Ads by Social2Search [Updated]

Also Known As: Social2Search adware
Type: Adware
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

Social2Search removal instructions

What is Social2Search?

Social2Search is presented as a legitimate application that supposedly improves users' web search experience by displaying content shared by friends - "When you search, Social2Search shows you what your friends have shared." Microsoft calls this adware - “Soctuseer”, you can read their thoughts on this security threat HERE. Many users believe that this functionality is legitimate and useful, however, Social2Search is classed as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) and adware. After stealth system infiltration without users' consent, Social2Search displays intrusive online advertisements and monitors Internet browsing activity.

Social2Search adware

Social2Search is neither a virus nor malware, however, its behavior may be unacceptable to some users, since it gathers various personally identifiable information. For example, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, cookies, browser type, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses (mostly used to determine geographic location), Internet service provider, operating system, time and date, and other similar data types. Many users believe that this information is insignificant, however, developers of Social2Search share this collected data with third parties who misuse it to generate revenue. This can lead to serious privacy or even identity theft. Another downside of Social2Search is the display of intrusive online advertisements. This PUP continually delivers banner, pop-up, coupon, and other similar advertisements. These are often marked as 'Ads by Social2Search', 'Powered by Social2Search' or 'Social2Search Ads'. Social2Search employs a 'virtual layer' to display these ads and, thus, none originate from users' visited websites. Third party advertisements often conceal underlying content of visited websites, thereby significantly diminishing the web browsing experience. Some redirect to untrusted sites containing malicious content - clicking them is risky and can lead to further computer infections. If you feel that you have installed Social2Search inadvertently, remove this application immediately.

Research shows that Social2Search is identical to Wajam. It also shares many similarities with hundreds of other adware-type apps such as FiziPop, Search Know, and NextFlix. All adware gives fake promises of providing 'valuable functionality'. This is simply to trick users to install. In fact, adware is designed only to generate revenue for the developers. None of these apps provide any real value for regular users - apps such as Social2Search collect private data, cause unwanted browser redirects, and generate intrusive advertisements.

How did Social2Search install on my computer?

Social2Search is free for anyone to download on its official website, however, it is also distributed using a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' - stealth installation of potentially unwanted programs with regular (usually legitimate) software. Many users do not express enough caution when downloading and installing software. Aware of this, developers intentionally hide PUPs within the 'Custom/Advanced' settings of the download/installation processes. Skip this section can lead to inadvertent installation of bogus software.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

There are two main steps you should take to prevent this situation. Firstly, never rush when downloading and installing software - closely analyze each step within the 'Custom/Advanced' settings. Secondly, decline all offers to download or install additional apps and opt-out of those already included.

Here's how ads by Social2Search adware looks like on an infected Internet browser:

social2search adware ads sample

Deceptive free software installers used in Social2Search adware distribution:

social2search adware installer sample 4 social2search adware installer sample 2 social2search adware installer sample 2 Official Social2Search adware installation setup

Social2Search adware generating intrusive online ads (‘Powered by Social2Search’, ‘Special Offers. Ads powered by Social2Search’ and ‘Ads by Social2Search’):

social2search adware generating ads sample 5 Social2Search generating intrusive ads (sample 1) Social2Search generating intrusive ads (sample 2) Social2Search generating intrusive ads (sample 3) Social2Search generating intrusive ads (sample 4)

Instant automatic removal of Social2Search adware: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Social2Search adware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Social2Search adware removal:

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.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.

Mac 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.

Social2Search adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for "Social2Search", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program that causes Social2Search ads, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove Social2Search adware from Internet browsers:

At time of research, Social2Search did not install its browser plug-ins on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, however, it was bundled with other adware. Therefore, you are advised to remove all potentially unwanted browser add-ons from your Internet browsers.

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing Social2Search ads from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" 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, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing Social2Search ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the social2search 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.

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:

Removing Social2Search  ads 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 "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Removing Social2Search ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the social2search adware, 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 plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing Social2Search ads 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 "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing Social2Search ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with social2search adware 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 adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

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 logoRemove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 1

In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 2

Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 3

  • If this didn't help, please follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, 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.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove social2search adware from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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