What is Desktop Search?
Desktop Search is presented as an application to allow users to search the Internet directly from the desktop. Some users may find this functionality legitimate, however, Desktop Search is categorized as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and adware.
The reason for these associations is a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' employed in Desktop Search adware distribution. Bundling is a way to stealthily install additional programs together with regular software, and therefore, Desktop Search usually installs without users' consent.
After infiltration on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, this browser plug-in generates various intrusive online advertisements including, banner, pop-up, in-text, and coupon ads. Some of these might redirect to rogue websites, thus, clicking these ads can result in high-risk adware or malware infections.
Furthermore, Desktop Search collects various information such as IP addresses, geographic location, operating system/browser types (including data: websites visited, pages viewed, search queries, etc.), and so on.
Some of this information might be personally identifiable, and therefore, the presence of this adware on your system can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. Desktop Search is regular adware and similar or identical to hundreds of other dubious apps.
For instance, Shield-ren, ArcadeTwist, Any Angle, Back to Back, and Bold Letters also claim to provide significant features, however, they simply display intrusive online advertisements and share collected data with third parties.
The purpose of applications such as Desktop Search is to generate revenue, and therefore, you are strongly advised to uninstall this application from your Internet browsers immediately.
The Desktop Search application is mostly distributed via small programs called 'download clients' on freeware download websites. It is stated that download clients ease the download process, however, they merely offer installation of third party applications together with the chosen software.
The developers make assurances that their promoted software is '100% legitimate and virus-free', however, it is most likely to be adware or malware. To avoid installation of bogus applications, closely inspect each step of the free software download procedure, and ensure that no extra applications are included.
Furthermore, download programs using the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' options - this will reveal any bundled applications listed for installation and allow you to opt-out. The following removal guide will help you to uninstall Desktop Search adware from your system:
Desktop Search adware installer set-up:
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 Desktop Search?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Desktop Search application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Desktop Search adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Desktop Search ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove 'Ads by Desktop Search' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove Desktop Search ads from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Desktop Search adware 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 "Desktop Search", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program that causes Desktop Search ads, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Desktop Search adware from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
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 "Desktop Search", select this entry and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the desktop search adware, 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 "Extensions". Locate "Desktop Search", select this entry and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the desktop search adware, 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 plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove "Desktop Search".
Computer users who have problems with desktop search adware 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, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
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 upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the desktop search adware, 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.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
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