How to Remove QR Code Search

Browser hijacker like QR Code Search is classified as potentially unwanted program (PUP). Computer users never welcome its entry, and in fact, the installation is secretly imposed using third-party software. Makers of QR Code Search integrate the code into several freeware programs and make it download-ready on various online hosts. The method to persuade users to download the software bundle is commonly assisted by misleading ad campaigns, especially those that are pretending to be official software update pop-ups.

Common sources of QR Code Search infection

QR Code Search typically infects systems through deceptive methods and user actions. They often disguise themselves as legitimate software or come bundled with freeware or shareware downloads. Users may inadvertently install QR Code Search when they fail to carefully read installation prompts and uncheck additional software installations. Visiting malicious websites, clicking on misleading ads, or downloading files from untrustworthy sources can also expose users to browser hijacker infections. Once installed, these hijackers manipulate browser settings, redirecting users to unwanted websites and often collecting sensitive information without consent.

Screenshot of QR Code Search

The Qrcodeme.xyz hijacker

QR Code Search is also categorized as adware because it was observed that generating profit through advertisements is the main motive of this browser threat. After its access to the internet browser application, Qrcodeme.xyz will become the default on the homepage and new tab. The search engine is likewise set to this URL. Technically, search input from web users is diverted to QR Code Search instead of the preferred search engine. With the unreliable search tool, there is no way for web users to receive accurate and valuable search results. Instead of providing the search outcome that a web user deserves, QR Code Search comes up with a page that is filled with paid links and advertisements. The bad thing about this method is that most of the links mean to divert web users to sites that host malicious applications.

Gaining online profit via the display of aggressive ads is a core objective of QR Code Search. To increase its profit, the adware was designed to gather information from the browser, like search keywords, favorite web sites, IP addresses, and user details. Attackers misuse the collected data to display personalized advertisements that prove to be more attractive to web users. Always remember not to click on the ads being shown by QR Code Search; it could lead to additional malware infection or accidental download and installation of similar threats as Changify Search, YOUSearch, ASearching.com, and many more.

Get rid of QR Code Search

It is obvious at this point that QR Code Search is risky and endangers the online privacy and security of web users. Thus, the removal of this threat is vital to restoring the browser to its clean state. A complete guide to removing QR Code Search from the browser is outlined in the next part of this report.

QR Code Search Removal Procedure

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.

Step 1 : Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner

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 QR Code 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 QR Code 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 QR Code 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 : Uninstall QR Code Search from Windows

1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key + R. Type the appwiz.cpl command and click OK.

Screenshot of Run 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.

Screenshot of Program and Featires

3. Select QR Code Search or a recently installed suspicious entry from the list.

4. Click on Uninstall to remove it from the Windows system.

Step 3 : Delete QR Code 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 QR Code Search. If it is not present, look for and delete any suspicious browser extension.

Google Chrome

Remove QR Code Search extension from Google Chrome

1. Open the Google Chrome browser.

2. Input the strings below in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard:

chrome://extensions

Screenshot of Chrome Extensions in PC

3. Look for QR Code Search or a relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

Microsoft Edge

Remove QR Code Search from Microsoft Windows and Edge Browser

1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key + R. Type the appwiz.cpl command and click OK.

Screenshot of Run 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.

Screenshot of Program and Featires

3. Select QR Code Search or a recently installed suspicious entry from the list.

4. Click on Uninstall to remove it from the Windows system.

If QR Code Search is still present on the browser and unwanted homepage and pop-ups persist, another option is to remove the hijacker from the browser settings.

5. Open the Microsoft Edge program.

6. Input the following string in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard:

edge://extensions/

Screenshot of MS Edge Address Bar

7. Look for and Remove or Disable entries for QR Code Search from the Installed Extensions area.

Screenshot of Edge Extension Removal

8. You may now close the window and restart the Microsoft Edge browser.

Mozilla Firefox

Uninstall the QR Code Search extension from Mozilla Firefox

1. Open the Mozilla Firefox browser.

2. Type or copy and paste the strings below in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard:

about:addons

Screenshot of Firefox Extension

3. Click on Extensions from the sidebar menu.

4. Look for an entry that pertains to QR Code Search and Disable or Remove it from the browser using the options button.

Opera

Remove QR Code Search extension from the Opera Browser

1. Open the Opera internet browser program.

2. In the address bar, type or copy and paste the text below. Press Enter on your keyboard.

opera://extensions

Screenshot of Extensions in Opera Browser

3. Find the malicious extension and then, click on Remove button to delete it from the Opera browser.

Step 4 : 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 QR Code 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 QR Code 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 QR Code 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 QR Code Search as well as other detected threats.

Step 5 : Run the Final Scan Using Sophos Home Antivirus.

To remove QR Code Search automatically, scanning the computer with this powerful virus and malware removal tool is recommended. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware; it is also effective in discovering browser hijacker like QR Code Search.

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 QR Code 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 QR Code Search.

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

The above procedures should have totally eliminated QR Code Search browser hijacker. However, if you find that there are still remnants of the malware, please proceed to the next steps below.

Step 6 : Fixing the Homepage and Search Engine

Google Chrome

Remove QR Code Search from the homepage and search of 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 QR Code 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 QR Code Search are gone.

Microsoft Edge

Get rid of QR Code Search from the homepage of Edge Browser

1. Open the Microsoft Edge browser on your computer.

2. In the address bar, type or copy and paste the string below, then press Enter on the keyboard:

edge://settings/startHomeNTP

MS Edge Start Page Screenshot

3. Go to the "When Edge Starts" area. Under the "Open these pages" section, click More Actions (3-dot).

4. Select Edit to open the Edit Page window.

5. Input your desired address to replace the homepage settings of QR Code Search.

Screenshot of Home URL

6. Click the Save button. You may now restart Microsoft Edge browser.

Mozilla Firefox

Delete QR Code Search from the homepage and search of Firefox.

1. Open the Mozilla Firefox browser on your computer.

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

about:preferences

3. Click Home in the sidebar area.

Firefox Preferences Screenshot

4. Under "Homepage and new windows", you may choose Firefox Home (Default) or Custom URLs.

5. If you chose Custom URLs, input the desired URL to replace QR Code Search settings.

6. To configure the default search engine, select Search in the left sidebar to display the settings.

Screenshot of Firefox Default Search

7. Under the "Default Search Engine" list, please select a legitimate one (i.e., Google).

8. Scroll down to "Search Shortcuts" and select an unwanted search engine.

Remove Search from Firefox Image

9. Click on the Remove button to delete the unwanted search engine. You may now restart the Mozilla Firefox browser.

Opera

Remove QR Code Search from Opera's homepage and search.

1. In the address bar of Opera browser, type or copy and paste the text below. Press Enter on your keyboard.

opera://settings/searchEngines

2. Scroll down to the "Search Engine" section and find your desired name (i.e. Google Search)

Screenshot of Default Search

3. Click on the ellipses icon (3-dot) and select Make Default.

4. In the same section, click the ellipses icon of the unwanted search engine and select Delete to remove the malicious search engine from the Opera browser.

Screenshot of Removing Search Engine

5. Go back to the Basic section and scroll down to the "On Startup" section.

Screenshot of Opera Homepage Settings

6. Find the unwanted homepage address, click its ellipses icon (3-dot), and choose between Remove or Edit.

7. If you choose Edit, enter the desired web address as your homepage, replacing QR Code Search. Click Save.

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