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How to get rid of the IncognitoSearching browser hijacker?

Also Known As: incognitosearching.com redirect
Damage level: Medium

What is IncognitoSearching browser hijacker?

IncognitoSearching is a browser hijacker designed to promote the incognitosearching.com address, which is a fake search engine. It promotes that address by changing the web browser's settings. A big part of browser hijackers is promoted and distributed using questionable methods. Thus, users often download and install them unknowingly.

incognitosearching.com browser hijacker

IncognitoSearching browser hijacker in detail

IncognitoSearching sets incognitosearching.com as the default search engine, homepage, and new tab URL. Incognitosearching.com can show results generated by Yahoo, searchlee.com, and other search engines (it depends on the user's geolocation). Searchlee.com is not a trustworthy search engine. It can generate misleading results.

Fake search engines can be used to promote untrustworthy websites, for example, various scams designed to trick visitors into providing personal information, downloading, and installing potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). To eliminate incognitosearching.com, users need to uninstall IncognitoSearching.

Threat Summary:
Name IncognitoSearching
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Detection Names N/A
Browser Extension(s) IncognitoSearching
Supposed Functionality Improved web browsing experience
Promoted URL incognitosearching.com
Serving IP Address (incognitosearching.com) 172.67.201.235
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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Browser hijackers in general

Browser hijackers promote fake search engines by changing the settings of the affected browsers. They can also collect browsing-related and other information. Since users rarely download and install them intentionally, they are categorized as PUAs. More examples of browser hijackers are ProSportSearch, MovieSearchOnline, and Nuthab.

How did IncognitoSearching install on my computer?

Users download and install most browser hijackers together with other programs - when browser hijackers are optional in downloaders or installers for other programs, and users do not deselect them before downloading or installing those programs. These apps can be deselected in "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual, or other settings

In other cases, users download or install browser hijackers by clicking untrustworthy advertisements or through fake installers. It is important to know that those ads and fake installers can be malicious.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Downloaders and installers with settings like "Custom", "Advanced" should be examined and any unwanted offers should be declined before finishing downloads or installations. Advertisements that shady pages have on them should not be clicked - they can cause unwanted downloads, installations.

Files and applications should be downloaded from official websites. It is not safe to use other sources (like unofficial sites, third-party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks). If your computer is already infected with IncognitoSearching, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Incognitosearching.com redirects to searchlee.com (GIF):

incognitosearching browser hijacker incognitosearching.com redirects to searchlee.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:
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Quick menu:

IncognitoSearching browser hijacker 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.

incognitosearching.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

IncognitoSearching browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing incognitosearching.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 "IncognitoSearching" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing incognitosearching.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, disable "IncognitoSearching", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.incognitosearching.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 incognitosearching.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 "incognitosearching.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 incognitosearching.com redirect, 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 incognitosearching.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 "IncognitoSearching", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing incognitosearching.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 disable "IncognitoSearching", remove hxxp://incognitosearching.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing incognitosearching.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 incognitosearching.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, 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 incognitosearching.com redirect, 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 incognitosearching.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on incognitosearching.com redirect or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the purpose of forcing users visit incognitosearching.com website?

Individuals behind incognitosearching profit from website visits.

Is visiting incognitosearching.com a threat to my privacy?

To a certain extent, yes. Pages like incognitosearching.com often are designed to gather information about their visitors.

How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?

Browser hijackers are often distributed using social engineering tactics, such as browser notifications, intrusive advertisements, etc. Also, they are distributed through downloaders or installers for other programs and deceptive websites.

Will Combo Cleaner help me eliminate IncognitoSearching browser hijacker?

Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and remove existing browser hijackers. Manual removal is not always the best way to get rid of browser hijackers, since there are cases when users have multiple browser hijackers installed and they reinstall each another. Also, they can be designed to prevent users from modifying the affected settings. Therefore, all of them have to be eliminated at once.

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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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Software uninstall instructions
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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