Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is guard-search.com?
The Guard-search.com browser hijacker installs on Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox) together with software downloaded from freeware download websites. This rogue website is developed by Conduit Ltd and operated by ClientConnect Ltd.
The hijacker employs a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling', which allows the developers to stealthily distribute their applications together with other software.
Therefore, most users inadvertently install this browser hijacking application (capable of modifying browser homepage and default search engine settings) during download of free software from freeware download websites.
Be aware that most popular freeware download websites employ 'download clients' as free services and traffic monetization tools, since they offer installation of promoted (according to the developers '100% legitimate and virus-free') browser extensions together with the chosen free software.
Thus, reckless download and installation of freeware frequently results in adware or malware infections such as guard-search.com.
At time of research, Conduit.com redirected users to Bing.com, a legitimate Internet search engine. Despite this, you are not advised to use this application since it tracks users' Internet browsing activity by collecting various software and hardware information that is likely to be personally identifiable.
For example: geographic locations, language settings, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, unique identifier numbers, website URLs visited, search queries entered, pages viewed, user IDs, and other similar details.
Having guard-search.com installed on your computer can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft, and for these reasons, you are strongly advised to eliminate it from your Internet browsers.
Closer examination of guard-search.com reveals that it is often distributed together with another application called Guardbox. Guardbox claims to increase Internet browsing protection by scanning all websites visited. Guardbox, however, is categorized as adware or a potentially unwanted program (PUP).
In addition, be aware that there are many applications similar to both guard-search.com and Guardbox. Examples include Conduit, Keep My Search, and VeriBrowse.
None of these applications (including Guardbox) provide any real value for the user - their purpose is to generate revenue by enforcing unwanted browser redirects and sharing collected information with third parties.
Installation of Guardbox, or other similar PUPs, can be prevented by paying close attention when downloading free software and never accepting installation of any additional applications offered.
Furthermore, all software downloaded from the Internet should be installed using the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' installation options, rather than 'Quick' or 'Typical' - this will reveal any bundled applications listed for installation and allow you to opt-out.
If you experience redirects to the conduit.com website while surfing the Internet, read the following removal guide and uninstall this browser hijacking application from your system.
Deceptive free software installers used in guard-search.com browser hijacker distribution:
Website used to promote the guard-search.com browser hijacker:
Screenshot of guardbox application:
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 Guard-search.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Guard-search.com application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Guard-search.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Guard-search.com browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove Guard-search.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove Guard-search.com extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Guard-search.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 "Guardbox" (or "Search Protect"), select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted programs (which cause browser redirects to the Guard-search.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Guard-search.com browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Remove guard-search.com related Internet explorer plug-ins:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for "GuardBox", select this entry 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://guard-search.com 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 "Guard Search".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the guard-search.com 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:
Remove guard-search.com related Google Chrome plug-ins:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate "Guardbox", select this entry 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://guard-search.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 "Guard Search" and add or select your preferred domain.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the guard-search.com browser hijacker, 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 plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Remove guard-search.com related Mozilla Firefox plug-ins:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "Guardbox" (and 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://guard-search.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 "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: "guard-search.com"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with guard-search.com 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 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 guard-search.com browser hijacker, 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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