In this article we are going to try and help you remove “Lucky Search 123”. Our instructions cover all Windows versions as well as most browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer etc.
Have you been having trouble with your browser lately? Struggling to maintain your cool, as the amount of ads has been steadily rising to reach a dangerously high level of irritation? To fuel the annoyance further, you’ve also been unable to change back certain settings of your browser that had been changed without your consent or knowledge. The default search engine and homepage of your Chrome of Firefox program have been substituted with ones you don’t recognize and don’t even remember authorizing, your search queries are being redirected to some random, uncalled-for pages and to top it off – you’ve been bombarded with popups and banners from all sides. You have unfortunately contracted what it known as a browser hijacker, more specifically – “Lucky Search 123”. In this article we will aim to shed more light on the software you’ve been faced with and at the end of it we have also provided a removal guide that will allow you to uninstall the program responsible for your misery and remove all its components.
What “Lucky Search 123” and hijackers are all about
It’s not too difficult to guess what a browser hijacker does – it’s already in the name. We’re not going to try and insult your intelligence by explaining what that stands for, but what’s more important is to what end. Browser hijackers like the one currently installed on your machine serve the marketing industry and are functional sources of income for software developers worldwide. Based on the amount ads created and distributed by “Lucky Search 123” and other like it, as well as on the number of clicks those ads receive from users like you, the developers earn revenue. This is why the ads are placed so awfully obstructively and why they’re quantities are so bizarrely large. But there’s more to the story:
Browser hijackers have been known to gather browsing-related information from users, by basically spying on them and recording their browsing patterns. Things like your history and search queries are of especial value, as these are what tell the developers (or the software) more about what you’re currently interested in. Based on this information the program is capable of generating ads that are likely to suit your preferences and therefore are more likely to attract your clicks. It’s a clever tactic, we will agree. But many look past that and begin to question the safety of even legality of such practices. In fact, over the years people have jumped to concluding that hijackers are actually viruses and they’re creators should be persecuted just as hackers should.
Let’s draw a line here. Yes, the above browsing-monitoring activity does come across as a bit unnerving and rather dubious, but it certainly doesn’t put the “Lucky Search 123” in the malware category. If we’re going to make comparisons here, let’s just quickly take the internet’s two most feared threats: ransomware and Trojans. The former can infect your PC without showing any sign of it, lock up your files and then blackmail you for money. The latter is capable of an entire range of indisputably illegal actions that range from data destruction, to resource exploitation, data theft and beyond. These are actual viruses that should be treated as such – not hijackers. As pointed out, they’re merely marketing tools that are fairly intrusive and abundantly irritating, but that about covers the specter of their qualities.
Avoiding them henceforth
Once you’ve removed “Lucky Search 123” from your system, you should also see to it that it stays that way – hijacker-free. To do this, it’s important to keep in mind the most probable hijacker sources, such as program bundles, spam emails and even other hijackers that you may or may not be aware of on your system. While the last two are relatively easy to dodge, program bundles are a bit trickier, unless you know what you’re doing. So, when downloading various freeware or shareware (typically from open source download platforms and similar sources) you might be downloading a whole bunch of other programs along with it. That’s because there’s really no way of marketing a browser hijacker on its own and getting people to download it of their own free will, so they bundle it in with other, more desirable software. Now, when installing the new program, always, always, always customize the settings by choosing the advanced/custom option in the wizard. You will see the added programs and you will be able to deselect those of them that don’t interest you.
How to Remove “Lucky Search 123”
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 “Lucky Search 123” 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 “Lucky Search 123” 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 “Lucky Search 123” 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 “Lucky Search 123” 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 “Lucky Search 123” 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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