What is Template Search?
Template Search is a rogue browser extension advertised as a search tool for free templates. It operates by making changes to browser settings to promote the templatesearch-site.com fake search engine. Due to this, this piece of software is categorized as a browser hijacker.
Additionally, Template Search has data tracking abilities, which are employed to spy on users' browsing activity. Since most users inadvertently download/install browser hijackers, they are also classified as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).
Template Search browser hijacker in detail
Browser hijackers assign fake web searchers as browsers' homepage, default search engine, and new tab/window URLs. Template Search modifies browsers in this manner as well. Hence, with this browser hijacker installed: new browser tabs/windows opened and search queries typed - redirect to templatesearch-site.com.
Fraudulent search engines usually cannot provide search results, so they redirect (or cause redirection chains leading) to Yahoo, Google, Bing, and other legitimate ones. Templatesearch-site.com is not an exception to this; it redirects to the Yahoo (search.yahoo.com) search engine.
Furthermore, browser hijackers can undo any changes users try to make to their browsers. Alternatively, they can restrict or deny access to the browser settings. Therefore, recovering a hijacked browser is impossible without removing the software affecting it.
What is more, browser hijackers typically have data tracking functionalities. This also applies to Template Search. Targeted information includes: URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, IP addresses, personally identifiable details, and so on. The collected data is then shared it with and/or sold it to third-parties.
In summary, the presence of data-tracking software on devices can result in severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. To ensure device integrity and user privacy, it is highly recommended to remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Template Search|
|Supposed Functionality||Search tool for free templates|
|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
Newtab Plus, Total Privacy, GetSearchConverters, Browse Safely, Set Colors, and TopPDFSearch are some examples of browser hijackers. They appear legitimate and offer various "handy" functionalities. However, the promised features are rarely operational.
Nearly all PUAs entice users into download/installation with nonoperational functions. The sole aim of unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers. PUAs are designed to hijack browsers, cause redirects, run intrusive advertisement campaigns (adware), and collect private information.
How did Template Search install on my computer?
Select PUAs (e.g., Template Search) have "official" promotional webpages from which they can be downloaded. Intrusive advertisements spread these applications as well. Upon being clicked, the ads can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations.
PUAs are distributed via download/installation setups of other programs. This false marketing tactic of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g., ignored terms, used pre-set options, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is recommended to research software prior to download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, only official and verified download channels must be used. Untrustworthy sources, e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - commonly offer bundled content.
When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, explore available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings to opt-out from additional apps, tools, functions, etc. Intrusive ads appear legitimate and harmless; however, they redirect to dubious websites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, and so on).
In case of encounters with such adverts and/or redirects, the system must be checked and all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it. If your computer is already infected with Template Search, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Template Search browser hijacker asking for various permissions on Google Chrome:
Template Search browser hijacker asking for various permissions on Mozilla Firefox:
Website promoting Template Search browser hijacker:
Appearance of templatesearch-site.com redirecting to the Yahoo 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 Template Search?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Template Search application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Template Search browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove templatesearch-site.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove templatesearch-site.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Template Search 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, "Template Search"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the templatesearch-site.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Template 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 "Template 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 "Template Search", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.templatesearch-site.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 "templatesearch-site.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 templatesearch-site.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 "Template 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 "Template Search", remove hxxp://templatesearch-site.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 templatesearch-site.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 templatesearch-site.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.
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 templatesearch-site.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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