Remove Crowd Search Malware from Chrome

Crowd Search is another website that houses a dubious search engine called Search.crowdsearch.net. It is dangerous to use this search provider due to several findings that it redirects online searches to hazardous destination. This can cause adware or malware infections. In addition, a Crowd Search installer package is filled with a certain amount of malware. As a result, it is strongly suggested to avoid installing freeware and shareware that promote this unknown search engine.

For the safety of web users as well as to protect them from malware, security experts suggest avoiding acquiring software from questionable websites. Where possible, download the necessary app only from legitimate and trusted sources. Official web sites are the most trusted host for getting the desired software.

How does Crowd infect the browser?

Malware and third-party applications are the most common channels currently used by adware manufacturers to disseminate their products. This schema is commonly called a software bundle. However, not all software bundles have malicious code within them. Crowd Search and similar home page hijackers are normally packaged as suspicious free games, tools, utilities, media, players, and other freeware that are promoted using intrusive pop-up advertisements and browser redirection.

The Search.crowdsearch.net hijacker

As soon as the malware infiltrates the computer, users may experience unwanted changes to its search settings. When doing online searches, all the queries are diverted to Search.crowdsearch.net. Unfortunately, users are not going to receive useful results from this search, as shown in the image below. Search.crowdsearch.net was primarily made to display ads on its own search result page and lure users to spend money on useless online products. So, we highly encourage the immediate elimination of Search.crowdsearch.net search engine.

Screenshot of Search.crowdsearch.net

Why is Crowd Search harmful?

Following the successful installation of questionable freeware, it drops a browser extension that aims to control internet applications, especially Google Chrome. Crowd Search will be the new look and feel of the home page and new tab window. All user search entries are redirected to Crowd Search for malicious intent. Generally, individuals behind Crowd Search can gather online information from computer users through this unlawful transmission of data.

Usually, search hijackers and redirects can cause problems and pose a risk to the online privacy of web users. We strongly advise you to remove Crowd Search from your computer as soon as possible. A complete guide is posted on this page, including effective anti-virus and anti-malware tools.

Tutorial Video to Remove Crowd Search

Crowd Search Removal (Tutorial Video)

Crowd Search Removal Procedure

Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of the potentially unwanted program (PUP) from compromised Windows computer. Aside from removing the malicious browser extension, this guide is also helpful in deleting internet hijacker and pop-ups.

In order to totally eliminate the threat, it is vital to follow the process in exact manner.

Step 1 : Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner

Combo Cleaner is a trusted computer security and optimization tool equipped with a powerful virus and malware detection engine. This program can get rid of browser hijacker like Crowd Search through this procedure.

1. Download the application from the following page:

2. Save the file to your preferred location.

3. Double-click the downloaded file CCSetup.exe and install with the default settings.

4. At the end of the setup process, click Finish to run Combo Cleaner.

5. The tool will update the database file; please wait for this process to complete.

6. To begin checking for threats like Crowd Search, click on the Start Scan button. Wait for this scan to finish.

Screenshot of Combo Cleaner PC

7. At the end of the scan process, click on Remove all threats to delete Crowd Search, including all harmful objects from the computer.

To fully optimize the features of antivirus and privacy scanners, users may have to upgrade to the premium version.

Please continue with the succeeding removal procedures if you are comfortable manually getting rid of the browser hijacker and malicious items linked to it.

Step 2 : Uninstall Crowd Search from Windows

1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key + R. Type the appwiz.cpl command and click OK.

Screenshot of Run Command

2. The Program and Features window will open. Arrange the list in a chronological manner, with recently installed applications on top. To do this, click on the 'Installed On' column.

Screenshot of Program and Featires

3. Select Crowd Search or a recently installed suspicious entry from the list.

In this case, you must remove the fake Google\Chrome program, as shown in the image below.

Screenshot of Fake Chrome

4. Click on Uninstall to remove it from the Windows system.

Step 3 : Delete Crowd Search Browser Extension

Most adware and unwanted programs use an application called a "browser extension" to be able to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend checking and removing the extension that is closely related to Crowd Search. If it is not present, look for and delete any suspicious browser extension.

