How to remove Search settings

November 2016


Search Settings is a potentially unwanted program (PUP), that modifies the home page and default search engine of your browser, to track and send data about your browsing habits, to 3rd party servers for targeted advertising.

Symptoms

Examples of infected lines found in a RSITY report:
C:\Program Files\Search Settings\SearchSettings.exe   
R3 - URLSearchHook: (no name) - {E312764E-7706-43F1-8DAB-FCDD2B1E416D} - C:\Program Files\pdfforge Toolbar\SearchSettings.dll
R3 - URLSearchHook: SearchSettings Class - {E312764E-7706-43F1-8DAB-FCDD2B1E416D} - C:\Program Files\Search Settings\kb128\SearchSettings.dll
O2 - BHO: SearchSettings Class - {E312764E-7706-43F1-8DAB-FCDD2B1E416D} - C:\Program Files\Search Settings\kb128\SearchSettings.dll
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SearchSettings] C:\Program Files\Search Settings\SearchSettings.exe
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects\{E312764E-7706-43F1-8DAB-FCDD2B1E416D}]
C:\Program Files\pdfforge Toolbar\SearchSettings.dll [2009-01-30 1114112]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar]
{B922D405-6D13-4A2B-AE89-08A030DA4402} - pdfforge Toolbar - C:\Program Files\pdfforge Toolbar\WidgiToolbarIE.dll [2009-01-30 650752]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]
"SearchSettings"=C:\Program Files\pdfforge Toolbar\SearchSettings.exe [2009-01-30 992256]



Examples of files found by some software:

C:\WINDOWS\Prefetch\SEARCHSETTINGS.EXE-30EFBC20.pf  
C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\extensions\search@searchsettings.com
C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\extensions\search@searchsettings.com\CHROME\CONTENT\searchsettingsplugin.js
C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\extensions\search@searchsettings.com\CHROME\CONTENT\searchsettingsplugin.xul
C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\extensions\search@searchsettings.com\CHROME\LOCALE\EN-US\searchsettingsplugin.dtd
C:\DOCUME~1\COMPAQ~1\APPLIC~1\Search Settings
C:\DOCUME~1\COMPAQ~1\APPLIC~1\Search Settings\kb127

AdwCleaner by Xplode

AdwCleaner is an efficient cleaning program to get rid of malwares. Download, install and run AdwCleaner, then click the Remove button. When the scan is complete, you'll be asked to reboot your machine. A report will then be generated.

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (MBAM) is another disinfection tool that can help removing some malwares that AdwCleaner did not clean. Download MBAM, install it, and "Search for updates". Launch a full scan, then click on "Show results" when it's done. Select infected items that are not checked by default, and click "Remove Selected". If prompted to restart the machine, accept!

Clean your web browsers

Uninstall parasite extensions. If you have Firefox selected Tools > Add-ons > Extension tab.If you have Google Chrome: select the top right menu, then select Tools > Extensions.

Related :

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