How to remove Yahoo Search Redirect Virus

By | Posted on January 26, 2020 | Updated on May 4, 2020

Yahoo Search redirect virus” is a term that web users commonly think of if there is a sudden changes on their browser’s homepage in which the said search engine becomes the default setting. The same thing is also regard by web users after seeing that homepage is taken over by Search.yahoo.com or search inquiries are redirected to this service..  This is an incorrect designation or merely a false allegation. Claiming that overriding default homepage and new tab preferences is Yahoo Search redirect virus defames the company’s brand and integrity.

Unexpectedly seeing Yahoo Search redirect on browser’s homepage and new tab window does not  mean that computer is already infected with a virus. In fact, even there is an unwanted modification on preferences, it is not right to conclude that the cause is Yahoo Search redirect virus or some sort of malware infection. The truth is, this alteration is due to installation of potentially unwanted program (PUP) or Adware that are not critically hazardous as computer viruses. The category covers freeware and third party apps that normally gets installed on the computer in a discrete manner or without users full knowledge.

Yahoo Search

Is it Really a Yahoo Search Redirect Virus?

First and foremost, we must emphasize that Yahoo is a prominent company and Yahoo Search Search is one of the most popular search engine to date, second to Google Search. For this reason, most freeware makers as well as PUP and Adware developers are utilizing the Yahoo Custom Search whenever they create apps that mean to override homepage on internet browser programs. Obviously, the company itself is unaware that cyber crooks are exploiting the custom search for their own fraudulent deeds. Hence, rest assures that the Yahoo will carry out immediate actions to reprimand bad software developers and might as well block them from using the custom search.

Things that will make you unexpectedly see Yahoo Search redirect on the browser includes:

  • Installation of malicious browser extension to Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari
  • Installation of software bundles that causes unwanted browser changes
  • Clicking on pop-up links that automatically downloads and execute scripts
  • Misleading ads that provides “Allow” or similar buttons, which maliciously changes browser settings

From the given sources above, it is clear that most browser modifications, which causes Yahoo Search redirect is without Yahoo’s influence. Individual applet and software developers are the ones who decide to deliberately redirect the browser to Yahoo Search after program installation. As a matter of fact, other adware creators prefer to redirect the internet software to Google or Bing search. It is just a matter of how they design the app and what it can execute once installed on the browser.

Main reason for getting redirected to Yahoo Search is mainly because these adware creators needs to generate online revenue through search results. Moreover, one thing why adware makers are fond of redirecting homepage and new tabs to Yahoo Search is because they find it easier to modify this custom search to reflect their own advertising scheme.

Therefore, it is clear that it is adware makers prerogative why we are seeing Yahoo Search redirect on homepage and new tab of Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Hence, the integration process calls for user’s intervention whether through software installation, browser extension, or scripts.

So the straightforward response if the overtaking of homepage is really a Yahoo Search redirect virus would be “No”. It is unfair to blame the legitimate Yahoo Search for any unnecessary changes on the browser because it is the carelessness of web users themselves. If only they are cautious in acquiring free programs and is very vigilant to software they are installing, there would be no issue about Yahoo Search redirect virus.

Avoiding the so called Yahoo Search Redirect Virus

We clearly stated that the cause of redirecting homepage to Yahoo Search is mainly due to unsolicited browser changes carried out by the installation of PUP’s or Adware. So, to prevent homepage or new tab from being redirected to Yahoo Search, please follow these tips:

  • Avoid downloading programs from suspicious websites.
  • Do not click the links of intrusive pop-up ads and redirects.
  • Run software installation in ‘Custom’ mode to see if there are surplus apps to exclude.
  • Never install pirated or cracked programs.
  • Keep away from Torrent sites and distrusted file-sharing networks.
  • And lastly, install a legitimate security applications that provides real-time protection.

Yahoo Search 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: 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 Yahoo Search.

Remove Yahoo Search Extension from Google Chrome

1. Open Google Chrome browser.

2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.

