My Chrome was hijacked by Hightsearch.com yesterday and I can’t get rid of it! I had no idea why this site that I’ve never opened up always opens automatically when I start the Chrome at first. Then I remember that the other day I downloaded and installed some program. I must have allowed Hightsearch.com in at the same time!
I have run NORTON a few times but nothing shows under Norton scan. I also have checked the homepage field and deleted Hightsearch.com but it keeps coming back after a restart. I also uninstalled CHROME and reinstalled it. The problem still exists. Is there any suggestion?
What is Hightsearch.com?
Similar to Trotux.com and Youndoo.com, Hightsearch.com is also a browser hijacker that changes a user’s browser homepage without permission. It is usually bundled with other free applications on the Internet and gets installed on the PC when a user downloads and installs a piece of software that is bundled with this browser hijacker without paying attention to the installation process. The browsers including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox could be affected. In most cases, computer users will find their browser homepages or startup pages are replaced with this website that they never opened up.
Screenshot of hijacked Chrome homepage:
The site appears like Google and other famous search providers but it keeps displaying advertisements under the search box as well as in the search results. When you type some keywords in its search box and do a search, many sponsored ads related to your keywords will be displayed in the search results, which is quite annoying. In addition, the ads are clickable and may redirect you to spamming or even malicious websites. Be cautious and avoid clicking on them, otherwise, some unwanted programs or spyware may be installed on your machine. You may feel the computer runs more slowly after the computer is affected by the browser hijacker.
Since this browser hijacker can be bundled with other software, you need to be careful when downloading and installing or updating software. Avoid downloading software from suspicious or unverified websites and always choose the Custom Install option when installing the software. It’s a good habit to read the user agreements and privacy policies if you decide to install a new program. Refuse to let the new software make modifications to your web browser settings.
Note: Even if you have uninstalled the program that comes bundled with Hightsearch.com, the browser homepage may be still controlled by it. You need to manually change the browser homepage. If you have tried many manual methods but the browser is still hijacked by the unwanted homepage, use a powerful malware removal tool to fix it quickly and easily.
Hightsearch.com browser hijacker removal guide
First of all, to ensure that your computer is free of viruses, it’s suggested that you run an anti-malware program to scan the system and remove all malicious threats, in case there are more other malware that can’t be found by you on the PC. If you haven’t installed any security tools yet or the antivirus program on your machine fails to detect anything suspicious, follow the guide below to download and install SpyHunter and then find and completely remove all of the threats.
(Note: SpyHunter detects Hightsearch.com and other threats on your PC for free and shows their locations. You can choose to delete the files and registry entries of those threats manually, or purchase a full version. )
- Remember to update both its product version and DB version to the latest versions before scanning your system so as to effectively detect the new viruses. In addition, you’d better close all running files, folders and applications and then click Scan Computer Now button to scan your PC.
- The scanning usually takes several minutes to complete. The scanning may be displayed as the image below:
- When the scan is complete, all the items associated with Hightsearch.com and other infections will be displayed in the search results. Click on Fix Threats to remove all of them.
Note: SpyHunter can detect all the threats on your machine for free. To delete all of them safely and computer, we suggest you purchase the full version of SpyHunter to completely delete the threats if you don’t have much experience in deleting registry entries and files yourself.
Alternatively, you can manually remove suspicious programs and browser toolbars/extensions.
Uninstall dubious programs with Windows Uninstaller
Since Hightsearch.com often comes bundled with other free applications and it may install some spyware, you need to have a check in the Programs and Features. Remove any programs which were installed recently but strange to you.
- Click the Start button in the lower left corner of the screen or press Windows key.
- Click on Settings on the menu.
- Click System on the Settings screen and then click Apps & features from the left pane. A list of programs installed within your computer will be displayed.
- Take a look at the recently installed programs that may cause the problem and uninstall them one by one by clicking on Uninstall button.
- Follow the instructions prompted to complete the software uninstall.
- Open the Power User Menu by pressing Win key + X key on the keyboard.
- Select Programs and Features on the menu. A list of installed programs on your computer will be showed in the Programs and Features screen.
- Find the programs that may be associated with Hightsearch.com and uninstall them by clicking on Uninstall button.
- Click Start, and go to the Control Panel.
- Double click on Add/Remove Programs (for Windows XP) or click on Uninstall a program under Programs category (for Windows 7/Vista), select the potentially unwanted programs and then click the Remove button or Uninstall/Change button to uninstall them.
Remove unknown or unwanted browser add-ons
Some toolbars or extensions may also cause the browser hijacking problem. Open your browser and see if there is any strange extensions/add-ons. If there is, please remove them and then restart your browser.
