Remove Advanced Web Search (Chrome Extension)

Advanced Web Search is a suspicious browser extension for Google Chrome browser. It can enter the computer uninvited using different bundling tactics where it is incorporated to different freeware, shareware, or endorsed applications. The moment that Advanced Web Search is loaded on the internet program, web users will start to encounter different misbehaviors including the homepage and search redirects. Moreover, deleting the so called AdvancedWebSearch extension would be difficult because it made Google Chrome to be in Managed by your organization status.

How Advanced Web Search enters Google Chrome?

As mentioned earlier, there are several ways for this malicious browser extension to discreetly penetrate the computer. As observed, it could enter the system as an embedded application to several downloadable software like the following:

Freeware and shareware that web users normally downloads from distrusted servers often cause adware infection including Advanced Web Search. The installation of this surplus software is run secretly during the setup process. Therefore, its existence in the browser program is unexpected by web users.

Promoted software from various online advertisements is also another channel that can secretly install Advanced Web Search on the browser. These questionable aggressively marketed software are frequently in the classification of utilities, media player, internet speed booster, creativity apps, or free games.

Fake software update claiming that obsolete program on the computer is causing issues. In reality, it is a pop-up advertisement that is in disguise as system alert in order to mislead web users. The pop-up asserts that web user must download the software update and replace the outdated one in the computer. Instead of the update, it will install Advanced Web Search on Google Chrome browser.

Screenshot of AdvancedWebSearch

Managed by Organization Status

Other users cannot remove AdvancedWebSearch extension from Google Chrome because “Your browser is Managed by your Organization” status is applied. Having said that, the options to Disable or Delete the unwanted extension is not available on the Google Chrome settings. In this case, a combination of thorough scanning and manual removal of Advanced Web Search is needed to fully restore the browser to its previous normal working condition. Please follow the guide below to eliminate this browser extension.

For Windows PC Users

Advanced Web 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 : Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner for Windows

Combo Cleaner is a trusted computer security and optimization tool equipped with a powerful virus and malware detection engine. This program can get rid of browser hijacker like Advanced Web 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.

4. At the end of the setup process, click Finish to run Combo Cleaner.

5. The tool will update the database file; please wait for this process to complete.

6. To begin checking for threats like Advanced Web Search, click on the Start Scan button. Wait for this scan to finish.

Screenshot of Combo Cleaner PC

7. At the end of the scan process, click on Remove all threats to delete Advanced Web Search, including all harmful objects from the computer.

To fully optimize the features of antivirus and privacy scanners, users may have to upgrade to the premium version.

Please continue with the succeeding removal procedures if you are comfortable manually getting rid of the browser hijacker and malicious items linked to it.

Step 2 : Get Rid of Advanced Web Search Extension from Google Chrome

The above procedures should have totally eliminated the browser hijacker. However, if you still find that there are still remnants of Advanced Web Search on internet application, please proceed to manual removal of associated objects as outlined below.

1. Open Google Chrome browser.

2. Type or copy and paste the following in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard.

chrome://extensions/

Screenshot of Chrome Extensions in PC

3. Find Advanced Web Search or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

If you cannot remove Advanced Web Search because "Your Browser is Managed by your Organization", do the following:

1. Activate the Developer mode on Extensions window by using the slider.

2. Then, copy or take note of the malicious extension's ID code.

Screenshot of Chrome Developer Mode in PC

3. Open Windows or File Explorer and locate the following folder:

C:\Users\(Your Username)\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions

4. After opening the Folder, find the item that matches the Extension ID and delete it.

5. Please restart your Google Chrome browser.

Aside from this straightforward workaround, we have a separate comprehensive guide to fix the Managed by Organization issue. You can also execute that guide if the steps on this page are not enough to delete Advanced Web Search.

Step 3 : Scan with AdwCleaner and Reset Chrome Policies

In addition to the procedure, we suggest scanning the computer with AdwCleaner tool. Possibly, there are some traces of Advanced Web Search on the browser that were 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.

