stuff", remove hxxp://search.movieapp.net 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 search.movieapp.net 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 search.movieapp.net 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.
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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