In this article we are going to try and help you remove SearchQQ “Virus”. Our instructions cover all Windows versions as well as most browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer etc.
Browser hijackers might affect your system in three main ways:
- Any hijacker could infect your system and once there, it could make it display a huge number of online ads, generated in the form of pop-ups, tabs, boxes, etc.
- Such programs could at times set all of the installed browsers on your PC (Firefox, Chrome or Explorer) to redirect you to preset web addresses.
- Browser hijackers may set completely new homepages and default search engines to all of your browsers.
The version of this software that this article is focused on is named SearchQQ. It has all the qualities that correspond to any browser hijacker in general. We are going to explain everything about this piece of ad-producing software in the next paragraphs.
Is SearchQQ a virus?
No, it is not. SearchQQ is not a virus, nevermind the fact it might really have the aforementioned effects on your browsers, but neither its effects, nor the program itself are malicious. It is just a version of ad-producing software that can’t result in any negative consequence for your device. Unlike typical viruses such as Ransomware and Trojans, this hijacker is NOT about to corrupt, destroy or encrypt any important data, neither is it about to crash your system or spy on you in any way. What some hijackers really could do and is considered slightly questionable is to scan your browser’s history and records, in order to define what kind of products you might be interested in. Then you will start seeing only advertisements that match the data from this research on your potential tastes and interests.
Does SearchQQ infect your system on its own?
No browser hijacker is capable of infecting a computer on its own. We have already concluded that SearchQQ is not a virus, so it cannot infiltrate your device and cause any trouble. Usually the affected users install ad-generating programs rather unknowingly because they are not very careful when they install software they have downloaded from the web. Such mixtures of software that may contain browser hijackers are called bundles. Anyone could download such program bundles for free. It is important that they get installed in the safest possible way and many users fail to do that, and thus get infected with Adware, a browser hijacker or other type of ad-displaying program. Always install any newly-downloaded bundle in the following manner:
Open the corresponding program installer. Take a look at the possible installation features – you should see at least two options – an Advanced/Custom one and a Quick/Default/Automatic one. The first will give you a choice of whether to incorporate the whole content of the bundle into your system or to select particular programs. That’s the one we recommend that you use because in this way you will be able to deselect any potential hijacker or Adware from a given bundle. The other features usually provide an easy installation process, but deprive you of the opportunity to opt out of any unwanted program that the bundle may contain.
What is the true purpose of this browser hijacker?
Such ad-displaying products are the results of the cooperation between software developers and goods/service providers. The first ones are typically paid to produce software that could serve the needs of the second parties. This software is programmed to promote products, goods, services – everything you can think of. There are many types of legal ad-generating programs and browser hijackers among them. These marketing and promoting activities are normal, common and legal and the developers earn revenue for every single displayed and opened advertisement.
Is there any chance of removing SearchQQ?
Fortunately, there is. You can use the Removal Guide at the end of this article for this purpose. Our experts have developed it especially for your needs. We are positive it will solve your issues with ads, redirecting and unfamiliar changes of your browser settings.
How to avoid programs like SearchQQ after having dealt with the ongoing contamination
The process of prevention is, fortunately, not the most complicated one. You will just have to be persistent, careful and gradual in your actions. What you can easily do every day could save you from very dangerous infections with viruses and very irritating contaminations with ad-generating programs. Some of these little steps include constantly scanning your disks and drives for potential dangers; updating your entire OS and all the programs installed on your PC; turning on your pop-up blocker and authorizing your Firewall to warn you about shady websites. Happy and healthy surfing!
SearchQQ “Virus” Removal (Chrome/Firefox)
Many types of malware will restrict your access to their core files. It is highly recommended that you reboot your PC in safe mode before attempting to use this guide.
- To enable Safe Mode reboot you PC, then hit F8 repeatedly. When the corresponding menu opens please select Safe Mode with Networking.
WARNING! If you are using Windows 8,0 or later and/or your operating system is installed on a fast SSD drive this may fail to work. In this case click here to see how to start your PC in Safe Mode.
#1: Uninstall the malicious program from your control panel
Enter control panel to look for any suspicious programs, which may have installed on your PC. To do that:
- Navigate to your Desktop
- Press simultaneously the Win button together with the R button (Win+R)
- In the Run window that just opened type appwiz.cpl
- Go through the list of programs and find SearchQQ or anything else that may seem suspicious. Right-click on it and choose the uninstallation option
WARNING! Carefully read any confirmation messages that may be created in the process. Sometimes you may get offers to download more Adware applications and this can be linked to either the Yes or the No answer depending on the wording!
Go through the list of programs again and check online for any potentially unwanted programs. We have an article that covers this awesome free software that makes sure that your computer is free from bloatware and programs that you don’t need.
#2: Remove SearchQQ From Chrome
Now we’ll remove the extensions that the malware has attached to your browser.
- Open your Google Chrome browser.
- Type chrome://extensions/ in the URL address bar and press Enter.
- Click on “Developer Mode” on the top right and look for the extension installed by SearchQQ and anything that might be related to it. Copy their IDs (the string of letters), then remove them by clicking on the trash bin icon.
- Type Regedit in the Windows Start Menu and press Enter. Go in : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Google\Chrome\Extensions and delete the entries corresponding to the suspicious IDs you recorded.
#3: Remove SearchQQ From Firefox
- Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
- Type “about:support” in the URL address bar and press Enter.
- Click on the “Refresh Firefox” button on the right and confirm.
#4 Remove SearchQQ From Internet Explorer
- Open your Internet Explorer internet browser.
- Click on the Gear icon on the up right, then on manage add-ons.
- Go through the list disable any suspicious extensions.
#5 Remove any leftover parasitic processes
From the task manager:
- Use Ctrl + Shift + Esc and open the Task manager, then click on the Processes
- Go through the list of processes and look for unknown or otherwise suspicious entries.
- If you see anything suspicious right click on the process and shoes Open File Location, then terminate the process and delete any files you find in the directory.
WARNING! If the directory you open from this menu has no files inside of it it’s probably because the malware has hidden them. You need to reveal hidden files and folders in order to be able to see them. Click here if you don’t know how to do that.
From the start menu:
- Press simultaneously the Win button together with the R button (Win+R)
- In the Run window that just opened type msconfig
- Click on the Startup tab.
This menu controls which programs are loaded when windows starts after a reboot. Disable anything that seems suspicious. Optionally you can also disable any program that you don’t need and also has a high impact on your startup time.
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