2. When the download has completed, please close all running programs on the computer, especially browsers affected by Advanced Web Search.

3. Browse the location of the downloaded file and double-click on adwcleaner.exe to start running the tool.

4. If Windows displays a prompt saying, "Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?" click Yes to proceed.

5. On the AdwCleaner dashboard, click on Settings.

Screenshot of AdwCleaner Policies

6. While in the Settings window, please turn On the Reset Chrome Policies and Reset IE Policies.

Screenshot of AdwCleaner Scanner

7. Go back to the Dashboard and click the Scan Now button.

8. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated with Advanced Web Search.

9. Clean or Remove all suspicious and harmful items identified after the thorough scan.

10. AdwCleaner will then prompt an option to run another repair, which will reset Winsock and other settings. Please click the Run Basic Repair button.

Screenshot of Basic Repair

11. A message will appear stating that "All processes will be closed..." Please click Continue.

Image of Basic Repair Message

12. After the cleanup procedure, rebooting the computer is required to finalize the removal of Advanced Web Search as well as other detected threats.

Step 4 : Scan the computer with Sophos Home Antivirus

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

1. Please click on the link below to download the program.

2. After downloading, locate the file SophosInstall.exe in the Downloads folder.

3. Install by double-clicking on the file.

4. If it prompts "Do you want to allow this app to make changes on your device?" please click Yes.

5. Next, it will display the Terms and Conditions page. Click the Install button to begin.

Screenshot of Terms by Sophos Home

6. Run the installation with the default settings. Please note that an internet connection is required in order to download important updates.

7. After finishing the installation, you must login to the dashboard. If you already have a Sophos account, please login. Otherwise, please enter your details and click on the Create Account button.

8. Once you are in the Sophos Home console, click the Scan button to start checking the computer for Advanced Web Search components.

Screenshot of Sophos Home

9. Scanning may take a while; please wait for this process to finish.

10. After scanning the computer, Sophos Home will start cleaning or deleting files infected with Advanced Web Search.

11. You may now close Sophos Home. The computer is now free from Advanced Web Search, as well as associated malware and viruses.

For Mac OS Users

Procedures to Remove Advanced Web Search from Mac

This section contains comprehensive guide for Mac users. It will help you remove malicious browser hijacker from Google Chrome browser. Procedures on this page are written in a manner that can be easily understand and execute by Mac users.

Step 1 : 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 hijacker like Advanced Web Search.

1. Download the tool from the following page:

2. Double-click the downloaded file, combocleaner.dmg and proceed with the installation.

3. The installation window will open. Please double-click or drag the Combo Cleaner icon to the Applications folder.

Screenshot of Installer

4. Proceed with the installation. When it displays the Software License Agreement, please click Continue, and then click on Agree in the confirmation window. Continue with the default installation.

5. The program should run automatically after installation. If not, open your Launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon.

6. Wait until antivirus downloads its latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing Advanced Web Search and other issues on the Mac computer.

Screenshot of Dashboard

7. After the virus and disk scan processes, the tool will display the results. Click on Remove Selected to start cleaning the computer.

To fully optimize the features of antivirus and privacy scanners, users may have to upgrade to the premium version.

Please continue with the succeeding removal procedures if you are comfortable manually getting rid of the browser hijacker and malicious items linked to it.

Step 2 : Delete Suspicious Google Chrome Extension on Mac

Most adware and unwanted programs use a program called a browser extension to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend checking and removing the extension that is closely related to Advanced Web Search.

1. Open the Google Chrome browser.

2. Type or copy and paste the following in the address bar. Next, press Enter on the keyboard:

chrome://extensions

Screenshot of Chrome Address Bar

3. Find Advanced Web Search or a relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

If unable to remove Advanced Web Search because browser is "Managed by your Organization", follow these steps:

1. Activate the Developer mode on Extensions window by using the slider.

2. Then, copy or take note of the browser Extension ID.

Screenshot of Malware Extension

3. Open Finder on your Mac and on top menu, click Go > Go to Folder and go the following directory:

~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Extensions

Screenshot of Finder

4. Once you opened the directory, find the folder that matches the Extension ID and delete it.

5. Please restart your Google Chrome browser.

Aside from this straightforward workaround, we have a separate comprehensive guide to fix the Managed by Organization issue. You can also execute that guide if the steps on this page are not enough to delete Advanced Web Search.