Chrome Extensions

3. Find Yahoo Search, suspicious name,  or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

Uninstall Yahoo Search Extension from Firefox

1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.

2. Type about:addons in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.

Firefox Extensions

3. Choose Extensions on sidebar menu.

4. Look for object that is pertaining to Yahoo Search or suspicious name, and remove it from the browser.

Delete Yahoo Search 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 Yahoo Search 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 (Unknown).safariextz is present, click on Clear button to remove the unwanted extension.

Remove Yahoo Search 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.

Internet Explorer Add-ons

3. Look for and Remove or Disable entries of Yahoo Search from Toolbars and Extension and Search Providers section.

4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.

If Yahoo 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.

Add-Remove Adware

7. Select Yahoo Search, suspicious name, or recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from Windows system.

Step 2: Scan the computer with Anti-malware Program

This anti-malware tool proved to be helpful in finding and deleting browser threat as the Yahoo Search redirect. It scans and removes threats using the most comprehensive detection method.

1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the link below. Save the file on your hard drive.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (this will open a new window)

2. Once the download completes, double-click on the file MBSetup.exe to run the program.

3. Select desired option whether you are installing on Personal Computer or Work Computer.

MBAM Install Option

4. On next window, click on Install button to load the basic requirements to run Malwarebytes Anti-malware.

MBAM Default Install

5. It it prompts for License Agreement, you must accept this and click the Next button.

6. Proceed with the succeeding prompts until you reach the window that says Installing…

MBAM Installing

7. Installation process will take less than a minute. The program should run automatically after the setup process.

8. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware interface appears, please select Scan from menu to begin the process. The program will check for any available update before proceeding. Do not skip this step. Virus scan may take a while, please wait for the process to finish.

MBAM Scanner Page

8. When scanning is done, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will display the list of identified threats. Remove all identified threats and restart the computer to finalized the scan process.

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 Yahoo 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.
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 Yahoo 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.

AdwCleaner

4. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated to Yahoo 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.

Procedures to Remove Yahoo Search from Mac

This section contains comprehensive guide to 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 Yahoo Search. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.

1. Download the tool from the following page:

Click here to Download Combo Cleaner

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 Yahoo Search.

Start Combo Scan

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 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to Yahoo Search

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 Yahoo Search or Genieo, InstallMac, WebEx, click on Remove or Uninstall, to get rid of it.

3. Close the browser and proceed to the next steps.

Step 3 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed Yahoo Search

1. Select and copy the string below to your Clipboard by pressing Command + C on your keyboard.

~/Library/LaunchAgents

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.

Command + V

4. You will now see a folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:

  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.ltvbit.plist
  • unknown.update.plist
  • com.unknown

The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. It is normally an unfamiliar file name such as the following:

- Genieo, InstallMac, WebEx

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing Yahoo Search 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.

Option + Command + 4

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.

~/Library/Application Support

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 ~):

/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons
/Library/Application Support
/Library/Preferences

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.

Force Quit Locked Files

3. Click on Force Quit button.

4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to Yahoo Search homepage hijacker.

Step 4 : 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 Yahoo Search.

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.

Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, Yahoo Search is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click Remove button to clean the computer.

Step 5 : Remove Yahoo Search from Homepage and Search

Safari

- 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 Yahoo Search from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.

Google Chrome

- 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 Yahoo Search. 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.

Mozilla Firefox

- 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 Yahoo Search 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 6 : Delete Yahoo Search Login Items

Some browser hijacker may also install login item into compromised account under System Preferences. This object automatically runs Yahoo Search 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 Yahoo Search.

5. Click on Login Items tab.

6. Select Yahoo Search, Genieo, InstallMac, WebEx, or any suspicious entries from the list and click on the minus [-] button and confirm your actions. Please see image below for reference.

Login Items

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 Yahoo Search. 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 Genieo, InstallMac, WebEx, Yahoo Search or any relevant profile from the left pane. See image below.

Remove Profile

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 Yahoo Search.

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