Removing browser-hijacking software causing redirects to searchpoweronline.com
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is Searchpoweronline.com?
Searchpoweronline.com is both the name of a browser hijacker and the URL of a fake search engine. This software makes modifications to browsers in order to promote illegitimate search engines. Furthermore, the Searchpoweronline.com browser hijacker likely spies on users' browsing activity.
Searchpoweronline.com browser hijacker overview
Browser hijackers assign the addresses of fake search engines as browsers' default, as well as their homepage and new tab/window URLs. In the case of the Searchpoweronline.com hijacker - it changes these settings to its namesake website. Therefore, new browser tabs/windows opened and search queries typed into the URL bar - result in redirects to the searchpoweronline.com website.
Illegitimate search engines are rarely capable of providing search results, so they redirect to genuine ones. We observed two redirection chains while inspecting this browser hijacker: one leading to Bing (bing.com) and the other redirecting to searchgenieo.com and landing on Yahoo (search.yahoo.com).
Furthermore, browser-hijacking software tends to employ persistence-ensuring techniques to prevent browser recovery. What is more, it usually collects private data. Targeted information may include: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, account log-in credentials, personally identifiable details, finance-related data, etc. The gathered information can be monetized via sale to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
To summarize, the presence of browser hijackers on devices can result in system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Detection Names (searchpoweronline.com)||Heimdal Security (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (searchpoweronline.com)||126.96.36.199|
|Detection Names (deceptive installer)||Combo Cleaner (Application.Bundler.CYM), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/MediaArena.A Potentially Unwanted), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:Downloader.MSIL.Agent.adhg), Malwarebytes (PUP.Optional.BundleInstaller), Full List Of Detections (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 hijacker examples
Smartbase, multi-searches.com, NFT Tab, and NoteTab - Save Your Thoughts are just a few examples of browser hijackers that we have analyzed recently.
This software typically appears legitimate and offers "handy" features. However, these functions seldom work as promised, and in most cases - they do not work at all. Therefore, not only is browser-hijacking software useless, but it also endangers device and user safety.
How did Searchpoweronline.com install on my computer?
Browser hijackers can be bundled (packed) into the installers of regular programs. Downloading from dubious channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushing installations (e.g., ignoring terms, using "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.) may result in bundled/harmful content infiltrating the system.
Intrusive advertisements are used to distribute browser-hijacking software as well. When clicked on, some of these ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user permission.
Browser hijackers can also have "official" promotional pages, and they are pushed through scam websites. Users typically access these webpages via redirects caused by sites using rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, mistyped URLs, intrusive adverts, or installed adware.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We strongly recommend researching software before download/installation and/or purchase. When installing, it is essential to read terms, explore available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out of all supplementary apps, extensions, features, etc.
We advise being careful when browsing since fraudulent and malicious material usually appears legitimate. For example, intrusive advertisements look harmless yet redirect unreliable/questionable websites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
If you experience adverts and/or redirects of this type, check the device and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Searchpoweronline.com, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Appearance of (via searchgenieo.com) to the legitimate Yahoo search engine (GIF):
Screenshot of a deceptive installer promoting searchpoweronline.com 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:
- What is Searchpoweronline.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Searchpoweronline.com application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Searchpoweronline.com browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove searchpoweronline.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove searchpoweronline.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Searchpoweronline.com 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, "searchpoweronline"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the searchpoweronline.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Searchpoweronline.com 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 "Searchpoweronline.com" and other recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable "Searchpoweronline.com", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.searchpoweronline.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 "searchpoweronline.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.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the searchpoweronline.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 extensions from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate "Searchpoweronline.com", as well as all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Settings", in the opened window disable "Searchpoweronline.com", remove hxxp://searchpoweronline.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 "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 button.
Computer users who have problems with searchpoweronline.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 searchpoweronline.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 searchpoweronline.com website?
Redirects to sites like searchpoweronline.com are caused because cyber criminals (i.e., developers of browser hijackers and fake search engines) generate revenue through them.
Is visiting searchpoweronline.com a threat to my privacy?
To a certain extent, yes. Websites like searchpoweronline.com typically collect (and sell) information about their developers.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are most commonly distributed through bundled program installers, misleading promotional pages, online scams, P2P sharing networks, third-party downloaders, fake updates, spam browser notifications, and intrusive ads.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Searchpoweronline.com browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your device and eliminate all the browser-hijacking applications present. Note that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be an ideal solution. In cases where multiple hijackers have been installed onto the system, after one is removed - the other might simply re-install it. Furthermore, browser-hijacking software may deny access to removal-related settings. Therefore, it is paramount to eliminate browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.
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