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Music Search App Toolbar

Also Known As: Music Search App browser hijacker
Damage level: Medium

What is Music Search App?

Music Search App is a potentially unwanted browser add-on that employs a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' to install on Internet browsers without users' permission.

Bundling is a way to stealthily distribute applications together with the chosen software, and therefore, most infections are caused by careless download of free software from freeware download websites. During research, Music App was distributed using multiple applications including jZip, King Translate, and iMesh, among many others.

Following successful infiltration, the Music Search App toolbar modifies users' Internet browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome) default search engine and homepage setting by assigning them to search.ask.com

Music App homepage

Furthermore, be aware that by accepting installation, users agree for their Internet browsing activity to be tracked by Music Search App. This dubious application records various software and hardware information that may be personally identifiable.

For example: Internet Protocol (IP) addresses (to determine users' geo-locations), search queries entered, ads clicked, and other details. The developers of this rogue browser plug-in claim that it improves the Internet searching experience by displaying advanced search results and providing quick links to free music, lyrics, radio, etc.

In fact, Music App provides no real value for the user, since it diminishes browser performance and modifies browser settings. Music Search App is not considered to be an especially rogue application, since the website to which users are redirected (ask.com) is a legitimate Internet search engine.

Nevertheless, these redirects are applied with the intention of monetizing incoming web traffic, rather than adding any real value for the user. Therefore, Music App is categorized as adware or a potentially unwanted program (PUP), and for this reason, you are strongly advised to eliminate it from your Internet browsers.

The list of PUPs that use bundling as their installation method includes Findwide toolbar, Delta Search toolbar, Babylon toolbar, and many others. Although these browser plug-ins are similar to Music Search App, none add any real value for the user.

Research shows that, commonly, Music Search App is distributed via small programs called 'download managers' and 'installers' used by freeware download websites such as download.com, soft32.com, and softonic.com.

Be aware that these small programs are used to monetize these websites' free services by offering installation of advertised (according to the developers, '100% legitimate and virus-free') browser plug-ins together with the chosen free software. Thus, download and installation of freeware often results in adware or malware infections.

Installation of Music Search App, or other similar adware, can be prevented by closely inspecting each step of the free software download process and clicking 'Decline' if installation of any additional programs is offered.

Furthermore, all software downloaded from the Internet should be installed using the 'Advanced' or 'Custom' installation options, rather than 'Quick' or 'Typical' - this will reveal any bundled applications listed for installation and allow you to opt out.

If you have already installed Music App, and experience redirects to the ask.com website, follow the removal instructions provided to eliminate it from your Internet browsers.

Deceptive free software installer used in Music Search App browser hijacker distribution:

Music App Installer

Potentially unwanted applications that installed along with Music App:

Apps that installed along with Music App

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Quick menu:

Music Search App 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.

Uninstall Music App browser hijacker via control panel

In the uninstall programs window: look for "Music Search App for Chrome", "Music Search App for Firefox", and "Music Search App for Internet Explorer", select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted programs (that causes browser redirects to the search.ask.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Music Search App homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser hijackers:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Remove Music Search App related Internet Explorer add-ons:

Remove Music App browser hijacker from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gears" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions ("Music Search App"), select these entries and click "Remove".

Change your homepage:

Remove Music App browser hijacker from Internet Explorer step 2

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove hxxp://www.search.ask.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer.

Change your default search engine:

Remove Music App browser hijacker from Internet Explorer step 3

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options 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, then remove "Ask.com".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the music search app 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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Remove Music Search App related Google Chrome extensions:

Remove Music App browser hijacker from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate "Music App", select it and click the trash can icon.

Change your homepage:

Remove Music App browser hijacker from Google Chrome step 2

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, click "set pages", hover your mouse over hxxp://www.search.ask.com and click the x symbol. Now, you can add your preferred website as your homepage.

Change your default search engine:

Remove Music App browser hijacker from Google Chrome step 4

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings," in the "Search" section, click "Manage Search Engines...", remove "Ask.com" and add or select your preferred Internet search engine.

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the music search app browser hijacker, 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 plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Remove Music Search App related Mozilla Firefox add-ons:

Remove Music App browser hijacker from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window remove any recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins ("Music Search App").

Change your homepage:

Remove Music App browser hijacker from Mozilla Firefox step 2

To reset your homepage click on the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window remove hxxp://search.ask.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open every time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change default search engine:

Remove Music App browser hijacker from Mozilla Firefox step 3

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: "ask.com"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with music search app 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, 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 music search app browser hijacker, 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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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.

QR Code
Music Search App browser hijacker QR code
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