Search Goose is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) being utilize for the purpose of redirecting web users to several kinds of unusual pages relating to frauds, phishing, and malware sites.Online users browser application could end up on web sites they do not commonly visit including online gambling sites, adult oriented pages, survey sites, and similar. It all happened because Search Goose was developed to initiate traffic referral scheme where its authors are getting paid for each visit.
If you wonder how Search Goose was able to obtain access on the computer on its own, it has several sneaky methods to get in even without the authorization. One of the most applied techniques to distribute Search Goose is by incorporating it to freeware, which is technically called “bundling”. The free software is then hosted on several file-downloading sites while using deceptive context to charm web users and sway them to download and install the free software. Unknown to user, the setup process would include Search Goose so it gets onboard easily and discreetly. Its sudden presence on internet browser application is the main reason why computer users supposed the scenario as virus infection.
In theory, Search Goose is not a computer virus. Computer security analysts prefer to place it under the category of PUP. In the first place, Search Goose is not contagious. After its successful installation on the browser, Search Goose remains as internet program extension but acts dominantly in taking over the browser functions. It assigns Searchgoose.com as the default homepage, new tab, and search engine. Thus, Searchgoose.com processes the online searches and so far, it does not look good. Before it reveals the actual search outcome, it redirects to several questionable servers that seems suspicious.
Search Goose may also cause browsing distraction due to excessive display of advertisements that overlays the view of web users. Layers or pop-up ads and push notifications would show up on the screen. Unfortunately, some of these ads may land the browser page to harmful sites that were designed to automatically download malware on visitor’s computer. Therefore, we suggest removal of Search Goose at once. For full instructions, please see the next segment. Also included are virus and malware scanners to help find and delete concealed harmful objects associated to Search Goose hijacker.
Search Goose Removal Procedure for PC
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.
Step 1: Quick Fix - Scan the computer with Anti-malware Program
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 Search Goose.
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 including Search Goose and restart the computer to finalized the scan process.
The above procedures should have totally eliminated the browser hijacker. However, if you still find that there are still remnants of Search Goose on internet application, please proceed to manual removal of associated objects as outlined below.
Step 2: 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 Search Goose.
Remove Search Goose Extension from Google Chrome
1. Open Google Chrome browser.
2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.
3. Find Search Goose or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.
Uninstall Search Goose 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 Search Goose and remove it from the browser.
Remove Search Goose Add-ons from Internet Explorer and Edge Browser
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 Search Goose from Toolbars and Extension and Search Providers section.
4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.
If Search Goose 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 Search Goose or recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from Windows system.
Step 3: 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 Search Goose 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.
Click here to download AdwCleaner (this will open a new window)
2. When the download has completed, please close all running programs on the computer especially browsers affected by Search Goose.
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 Search Goose.
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.
Procedures to Remove Search Goose from Mac
This section contains comprehensive guide for Mac users. It will help you remove malicious browser hijacker from internet application.
Procedures on this page are written in a manner that can be easily understand and execute by Mac users.
Step 1 : Quick Fix - Scan the System with Combo Cleaner
Combo Cleaner is a trusted Mac utility application with complete antivirus and optimization features. It is useful in dealing with adware, malware, and PUP's. Moreover, it can get rid of malicious browser hijacker like Search Goose. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.
1. Download the tool from the following page:
2. Double-click the downloaded file and proceed with the installation.
3. In the opened window, drag and drop the Combo Cleaner icon onto your Applications folder icon.
4. Open your Launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon.
5. Wait until antivirus downloads it's latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing Search Goose.
6. Free features of Combo Cleaner include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus and privacy scanner, users have to upgrade to a premium version.
Proceed with the rest of the removal steps if you are comfortable in manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat.
Step 2 : Delete Search Goose from Mac Applications
1. Go to Finder.
2. On the menu, click Go and then, select Applications from the list to open Applications Folder.
3. Find Search Goose or any unwanted program.
4. Drag Search Goose to Trash Bin to delete the application from Mac.
5. Right-click on Trash icon and click on Empty Trash.
Step 3 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to Search Goose
1. Locate the add-on or extension that is relevant to the hijacker. To do this, please follow the following depending on affected browser.
Safari - Choose Preferences from the Safari menu, then click the Extensions icon. This will open a window showing all installed extensions.
