Prefer Search claims that it is versatile in providing useful search outcome based on favored search engine of online user whether they select Yahoo, Bing, or DuckDuckGo. Because of this feature, some web user became interested in installing Prefer Search without realizing that it completely disregards their browser settings. In addition, installation of Prefer Search may consist of added code that endangers online safety and security of web users.
Installation of Prefer Search
Like majority of browser hijackers, makers of Prefer Search are employing deceitful tactics to persuade web users to install this questionable browser extension. One example is deceitful online ad campaign that promotes Prefer Search as a valuable tool that improves online browsing and search experience. There are also many cases that Prefer Search may come embed with different freeware or shareware apps that users may obtain from various servers. In this instance, installation of Prefer Search comes while setting up the downloaded freeware. Most of the time, attackers are integrating Prefer Search to attractive free software including games, tools, creativity suites, file converter, media player, and similar apps. In addition, malicious websites like Juegva.pw or Withoughzp.club can be the culprit for the installation of this adware especially if web user access certain links on these sites.
When Prefer Search is active
After the installation of Prefer Search, it starts to amend settings on internet browser program and this will have an impact on homepage and search tool. One obvious sign of the adware infection is the changes made on homepage, which displays Prefersearch.com as the new default start-up page. When doing an online search, web user may also recognize that browser redirects to Prefersearch.com servers before showing the final search outcome via legitimate search engine. This online traffic rerouting is actually passing on the information to server that web users have submitted to Prefersearch.com. Finalizing the search result via Google, Yahoo, or Bing is just a technique to eliminate any suspicion of user that Prefer Search is an invalid search tool.
It is obvious that presence of Prefer Search is endangering ones online security and privacy. Because of this, computer security experts are suggesting to remove the malicious browser extension by scanning the computer with valid anti-virus and anti-malware applications. For a complete removal guide, please browse the next segment.
Prefer Search Removal Procedure
Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of the potentially unwanted program (PUP) from compromised computer.
In order to totally eliminate the threat, it is vital to follow the process in exact manner.
Instant Removal : Scan the computer with Anti-malware Program
To remove Prefer Search automatically, scanning the computer with this powerful anti-malware tool is recommended. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware, it is also effective in discovering internet browser threat like Prefer Search that slows down online browsing activities.
1. Download the free anti-malware scanner called MalwareBytes Anti-Malware.
2. After downloading, install the program. It may run automatically or you have to double-click on the downloaded file MBSetup.exe.
3. Proceed with the installation using only the default setup. If you need the complete setup procedure, it is available on the download page.
4. After the installation process, click Get Started to run the program.
5. Continue with the prompts until the main program opens.
6. On Malwarebytes Anti-malware console, click on Scan to run the most comprehensive detection method and find any hidden items linked to Prefer Search.
7. Wait for the anti-malware to finish scanning the computer.
8. When scanning is done, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will display the list of identified threats. Remove all identified threats because one of those might be the responsible for showing of Prefer Search. Please restart the computer when necessary.
The computer should now be free from Prefer Search. If you feel that the above solution is not sufficient in getting rid of the browser hijacker, please proceed with the succeeding steps.
Step 1 : Delete Browser Extension
Most adware and unwanted programs are using a program called browser extension to be able to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend to check and remove the extension that is closely related to Prefer Search.
Remove Prefer Search Extension from Google Chrome
1. Open Google Chrome browser.
2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.
3. Find Prefer Search or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.
Uninstall Prefer Search Extension from Firefox
1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
2. Type about:addons in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.
3. Choose Extensions on sidebar menu.
4. Look for object that is pertaining to Prefer Search and remove it from the browser.
Remove Prefer Search Add-ons from Internet Explorer
1. Open Internet Explorer program.
2. Go to top Menu and click Tools. Then, select Manage Add-ons from the drop-down list.
3. Look for and Remove or Disable entries of Prefer Search from Toolbars and Extension and Search Providers section.
4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.
If Prefer Search is still present on the IE browser, another option is to remove the adware from Windows Control Panel.
5. Press Windows Key + R and then, type appwiz.cpl command.
6. Program and Features window will open. Arrange the list in chronological manner with recently installed applications on top. To do this, click on ‘Installed On‘ column.
7. Select Prefer Search or recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from Windows system.
Step 2 : Scan and Delete Adware with AdwCleaner
In addition to the procedure, we suggest scanning the computer with AdwCleaner tool. Possibly, there are some traces of Prefer Search on the browser that was 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 Prefer Search.
3. Browse the location of the downloaded file and double-click on adwcleaner_Ver.exe to start running the tool. Then, click on Scan button.
4. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated to Prefer Search.
5. Clean or Remove all suspicious and harmful items identified after the thorough scan.
6. After the cleanup procedure, rebooting the computer is required to finalize the removal of detected threats.
Step 3 : Scan the Computer with Sophos Virus Removal Tool
Lastly, we will scan the computer with a multi-function security program. This will inspect the computer for possible presence of virus, malware, rootkit, adware as well as unwanted homepage like Prefer Search.
1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.
2. Once the download completes, browse the location of the file. Double-click to run the program and begin the install process. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes to proceed.
3. On first windows of installation wizard, click Next to continue. Then, it will display the program’s License Agreement. You need to Accept the terms in order to proceed.
4. On succeeding windows, click Next or Continue to carry on with the installation. After completing the installation process, Launch Sophos Virus Removal Tool.
5. Internet connection is required when running this scanner in order to download important updates. Make sure that everything is up-to-date to effectively remove malicious program like Prefer Search.
6. Click the button to carry out the Scan. This will check the system for presence of malicious objects, malware, and viruses. The tool reveals items that were found linked to Prefer Search and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.
Option : Alternative Method to Clean Up Internet Browser from Prefer Search
Not all adware and PUP's are the same. Some cannot be removed by deleting relevant extensions and codes. On this instance, resetting the browser to default configuration is the only best solution. If Prefer Search is still bothering you after completing all the steps above, please execute the procedures below to reset the settings of affected browser program.
Use Chrome Clean Up Tool to Delete Prefer Search
1. Open Google Chrome application.
2. Type this strings in the address box: chrome://settings/ and then, press Enter on keyboard.
3. Scroll down and expand Advanced settings area.
4. Scroll to the bottom of the page until you see Reset and Cleanup section.
5. Click on Clean Up Computer. On next page, please click FIND to proceed.
This feature of Google Chrome aims to find harmful software and remove it instantly. If unable to delete Prefer Search, the other option is to Reset Google Chrome settings to its original defaults. Just go back to previous page (Clean Up Computer) and reset the settings. See more details on this page.
Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default
If Mozilla Firefox is affected by Prefer Search and procedures above were not helpful, we suggest that you carry out these steps. This process can fix the issue by restoring Firefox browser to default factory state. Most browser data will be affected but not bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and internet cookies. Extensions and other installed plug-ins maybe deleted by this function. Therefore, if you wish to remove specific extension only, please see manual add-on removal from this link.
1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and type the following in the address bar: about:support
2. Browser will be directed to a page of Troubleshooting Information. You will notice a section on upper-right corner of the screen stating "Give Firefox a Tune Up". Click the Refresh Firefox button.
3. Confirmation window will pop-up, click Refresh Firefox to continue.
4. The reset process will automatically close the browser and proceed with the restoration. Next, it will display a list of restored data. Prefer Search should be gone by now. Click Finish to close the current window and open a fresh window of Mozilla Firefox.