What is Hohosearch.com? And how does it work?
Hohosearch.com, also known as Hoho Search, is a browser extension that works as a search engine. It claims to provide users with improved search results to enhance their browsing experience. It has a plain-looking interface that allows users to search the web. Contrary to what it claims, Hohosearch.com does not really improve your browsing experience. In fact, when you use it and search for information online, instead of getting relevant search results, it mostly provides sponsored content from its affiliated sites.
Upon its installation, you will notice the sudden increase of pop-ups, banners, in-text links as you browse the web. This isn’t really a surprise since this intrusive browser extension changed the default settings of your browser in order to manipulate your browsing. And since it can manipulate your browsing, you might also experience sudden redirects to suspicious sites. What’s more bothersome about this unwanted program is it also monitors your browsing activities in order to obtain not just non-personally identifiable information but also personally identifiable ones like IP address, email address, geo-location, and many more.
As you can see, Hohosearch.com isn’t safe to use as it only jeopardizes not just your computer’s security but also your personal information and privacy. The best thing you can do is to get rid of this pesky browser hijacker as soon as you can before it’s too late.
How does Hohosearch.com spread over the web?
Hohosearch.com is distributed using the software bundling technique. Along with other suspicious programs, it is added as one of the optional components in a software bundle. This is why if you install software bundles, you need to do so using the Advanced or Custom setup instead of the quick one as this setup allows you to get rid of any extra programs added in the package before you proceed with the installation.
Deleting Hohosearch.com is not as easy as you think so you need to use the removal guide below as a reference as well as the advanced steps that follow.
Step 1: You need to first close the compromised browser. However, if you are unable to do so, you can close it via Task Manager. Tap Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to open the Task Manager and from there, end the browser’s process.
Step 2: Afterwards, you have to flush the DNS cache. To do that, just, right-click on the Start button and click on Command Prompt (administrator). From there, type the “ipconfig /flushdns” command and hit Enter to flush the DNS.
Step 3: After that, restart your computer and then open all the browsers infected by Hohosearch.com. Reset all the affected browsers to default to their default state.
- Open Firefox and click the icon that looks like three stacked lines located at the top-right section of the browser.
- Next, select the question mark icon from the drop-down menu.
- Then select “Troubleshooting information” from the slide-out menu.
- After that, click on the “Reset Firefox” button located at the top-right section of the newly opened web page.
- Now select “Reset Firefox” in the confirmation pop-up window that appears.
- Open Google Chrome, then tap the Alt + F keys.
- After that, click on Settings.
- Next, scroll down until you see the Advanced option, once you see it, click on it.
- After clicking the Advanced option, go to the “Restore and clean up option and click on the “Restore settings to their original defaults” option to reset Google Chrome.
- Now restart Google Chrome.
- Launch Internet Explorer.
- Next, click the wrench icon for Settings.
- Then click Internet Options.
- After that, go to the Advanced tab.
- From there, click the Reset button. This will reset Internet Explorer’s settings to their default condition.
- Now click OK to save the changes made.
Step 4: Next, tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box and type “appwiz.cpl” in the field and press Enter to open the Programs and Features in Control Panel.
Step 5: From the list of programs installed, look for Hohosearch.com or any unfamiliar program that could be related to it under the list of installed programs and once you’ve found it, uninstall it.
Step 6: Edit your Hosts File.
- Tap the Win + R keys to open then type in %WinDir% and then click OK.
- Go to System32/drivers/etc.
- Open the hosts file using Notepad.
- Delete all the entries that contain Hohosearch.com.
- After that, save the changes you’ve made and close the file.
Step 7: Hold down Windows + E keys simultaneously to open File Explorer.
Step 8: Navigate to the following directories and look for suspicious files associated with the browser hijacker such as the software bundle it came with and delete it/them.
Step 9: Close the File Explorer.
Step 10: Empty the contents of Recycle Bin.
Refer to the advanced instructions given below to ensure the removal of Hohosearch.com as well as all the file residues it left behind.
Perform a full system scan using [product-code]. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot it.
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the Safe Mode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in the URL address, [product-url] in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
- Once the installation process is completed, run [product-code] to perform a full system scan.
- After the scan is completed click the “Fix, Clean & Optimize Now” button.