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How to get rid of the Key Omni browser hijacker?

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

What is Key Omni browser hijacker?

Key Omni is a potentially unwanted application (PUA) that hijacks a web browser by changing some of its settings. The purpose of Key Omni is to force users to visit keysearchs.com (use a fake search engine). Most users end up having a browser hijacked by an app like Key Omni inadvertently.

keysearchs.com browser hijacker

Key Omni browser hijacker in detail

Key Omni sets keysearchs.com as the homepage, default search engine, and new tab URL. Keysearchs.com is a fake search engine that can show results generated by Bing (bing.com), Google (google.com), or another search engine. It depends on the user's geolocation.

An important detail about fake search engines is that they can promote untrustworthy websites (include links to shady pages in search results) or display results generated by other questionable search engines. Therefore, it is strongly recommended not to use keysearchs.com or other search engines of this kind.

Threat Summary:
Name Key Omni
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) Key Omni
Supposed Functionality Improved browsing experience
Promoted URL keysearchs.com
Detection Names (keysearchs.com) ADMINUSLabs (Malicious), Fortinet (Malware), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (keysearchs.com) 104.21.36.47
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

A browser hijacker can be designed to gather IP addresses, visited pages, and other information, read and change data on visited pages. Also, it may be capable of accessing sensitive information like passwords. More examples of browser hijackers are GameSearchTech, IncognitoSearchWeb, and QuickTogo.

How did Key Omni install on my computer?

Users often download or install browser hijackers through downloaders or installers for other programs. They end up having their browsers hijacked when they download or install programs without deselecting optional installations. Usually, it can be done in "Manual", "Advanced", or other settings available in downloaders and (or) installers.

Also, users download or install PUAs by clicking on advertisements that can run certain scripts and through fake installers. Most of the fake installers are promoted using deceptive methods, for example, through pages claiming that a computer is infected, installer software needs to be updated, and so on.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Avoid downloading or installing programs using third-party downloaders or installers, unofficial pages, and other sources, tools of this kind. Use official pages and direct links for that. Do not forget to check downloaders and installers for offers to download or install unwanted apps. Also, avoid clicking on ads displayed by shady web pages.

If your computer is already infected with Key Omni, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Keysearchs.com redirects to bing.com (GIF):

key omni browser hijacker keysearchs.com redirects to bing.com

Website promoting Key Omni browser hijacker:

Website used to promote Key Omni browser hijacker

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Quick menu:

Key Omni 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.

keysearchs.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

Key Omni browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing keysearchs.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 "Key Omni" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing keysearchs.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 "Key Omni", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.keysearchs.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 keysearchs.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 "keysearchs.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 keysearchs.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 keysearchs.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 "Key Omni", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing keysearchs.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 "Key Omni", remove hxxp://keysearchs.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

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

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on keysearchs.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 keysearchs.com website?

The bigger the count of website visits is, the more money the creators of keysearchs.com make.

Is visiting keysearchs.com a threat to my privacy?

It may be. Websites like keysearchs.com can be designed to gather various information about their visitors. For example, browsing-related data or even personal details.

How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?

It is popular to distribute browser hijackers using social engineering tactics, such as browser notifications, intrusive advertisements. Also, apps of this type are distributed through downloaders and installers for other programs.

Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Key Omni browser hijacker?

Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and eliminate Key Omni and other existing browser-hijacking apps. If there are multiple browser hijackers present, then they might be capable of reinstalling one another. Also, apps of this type are capable of preventing users from modifying the affected settings. For these reasons, all browser hijackers 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.

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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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