Remove Comet Search

Comet Search is a suspicious browser extension that is presently classified as browser hijacker. One objective of this threat is to promote the search engine of Cometsearch.info, which is not performing well as compare to web user’s preferred provider. Obviously, the hijacking occurs to force online users into utilizing the unwanted search tool instead of the legit and functional search engine like Google search.

How Comet Search enters the computer?

The promotion of the unwanted search engine is not via average marketing scheme. Comet Search needs to break into the computer and sneaks its way inside the target internet program. Because of this unusual entry tactics, computer security experts categorized Comet Search as potentially unwanted program (PUP). Developers behind this browser extension are capitalizing on various ways to penetrate the computer behind user’s knowledge. Here are some of the methods that attackers are using to force an entry.

Malicious Software Installer – Known as software bundling technique, adware developers are embedding Comet Search to a number of freeware or shareware and uploads the file on different online servers. Web users may be attracted by the dubious installer package because they are normally offered as free games, creativity apps, file converter, media player, internet speed booster, and similar appealing cost-less applications.

Intrusive Advertisements – When visiting websites that are not very well commended like Allfreshposts.com or Etailbree.pro, it may pop-up an ads promoting Comet Search as valuable extension, which greatly improves overall browsing and searching experience of users. It often displays catchy slogans to persuade visitors to download and install Comet Search on their internet program.

Fake Software Update – Again, paying a visit to insecure website can lead to Comet Search browser hijacker infection. The site may pop-up an advertisement that was designed to mimic system warning alerts prompting web user to download an update to identified obsolete software. Instead of an update, the malicious pop-up page will install Comet Search on the computer.

What happens next…

After the complete installation of Comet Search, there will be abrupt changes on internet software and this can happen even without computer user’s approval. Homepage and search engine will have a new URL address Cometsearch.info. This also serves as the search provider. Furthermore, it prevents user from restoring the previous configuration by disabling access to preferences and states that it is “Managed by your organization“.

Aside from hijacking various sections of the browser program, Comet Search begins to kick off various ad displays like pop-ups, redirects, and banners. Keep in mind that the ad inventory of Comet Search are coming from an underground ad network, therefore, it may be not user-friendly.

What to do with Comet Search?

After knowing that Comet Search is a computer threat that possesses various risks, it is not advisable to let it sit on the browser even for a while. Performing the removal of this browser hijacker should be the priority of computer users. To provide support, we made a simple guide on this page together with anti-malware and anti-virus scanners that are proven effective in the removal of adware like Comet Search.

Comet 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 Windows computer. Aside from removing the malicious browser extension, this guide is also helpful in deleting Cometsearch.info 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 computer with Anti-malware Program

To remove Comet Search automatically, scanning the computer with this powerful anti-malware tool is recommended. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware, it is also effective in discovering browser hijacker like Comet Search that assigns Cometsearch.info as the homepage URL.

1. Download the free anti-malware scanner called MalwareBytes Anti-Malware.

2. After downloading, install the program. It may run automatically or you have to double-click on the downloaded file MBSetup.exe.

3. Proceed with the installation using only the default setup. If you need the complete setup procedure, it is available on the download page.

4. After the installation process, click Get Started to run the program.

5. Continue with the prompts until the main program opens.

6. On Malwarebytes Anti-malware console, click on Scan to run the most comprehensive detection method and find any hidden items linked to Comet Search.

7. Wait for the anti-malware to finish scanning the computer.

MBAM Scan

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

The chances of stopping Cometsearch.info pop-ups or redirects is also possible after the threat removal. If it still remains, please follow the Cometsearch.info pop-up removal guide.

The above procedures should have totally eliminated the Comet Search browser hijacker. However, if you found that there are still remnants of the threat and Cometsearch.info still exists on internet application, please proceed to manual removal of associated objects as outlined below.

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 Comet Search.

Remove Comet 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 Comet Search or relevant entry like Cometsearch.info and remove it from Google Chrome browser.

Comet Search Chrome Extension

Uninstall Comet 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 Comet Search and remove it from the browser.

