Do you know what Search.searchw3m.com is?
Search.searchw3m.com does not look like much of a safety threat. If anything, this domain looks like a genuine search engine. However, if this website was suddenly set as your default homepage, it means that you have been infected with a browser hijacker. Hence, with this uninvited intruder, you are exposed to multiple other potential threats that could cripple your system. To prevent this from happening, you need to remove Search.searchw3m.com at once. Luckily, it is rather easy to delete a browser hijacker. All you have to do is follow the guidelines below this description.
Before we go through the actual removal, however, we believe that you should know more about this type of security threats and where they come from. Search.searchw3m.com is a rather generic browser hijacker that has been created to make easy money for its developers. Does it mean that the program steals your banking logins and passwords? Not really, browser hijackers are never that sophisticated to do such a thing. Instead, they make money through third-party advertising. In order words, Search.searchw3m.com and other similar programs display commercial advertisements in their advertising space, and whenever you click those ads, the programs get paid through the pay-per-click system.
This kind of practice is not illegal, and thus it is sometimes hard to determine whether Search.searchw3m.com and other browser hijackers are malicious system threats or just obnoxious applications. You will find security experts that treat browser hijackers as something extremely dangerous, and there will always be those who will tell you that such programs are nothing important. But even if they are nothing important, it does not mean that you should keep the likes of Search.searchw3m.com on-board. Why would you tolerate a program that you did not want to have in the first place?Search.searchw3m.com screenshot
Scroll down for full removal instructions
You might wonder why we do not consider Search.searchw3m.com extreme system threats when this browser hijacker enters targets unexpectedly. The truth is that users have to install such programs themselves, and it happens pretty often even if you are not aware of that. Everything depends on the browser hijacker’s distribution method. It goes without saying that Search.searchw3m.com does not have a direct distribution source, so the program usually comes bundled in software packages that are available for download at file-sharing websites. Web pages like filewon.com, filewin.com, malavida.es, descargar.es, and many others have long been known to be part of this freeware distribution network.
At the same time, it also means that users can easily avoid installing Search.searchw3m.com, as long as they remain attentive when they are about to install new software on their computers. When you go through the installation wizard, be sure to read all the steps. It might be bothersome and redundant, but third-party installers often inform users about the additional apps or features, and users have the chance to deselect the programs they do not want. However, if they breeze through the installation, without even bothering to check upon those steps, then Search.searchw3m.com and other unnecessary apps will get installed on your PC.
Fortunately, browser hijackers do not hide their presence, and you will notice immediately that Search.searchw3m.com is there. The program will affect Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. It will modify your default homepage and search engine settings. Consequently, with every search query you fill out, Search.searchw3m.com will make sure that you see modified search results. The results will contain sponsored links, and if you click them, you will help this browser hijacker earn some money. The main problem here is that some of those links may redirect you to dangerous sites that could be part of malware distribution network.
Hence, the sooner you remove Search.searchw3m.com from your system, the better. As mentioned, you can find the manual removal instructions below, but if you feel that there might be more unwanted applications on-board or that you cannot deal with this on your own, you can always invest in a licensed antispyware tool that will take care of this problem for you.
Afterwards, you should see to it that you stay away from file-sharing websites that could be associated with browser hijacker distribution. Please remember that your browsing habits are just as important in ensuring your system’s safety as the security tool you use.
How to Remove Search.searchw3m.com
- Press Win+R and type regedit. Click OK.
- Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main.
- On the right side, right-click the Start Page value.
- Select Modify and change your homepage address. Click OK.
- Press Win+R and type %AppData%. Click OK.
- Go to Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\[Unique User ID].
- Use Notepad to open the prefs.js file.
- Locate and remove this string: user_pref("browser.startup.homepage", "Search.searchw3m.com");
- Save changes and exit the file.
- Press Win+R and enter %LocalAppData%. Click OK.
- Navigate to Google\Chrome\User Data\Default.
- Find and remove Preferences, Secure Preferences, and Web Data files.
In non-techie terms:
Search.searchw3m.com might not seem like much of a security threat, but this browser hijacker may inadvertently expose you to a lot of dangerous content, and this could result in a malware infection. So you need to remove Search.searchw3m.com to protect yourself and your computer from harm. While you are it, you should also look for other unwanted applications because browser hijackers seldom travel alone. If you need any assistance with that, do not hesitate to leave us a comment.