In this article we are going to try and help you remove hightsearch. Our instructions cover all Windows versions as well as most browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer etc.
Is hightsearch a virus? Should you contact an IT professional?
If you’re currently reading this article, the chances are that a browser add-on called hightsearch is currently residing on your PC and filling your browser with intrusive ads. If that’s the case, look no further – we are here to help you! We have recently been bombarded with requests about “supprimer hightsearch” and “hightsearch entfernen”.
If you ask the majority of our readers – they would refer to Hightsearch as a”Virus”.
Yet they would not be correct in their assessment as Hightsearch is not a “virus”. Before we get to anything else, let us first introduce you to the nature of this specific kind of browser add-ons so that you have a general idea what you’re actually dealing with. It is a program that falls under the Browser Hijacker category. Since most Browser Hijacker programs are pretty much the same when it comes to how they work and what they do, we can safely assume that this particular one is not going to be an exception. Therefore, keep in mind that whatever we tell you about hightsearch can be applied to other programs of that kind as well. Browser Hijacker’s main purpose is the generation of ads for your browser. For every click on a Browser Hijacker ad, the intrusive program’s developer gains revenue via the pay-per-click method. Some Browser Hijackers may even be promoted as browser-enhancements. However, in reality they are exactly the opposite. Often their intrusive ads that start popping-up as soon as you open your browser will make it impossible for you to surf the internet without feeling the urge to punch your screen. Yes, they can get that annoying. This is also the main reason why Browser Hijacker programs are considered PUP. This stands for potentially unwanted program – basically anything that is not illegal, but you don’t really want on your PC can be considered a PUP.
Is the Browser Hijacker dangerous?
Note that there’s a considerable difference between a virus and a PUP. The latter is a malicious program that can wreak all sorts of havoc on your PC (file corruption/deletion, money theft, spying etc). For example one such class of programs is ransomware. Ransomware can encrypt your data and make it unusable – in comparison the Ads generated by Browser Hijacker are merely an annoyance and not a real threat. Though they can still possess some security hazards, their purpose is has nothing to do with harming your system.
Neither hightsearch nor any other Browser Hijacker are considered viruses. Therefore, there’s no need to panic even if the nagging browser add-on is currently in your system. However, as we already said, some PUP’s can still expose your PC to potential danger. This applies to most Browser Hijacker as well. Occasionally, clicking on any of the displayed pop-ups, banners or box messages might redirect you to some kind of an illegal and/or malicious website. This happens rarely, but even so we advise you to avoid clicking on any of those ads you see in your browser. Besides, even the legit ones have hardly ever anything useful about them. Also, if you suddenly get redirected to an unknown page, that you did not intend to open, close it quickly without interacting with it. These precautions are necessary to keep your PC safe and clean until you get rid of the intrusive PUP. Thus we will soon answer your questions about “supprimer hightsearch” and “hightsearch entfernen”.
Removing a Browser Hijacker is not a very complicated task. Below this article there’s a guide on how to do that so you don’t need to contact a professional. However, before you get there, take a few more moments to read our last paragraph, which is focused on how to prevent more Browser Hijacker from entering your machine in future.
Preventing the installation of a Browser Hijacker
In order to effectively fend off any future Browser Hijackers trying to get into your machine, you’ll need to know how they actually do that in the first place. There are quite a few distribution methods for this type of programs. There’s the file-sharing sites and torrent files containing the Browser Hijacker – a general advice when it comes to these two is avoid going to shady and/or illegal sites that can potentially land you some kind of an unwanted program. There’ are also the spam e-mails – a very common method for spreading of unwanted programs. Here, you should always be careful and vigilant before opening new e-mail letters. Always check their details before actually opening the message.
Probably the most effective method for Browser Hijacker distribution is the program bundling. With this method, the Browser Hijacker is bundled with a free or a cheap third-party program. Once you install that other program you also get the Browser Hijacker into your system. In fact, you’ve technically given you permission for that, therefore, this method is perfectly legal. In order to prevent this from happening, all you have to do is simply opt for the advanced/custom settings in the installation menu and seek a list of any added content. Once you find that list, uncheck any additional program and proceed with the installation. Keep in mind that the Browser Hijacker might go under a different name. It should be easy to single it out, though. Still, if you’re not sure, you could simply uncheck everything since these add-ons are hardly ever very useful anyway.
Hightsearch Removal (Chrome)
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 hightsearch 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 Browser Hijacker 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 hightsearch 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 hightsearch 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 hightsearch 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 hightsearch 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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