What kind of software is SearchToDo?
While inspecting suspicious sites, our researchers discovered the SearchToDo browser extension. It is promoted as a tool for creating to-do lists and taking notes on the browser. However, the extension's behavior makes it a browser hijacker. SearchToDo modifies browser settings to endorse the todo.searchtodo.com fake search engine. Additionally, this software collects sensitive user data.
SearchToDo browser hijacker overview
SearchToDo reassigns browsers' homepages, new tab/window URLs, and default search engine to the todo.searchtodo.com site. Hence, new browser tabs/windows opened or search queries entered into the URL bar – result in redirects to this webpage.
It is pertinent to mention that browser-hijacking software often uses persistence-ensuring mechanisms to complicate its removal and prevent users from recovering their browsers.
Illegitimate search engines like todo.searchtodo.com are rarely capable of generating search results, so they redirect to genuine Internet search websites. At the time of research, todo.searchtodo.com led to the Bing search engine (bing.com). It is noteworthy that this site could lead elsewhere, as factors like user geolocation may impact redirects.
What is more, SearchToDo has data-tracking functionalities. Browser hijackers primarily target browsing and search engine histories, Internet cookies, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, and finance-related information. This vulnerable data can then be sold to third-parties or otherwise abused for profit.
In summary, the presence of software like SearchToDo on devices may result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Tool for taking notes and making to-do lists|
|Detection Names (todo.searchtodo.com)||CyRadar (Malicious), Webroot (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (todo.searchtodo.com)||184.108.40.206|
|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).|
|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
Browser-hijacking software tends to appear legitimate and offer a broad range of "useful" functionalities. However, these functions seldom work as advertised, and in most cases – they are utterly nonoperational. It must be stressed that even if a piece of software works as indicated by its promotional material – that is not a guarantee of either legitimacy or safety.
How did SearchToDo install on my computer?
We obtained SearchToDo from its "official" download webpage. In addition to such legitimate-looking pages, browser hijackers are commonly promoted on scam websites. Most users enter these pages via redirects generated by sites that utilize rogue advertising networks, mistyped URLs, spam browser notifications, intrusive adverts, or installed adware.
The bundling marketing technique – packing ordinary program installation setups with unwanted/malicious additions – is also used to distribute browser hijackers.
Downloading from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and third-party sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushing through installation processes (e.g., skipping steps/sections, using "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.) – increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system.
Intrusive advertisements proliferate browser-hijacking software as well. When clicked on, some of these ads can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user permission.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
It is essential to research software prior to downloading or purchasing it. Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified channels. Installation processes must be treated with caution, e.g., by reading terms, studying available options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting out of all supplementary apps, extensions, etc.
We also advise being vigilant while browsing since fake and malicious online content typically appears legitimate and harmless. For example, while intrusive adverts may look innocuous – they redirect to unreliable and questionable websites (e.g., scam-promoting, pornography, adult dating, gambling, etc.).
If you keep encountering such ads/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with SearchToDo, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Appearance of todo.searchtodo.com redirecting to the Bing search engine (GIF):
Permissions asked by SearchToDo browser hijacker:
Website promoting SearchToDo 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 SearchToDo?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove SearchToDo browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove todo.searchtodo.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove todo.searchtodo.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
SearchToDo 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.
SearchToDo 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 "Extensions" and click "Manage Extensions". Locate "SearchToDo" 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 "SearchToDo", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.todo.searchtodo.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 "todo.searchtodo.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 todo.searchtodo.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 "SearchToDo", 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 "SearchToDo", remove hxxp://todo.searchtodo.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 todo.searchtodo.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 todo.searchtodo.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.
Post a comment:
If you have additional information on todo.searchtodo.com redirect or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users to visit todo.searchtodo.com website?
Redirects to webpages like todo.searchtodo.com are generated because cyber criminals (e.g., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers, etc.) profit through them.
Is visiting todo.searchtodo.com a threat to my privacy?
Most likely, yes. Typically, websites like todo.searchtodo.com collect (and sell) visitor data.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser-hijacking software is primarily proliferated via bundled installers, freeware and free file-hosting websites, online scams, P2P sharing networks, spam browser notifications, and intrusive advertisements.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove SearchToDo browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and eliminate all browser-hijacking applications present. It is worth mentioning that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be ideal. In cases where multiple browser hijackers have infiltrated the system, after one is removed – the others may simply reinstall it. Furthermore, browser-hijacking software might render removal-related settings inaccessible. Therefore, browser hijackers must be eliminated thoroughly and all at once.