It is an unusual thing for browser programs to display ads and pop-ups persistently, especially when the ads are promoting links of suspicious websites. Thus, when computer users start to see unwanted advertisements and pop-ups on the browser, it might due to computer infection caused by adware. One of the adware that infects a computer is called Top Search. Developers endorsed Top Search as an essential tool for improving the online search experience of users. It also claims to boos browser functions that results in the enhancement of the browsing experience. However, just like any adware applications, the main goal of Top Search is to generate profit for its developers by exhibiting numerous ads and pop-ups on the internet program.
More about Search adware adware
Attackers spread Top Search through various rogue installers of potentially unwanted program (PUP) or adware. Such installers usually come from deceptive and scam websites, which aim to trick web users into downloading and executing a setup file. Typically, installation setups include unwanted or malicious software such as Top Search or similar malicious applications.
Once Top Search is installed, the browser will begin to interfere with web users browsing activity. The constant display of intrusive advertisements on the browser can literally distract the web users’ attention while doing an online search or simply browsing. Moreover, those ads can redirect internet users into dubious websites that may contain undesirable content. The effects of Top Search on the browser may seem like a minor issue but unfortunately, it could possibly lead to a serious invasion of privacy.
Risks to online privacy
Unwanted applications like Top Search can track web user’s information such as IP addresses, geographical location, visited websites, search queries, and even sensitive data saved on the browser. Developers of Top Search can sell such private information with third parties for additional profit generation. Once the attackers hold such important data, it could possibly result in identity theft and other cyber-crime attacks. Thus, it is vital to remove Top Search from the computer as soon as possible.
Top Search Removal Procedure
Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of the Adware from compromised Windows computer. Aside from removing the malicious browser extension, this guide is also helpful in deleting pop-ups and redirects.
In order to totally eliminate the threat, it is vital to follow the process in exact manner.
Quick Fix - Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner for Windows
Combo Cleaner is a trusted PC security and optimization tool equipped with powerful virus and malware detection engine. This program can get rid of adware like Top 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 signature file, please wait for this process to complete.
6. To begin checking for threats like Top Search, click on the Start Scan button. Wait for this scan to finish.
7. At the end of the scan process, click on Remove all threats to delete Top Search adware including all malicious objects from the computer.
Free features of Combo Cleaner for Windows include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus, privacy scanner, and to delete identified threats, users have to upgrade to a premium version.
Please continue with the succeeding removal procedures if your are comfortable to manually get rid of the threat and malicious items linked with it.
Step 1 : Turn Off Sync on Google Chrome
1. Open Google Chrome browser.
2. In the address bar please type the following: chrome://settings/syncSetup
3. On Settings page, click the Turn off button to disable syncing Chrome settings between devices.
If in case that you don't want to stop syncing other sections like Apps, Bookmarks, History, Theme, and so on, please click on Manager what you sync. Next, select Customize sync. To successfully remove Top Search, you may disable only Apps and Extensions data. Please restart Google Chrome browser.
Step 2 : Delete Top Search or Suspicious 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 Top Search. If it is not present, look for and delete any suspicious browser extension.
Remove Top 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 Top Search or relevant entry and remove it from Google Chrome browser.
Uninstall Top Search Extension from Mozilla 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 Top Search and remove it from the browser.
After deleting the malicious browser extension, it is expected that pop-ups and other troubles are gone from the browser.
Remove Top Search from Windows (Internet Explorer or Edge Browser)
1. Press Windows Key + R and then, type appwiz.cpl command.
2. 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.
3. Select Top Search or recently installed unwanted entry. Then, click on Uninstall to remove it from Windows system.
If Top Search is still present on the IE browser and there are still homepage and pop-ups, another option is to remove the adware from the browser settings.
4. Open Internet Explorer program.
5. Go to top Menu and click Tools. Then, select Manage Add-ons from the drop-down list.
6. Look for and Remove or Disable entries of Top Search from Toolbars and Extension. Additionally, delete the same object from Search Providers section.
7. Close the window and restart Internet Explorer.
Step 3 : Scan the computer with Sophos Antivirus
To remove Top 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 adware like Top Search.
1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.
2. Once the download completes, browse the location of the file. Double-click to run the program and begin the install process.
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. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes 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 adware like Top 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 Top Search and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.
The above procedures should have totally eliminated the Top Search adware. However, if you found that there are still remnants of the threat, please proceed to the succeeding procedures below.
Step 4 : 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 Top 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 annoying 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 Top 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 Top Search. It will also check for suspicious entries on browser settings.
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.
Check if your internet browser application is no longer being bothered by Top Search. If the adware still persists, please continue with the steps below to reset internet programs to default settings.
Optional : Reset Internet Browser Program
Cleaning your internet browser from clutter and unwanted add-on/extension is a must when dealing with Top Search. The procedure below discuss on resetting various browsers to its default state.
Restore Google Chrome to Default Settings
Resetting Google Chrome to default settings is helpful in deleting hard-to-remove extension such as from Top Search. This method is highly advisable to perform if you have difficulty in removing unwanted extension.
1. Open Google Chrome Internet browser.
2. On the address bar, type chrome://settings/reset and press Enter key.
3. Under Reset and clean up section, choose Restore settings to their original defaults.
4. Click Reset settings button to clear all entries of Top Search.
5. Close the existing tab and restart Google Chrome. That should have removed Top Search extension and associated objects.
Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default
This section describes how to remove unwanted extension from Firefox that may be related to Top Search. This process can fix many browser issues by restoring Firefox to factory settings without affecting your essential information (bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and Internet cookies) on the browser. If you desire to remove only specific extension, please see manual removal of add-on from Firefox.
1. Input the string about:support on Firefox web address and press Enter on keyboard.
2. You will now see the Troubleshooting Information page of Mozilla Firefox.
3. You will notice a section on upper-right corner of the screen stating Give Firefox a tune up. Click the Refresh Firefox button.
4. If confirmation window appears, click Refresh Firefox to continue.
5. Firefox browser will close and start the resetting process. When done, it will display a list of restored data. Top Search should be gone by now. Click Finish to open a fresh version of Firefox.
Restore Internet Explorer to Default Settings
1. Open Internet Explorer and navigate to top menu. Click Tools, and then Internet Options.
2. Select Advanced tab on Internet Options window.
3. On lower part of the window, under Reset Internet Explorer Settings area, click the Reset button. Please see image for reference. Your data like favorites, bookmark, and history will remain in the browser. However, this process may delete add-ons by Top Search and other unknown objects. If you prefer to carry out the procedure manually, please add-on removal from Internet Explorer.