- Click on Tools or the IE menu icon and then select Manage Add-ons from the menu.
- Click on Toolbars and Extensions under Add-on Types.
- If any unwanted add-on/plug-in is found, you need to select it and then click on Remove button.
- Click on the Chrome menu icon in the upper right corner of the browser and then select More Tools -> Extensions.
- In the Chrome Extensions page, remove any suspicious extension by clicking on the trashcan icon.
- Click on Tools on the Menu Bar or click the Mozilla Firefox menu icon on the top right corner and then select Add-ons from the menu.
- Select Extensions on the left side of the page. Find any unverified or unknown add-on and click on Remove button to remove it.
Note: If any unwanted program or toolbar/extension doesn’t provide the Uninstall feature or can’t be removed completely, we recommend using a Hightsearch.com removal tool to clear them safely and thoroughly. All their traces will be eliminated and your PC can run smoothly again.
Delete Hightsearch.com from browser homepage
Sometimes, even if the PUPs have been removed from your PC, the homepage still needs to be changed manually. To delete the unwanted URL and set the homepage to the preference, please follow the guide below to modify the browser homepage.
- Click on the Tools or the IE menu icon (for IE 11) and select Internet Options.
- In the Internet Options window, under the General tab, check Home page field and delete Hightsearch.com if it is found there. Then enter the address of the website that you’d like to set as the default homepage instead. Click OK to save the changes.
- Click on Chrome menu button and select Settings from the menu.
- Under On startup, select Open a specific page or set of pages and click the Set pages. Delete any unwanted page and enter the URL of your preferred page and click on OK to save the changes.
- Scroll down to Appearance, check Open Homepage button and click on Change link. If Hightsearch.com appears there, you need to delete it by clicking on the “X” button. Then click OK button.
- Click on Tools or the Firefox menu and select Options from the menu.
- In the Options page, select the General on the left side. Under Startup, make sure When Firefox starts: is set to Show my home page. If any unwanted URL is found in the Home Page field, delete it and then enter the address of your preferred page.
Check your IE/Chrome/Firefox shortcut
If your browser homepage keeps being redirected to Hightsearch.com after you’ve deleted the URL from homepage, the redirecting issue may be caused by some third-party software providers. If they change your IE/Firefox/Chrome’s shortcut, the homepage will always open a specified page despite of what you want. If the unwanted home page keeps opening even when you’ve taken steps to remove suspicious programs/toolbars and restored your home page, try checking the browser shortcut:
Right click on the IE/Chrome/Firefox icon on your desktop or task bar and then select Properties.
Locate to the Target: field, if you see Hightsearch.com shows up there, delete that web address and click OK to save your changes:
Tips: Remember to decline any options to set your site preferences when installing or updating a third-party application. Always choose the Custom Install if there is so that you can cancel the “special offers” during installation process. You can keep an advanced and real-time anti-malware program on the PC to prevent such PUPs or malware.
Reset your browsers’ settings to defaults (Optional)
If Hightsearch.com still comes back after you’ve uninstalled the suspicious programs & add-ons and delete it from the browser homepage, try resetting your browser settings. This procedure will remove your personalized add-ons, homepage, search engine and change other settings. Your essential information like saved bookmarks and passwords won’t be cleared or changed.
- Click on Tools, and then select Internet Options from the menu.
- In the Internet options window, go to the Advanced tab and then click on Reset.
- In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog box, check the Delete personal settings option and click Reset to confirm.
- When resetting browser settings is completed, please click Close and then click OK.
- Click on Help on the menu bar and then select Troubleshooting Information.
- Click on Refresh Firefox button in the Troubleshooting information page.
- When the Reset Firefox dialog box appears, click on Refresh Firefox button to confirm the changes.
- Click on the Google Chrome menu button in the top-right corner of the browser and select Settings from the menu.
- In the chrome settings page, scroll down to the bottom and click on Show Advanced Settings.Click on Reset browser settings button at the bottom of the page.
- When the Reset Browser Settings dialog box pops up, click on Reset button.
Note: With the steps above, Hightsearch.com should be removed from the PC. It’s suggested that you run SpyHunter to scan the system for the threats first and then delete all the files and registry entries found by it. But modifying files or registry entries manually is quite risky because deleting any wrong file or registry key which is essential to the system will cause terrible issues to your PC. To avoid this, you’d better purchase the full version of SpyHunter and use it to remove Hightsearch.com entirely.
The following video offers a complete guide for Hightsearch.com Redirect Virus removal. You’d better watch it in full-screen mode!