Receiving an offer to install IncognitoSearchBox browser extension should be declined right away. It is seen as one of the many adware that is currently being distributed online along with relevant apps such as SportSearchMaster, Fortify Browser Protection, and so on. These suspicious browser extensions are targeting popular internet programs including Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. IncognitoSearchBox works compatibly to both PC and Mac operating system and therefore there is a wider target for this kind of unnecessary add-on.
This threat was labeled potentially unwanted program (PUP) by security experts mainly because of the tricky techniques it uses to penetrate the computer. For the most part of its spread tactics, malicious freeware bundles are seen as the successful method to get it onboard without any user intervention. IncognitoSearchBox installs alongside the freeware but the setup proceedings of this adware is completely hidden from user’s view. By the time that it exposes, it will be too late for user to thwart the infringement because IncognitoSearchBox is already setup on the browser as default homepage and search tool using the URL Any-templates.com.
By designating Any-templates.com as the default homepage and search engine, the said URL administers every online query of web users. All inputs submitted to this search box are passing-through its own server and therefore, makers of IncognitoSearchBox freely extract information including search keywords and origin or location of web user. To some, this is just a petty redirect issues on their browser program, but for security experts, victims of this data tracking adware may soon face much greater issues especially privacy theft.
If collected data are not sold to hackers or underground networks of digital hoodlums, makers of IncognitoSearchBox may misuse this information from the browser to elevate their revenue. By continuing to analyze web user’s data, everything about likes and choices of online users are largely exposes to attackers. Eventually, different kinds of pop-up advertisements start to show up with contents that are personalized to meet victim’s preferences. Unfortunately, some of the ads are deceiving and aims on diverting the browser page to a malicious landing page that sells bogus security applications or counterfeit system optimizer.
Web users actually gain no benefit for installing IncognitoSearchBox. As a matter of fact, all it can bring are annoyances and disruption to ones online browser activity. Therefore, removal of this adware is recommended.
How to prevent IncognitoSearchBox infection?
Obviously, having legitimate and efficient security software like anti-virus that has real-time protection is the best defense against this kind of malware attack. The security layers that AV programs can offer are something that is worth paying for and actually it is an investment not only for the protection of computer, but for important files and online privacy as well.
Though, computer users should not rely solely on these automatic defenses. Still, being vigilant while online is always the first line of defense against virus or malware attack. Remember, there are quite an ounces of threats that can conceal themselves to evade security applications.
IncognitoSearchBox Removal Procedure for PC
Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of the potentially unwanted program (PUP) from compromised Windows computer. Aside from removing the malicious browser extension, this guide is also helpful in deleting internet hijacker and pop-ups.
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 browser hijacker like IncognitoSearchBox 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 IncognitoSearchBox, 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 IncognitoSearchBox hijacker including all malicious objects from the computer.
Free features of Combo Cleaner for Windows includes 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 : Delete IncognitoSearchBox 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 IncognitoSearchBox.
Remove IncognitoSearchBox Extension from Google Chrome
1. Open Google Chrome browser.
2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.
3. Find IncognitoSearchBox or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome browser.
Uninstall IncognitoSearchBox 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 IncognitoSearchBox and remove it from the browser.
After deleting the malicious browser extension, it is expected that the hijacker is also gone from the homepage.
Remove IncognitoSearchBox 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 IncognitoSearchBox from Toolbars and Extension. Additionally, delete unwanted URL from Search Providers section.
4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.
If IncognitoSearchBox is still present on the IE browser and there are still hijacker, redirects, and pop-ups, 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 IncognitoSearchBox or recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from Windows system.
Step 2 : Scan the computer with Sophos Antivirus
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 malicious program like IncognitoSearchBox.
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 IncognitoSearchBox and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.
The above procedures should have totally eliminated the IncognitoSearchBox browser hijacker. However, if you found that there are still remnants of the threat, please proceed to manual removal of associated objects as outlined below.
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 IncognitoSearchBox 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 hijacking, redirects, and 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 IncognitoSearchBox.
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 IncognitoSearchBox. It will also check for suspicious entries on browser settings that is associated with the hijacker.
