What is Better Search?
Better Search is a browser hijacker promoting the bettersearchtr.com fake search engine. Due to dubious methods used to distribute browser hijackers, they are also classified as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).
Better Search browser hijacker in detail
Better Search modifies browsers by assigning bettersearchtr.com as their homepage, default search engine, and new tab/window URLs. Hence, new browser tabs/windows opened and search queries typed into the URL bar - redirect to bettersearchtr.com.
Fraudulent search engines usually cannot provide search results, so they redirect to legitimate ones. This applies to bettersearchtr.com as well.
Better Search causes a redirection chain beginning with bettersearchtr.com, then d.abcweathercast.xyz, and ending with search1.me, or nearbyme.io, or the genuine Bing (bing.com) search engine. While both search1.me and nearbyme.io are illegitimate web searchers - they can generate search results, which are inaccurate and may endorse untrustworthy/malicious content.
Furthermore, browser hijackers can undo any changes users try to make to their browsers or outright restrict access to the settings. For example, Better Search uses the "Managed by your organization" feature of Google Chrome browsers to ensure persistence.
What is more, most browser hijackers have data tracking abilities. They record browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect vulnerable data extracted from it (IP addresses, personally identifiable details, etc.). The collected data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties.
To summarize, the presence of data-tracking software on devices can lead to serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Detection Names (malicious installer)||Avast (Win32:TrojanX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Gen:Variant.Jaik.45703), ESET-NOD32 (Multiple Detections), Kaspersky (UDS:Trojan.Win32.Agent), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Sabsik.FL.B!ml), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Browser Extension(s)||Better Search|
|Detection Names (bettersearchtr.com)||N/A (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.
Browser hijackers in general
WebSearchStreams, SportSearchNow, ClickStreamSearch, WebMusicSearch, Togo Quick Search, and GetRadioSearch are some examples of browser hijackers. They appear legitimate and offer "useful" functionalities, which are seldom operational.
In fact, this applies to nearly all PUAs. These apps are designed to hijack browsers, cause redirects, run intrusive advertisement campaigns (adware), and collect private data.
How did Better Search install on my computer?
Some PUAs (e.g., Better Search) also have "official" download webpages. Intrusive advertisements proliferate these applications as well. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations. PUAs are distributed using the "bundling" marketing technique - packing regular programs with unwanted/malicious additions. Rushed downloads/installations increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is recommended to research software before download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official/verified sources. Untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc. - often offer bundled content.
When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, study possible options, and use the "Custom/Advanced" settings to opt-out from all supplements. Intrusive adverts appear harmless, yet they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., pornography, adult-dating, gambling, etc.).
In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be checked and all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - removed without delay. If your computer is already infected with Better Search, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Website promoting Better Search browser hijacker:
Appearance of bettersearchtr.com redirecting (via d.abcweathercast.xyz) to the fake search1.me search engine (GIF):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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 Better Search?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Better Search application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Better Search browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove bettersearchtr.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove bettersearchtr.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Better Search 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, "Better Search"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the bettersearchtr.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Better 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 "Better 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 "Better Search", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.bettersearchtr.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 "bettersearchtr.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 bettersearchtr.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 "Better 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 "Better Search", remove hxxp://bettersearchtr.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 bettersearchtr.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 bettersearchtr.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.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users to visit bettersearchtr.com website?
Better Search browser hijacker developers get commission from visits to bettersearchtr.com - this is how they generate revenue.
Is visiting bettersearchtr.com a threat to my privacy?
Most likely, yes. Websites like bettersearchtr.com typically gather information about their visitors.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are distributed using various disguises, social engineering, and dubious proliferation techniques. This software is commonly spread through bundled software, browser notifications/ intrusive advertisements, freeware and scam sites, and so forth.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Better Search browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of scanning devices and eliminating installed browser-hijacking apps. It is noteworthy that in some cases, multiple browser hijackers infiltrate the system, and if one is removed - the others may re-install it. Furthermore, browser hijackers can restrict access to browser settings or reset any permitted changes made. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly remove such software and all at once.