Step 3 : Delete Advanced Web Search 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 Advanced Web Search or any unwanted program.

Screenshot of Deleting App

4. Drag Advanced Web Search to Trash Bin to delete the application from Mac.

5. Next, go to the Dock, right-click on the Trash icon, and click on Empty Trash.

Step 4 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed Advanced Web Search

1. Go to your Finder. From the menu bar, please select Go > Go to Folder.

2. Input the following string and press Enter on the keyboard.

~/Library/LaunchAgents

Screenshot of Go To Folder

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

  • com.Advanced Web Search.plist
  • unknown.service.plist
  • unknown.system.plist
  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.update.plist

4. The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. Attackers may use the following file names:

- AdvancedWebSearch, (random characters).plist

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing Advanced Web Search to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the latest ones may also help you identify recently installed unfamiliar files.

5. Please click on "Show items as..."

Screenshot of LaunhAgents Folder

6. To arrange the items in chronological order, click Date Modified.

7. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.

Important: Take note of all the suspicious files, as you may also delete the same item in another folder as we go on.

8. Please restart the Mac computer.

9. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and paste the following string to easily locate the folder:

~/Library/Application Support

Screenshot of Go to Folder

10. Select any suspicious items that you have noted previously. Drag them to the Trash.

11. Repeat the process in the following non-hidden folders (without ~):

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

12. Lastly, go to your Finder > Go and open the Applications folder. Look for subfolders with the following names and drag them to Trash.

- AdvancedWebSearch, (random characters)

Optional : For locked files that cannot be removed, do the following:

1. Go to Launchpad > Other folder, open the Activity Monitor.

2. Select the process you want to quit.

3. In the upper part of the window, click the Stop button.

Screenshot of Force Quit

4. Click on Force Quit button.

5. You may now delete or remove the locked file that belongs to Advanced Web Search homepage hijacker.

Step 5 : Double-check with Malwarebytes for Mac

Use Malwarebytes for Mac to do another scan to make sure the machine is already clear of viruses, malware, and adware. This efficient anti-malware application allows you to detect things that other security software was unable to recognize.

1. Download Malwarebytes for Mac from the link below.

2. Locate the downloaded Malwarebytes-Mac.pkg and install it with the default settings.

3. Run Malwarebytes for Mac. It will check for updates and download the most recent version if one is available. This is necessary for finding recent malware threats, including Advanced Web Search.

4. Once you are on the Malwarebytes dashboard, please click on the Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.

Screenshot of Malwarebytes Dashboard

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

If Needed: Fix the Homepage and Search of Google Chrome

1. Open the Google Chrome browser. Type or copy and paste the following on the address bar. Then, press Enter on the keyboard:

chrome://settings

Screenshot of Chrome Settings Page

2. Go to the left sidebar and click On Startup.

3. Select "Open a specific page or set of pages" in the right panel.

Chrome On Startup Screenshot

4. Locate the unwanted Homepage URL, click on More Actions icon (3-dot), and select Remove or Edit.

5. If you choose Edit, enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing Advanced Web Search. Click Save.

6. To set the default search engine, go to the left sidebar, and this time, select Search Engine.

Screenshot of Search Settings

7. Click on the Manage search engines and site search button in the right panel.

8. Find the unwanted Search Engine in the list. Click on More Actions icon, and then click Delete.

9. Go back to the left side bar and click Search Engine.

Default Search Engine Screenshot

10. In the right panel, choose a valid entry from the "Search engine used in the address bar."

You can now restart the Google Chrome browser to see if the unwanted homepage and search engine related to Advanced Web Search are gone.

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