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.
In addition to the procedures above, resetting the affected browser program and clearing the cache are extra methods to completely eliminate IncognitoSearchBox. You can execute the guide on resetting internet browser below.
Procedures to Remove IncognitoSearchBox from Mac
This section contains comprehensive guide for Mac users. It will help you remove the subject malicious browser extension from internet software. In the same manner, the procedure is helpful in stopping redirects, pop-ups, and browser hijacking activities.
Procedures on this page are written in a manner that can be easily understand and execute by Mac users.
Quick Fix - Scan the Mac Computer 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 extension like IncognitoSearchBox that is responsible for displaying unknown homepage and pop-ups.
To quickly remove IncognitoSearchBox without going through the complicated process, please click on the button to download the removal tool. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.
Proceed with the rest of the removal steps if you are comfortable in manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat. The following guides are also vital in deleting malicious items from the browser configuration.
Step 1 : Delete IncognitoSearchBox 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 IncognitoSearchBox or any unwanted program.
4. Drag IncognitoSearchBox to Trash Bin to delete the application from Mac.
5. Right-click on Trash icon and click on Empty Trash.
Step 2 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to IncognitoSearchBox
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 Plug-ins lists when it opens a new window.
2. Once you have located IncognitoSearchBox or any relevant item, 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 IncognitoSearchBox
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:
- Incognito Search Box
On some occassions, the malware is represented by a domain name that is closely related to the subject. Like in this case, it can be IncognitoSearchBox with associated .com, .net, .org, and so on .
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing IncognitoSearchBox 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 and open Activity Monitor (Under Utilities or Other Folder).
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 IncognitoSearchBox browser extension or homepage hijacker.
Step 4 : Double-check with MBAM Tool for Mac
1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from the link below.
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 the IncognitoSearchBox malware and browser hijacker and pop-up provider.
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, IncognitoSearchBox is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click Remove button to clean the computer.
Step 5 : Delete IncognitoSearchBox Login Items
Some browser hijacker may also install login item into compromised account under System Preferences. This object automatically runs IncognitoSearchBox 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 IncognitoSearchBox.
5. Click on Login Items tab.
6. Select IncognitoSearchBox, , 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 IncognitoSearchBox. 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 , IncognitoSearchBox 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 IncognitoSearchBox.
There's More... Reset Internet Browser Apps (PC and Mac)
Cleaning your internet browser from clutter and unwanted add-on/extension is a must when dealing with IncognitoSearchBox. 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 IncognitoSearchBox. 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 IncognitoSearchBox.
5. Close the existing tab and restart Google Chrome. That should have removed IncognitoSearchBox extension and associated objects.
Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default
This section describes how to remove unwanted extension from Firefox that may be related to IncognitoSearchBox. 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. IncognitoSearchBox 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 IncognitoSearchBox and other unknown objects. If you prefer to carry out the procedure manually, please add-on removal from Internet Explorer.
Clear the Safari Internet Browser (Mac)
1. Open your Safari browser application.
2. In the Safari menu, click on Preferences from the drop-down list.
3. On Preferences window, please select the Privacy tab.
4. Click on Manage Website Data button.
5. Select unwanted entry like IncognitoSearchBox and click the Remove button. If you choose to Remove All, you may be logout from most visited websites and online services. Therefore, we advise to remove suspicious item one at a time to prevent changing behavior towards your favorite websites.
6. If it prompts, please confirm your actions.
7. Next, we will need to clear the Cache. Back at the Safari Preferences window, choose Advanced tab.
8. Navigate to the bottom and activate Show Develop menu in menu bar.
9. Go to Safari menu, choose on Develop from the drop down list and click on on Empty Caches.
10. Next thing to do is to restore the Homepage to your preference and remove the one from IncognitoSearchBox.
11. Back at the Safari Preferences window, click on General tab.
12. Under Homepage section, type your desired URL to be the default start-up page.
13. Lastly, make sure to have the right Search Engine.
14. Go back to Safari Preferences window and click on Search tab.
15. Select your desired Search tool under the Search engine section.
16. You may not restart Safari browser.