Remove VistaSearch Hijacker

VistaSearch is a kind of adware and is under the classification of browser hijacker. The appearance of VistaSearch on the computer could cause misbehavior on browser functions that will greatly affect its performance. VistaSearch modifies browser settings homepage, new tab page, and search engine without the authority of online users. It changes the default setting of browser into its own web URL at Portal.vista-search.com.

Signs of VistaSearch Infection

The presence of VistaSearch can cause intrusive advertisements and redirects to come out consistently while web users were browsing on the internet. VistaSearch generates these adverts as attacker’s means of generating online profit. Unfamiliar apps are possibly running in the background of the internet software. VistaSearch could cause computer performance issues and slowing the speed of web browsing. Furthermore, all searches will get redirected to Portal.vista-search.com that provides search result that are filled with advertisement links.

Installation of VistaSearch

Since VistaSearch is an adware, it can infiltrate into computers through software installers. Ignoring some procedures or not paying attention to details while downloading or installing an application can cause unwanted application to enter the computer. There are software package that hides potentially unwanted programs (PUP) or adware in the bundle. It is usually free of charge since there are malicious programs along with it. Developers mostly market their malicious applications through this method.

Portal.vista-search.com

Effects of VistaSearch

VistaSearch mainly targets web browsers. After alterations, the usual behavior of browser will turned otherwise. Annoying ads or pop-ups might display consistently while using the web. Search results can be inaccurate and unreliable. VistaSearch can trigger redirects on browser; these pop-ups might connect internet users with different undesirable sites containing unexpected contents. What more is, VistaSearch can track browsing activities and personal information of web users. Such confidential data can share with other parties such as cyber criminals to misuse it for generating profit. Uninstalling VistaSearch out of the computer is a good choice. Using a fully updated anti-malware is very helpful to avoid infections of unwanted applications or any other computer threats in the future.

VistaSearch Removal Procedure

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.

Stage 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 VistaSearch.

Remove VistaSearch 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 VistaSearch or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

Uninstall VistaSearch 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 VistaSearch and remove it from the browser.

Delete VistaSearch 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 VistaSearch or relevant entry and remove it from Safari.

6. Lastly, go to Safari Settings once again and select Downloads from the drop down list.

7. If Vistasearch.safariextz is present, click on Clear button to remove the unwanted extension.

Remove VistaSearch 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.

Internet Explorer Add-ons

3. Look for and Remove or Disable entries of VistaSearch from Toolbars and Extension and Search Providers section.

4. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.

If VistaSearch 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.

Add-Remove Adware

7. Select VistaSearch 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 VistaSearch 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 VistaSearch.

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 VistaSearch.

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: 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 VistaSearch.

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.

sophos_exe

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 VistaSearch.

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

sophos-startscan

Option: Alternative Method to Clean Up Internet Browser from VistaSearch

Not all adware and PUP’s 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 VistaSearch is still bothering you after completing all the steps above, please execute the procedures below to reset the settings of affected browser program.

Use Chrome Clean Up Tool to Delete VistaSearch

1. Open Google Chrome application.

2. Type this strings in the address box: chrome://settings/ and then, press Enter on keyboard.

3. Scroll down and expand Advanced settings area.

4. Scroll to the bottom of the page until you see Reset and Cleanup section.

5. Click on Clean Up Computer. On next page, please click FIND to proceed.

Clean Up Computer

This feature of Google Chrome aims to find harmful software and remove it instantly. If unable to delete VistaSearch, the other option is to Reset Google Chrome settings to its original defaults. Just go back to previous page (Clean Up Computer) and reset the settings. See more details on this page.

Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default

If Mozilla Firefox is affected by VistaSearch 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.

FF Reset

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. VistaSearch 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 VistaSearch from Safari browser.

5. Please restart Safari browser for changes to take effect.

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