RAW Computing

Remove unwanted searches, toolbars, hijackers from browsers

Sometimes software gets installed on your computer that you don't want and it can hijack the web browser's home page, add a toolbar, change the default search enchine and return search results that contain adverts. If you have My Search Results, start.funmoods.com and others and want to get rid of them, here is how to do it. Clean up your PC!

People often complain that their anti virus software somehow let the malware get installed and when virus scans are run, nothing is detected. How does this malware get into Windows and why can't security software stop it?

My Search Results, start.funmoods.com and similar software is often bundled with free software on the web. Usually, there is an option not to install it, but when we are eager to install an exciting new program we don't read what it says on the screen, we click the Next button as fast as we can to get it up and running as soon as possible. We miss those opt-out tick boxes and accidentally install these things into our web browser.

So why doesn't security software stop it or detect it? Strictly speaking, it is not a virus, it is not spyware, and it is not any type of malware. Many people find these programs undesirable and irritating, but that doesn't make them malware. They can be hard to remove, but again that doesn't make them malware. Security software therefore does not detect them.

Look for an uninstaller

The first thing you should do is to go to the Control Panel, run Programs and features and see if there is an entry for the software you want to remove. Don't be too surprised if there isn't, but it is always worth looking just in case. Look at the names of items carefully because it is not always clear what each item is. For example, My Search Results is listed as Default Tab.

Remove the search engine

Internet Explorer: Click the Tools menu or the gear icon and select Manage Add-ons. Select Search Providers on the left and then select the search engine you don't want and click Remove. Select one of the remaining search engines, such as Google or Bing and click Set as default.

Firefox: There's a search box just to the right of the address box. Click the little down arrow next to the icon and select Manage Search Engines. Select the search engine you don't want and click Remove.

Chrome: Click the spanner icon in the toolbar and then Settings. Click Manage search engines in the Search section. As the mouse hovers over a search engine it it highlighted and a cross is displayed on the right. Click it to remove the search engine.

Remove the add-on

Internet Explorer: Click the Tools menu or the gear icon and select Manage Add-ons. Select Toolbars and Extensions, then click the button below and select All add-ons. Look for the unwanted item, select it and click Disable.

Firefox: Click Firefox, Add-ons. Select Extensions and Plugins on the left and see if the unwanted software is listed. If it is, click the Disable or Remove button.

Chrome: Click the spanner, Tools, Extensions and check the list for unwanted items. Click the bin icon to delete it.

Reset the home page

Internet Explorer: Click Tools or the gear icon and then Internet Options. On the General tab, enter the home page, such as http://www.google.com/

Firefox: Click Firefox, Options and then enter the address of the home page you want to use on the General tab.

Chrome: Click the spanner, Settings. In the On start-up section, select Open a specific page or set of pages. Click Set pages and enter the page address you want to use.

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