Google Chrome

Remove Crowd Search extension from Google Chrome

1. Open the Google Chrome browser.

2. Input the strings below in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard:

chrome://extensions

Screenshot of Chrome Extensions in PC

3. Look for Crowd Search or a relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

- Other names to look for: Realcitsgroup, NavigateNinjas

Microsoft Edge

Remove Crowd Search from Microsoft Windows and Edge Browser

1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key + R. Type the appwiz.cpl command and click OK.

Screenshot of Run Command

2. The Program and Features window will open. Arrange the list in a chronological manner, with recently installed applications on top. To do this, click on the 'Installed On' column.

Screenshot of Program and Featires

3. Select Crowd Search or a recently installed suspicious entry from the list.

4. Click on Uninstall to remove it from the Windows system.

If Crowd Search is still present on the browser and unwanted homepage and pop-ups persist, another option is to remove the hijacker from the browser settings.

5. Open the Microsoft Edge program.

6. Input the following string in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard:

edge://extensions/

Screenshot of MS Edge Address Bar

7. Look for and Remove or Disable entries for Crowd Search from the Installed Extensions area.

Screenshot of Edge Extension Removal

8. You may now close the window and restart the Microsoft Edge browser.

Mozilla Firefox

Uninstall the Crowd Search extension from Mozilla Firefox

1. Open the Mozilla Firefox browser.

2. Type or copy and paste the strings below in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard:

about:addons

Screenshot of Firefox Extension

3. Click on Extensions from the sidebar menu.

4. Look for an entry that pertains to Crowd Search and Disable or Remove it from the browser using the options button.

Opera

Remove Crowd Search extension from the Opera Browser

1. Open the Opera internet browser program.

2. In the address bar, type or copy and paste the text below. Press Enter on your keyboard.

opera://extensions

Screenshot of Extensions in Opera Browser

3. Find the malicious extension and then, click on Remove button to delete it from the Opera browser.

Step 4 : Scan with AdwCleaner and Reset Chrome Policies

In addition to the procedure, we suggest scanning the computer with AdwCleaner tool. Possibly, there are some traces of Crowd Search on the browser that were not deleted during the preceding steps. This tool will scan the computer and check for presence of malicious applications.

1. Follow the link below to download the tool called AdwCleaner.

2. When the download has completed, please close all running programs on the computer, especially browsers affected by Crowd Search.

3. Browse the location of the downloaded file and double-click on adwcleaner.exe to start running the tool.

4. If Windows displays a prompt saying, "Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?" click Yes to proceed.

5. On the AdwCleaner dashboard, click on Settings.

Screenshot of AdwCleaner Policies

6. While in the Settings window, please turn On the Reset Chrome Policies and Reset IE Policies.

Screenshot of AdwCleaner Scanner

7. Go back to the Dashboard and click the Scan Now button.

8. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated with Crowd Search.

9. Clean or Remove all suspicious and harmful items identified after the thorough scan.

10. AdwCleaner will then prompt an option to run another repair, which will reset Winsock and other settings. Please click the Run Basic Repair button.

Screenshot of Basic Repair

11. A message will appear stating that "All processes will be closed..." Please click Continue.

Image of Basic Repair Message

12. After the cleanup procedure, rebooting the computer is required to finalize the removal of Crowd Search as well as other detected threats.

Step 5 : Run the Final Scan Using Sophos Home Antivirus.

To remove Crowd Search automatically, scanning the computer with this powerful virus and malware removal tool is recommended. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware; it is also effective in discovering browser hijacker like Crowd Search.

1. Please click on the link below to download the program.

2. After downloading, locate the file SophosInstall.exe in the Downloads folder.

3. Install by double-clicking on the file.

4. If it prompts "Do you want to allow this app to make changes on your device?" please click Yes.

5. Next, it will display the Terms and Conditions page. Click the Install button to begin.

Screenshot of Terms by Sophos Home

6. Run the installation with the default settings. Please note that an internet connection is required in order to download important updates.

