A browser hijacker literally “hijacks” the main settings of Google Chrome, Firefox, or Edge. It also executes unwanted modification to security setting of browsers. Usually, this threat is categorized as a potentially unwanted application (PUP) because of its intrusive traits.
SearchAim is one of the PUP, which is acting like the usual browser hijacker. It can assign a default homepage, new tab, and search tool. SearchAim also modifies the security configuration on the infected browser apps to prevent users from reversing the changes. Such transitions are unauthorized by web users, and because of this, some deemed SearchAim as a computer virus.
Effects of SearchAim installation
After the alterations, SearchAim will generate advertisements and redirects to show persistently in the browser. There is a tendency that while the online users are browsing the net, ads and pop-ups will come out anywhere on the screen. It is very annoying and literally disturbs the browsing of internet users. Moreover, ads triggered by SearchAim promote possible swindles, fake software updates, or links to dubious websites. Clicking those adverts brings no good for web users. In addition, pop-ups usually aim to redirect online users to a particular questionable website. Such sites would probably attempt to force the web users to subscribe alerts from the website.
In addition, SearchAim can track private information such as the browsing-related activities as well as the personal details about web users. These data can reach to cyber criminals for some bad purposes. It can lead to a serious invasion of privacy and the computer safety is at risk.
The spread of SearchAim is quite easy because of its ability to infiltrate the computer without web user’s permission. Developers of potentially unwanted programs or any kind of malware typically has several methods to spread their malicious intentions. Like for example, operators incorporates SearchAim on other programs as an extra or optional app. Some installers do not disclose properly that SearchAim is included in the package. Therefore, PC user unknowingly agrees to install an unwanted program due to this discrete scheme.
SearchAim Removal Procedure
Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of the Adware from compromised Windows computer. Aside from removing the malicious browser extension, this guide is also helpful in deleting pop-ups and redirects.
In order to totally eliminate the threat, it is vital to follow the process in exact manner.
Quick Fix - Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner for Windows
Combo Cleaner is a trusted PC security and optimization tool equipped with powerful virus and malware detection engine. This program can get rid of adware like SearchAim 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 signature file, please wait for this process to complete.
6. To begin checking for threats like SearchAim, click on the Start Scan button. Wait for this scan to finish.
7. At the end of the scan process, click on Remove all threats to delete SearchAim adware including all malicious objects from the computer.
Free features of Combo Cleaner for Windows include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus, privacy scanner, and to delete identified threats, users have to upgrade to a premium version.
Please continue with the succeeding removal procedures if your are comfortable to manually get rid of the threat and malicious items linked with it.
Step 1 : Turn Off Sync on Google Chrome
1. Open Google Chrome browser.
2. In the address bar please type the following: chrome://settings/syncSetup
3. On Settings page, click the Turn off button to disable syncing Chrome settings between devices.
If in case that you don't want to stop syncing other sections like Apps, Bookmarks, History, Theme, and so on, please click on Manager what you sync. Next, select Customize sync. To successfully remove SearchAim, you may disable only Apps and Extensions data. Please restart Google Chrome browser.
Step 2 : Delete SearchAim or Suspicious 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 SearchAim. If it is not present, look for and delete any suspicious browser extension.
Remove SearchAim Extension from Google Chrome
1. Open Google Chrome browser.
2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.
3. Find SearchAim or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome browser.
Uninstall SearchAim Extension from Mozilla 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 SearchAim and remove it from the browser.
After deleting the malicious browser extension, it is expected that pop-ups and other troubles are gone from the browser.
Remove SearchAim from Windows (Internet Explorer or Edge Browser)
1. Press Windows Key + R and then, type appwiz.cpl command.
2. 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.
3. Select SearchAim or recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from Windows system.
If SearchAim is still present on the IE browser and there are still homepage and pop-ups, another option is to remove the adware from the browser settings.
4. Open Internet Explorer program.
5. Go to top Menu and click Tools. Then, select Manage Add-ons from the drop-down list.
6. Look for and Remove or Disable entries of SearchAim from Toolbars and Extension. Additionally, delete the same object from Search Providers section.
7. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.
Step 3 : Scan the computer with Sophos Antivirus
To remove SearchAim 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 adware like SearchAim.
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.
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. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes 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 adware like SearchAim.
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 SearchAim and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.
The above procedures should have totally eliminated the SearchAim adware. However, if you found that there are still remnants of the threat, please proceed to the succeeding procedures below.
Step 4 : 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 SearchAim on the browser that was not deleted during the preceding steps. This tool will scan the computer and check for presence of malicious applications as well as invalid browser entries that produces annoying pop-ups.
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 SearchAim.
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 SearchAim. It will also check for suspicious entries on browser settings.
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.
Check if your internet browser application is no longer being bothered by SearchAim. If the adware still persists, please continue with the steps below to reset internet programs to default settings.
Optional : Reset Internet Browser Program
Cleaning your internet browser from clutter and unwanted add-on/extension is a must when dealing with SearchAim. The procedure below discuss on resetting various browsers to its default state.
Restore Google Chrome to Default Settings
Resetting Google Chrome to default settings is helpful in deleting hard-to-remove extension such as from SearchAim. This method is highly advisable to perform if you have difficulty in removing unwanted extension.
1. Open Google Chrome Internet browser.
2. On the address bar, type chrome://settings/reset and press Enter key.
3. Under Reset and clean up section, choose Restore settings to their original defaults.
4. Click Reset settings button to clear all entries of SearchAim.
5. Close the existing tab and restart Google Chrome. That should have removed SearchAim extension and associated objects.
Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default
This section describes how to remove unwanted extension from Firefox that may be related to SearchAim. This process can fix many browser issues by restoring Firefox to factory settings without affecting your essential information (bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and Internet cookies) on the browser. If you desire to remove only specific extension, please see manual removal of add-on from Firefox.
1. Input the string about:support on Firefox web address and press Enter on keyboard.
2. You will now see the Troubleshooting Information page of Mozilla Firefox.
3. You will notice a section on upper-right corner of the screen stating Give Firefox a tune up. Click the Refresh Firefox button.
4. If confirmation window appears, click Refresh Firefox to continue.
5. Firefox browser will close and start the resetting process. When done, it will display a list of restored data. SearchAim should be gone by now. Click Finish to open a fresh version of Firefox.
Restore Internet Explorer to Default Settings
1. Open Internet Explorer and navigate to top menu. Click Tools, and then Internet Options.
2. Select Advanced tab on Internet Options window.
3. On lower part of the window, under Reset Internet Explorer Settings area, click the Reset button. Please see image for reference. Your data like favorites, bookmark, and history will remain in the browser. However, this process may delete add-ons by SearchAim and other unknown objects. If you prefer to carry out the procedure manually, please add-on removal from Internet Explorer.