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How to remove the Shiny Searches browser hijacker

Also Known As: search.shiny-searches.com redirect
Damage level: Medium

What kind of application is Shiny Searches?

Shiny Searches is the name of a browser extension that our team discovered on a website offering fast Internet search results. After downloading and adding Shiny Searches to a web browser, we noticed certain changes in its settings. Shiny Searches hijacks a web browser to promote search.shiny-searches.com, a fake search engine.

search.shiny-searches.com as the homepage

Shiny Searches browser hijacker overview

Shiny Searches promotes search.shiny-searches.com by making it the default search engine, homepage, and new tab page. After using search.shiny-searches.com, our team learned that it does not generate its own results - it shows results generated by Bing (search.shiny-searches.com redirects to bing.com).

Not all fake search engines show results generated by legitimate search engines. They can show misleading results (promote untrustworthy pages) and redirect to untrustworthy websites. Additionally, fake search engines can be designed to gather information about users. Thus, it is strongly recommended not to use fake search engines and browser-hijacking apps.

Threat Summary:
Name Shiny Searches
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
Browser Extension(s) Shiny Searches
Supposed Functionality Fast search results
Promoted URL search.shiny-searches.com
Detection Names (search.shiny-searches.com) N/A (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (search.shiny-searches.com) 172.67.181.128
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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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

More about browser hijackers

Most browser hijackers keep their settings unchangeable while they are present. Users cannot remove fake search engines from settings without removing browser hijackers first. Another detail about apps of this type is that most of them are promoted as useful/legitimate apps (e.g., Shiny Searches is supposed to provide fast search results).

Examples of other browser-hijacking apps are CoolADSBlockSearch, TabX, and Tail doing.

How did Shiny Searches install on my computer?

The website promoting Shiny Searches provides instructions on how to add it to a web browser (this app hijacks a web browser after completing provided steps). In other cases, browsers get hijacked via deceptive ads, software bundles, fake installers, various shady pages, etc.

When browser hijackers are bundled with other programs, users install/add them after they complete installations without changing "Advanced", "Custom", or other settings. Advertisements can only cause unwanted downloads and installations when designed to execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?

Do not download applications (including browser extensions) from questionable sources such as unofficial pages, third-party downloaders, stores, Peer-to-Peer networks, etc. Download them from official pages and stores. Also, do not trust advertisements shown on torrent sites, adult pages, and other dubious pages.

Do not allow suspicious pages to show notifications. Always deselect unwanted apps before downloading and installing software. If your computer is already infected with Shiny Searches, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.

Search.shiny-searches.com redirects to bing.com (GIF):

shiny searches browser hijacker search.shiny-searches.com redirects to bing.com

Permissions asked by Shiny Searches browser hijacker:

Shiny Searches browser hijacker asking for permissions

Website promoting Shiny Searches browser hijacker:

Website used to promote Shiny Searches browser hijacker

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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

Shiny Searches 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.

search.shiny-searches.com browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

Shiny Searches browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing search.shiny-searches.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 "Shiny Searches" and other recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Change your homepage:

Removing search.shiny-searches.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 "Shiny Searches", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search.shiny-searches.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 search.shiny-searches.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 "search.shiny-searches.com", when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Delete".

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the search.shiny-searches.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 extensions from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing search.shiny-searches.com related Mozilla Firefox extensions

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate "Shiny Searches", as well as all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".

Change your homepage:

Removing search.shiny-searches.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 "Settings", in the opened window disable "Shiny Searches", remove hxxp://search.shiny-searches.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing search.shiny-searches.com from Mozilla Firefox default search engine

In the URL address bar, type "about:config" and press Enter. Click "Accept the Risk and Continue".

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 search.shiny-searches.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 search.shiny-searches.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.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the purpose of forcing users visit search.shiny-searches.com website?

When fake search engines are used by more people, their developers generate more revenue. Thus, the creators of search.shiny-searches.com aim to increase the number of users of their fake search engines.

Is visiting search.shiny-searches.com a threat to my privacy?

It could be a threat since fake search engines (and apps promoting them) sometimes are designed to gather browsing data and other information.

How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?

Browsers get hijacked via notifications from shady pages, intrusive advertisements, installers for other software, etc. Most browser hijackers are promoted and distributed using deceptive methods.

Will Combo Cleaner help me remove a browser hijacker?

Combo Cleaner can remove all unwanted applications (including browser hijackers). It is recommended to remove browser hijackers automatically since they can be designed to reinstall one another (if multiple apps of this type are added to a browser). In such cases, users cannot remove browser hijackers without removing all of them 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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