Browser hijackers are potentially unwanted programs (PUP) that can carry out unwanted customization on internet browser settings. It normally assigns a malicious web address on the browser. The existing default search engine, home page, and the new tab window will change to unusual URL. To site an example, if homepage is showing Search.shieldmysearches.com, it means that browser is infected with Shield My Searches adware.
About Shield My Searches
Shield My Searches is one of the browser hijackers. As mentioned, it sets Search.shieldmysearches.com to be the new default setting on the browser applications. Shield My Searches will be able to display unwanted advertisements. Usually, adverts overlap the contents of web pages where web users are browsing. Moreover, Shield My Searches can run pop-ups promoting dubious websites. One press can redirect the browser to the actual web page of the compromised sites.
Effects of Shield My Searches Hijacker
Shield My Searches is a kind of unwanted program under the classification of browser hijacker. It can infiltrate into computers without the computer user’s consent. Installing Shield My Searches will make the computer’s function different from its common operations. It definitely affects the computer’s performance and accuracy. The usual speed of the internet and browsing speed slows down. Aside from that, the browser will unable to deliver accurate and reliable results as shown in the image below. Instead, Shield My Searches will provide search results that are not relevant to the queries. In addition, Shield My Searches presents web visitors to malicious web pages having unexpected contents.
Spying the computer to locate significant details is the most serious effect of Shield My Searches. Developers designed Shield My Searches containing spyware to support its operations. Such private information has the possibility to reach cyber criminals and misuse it for revenue generation purposes. To make it short, the existence of Shield My Searches on the computer can lead to privacy problems.
Shield My Searches Infection
Computer users should make sure to download software from trusted provider and official websites. Unsafe sites tend to endorse freeware integrating unwanted programs like Shield My Searches. Through bundling, Shield My Searches can possibly enter the computer without the permission from computer users. There are installers that include a PUP, or any sort of malware on the installation process. Online users might agree to install a certain kind of unwanted software by not checking the whole process.
Shield My Searches 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.
Stage 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 Shield My Searches.
Remove Shield My Searches Extension from Google Chrome
1. Open Google Chrome browser.
2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.
3. Find Shield My Searches or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.
Uninstall Shield My Searches 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 Shield My Searches and remove it from the browser.
Delete Shield My Searches Extension from Safari
1. Run Safari browser application.
2. Click on Safari Settings icon located on upper right corner of the window.
3. Choose Preferences from the drop-down list.
4. On Extension window, select Extensions tab.
5. Select Shield My Searches or relevant entry and remove it from Safari.
6. Lastly, go to Safari Settings once again and select Downloads from the drop down list.
7. If Onlinemanualsapp.safariextz is present, click on Clear button to remove the unwanted extension.
Remove Shield My Searches 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 Shield My Searches from Toolbars and Extension and Search Providers section.
4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.
If Shield My Searches 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 Shield My Searches or recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from Windows system.
Stage 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 Shield My Searches 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 Shield My Searches.
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 Shield My Searches.
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.
Stage 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 Shield My Searches.
1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.
Sophos Virus Removal Tool Download Link (this will open a new window)
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 Shield My Searches.
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 Shield My Searches and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.
Option: Alternative Method to Clean Up Internet Browser from Shield My Searches
Not all adware and PUP’s are the same. Some cannot be removed by deleting relevant extensions and codes. On this instances, resetting the browser to default configuration is the only best solution. If Shield My Searches 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 Shield My Searches
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 Shield My Searches, 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 Shield My Searches 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. Shield My Searches should be gone by now. Click Finish to close the current window and open a fresh window of Mozilla Firefox.
Reset Safari Browser to Normal Settings
1. Open Safari browser.
2. Click on the Safari Settings icon located on upper right corner of the browser window.
3. Select Reset Safari from the drop-down list.
4. Pop-up window will appear. You may select all boxes for total reset or follow the options below if you only want to remove Shield My Searches from Safari browser.
5. Please restart Safari browser for changes to take effect.