7. After finishing the installation, you must login to the dashboard. If you already have a Sophos account, please login. Otherwise, please enter your details and click on the Create Account button.

8. Once you are in the Sophos Home console, click the Scan button to start checking the computer for Crowd Search components.

Screenshot of Sophos Home

9. Scanning may take a while; please wait for this process to finish.

10. After scanning the computer, Sophos Home will start cleaning or deleting files infected with Crowd Search.

11. You may now close Sophos Home. The computer is now free from Crowd Search, as well as associated malware and viruses.

The above procedures should have totally eliminated Crowd Search browser hijacker. However, if you find that there are still remnants of the malware, please proceed to the next steps below.

Step 6 : Fixing the Homepage and Search Engine

Google Chrome

Remove Crowd Search from the homepage and search of Chrome

1. Open the Google Chrome browser. Type or copy and paste the following on the address bar. Then, press Enter on the keyboard:

chrome://settings

Screenshot of Chrome Settings Page

2. Go to the left sidebar and click On Startup.

3. Select "Open a specific page or set of pages" in the right panel.

Chrome On Startup Screenshot

4. Locate the unwanted Homepage URL, click on More Actions icon (3-dot), and select Remove or Edit.

5. If you choose Edit, enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing Crowd Search. Click Save.

6. To set the default search engine, go to the left sidebar, and this time, select Search Engine.

Screenshot of Search Settings

7. Click on the Manage search engines and site search button in the right panel.

8. Find the unwanted Search Engine in the list. Click on More Actions icon, and then click Delete.

9. Go back to the left side bar and click Search Engine.

Default Search Engine Screenshot

10. In the right panel, choose a valid entry from the "Search engine used in the address bar."

You can now restart the Google Chrome browser to see if the unwanted homepage and search engine related to Crowd Search are gone.

Microsoft Edge

Get rid of Crowd Search from the homepage of Edge Browser

1. Open the Microsoft Edge browser on your computer.

2. In the address bar, type or copy and paste the string below, then press Enter on the keyboard:

edge://settings/startHomeNTP

MS Edge Start Page Screenshot

3. Go to the "When Edge Starts" area. Under the "Open these pages" section, click More Actions (3-dot).

4. Select Edit to open the Edit Page window.

5. Input your desired address to replace the homepage settings of Crowd Search.

Screenshot of Home URL

6. Click the Save button. You may now restart Microsoft Edge browser.

Mozilla Firefox

Delete Crowd Search from the homepage and search of Firefox.

1. Open the Mozilla Firefox browser on your computer.

2. Type or copy and paste the following on the address bar, then press Enter on the keyboard:

about:preferences

3. Click Home in the sidebar area.

Firefox Preferences Screenshot

4. Under "Homepage and new windows", you may choose Firefox Home (Default) or Custom URLs.

5. If you chose Custom URLs, input the desired URL to replace Crowd Search settings.

6. To configure the default search engine, select Search in the left sidebar to display the settings.

Screenshot of Firefox Default Search

7. Under the "Default Search Engine" list, please select a legitimate one (i.e., Google).

8. Scroll down to "Search Shortcuts" and select an unwanted search engine.

Remove Search from Firefox Image

9. Click on the Remove button to delete the unwanted search engine. You may now restart the Mozilla Firefox browser.

Opera

Remove Crowd Search from Opera's homepage and search.

1. In the address bar of Opera browser, type or copy and paste the text below. Press Enter on your keyboard.

opera://settings/searchEngines

2. Scroll down to the "Search Engine" section and find your desired name (i.e. Google Search)

Screenshot of Default Search

3. Click on the ellipses icon (3-dot) and select Make Default.

4. In the same section, click the ellipses icon of the unwanted search engine and select Delete to remove the malicious search engine from the Opera browser.

Screenshot of Removing Search Engine

5. Go back to the Basic section and scroll down to the "On Startup" section.

Screenshot of Opera Homepage Settings

6. Find the unwanted homepage address, click its ellipses icon (3-dot), and choose between Remove or Edit.

7. If you choose Edit, enter the desired web address as your homepage, replacing Crowd Search. Click Save.

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