How to Remove the “Custom Search Google” Homepage

Custom Search Google is another suspicious search engine that promotes its own homepage and new tab window. It is unsafe to utilize this search engine due to certain reports that it redirects searches to malicious websites that cause further adware infections. Moreover, the Custom Search Google installation package is riddled with a number of malicious programs. Therefore, it is highly suggested to avoid installing freeware and shareware that promote this adware and all products from the same group, including Smartsearchnow.io, Finditquicksearch.com, and Activelysearching.com.

How does Custom Search Google enter the computer?

For user’s safety and protection against malware, security experts suggest avoiding any programs from questionable websites. If possible, download the needed application only from legitimate and trusted sources. Official websites are the most reliable hosts for obtaining desirable software.

Malicious freeware and third-party applications are the most common channels currently utilized by adware makers to spread their products. This scheme is commonly called software bundles. Though not all software bundles have malicious code in them,. Custom Search Google and similar homepage hijackers are normally packed with suspicious free games, tools, utilities, media, players, and other freeware that are promoted using intrusive pop-up advertisements and browser redirects.

Screenshot of Custom Search Google

The risks of having Custom Search Google

After successful installation of the dubious freeware, it loads a browser extension that aims to dominate internet programs, especially Google Chrome. Custom Search Google will be the new layout for the homepage and the new tab. As stated, it will override the settings with Custom Search Google. Every search input of users is redirected to Custom Search Google with malicious intent. Adware makers can collect online information from computer users through this anticipated online transmission of data.

Normally, search hijackers cause trouble and pose a risk to one’s online privacy. Thus, we highly recommend removing Custom Search Google from the computer as soon as possible. A complete guide is posted on this page, including effective anti-virus and anti-malware tools.

Is Custom Search Google a virus?

Custom Search Google, a browser hijacker, is not technically classified as a computer virus. While viruses are designed to replicate and spread, browser hijackers are typically focused on manipulating web browsers to redirect users to specific websites or display unwanted ads. Custom Search Google often come bundled with free software and can be installed unknowingly by the user. They change browser settings without permission, such as the homepage or default search engine, to promote certain websites or advertisements.

While browser hijackers like Custom Search Google can be annoying and intrusive, they generally do not cause direct harm to the computer system itself. However, they can compromise the user’s online experience by constantly redirecting them to unwanted sites and displaying intrusive ads. Unlike viruses, browser hijackers can usually be removed by uninstalling the associated software or using antivirus or antimalware tools specifically designed to detect and remove such threats.

"Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google", 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 "Custom Search Google", 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 "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google" or a recently installed suspicious entry from the list.

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

Step 3 : Delete "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google". If it is not present, look for and delete any suspicious browser extension.

Google Chrome

Remove "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google" or a relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

Microsoft Edge

Remove "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google" or a recently installed suspicious entry from the list.

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

If "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google" and Disable or Remove it from the browser using the options button.

Opera

Remove "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google".

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 "Custom Search Google".

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 "Custom Search Google" as well as other detected threats.

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

To remove "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google".

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 "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google".

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

The above procedures should have totally eliminated "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google". 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 "Custom Search Google" are gone.

Microsoft Edge

Get rid of "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google".

Screenshot of Home URL

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

Mozilla Firefox

Delete "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google" 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 "Custom Search Google". Click Save.

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1 thought on “How to Remove the “Custom Search Google” Homepage”

  1. 1. Press CTRL + ALT + DEL on the keyboard, and when the selection pop-ups appear, click on Task Manager.

    2. On the Task Manager/Processes tab, look for the following items:

    – Kavaca
    – IdealWeightOptimizer / IdealWeightService
    – SmashApp / SMApps/mApps
    – GlobalCo / GlobalInstaller

    3. Select the malware, and then right-click on it and click End Task.

    4. Go to the Windows task bar, and in the Search area, type “Add or Remove Programs“. Select “Add or Remove Programs” from the list to open the Settings page.

    5. In the list of applications, look for Kavaca, IdealWeightOptimizer, SmashApp, GlobalCo and Uninstall them.

    6. Open Windows Explorer and go to these folders (one at a time):
    – C:\Program Files\
    – C:\Users\[Your Username]\AppData\

    7. Find the folders or files corresponding to the malware names above and delete them. You can also arrange the folders chronologically. Click on “Date Modified” in the upper row.

    8. If the most recent folders are suspicious, you may Uninstall them from the Add or Remove Programs before deleting the folder.

    Important! If you are having a hard time deleting the files, it would be better to run the Ssj4.io removal procedures after rebooting Windows in SafeMode.

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