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How to remove redirects to the kwiqsearch.com fake search engine?

Also Known As: kwiqsearch.com browser hijacker
Damage level: Medium

What is kwiqsearch.com?

Virtually identical to ctcodeinfo.com, kwiqsearch.com is a fake search engine. Fraudulent web searchers are typically promoted by PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications) classified as browser hijackers. This software operates by modifying browser settings to cause redirects to its search engines. Furthermore, both fake web searchers and browser hijackers usually collect browsing-related information.

It is noteworthy that kwiqsearch.com has been observed being promoted by a fake Google Translate browser extension. This piece of software and others promoting kwiqsearch.com have been noted adding the "Managed by your organization" feature to Google Chrome browsers.

Browser hijacking fake Google Translate extension making changes to browsers

Browser hijackers in detail

Browser hijackers reassign browsers' homepage, default search engine, and new tab/window URLs - to fraudulent web searcher addresses. The illegitimate Google Translate extension that promotes the kwiqsearch.com search engine also modifies browsers in this manner.

These changes may sound minor, yet they seriously affect the browsing experience. To elaborate, with a browser hijacker promoting kwiqsearch.com installed: every new browser tab/window opened and search query typed into the URL bar - redirect to this fake search engine.

Web searchers of this kind usually cannot provide search results, so they redirect (or cause redirection chains leading) to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other legitimate ones. Kwiqsearch.com is not an exception to this; it redirects to the genuine Bing (bing.com) search engine.

Furthermore, browser hijackers use persistence techniques (e.g., "Managed by your organization" feature) to prevent users from accessing/changing their browser settings, or they can reset any changes users try to make to their browsers. Therefore, restoring a hijacked browser is impossible without removing the software affecting it.

Most browser hijackers have data tracking abilities. They can record browsing activity (URLs visited, webpages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect sensitive information extracted from it (IP addresses/ geolocations, personally identifiable details, etc.). The gathered data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties.

In summary, the presence of data-tracking software on devices can lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. To ensure device and user privacy, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name kwiqsearch.com browser hijacker
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Detection Names (kwiqsearch.com) N/A (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (kwiqsearch.com) 34.102.136.180
Browser Extension(s) "Google Translate" (sans the quotation marks; fake extension)
Detection Names (rogue installer) Avast (Win32:DangerousSig [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Gen:Variant.Jaik.45703), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Agent.ADJI), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Chapak.ezym), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Sabsik.FL.A!ml), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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.
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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Fake search engine and browser hijackers in general

Nearbyme.iosearch.hidesearch.bide-searches.com - are some examples of illegitimate search engines, and StreamSearchlyWebSearchSportMy Note - of browser hijackers. They appear legitimate and offer "handy" features. However, the functions seldom work as advertised, and in most cases - they do not work at all.

In fact, practically all PUAs lure users into download/installation with nonexistent functionalities. The sole purpose of unwanted applications is to generate profit for the developers. Therefore, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs can hijack browsers, cause redirects, run intrusive advert campaigns (adware), and gather private data.

How did kwiqsearch.com install on my computer?

PUAs are distributed via download/installation setups of other programs. This deceptive marketing method of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g., ignored terms, skipped steps, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.

Intrusive advertisements are used to spread PUAs as well. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to download/install these applications without user consent. PUAs may also have "official" promotional pages from which they can be downloaded and/or purchased.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is important to research software before download/installation. Additionally, only official and verified download channels. Untrustworthy sources, e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - commonly offer harmful and bundled content.

When downloading/installing, it is recommended to read terms, study available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings to opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, and other additions. Intrusive advertisements appear ordinary; however, they redirect to highly dubious sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).

In case of encounters with such ads 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 kwiqsearch.com, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Software promoting the kwiqsearch.com fake search engine adding the "Managed by your organization" feature to a Google Chrome browser:

kwiqsearch.com promoting browser hijacker added Managed by your organization feature to Chrome

Appearance of kwiqsearch.com redirecting to the legitimate Bing search engine (GIF):

kwiqsearch.com fake search engine redirecting to Bing (GIF)

Screenshot of another rogue extension ("Company Finder") used to redirect users to kwiqsearch.com:

Company Finder browser hijacker promoting kwiqsearch.com

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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

kwiqsearch.com redirect removal:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

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:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

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:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

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:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

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.

kwiqsearch.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the kwiqsearch.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

kwiqsearch.com redirect removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing kwiqsearch.com related Google Chrome extensions

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing kwiqsearch.com from Google Chrome homepage

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.kwiqsearch.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:

Removing kwiqsearch.com from Google Chrome default search engine

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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 "kwiqsearch.com" when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the kwiqsearch.com browser hijacker, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing kwiqsearch.com related Mozilla Firefox extensions

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove all recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing kwiqsearch.com from Mozilla Firefox homepage

To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window remove hxxp://kwiqsearch.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing kwiqsearch.com from Mozilla Firefox 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 Mozilla Firefox switch about:config entry button button.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with kwiqsearch.com browser hijacker removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...

removing browser hijacker from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 3 - changing homepage

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.

removing browser hijackers from safari step 4 - changing the default Internet search engine

In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 3

To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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 Microsoft Edge (Chromium) puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the kwiqsearch.com browser hijacker, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sampleA 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.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove kwiqsearch.com browser hijacker from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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kwiqsearch.com browser hijacker QR code
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