What is Search.gg? And how does it work?
Search.gg is a browser extension designed by Search Engage Ltd. It works on several browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge and many more. If installed, it modifies the browser settings by setting the homepage, search engine and new tab page to hxxps://search.gg which will redirect you to Yahoo. Note that these changes are done without your permission which is why security experts categorize this as a browser hijacker and PUP.
“You further acknowledge and agree that Search Engage shall not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of or reliance on any goods or services available on or through any external website, social network or resource. Your use of external websites or resources is at your own risk.”
As you can see, nothing good can come out of using Search.gg so it’s best if you delete it from your browsers right away before it can cause several issues in your computer.
How does Search.gg spread over the web?
Search.gg, like other browser hijackers, spread the web using software bundles that can be found on free sharing sites. It is added as one of the extra programs in a software bundle and you could end up installing it unknowingly when you install this kind of software package. To prevent that from happening, you have to use the Custom or Advanced setup instead of the typical standard setup.
Follow the steps given below to successfully delete Search.gg from your PC.
Step 1: You can start the removal process by closing all the browsers infected with Search.gg. If you’re having a hard time closing them, you can close them using the Task Manager just tap on Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
Step 2: After you open the Task Manager, go to the Processes tab and look for the infected browser’s process and end it.
Step 3: Then close the Task Manager and tap the Win + R keys to open Run and then type in appwiz.cpl to open Programs & Features in Control Panel.
Step 4: From there, look for Search.gg 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 5: 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 Search.gg.
- After that, save the changes you’ve made and close the file.
Step 6: Reset all your browsers to default to their default state.
- Launch Google Chrome, press Alt + F, move to More tools, and click Extensions.
- Look for Search.gg or any other unwanted add-ons, click the Recycle Bin button, and choose Remove.
- Restart Google Chrome, then tap Alt + F, and select Settings.
- Navigate to the On Startup section at the bottom.
- Select “Open a specific page or set of pages”.
- Click the More actions button next to the hijacker and click Remove.
- Open the browser and tap Ctrl + Shift + A to access the Add-ons Manager.
- In the Extensions menu Remove the unwanted extension.
- Restart the browser and tap keys Alt + T.
- Select Options and then move to the General menu.
- Overwrite the URL in the Home Page section and then restart the browser.
- Launch Internet Explorer.
- Tap Alt + T and select Internet options.
- Click the General tab and then overwrite the URL under the homepage section.
- Click OK to save the changes.
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 to 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 Search.gg 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.