Chrome - Select Preferences from the Chrome menu, and then click the Extensions link found on the left pane.
Firefox - Choose Add-ons from the Menu. Look at both the Extensions and Plugins lists when it opens a new window.
2. Once you have located Search Goose or , click on Remove or Uninstall, to get rid of it.
3. Close the browser and proceed to the next steps.
Step 4 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed Search Goose
1. Select and copy the string below to your Clipboard by pressing Command + C on your keyboard.
2. Go to your Finder. From the menu bar please select Go > Go to Folder...
3. Press Command + V on your keyboard to paste the copied string. Press Return to go to the said folder.
4. You will now see a folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:
The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. It is normally an unfamiliar file name such as the following:
- Searchgoose.com, Search Fine
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing Search Goose to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the most latest ones may also help you identify recently installed unfamiliar files. Please press Option + Command + 4 on your keyboard to arrange the application list in chronological order.
Important: Take note of all the suspicious files as you may also delete the same item on another folder as we go on.
5. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.
6. Please restart the computer.
7. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and Paste the following string to easily locate the folder.
8. Look for any suspicious items that are similar to the ones in Step 4. Drag them to the Trash.
9. Repeat the process on the following non-hidden folders (without ~):
Optional : For locked files that cannot be removed, do the following:
1. Go to Launchpad, Utilities folder, open Activity Monitor.
2. Select the process you want to quit.
3. Click on Force Quit button.
4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to Search Goose homepage hijacker.
Step 5 : Double-check with MBAM Tool for Mac
1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from this link:
Click here to download MBAM for Mac
2. Run Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac. It will check for updates and download if most recent version is available. This is necessary in finding recent malware threats including Search Goose.
3. If it prompts to close all running web browser, please do so. Thus, we advise you to PRINT this guide for your reference before going offline.
4. Once it opens the user interface, please click on Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.
5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, Search Goose is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click Remove button to clean the computer.
Step 6 : Remove Search Goose from Homepage and Search
- Open your Safari browser.
- Go to Safari Menu located on upper left hand corner, and then select Preferences.
- Under General tab, navigate to Default Search Engine section and select Google or any valid search engine.
- Next, be sure that "New Windows Open With" field is set to Homepage.
- Lastly, remove Search Goose from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.
- Open Chrome browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and press Enter on keyboard : chrome://settings/
- Look for 'On Startup' area.
- Select 'Open a specific page or set of pages'.
- Click on More Actions and select Edit.
- Enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing Search Goose. Click Save.
- To set default search engine, go to Search Engine area.
- Click on 'Manage search engines...' button.
- Go to questionable Search Engine. Click on More Actions and Click 'Remove from list'.
- Go back to Search Engine area and choose valid entry from Search engine used in the address bar.
- Run Mozilla Firefox browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and hit Enter on keyboard : about:preferences
- On Startup area, select 'Show your home page' under 'When Firefox starts' field.
- Under Home Page field, type the desired URL to replace Search Goose settings.
- To configure default search engine, select Search on left sidebar to display settings.
- Under Default Search Engine list, please select one.
- On the same page, you have an option to Remove unwanted search engine.
Step 7 : Delete Search Goose Login Items
Some browser hijacker may also install login item into compromised account under System Preferences. This object automatically runs Search Goose during user log in.
1. Go to Apple menu and choose System Preferences.
2. Select Users & Groups from the preferences window.
3. You may need to Unlock this area in order to make changes. Click on the Lock icon on lower left corner of the window.
4. Next, select user account that runs Search Goose.
5. Click on Login Items tab.
6. Select Search Goose, , or any suspicious entries from the list and click on the minus [-] button and confirm your actions. Please see image below for reference.
Optional : If unable to change browser settings, execute these steps:
Some user complains that there is no way to change browser settings because it is grayed out by Search Goose. In such situation, it is important to check if there is unwanted profile. Please do the following:
1. Quit any running applications and launch System Preferences from your Dock.
2. Under System Preferences, click Profiles.
3. Select , Search Goose or any relevant profile from the left pane. See image below.
4. At the bottom of this window, click minus [-] button to delete the account. Please refer to image above.
5. Close the Profiles window and open the affected browser to change all settings associated with Search Goose.