The MaskSearch or Themasksearch.com is supposed to be a tool that secures online browsing and searching. It appears as though a helpful utility for web client, yet The MaskSearch was discovered by computer security experts as significantly endangering browser applications including Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.
The MaskSearch is a Browser Hijacker
To some degree, browser hijacker is a potentially wanted program (PUP) that can achieve different superfluous changes on web internet application settings. The essential objective of The MaskSearch is to overwhelm tainted browser applications. The adware may track online browsing actions and even sensitive and confidential data of web users. This is a typical thing for an undesirable program and along these lines; some users may deem The MaskSearch as computer virus infection. Besides, The MaskSearch can change the browser settings and allots an undesirable homepage with URL Portal.themasksearch.com. The homepage, new tab page, and search engine will have this uniform web address as the new default preferences.
The MaskSearch Infection
Online acquisition of free applications from informal sites can be the reason for spontaneous installation of adware and PUP. Such websites regularly offers software packs including free web based games, tools, media player, and program updates. On some occasions, these sorts of software bundles consolidates suspicious applications or adware. This is the best way for The MaskSearch creators to deploy their obtrusive program. Common web users generally download and install freeware while disregarding some fundamentals of safety procedures. Without cautiously checking the freeware, the associated adware easily sneaks into computers and will begin to attack browser programs.
When The MaskSearch loaded on the browser, it will track user’s data and alter browser’s security settings. At that point when the modifications are made, web user’s may not effectively invert the progressions except if The MaskSearch is disposed of absolutely from the infected internet software. The presence of The MaskSearch on the computer will cause the showcase of obtrusive pop-up ads on the browser that greatly distracts web viewing experience of internet users. Irritating ads of various types come out on any area of the web page. Such ads potentially promotes frauds or phony software updates, or it can consequently introduce any sort of malware.
The MaskSearch actually controls web browser, which prompts misconduct and danger for online users. Its capacity to track significant details can put the well-being of computer and security of online users in danger. Getting rid of The MaskSearch is recommended to clean the browser and eliminate Themasksearch.com from homepage.
The MaskSearch 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 The MaskSearch.
Remove The MaskSearch Extension from Google Chrome
1. Open Google Chrome browser.
2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.
3. Find The MaskSearch or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.
Uninstall The MaskSearch 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 The MaskSearch and remove it from the browser.
Remove The MaskSearch 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 The MaskSearch from Toolbars and Extension and Search Providers section.
4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.
If The MaskSearch 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 The MaskSearch 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 The MaskSearch 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 The MaskSearch.
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 The MaskSearch.
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 The MaskSearch.
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 The MaskSearch.
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 The MaskSearch and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.
Option: Alternative Method to Clean Up Internet Browser from The MaskSearch
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 The MaskSearch 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 The MaskSearch
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 The MaskSearch, 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 The MaskSearch 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. The MaskSearch should be gone by now. Click Finish to close the current window and open a fresh window of Mozilla Firefox.