Default-search.net redirect removal instructions
What is default-search.net?
The default-search.net website (created by Linkey Inc.) is promoted using browser hijackers that infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. After successful installation, this adware modifies browser settings by assigning the homepage and default search engine fields to default-search.net At time of research, this website redirected to yahoo.com causing no security issues, however, creators of this browser hijacker have control over these redirects and are able to change them to other locations at any time. Having adware such as this installed on your Internet browsers can result in serious malware and virus infections. Common sources of browser hijackers are free software download websites that employ 'download clients' - small programs used to manage the process of free software download and to monetize these freeware downloads by offering installation of various advertised browser extensions.
Today, most free software download websites (including download.com, softonic.com, soft32.com, etc.) employ small programs called 'download clients', and therefore, Internet users should be attentive when downloading free software. As well as unwanted redirects, the default-search.net browser hijacker also tracks users' Internet browsing activity by recording IP addresses, browser types and versions, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), cookie information, and webpages visited. This behavior can lead to serious privacy issues or identity theft. Reckless freeware download can result in installation of various free browser plug-ins leading to unwanted ads and browser redirects.
The default-search.net browser hijacker is similar to other adware also distributed using dubious free software download clients. Examples include Royal-search.com, Static.flipora.com, and Start.iminent.com among many others. Recent research shows that this browser hijacker installs on browsers together with Linkey adware. To avoid installation of these potentially unwanted applications, be attentive when downloading free software. If your download is managed by a download client, opt-out of installation of any promoted browser plug-ins by clicking the 'decline' button. When installing downloaded freeware, choose the 'Advanced' or 'Custom' installation options - this will reveal installation of any bundled software. If your Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox) redirect you to the default-search.net website, use the removal guide provided to eliminate this browser hijacker from your computer.
Deceptive free software installers used in default-search.net browser hijacker distribution:
"Settings Manager" application (Aztec Media Inc.) blocking attempts to change the browser homepage and default search engine settings:
- What is default-search.net?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Linkey and Settings Manager applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove default-search.net redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove default-search.net browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove default-search.net homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove default-search.net redirect from Safari.
Default-search.net browser hijacker removal:
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.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.
Mac 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 "Linkey" and "Settings Manager" or "Assets Manager" (both created by Aztec Media Inc.), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted programs (which cause browser redirects to the default-search.net website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Default-search.net browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for "Linkey" and other recently installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove hxxp://default-search.net and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter about: blank to open a blank page when you start Internet Explorer.
Change your default search engine:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window, select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing", or any other preferred search engine as your default and then remove "default-search.net".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the default-search.net browser hijacker, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate "Linkey" and all other recently installed suspicious add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, click "set pages", hover your mouse over hxxp://linkeyproject.com and click the x symbol. Now, you can add your preferred website as your homepage.
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" section, click "Manage Search Engines...", remove "linkeyproject.com" and add or select your preferred domain.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the default-search.net browser hijacker, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Tools. From the opened menu, select Extensions. In the opened window, select Settings (at the left corner of the screen). Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Show advanced settings… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset browser settings 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 "Linkey for Firefox", 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 remove hxxp://default-search.net 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: "default-search.net"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with default-search.net browser hijacker 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 the Open Help Menu icon,
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Reset Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Reset 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.
A browser hijacker is a type of adware that alters user's Internet browser settings by changing one's homepage and default Internet search engine to some unwanted website. Most commonly this type of adware infiltrates user's operating system through free software downloads. While browser redirects might seem as a low risk security infection, computer users should know that the websites to which they are being redirected to commonly contain deceptive online advertisements and the Internet search engine that is presented in such websites might return shady Internet search results. Using such websites for one's daily Internet searches might easily end up in privacy issues, identity theft or malware infections.
A computer that is affected by a browser hijacker is exposed to high risk security infections. To prevent further privacy and security issues it's recommended removing any Internet browser settings altering adware as soon as possible. To avoid installation of default-search.net browser hijacker be very attentive when downloading and installing free software.
If your download is managed by a download client be sure to opt out of installing advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine. Some of the mentioned free software download clients don't allow downloading the chosen free program if user decides to decline installation of it's offered toolbars, in such cases it's recommended to cancel the installation and look for an alternative download source.
Symptoms indicating that your Internet browsers are affected by a browser hijacker: your homepage and/or default Internet search engine is changed, appearance of new toolbars, slow performance of Internet browsers, new Bookmarks or Favorites added, you can't change your homepage or default search engine, you see online ads on your screen that are not served by the website, you get redirected to pages you never intended to visit.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove default-search.net browser hijacker from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.
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