What is searchtoolshub.com?
We have discovered searchtoolshub.com after using a browser-hijacking installer downloaded from a website promoted via other sites that use questionable advertising networks. After testing the searchtoolshub.com address, we learned that it is a fake search engine.
Searchtoolshub.com in detail
Searchtoolshub.com is a fake search engine that redirects users to search.yahoo.com via searchgenieo.com (a questionable address). It shows results generated by Yahoo. Fake search engines are also known for being designed to show misleading results and showing results generated by untrustworthy search engines.
Our malware researchers have noticed that the creators of searchtoolshub.com are targeting Edge browser. They may also target other browsers (such as Chrome, Mozilla, and others). Either way, it is highly recommended to avoid using fake search engines and use legitimate ones (like Google, Yahoo, Bing) instead.
|Name||searchtoolshub.com browser hijacker|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Accurate search results|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine|
|Detection Names (Installer)||Ikarus (Trojan.Vundo), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Detection Names (searchtoolshub.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address||18.104.22.168|
|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.
More about browser-hijacking apps and fake search engines
Browser-hijacking apps and fake search engines can be designed to gather browsing-related and even sensitive information. In such cases, collected data can be misused for malicious purposes. More examples of apps designed to promote fake search engines are Plus Darker, Forest Start Tabs, Snowy Tab.
How did my browser got hijacked?
Usually, browsers get hijacked after executing/adding apps downloaded from shady websites, clicking deceptive ads, or installing software without deselecting unwanted apps. Software (in this case, PDF Hub or similar) bundled with browser-hijacking apps has "Advanced", "Custom", or similar settings in its installer.
Unwanted installations (or downloads) are caused when software is installed without changing the abovementioned settings. Advertisements download or install unwanted apps when designed to execute certain scripts. Although, it cannot happen without clicking on those ads.
How to avoid installation of unwanted applications?
Do not trust apps and files downloaded from shady websites. Always use official pages and direct links as sources for downloading them. Deselect optional downloads and installations before finishing download and installation processes. Avoid clicking on advertisements displayed by/on dubious pages.
If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate it.
Screenshot of the website used to promote searchtoolshub.com:
Screenshot of the browser-hijacking installer used to promote searchtoolshub.com:
Screenshot of the Edge browser's settings with searchtoolshub.com as the default search engine:
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 searchtoolshub.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove searchtoolshub.com browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove searchtoolshub.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove searchtoolshub.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
searchtoolshub.com redirect 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, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the searchtoolshub.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
searchtoolshub.com redirect 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 all 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, look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.searchtoolshub.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 "searchtoolshub.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 searchtoolshub.com browser hijacker, 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 all 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 remove hxxp://searchtoolshub.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 searchtoolshub.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, 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 searchtoolshub.com browser hijacker, 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 visit searchtoolshub.com website?
Fake search engines with higher traffic generate more revenue for their creators.
Is visiting searchtoolshub.com a threat to my privacy?
Fake search engines can be harmful when designed to gather information about their users. Thus, visiting searchtoolshub.com may not be safe.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Searchtoolshub.com is promoted through a browser-hijacking installer that can be downloaded from its download page. In other cases, browser hijackers are distributed using social engineering tactics, such as browser notifications, intrusive advertisements.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove a browser hijacker?
It can be difficult to remove multiple browser hijackers manually. Combo Cleaner will eliminate all browser-hijacking applications at once to prevent them from reinstalling one another (if more than one browser hijacker is present).