After deleting the malicious browser extension, it is expected that Cometsearch.info is also gone from the homepage.

Remove Comet 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 Comet Search from Toolbars and Extension. Additionally, delete Cometsearch.info from Search Providers section.

4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.

If Comet Search is still present on the IE browser and there are still homepage and pop-ups originating from Cometsearch.info, 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 Comet Search or recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from Windows system.

Step 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 Comet 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 Cometsearch.info 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 Comet 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 Comet Search. It will also check for suspicious entries on browser settings that is associated with Cometsearch.info.

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 Comet Search 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 Cometsearch.info 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 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 extension like Comet Search that is responsible for displaying Cometsearch.info homepage and pop-ups. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.

1. Download the tool from the following page:

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 its latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing Comet Search.

Combo Cleaner Scanner

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. The following guides are also vital in deleting Cometsearch.info from the browser configuration.

Step 1 : Delete Comet 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 Comet Search or any unwanted program.

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag Comet Search 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 Comet 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 Plug-ins lists when it opens a new window.

2. Once you have located Comet Search or any relevant item like Cometsearch.info, 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 Comet 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:

- Cometsearch.info, Storm Search

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 Cometsearch.info.

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing Comet 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 Comet Search browser extension or Cometsearch.info 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 Comet Search malware and Cometsearch.info 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.

Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, Comet 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 Comet 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 Cometsearch.info 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 Cometsearch.info. 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 Cometsearch.info 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 Comet Search Login Items

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

5. Click on Login Items tab.

6. Select Comet Search, , 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 Comet 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 , Comet 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 Comet Search.

How to remove Cometsearch.info Pop-ups (Notification)

Most of the time, browser hijackers are combined with intrusive pop-up ads originating from the source website Cometsearch.info. It is taking advantage of push notification feature of popular internet programs like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Edge. These pop-up ads from Cometsearch.info are extra ordinary as it exceeds the normal display volume and they are certainly annoying.

Normally, Cometsearch.info pop-ups will start to bombard internet browser screen with pop-ups if web user was deceived to click “Allow” button that triggers the said website to send push notification. To stop Cometsearch.info from showing the pop-ups, please execute the procedures below. Remember, these steps may only be successful after the removal of the main component or dubious browser extension.

Google Chrome

1. On Google Chrome browser, input the following in the address bar and press Enter:

chrome://settings/content/notifications

2. Navigate to the list under "Allow" section and look for Cometsearch.info.

3. Click the ellipses (3 dots) beside Cometsearch.info list to reveal the options.

Chrome Push Notification

4. Click on Block or Remove to stop Cometsearch.info from displaying pop-up ads on Google Chrome browser.

6. Please restart Google Chrome browser.

Mozilla Firefox

1. On Mozilla Firefox browser, type the following in the address bar and press Enter key:

about:preferences#privacy

2. Navigate below to Permission area and look for Notifications.

Firefox Notification Settings

3. Click the Settings button aligned with the Notifications.

4. Look for Cometsearch.info entry and change the Status to Block.

Block Notification from Firefox

5. Click on Save Changes and restart Mozilla Firefox and check if Cometsearch.info pop-up is gone.

Safari (Mac)

1. On top menu, click on Safari and then, select Preferences from the drop-down list.

2. Click on Websites tab to open its settings.

3. Select Notifications from the left sidebar.

4. On right panel, it will display a list of websites with "Allow" attribute.

5. Find and click on Cometsearch.info.

6. You may choose to Deny or Remove it from the notification list.

7. You may now restart Safari browser and see if Cometsearch.info pop-up is gone.

Microsoft Edge

1. Assuming that Edge browser is open, click on the ellipses (3 dots) on upper right corner to open the Settings. Alternatively, you can press Alt + X on the keyboard.

2. Select Settings from the drop-down list.

3. Click on Advanced.

4. Under Website Permissions area, click on Manage Permissions button.

Edge Push Notification

4. Find and select Cometsearch.info from the list. Click on X button to stop it from showing pop-up ads or notifications.

Edge Notification Removal

5. You may now restart Edge browser.

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