Social Search is a browser extension that was made solely to conquer homepage, new tab, and default search engine. Official website promotes this extension as tool to access social media and news sites in fastest way right at the homepage and new tab page. However, Social Search must replace the search provider with FindGoFind before user can utilize the said feature.
By giving Social Search an authority to operate on the homepage, browsing habit of user may be severely affected. It is observed that this extension keeps on producing advertisements on user’s browser and redirects pages to assortment of promotions and advertisers websites. The aim of Social Search is simply to make money through online advertising scheme while exploiting user’s internet browsing activities.
Origin of Social Search varies from direct downloads to software packages. Most of the time, this extension arrives on the computer as part of software bundle. Thus, it can be loaded onto the computer without user’s consent. The sudden appearance of Social Search on the browser makes people think that there is virus infection. Technically, Social Search is not in the classification of computer virus. This program is under the group of potentially unwanted program (PUP) or Adware. It may not be as harmful as computer viruses or malware but overall security and privacy is still at risk during the presence of Social Search.
To stop Social Search from bothering the homepage and internet browser in general, relevant extension must be removed totally. For a quick procedure to eliminate this threat, please proceed to the removal steps below.
Social Search Removal Procedure
Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of the browser hijacker from compromised computer.
In order to totally eliminate the threat, it is vital to follow the process in exact manner.
Stage 1: Delete Browser Extension
Most homepage hijacker and redirects 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 Social Search.
Remove Social Search Extension from Google Chrome
1. Open Google Chrome browser.
2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on keyboard.
3. Find Social Search or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.
Uninstall Extension from 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 Social Search and remove it from the browser.
Delete Extension from Safari
1. Run Safari browser application.
2. Click on Safari Settings icon located on upper right corner of the window.
3. Choose Preferences from the drop-down list.
4. On Extension window, select Extensions tab.
5. Select Social Search or relevant entry and remove it from Safari.
Remove Add-ons from Internet Explorer
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 Social Search from Toolbars and Extension and Search Providers section.
4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.
If Social Search is still present on the IE browser, 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 Social Search or recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from Windows system.
Stage 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 Social 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.
1. Follow the link below to download the tool called AdwCleaner.
Click here to download AdwCleaner (this will open a new window)
2. When the download has completed, please close all running programs on the computer especially browsers affected by Social 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.
4. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated to Social Search.
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.
Stage 3: Remove Social Search Add-on and Cleanup the Browser
Preceding steps may have removed Social Search from the browser already. This next procedure is needed to double-check that browser is free from any adware remnants especially from Social Search. Avast Browser Cleanup is a free tool that restores the browser to its initial, clean state. It will get rid of annoying browser extensions, toolbars, and search hijackers.
1. Click the link below to download this free tool.
Avast Browser Cleanup Download Link (This will open in a new window)
2. To run the installer, please double-click the executable file avast-browser-cleanup-sfx.exe.
3. Run the tool to start analyzing the browsers. It will state whether browser is free from threats or cleanup is needed. Perform suggested cleanup if the tool found suspicious extensions, add-ons, or plug-ins.
4. If Avast Browser Cleanup verifies if you want to permanently delete suspicious entries, click Yes to proceed with the removal of Social Search.
Stage 4: Scan the Computer with Sophos Virus Removal Tool
Lastly, we will scan the computer with a multi-function security program. This will inspect the computer for possible presence of virus, malware, rootkit, adware as well as unwanted homepage like Social Search.
1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.
Sophos Virus Removal Tool Download Link (this will open a new window)
2. Once the download completes, browse the location of the file. Double-click to run the program and begin the install process. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes to proceed.
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.
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 Social 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 Social Search and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.
Option: Alternative Method to Clean Up Internet Browser from Social Search
Not all browser hijackers are the same. Some cannot be removed by deleting relevant extensions and codes. On this instances, resetting the browser to default configuration is the only best solution. If Social Search is still bothering you after completing all the steps above, please execute the procedures below to reset the settings of affected browser program.
Remove Social Search from Google Chrome
1. Open Google Chrome application.
2. Type this strings in the address box: chrome://settings/ and then, press Enter on keyboard.
3. Scroll down to expand Advanced settings area.
4. Scroll to the bottom of the page until you see Reset and Cleanup section.
5. Click on Restore settings to their original defaults. If it prompts for confirmation, please click Reset Settings button to proceed.
This function will reset Google Chrome’s home page, new tab page, search engine, and other areas affected by Social Search. Unwanted extensions will also be removed from the browser. This will not affect your bookmarks, history, and other saved data. You may also use Chrome Cleanup feature for advance scanning. See more details on this page.
Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default
If Mozilla Firefox is affected by Social Search and procedures above were not helpful, we suggest that you carry out these steps. This process can fix the issue by restoring Firefox browser to default factory state. Most browser data will be affected but not bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and internet cookies. Extensions and other installed plug-ins maybe deleted by this function. Therefore, if you wish to remove specific extension only, please see manual add-on removal from this link.
1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and type the following in the address bar: about:support
2. Browser will be directed to a page of Troubleshooting Information. You will notice a section on upper-right corner of the screen stating ‘Give Firefox a Tune Up‘. Click the Refresh Firefox button.
3. Confirmation window will pop-up, click Refresh Firefox to continue.
4. The reset process will automatically close the browser and proceed with the restoration. Next, it will display a list of restored data. Social Search should be gone by now. Click Finish to close the current window and open a fresh window of Mozilla Firefox.
Reset Safari Browser to Normal Settings
1. Open Safari browser.
2. Click on the Safari Settings icon located on upper right corner of the browser window.
3. Select Reset Safari from the drop-down list.
4. Pop-up window will appear. You may select all boxes for total reset or follow the options below if you only want to remove Social Search from Safari browser.
5. Please restart Safari browser for changes to take effect.
Restore Internet Explorer to Default Settings
1. Open Internet Explorer browser.
2. On top menu, click Tools, and then Internet Options. It will open a new window.
3. Select Advanced tab. See image below.
4. On Reset Internet Explorer Settings area, click the Reset button to start the restoration procedures.
This process will not affect browsing history, bookmarks, and favorites. Add-ons and other integrated codes will be deleted including those that are linked to Social Search. If you choose to perform the procedure manually, please view instructions here.