Removing "To go web" browser hijacker and the redirects it causes
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
What is the To go web browser hijacker?
To go web is a rogue browser extension. After analyzing this piece of software, we determined that it operates as a browser hijacker. To go web modifies browser settings to promote the togosearching.com fake search engine. Additionally, this browser hijacker spies on users' browsing activity.
To go web browser hijacker overview
Once installed onto our test machine, To go web assigned togosearching.com as the browser's default search engine, homepage, and new tab/window URLs. Therefore, every single new tab/window opened and Web search performed via the URL bar - resulted in a redirect to the togosearching.com website. Additionally, To go web employs persistence-ensuring techniques to prevent users from restoring their browsers.
Fake search engines are rarely capable of providing search results, so they redirect to legitimate ones. This applies to togosearching.com as well. We noted it redirecting straight to Google and via my-search.com and trafficjunction.com to Bing.
However, togosearching.com might land elsewhere as redirects can be determined by certain factors (e.g., user geolocation, etc.).
Furthermore, To go web has data tracking functionalities. Browser-hijacking software usually collects visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, personally identifiable details, usernames/passwords, credit card numbers, etc. The gathered data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties.
In summary, the presence of software like To go web can lead to serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||To go web|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||To go web|
|Detection Names (togosearching.com)||Heimdal Security (Malicious), Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (togosearching.com)||22.214.171.124|
|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 hijacker examples
Keep Secure Search, Tap togo, and Keep It Smart are just a few examples of the browser hijackers we have analyzed recently.
This software usually appears legitimate/innocuous and offers "handy" functionalities. However, the advertised functions are seldom operational. Therefore, not only is browser-hijacking software useless, but it also endangers device/user safety.
How did To go web install on my computer?
Browser hijackers can be bundled (packed together) with ordinary programs. Download from untrustworthy channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., ignored terms, used "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
Intrusive advertisements proliferate browser-hijacking software as well. When clicked on, some of these adverts can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations.
Browser hijackers are also pushed via dubious promotional pages and scam websites. Users typically access such sites via redirects caused by mistyped URLs, webpages using rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We strongly advise researching software and only downloading from official/verified channels. Another recommendation is exercising caution with installation processes, e.g., by reading terms, exploring available options, using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opting-out of all additions.
We also advise being vigilant when browsing - since fraudulent and malicious content usually appears legitimate. For example, intrusive ads look harmless ye redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.).
If you experience such adverts and/or redirects, check the device and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with To go web, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by To go web browser hijacker:
Appearance of togosearching.com redirecting (via my-search.com and trafficjunction.com) to the Bing search engine (GIF):
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 To go web?
- STEP 1. Uninstall To go web application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove To go web browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove togosearching.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove togosearching.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
To go web 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, "To go web"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the togosearching.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
To go web 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 "To go web" 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 "To go web", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.togosearching.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 "togosearching.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 togosearching.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 "To go web", 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 "To go web", remove hxxp://togosearching.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 togosearching.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 togosearching.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 togosearching.com website?
Redirects to websites like togosearching.com are caused because cyber criminals (i.e., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers) generate revenue through them.
Is visiting togosearching.com a threat to my privacy?
Most likely, yes. Websites like togosearching.com typically collect (and sell) data about their visitors.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are mainly proliferated through misleading promotional webpages, online scams, software bundling, freeware and third-party download sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, fake updates, spam browser notifications, and intrusive advertisements.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove To go web browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of scanning devices and eliminating all the browser-hijacking applications present. Note that manual removal (unaided by security software) might not be ideal when multiple browser hijackers have infiltrated the system. Since in some cases, when one browser hijacker is removed - the others simply re-install it. What is more, removal-related settings might be inaccessible with this software installed. Hence, browser hijackers must be eliminated thoroughly and all at once.
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