Remove Minimalist Search Hijacker

Another suspicious homepage that promotes an unwanted search tool is called Minimalist Search. It is unsafe to utilize this search engine due to certain reports that it redirects searches to malicious websites that cause further adware infections. Moreover, the Minimalist Search installation package is riddled with a number of malicious programs. Therefore, it is highly suggested to avoid installing freeware and shareware that promote Minimalist Search on the installation screen.

The main source of adware

Freeware, or free software, often serves as the primary carrier of Minimalist Search due to several factors. Freeware is widely distributed and easily accessible to users, making it a convenient avenue for attackers to bundle browser hijacking software with legitimate applications. Many web users download freeware without thoroughly reviewing the installation process or understanding the potential risks, allowing browser hijackers to infiltrate their systems unnoticed.

Screenshot of Minimalist Search

Moreover, freeware developers may monetize their software through partnerships or advertising networks, which can incentivize them to include browser hijackers as a means of generating additional revenue. These partnerships may involve bundling agreements where the freeware developer receives compensation for including third-party software, including Minimalist Search, within their installation packages. Additionally, some freeware distribution platforms may have lax security measures or inadequate screening processes, making it easier for malicious actors to distribute Minimalist Search alongside legitimate software without detection.

Freeware often targets a wide user base, including individuals who may not have the technical knowledge or awareness to recognize and avoid browser hijackers during the installation process. This lack of awareness, coupled with the allure of free software, increases the likelihood of users inadvertently installing Minimalist Search on their systems

How do I avoid Minimalist Search?

For user’s safety and protection against malware, security experts suggest avoiding any programs from questionable websites. If possible, download the needed application only from legitimate and trusted sources. Official websites are the most reliable hosts for obtaining desirable software. On the other hand, if the source is dubious, computer users may accidentally download similar browser threats like Browser-Surf, Custom Search Google, Worldwide Clock Extension, and so on.

Malicious freeware and third-party applications are the most common channels currently utilized by adware makers to spread their products. This scheme is commonly called software bundles. Though not all software bundles have malicious code in them,. Minimalist Search and similar homepage hijackers are normally packed with suspicious free games, tools, utilities, media, players, and other freeware that are promoted using intrusive pop-up advertisements and browser redirects.

Minimalist Search Removal Procedure

Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of unwanted programs from compromised Windows computers. Aside from removing the malicious browser extension, this guide is also helpful in deleting browser hijackers and pop-ups. In order to totally eliminate the threat, it is vital to follow the process exactly.

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 Minimalist Search 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.

CC for Windows Installation

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 Minimalist Search, click on the Start Scan button. Wait for this scan to finish.

CC for Windows Start Scan

7. At the end of the scan process, click on Remove all threats to delete Minimalist Search 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 Minimalist Search Browser Extension

Most adware and unwanted programs use an application called a "browser extension" to be able to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend checking and removing the extension that is closely related to Minimalist Search. If it is not present, look for and delete any suspicious browser extension.

Remove the Minimalist Search Extension from Google Chrome

1. Open your Google Chrome browser.

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

Chrome URL

3. Find Minimalist Search or any relevant entry and remove it from the Google Chrome browser.

Uninstall the Minimalist Search Extension from Mozilla Firefox

1. Open the Mozilla Firefox browser.

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

Firefox URL

3. Choose Extensions from the sidebar menu.

4. Look for an object that pertains to Minimalist Search and remove it from the browser.

After deleting the malicious browser extension, it is expected that pop-ups and other troubles will be gone from the internet browser.

Remove Minimalist Search from Microsoft Windows and Edge Browser

1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key + R and then, type the appwiz.cpl command.

2. The Program and Features window will open. Arrange the list in a chronological manner, with recently installed applications on top. To do this, click on the 'Installed On' column.

Add-Remove Malware

3. Select Minimalist Search or a recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from the Windows system.

If Minimalist Search is still present on the browser and there are still homepage and pop-ups, another option is to remove the browser hijacker from the browser settings.

4. Open the Microsoft Edge program.

5. Input edge://extensions/ in the URL bar and press Enter on the keyboard.

6. Look for and Remove or Disable entries for Minimalist Search from the Installed Extensions area. Additionally, delete the same object from the Search Providers section by executing the Hijacker Removal Procedure for Edge.

7. Close the window and restart Microsoft Edge.

Step 2 : Scan the computer with Sophos Antivirus

To remove Minimalist Search automatically, scanning the computer with this powerful anti-virus tool is recommended. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware, it is also effective in discovering browser hijacker like Minimalist Search that slows down online browsing activities.

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.

Screenshot of Sophos EULA Page

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 Minimalist Search.

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 Minimalist Search and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.

Screenshot of Sophos Virus Scan

The above procedures should have totally eliminated the Minimalist Search 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 Minimalist 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 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 Minimalist 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.

Image of AdwCleaner Dashboard

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

Check if your internet browser application is no longer being bothered by Minimalist Search. If the browser hijacker 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 Minimalist Search. The procedure below discusses on resetting various browsers to their default state.

Restore Google Chrome to Default Settings

Resetting Google Chrome to its default settings is helpful in deleting hard-to-remove extensions, such as Minimalist Search. This method is highly advisable to perform if you have difficulty removing unwanted extensions.

1. Open the Google Chrome internet browser.
2. On the address bar, type chrome://settings/reset and press the Enter key.
3. Click on Reset Settings on the sidebar and choose Restore settings to their original defaults.
4. On the confirmation window, click the Reset settings button to clear all entries for Minimalist Search.
5. Close the existing tab and restart Google Chrome. That should have removed the Minimalist Search extension and associated objects.

Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default

This section describes how to remove unwanted extensions from Firefox that may be related to Minimalist Search. 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 a specific extension, please see the manual removal of add-ons from Firefox.

1. Input the string about:support on the Firefox web address and press Enter on the keyboard.
2. You will now see the Troubleshooting Information page of Mozilla Firefox.
3. You will notice a section in the upper-right corner of the screen stating, Give Firefox a tune-up. Click the Refresh Firefox button.
4. If a 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. Minimalist Search should be gone by now. Click Finish to open a fresh version of Firefox.

Restore Microsoft Edge to Default Settings

1. Open the Microsoft Edge browser.
2. On the address bar, please input edge://settings/reset and press Enter on the keyboard.
3. Once you are on the Reset Settings page, click on Restore settings to their default values.
4. A confirmation window will appear; click on the Reset button to continue.

Your data, like favorites, bookmarks, and history, will remain in the browser. However, this process will delete add-ons by Minimalist Search and other unknown objects.

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