What kind of software is Qwik Ant?
While inspecting dubious sites, our research team discovered the Qwik Ant browser extension. It is endorsed as a productivity tool for easy access to various popular platforms and services. Qwik Ant makes changes to browser settings to promote (via redirects) the search.qwikant.com illegitimate search engine. Due to this, this extension is classed as a browser hijacker.
Qwik Ant browser hijacker overview
Qwik Ant modifies browsers' homepages, new tabs/windows, and default search engines. Hence, with this extension installed: Web searches performed via the URL bar and new browser tabs/windows opened – result in redirects to the search.qwikant.com webpage.
Usually, fake search engines cannot generate search results, so they land on legitimate Internet search websites (e.g., Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.). However, at the time of research, search.qwikant.com led to a nonfunctional page. Whether this site was intended to be the final landing page or a part of a redirection chain is unclear.
Keep in mind that search.qwikant.com could redirect elsewhere since that may be impacted by factors like user geolocation.
It is worth mentioning that browser-hijacking software often uses persistence-ensuring mechanisms to complicate its removal and prevent browser recovery.
Furthermore, data-tracking functionalities are common for browser hijackers, and this might apply to Qwik Ant. Targeted data may include: visited URLs, viewed webpages, searched queries, Internet cookies, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, finance-related information, and so forth. This sensitive data can then be sold to third-parties or otherwise abused for profit.
In summary, browser-hijacking software like Qwik Ant may cause system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
|Easy access to various productivity-related services and platforms
|Detection Names (search.qwikant.com)
|Serving IP Address (search.qwikant.com)
|Affected Browser Settings
|Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine
|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.
|Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling).
|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
We have analyzed countless browser hijackers; I AM Daily, Finance Tab, Bazaar Virtual – are but a couple of examples. Software categorized as such usually appears ordinary and harmless. It also offers a wide variety of "useful" and "advantageous" functionalities. Typically, these features are fake and nonoperational – serving the purpose of bait to lure users into downloading/installing the software.
How did Qwik Ant install on my computer?
We obtained Qwik Ant from its "official" download webpage. In addition to such pages, browser hijackers are promoted on scam sites. Users primarily enter these pages via redirects caused by misspelled URLs, websites utilizing rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware.
The bundling marketing tactic – packing regular program installers with unwanted/malicious supplements – is also used to proliferate browser hijackers.
Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., used "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) – increase the risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content into the system.
Intrusive advertisements spread browser-hijacking software as well. Once clicked on, some of these adverts can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user consent.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We recommend researching software and downloading it only from official/verified channels. Installation processes must be treated with caution, e.g., by reading times, inspecting possible options, using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opting out of all additional apps, extensions, tools, etc.
We also advise being vigilant while browsing since fake and dangerous online content usually appears genuine and harmless. For example, while intrusive ads may look ordinary/innocuous – they redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., gambling, scam-promoting, adult dating, pornography, etc.).
If you keep encountering advertisements and/or redirects of this kind, check the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Qwik Ant, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Appearance of a search.qwikant.com redirect (GIF):
Permissions asked by Qwik Ant browser hijacker:
Website promoting Qwik Ant browser hijacker:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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 Qwik Ant?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Qwik Ant browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove search.qwikant.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove search.qwikant.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Qwik Ant 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, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Qwik Ant browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove Qwik Ant browser hijacker using Combo Cleaner:
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Extensions" and click "Manage Extensions". Locate "Qwik Ant" 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 "Qwik Ant", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search.qwikant.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 "search.qwikant.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 search.qwikant.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 "Qwik Ant", 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 "Qwik Ant", remove hxxp://search.qwikant.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 search.qwikant.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 search.qwikant.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 search.qwikant.com website?
Cyber criminals (e.g., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers, etc.) generate revenue through redirects to websites like search.qwikant.com.
Is visiting search.qwikant.com a threat to my privacy?
To a certain extent, yes. Sites classed as fake search engines (e.g., search.qwikant.com, etc.) tend to collect (and sell) information about their visitors.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser-hijacking software is predominantly proliferated via deceptive promotional webpages, bundled installers, online scams, freeware and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks, intrusive advertisements, and spam browser notifications.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Qwik Ant browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your system and eliminate detected browser-hijacking apps. It is pertinent to mention that manual removal (performed without the aid of security programs) might be ineffective, especially when multiple browser hijackers are present. In these cases, after one is removed – the others may reinstall it. Furthermore, browser-hijacking software might be capable of denying access to removal-related settings and/or undoing user-made changes. Therefore, it is paramount to remove browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.