HightSearch “Virus” Chrome Removal

Welcome to our HightSearch removal instructions. This article intends to help you remove HightSearch from your system and is designed to work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer and all Windows versions.

If your computer has been infected by HightSearch – we feel your pain. The annoying pop-ups, the banners plastered all over various websites, hindering your navigation, and those awful page redirects, that also seem to happen right when you least want them to. It’s all part of this piece of programing, known under its collective term as a browser hijacker.

Hightsearch "Virus" Chrome
Hightsearch “Virus” in Chrome

There is a widespread misconception that this type of software is a virus or a kind of malware. In fact many people refer to it as hightsearch “virus”. This is in fact not correct, hightsearch is not a virus nor malware per se. Let us explain the crucial difference between the two. In the case with malware (viruses), these programs are designed to harm you and your machine and will do so, if they manage to infiltrate your system. When you hear the word ‘virus’ you should be thinking ransomware or Trojan Horse – those are viruses.

The browser hijacker, though, is fairly harmless in comparison to the above. As pointed out, its sole purpose is to create and distribute ads; however, it’s still not quite safe to let it stick around for long. We’ve designed the below guide to help you remove HightSearch from your computer and we will explain just why it’s important you do so.

How HightSearch.com operates

browser hijacker developers make their money based on the so called Pay per click scheme. Basically this means that every time you click on any of the displayed ads, the creators behind them make a profit. With that in mind, it should probably start making sense now, why the whole ad distribution is so aggressive. But in order for this whole master plan to be more effective, the developers aim to target users individually by gathering each user’s browsing-related data. This means that all of the websites you visit, along with the frequency you visit them, and all your search queries and even personal details are all collected and analyzed in order to produce adverts, which will be more relevant to you. The problem with this and also one of the reasons, why you would want to remove HightSearch from your PC immediately, is that this information of yours is very likely to be sold to third parties, which could choose to do with it whatever pleases them. At the ever-growing rate of identity theft these days – this should genuinely be reason for concern.

Other risks and how you could have gotten infected

Another thing the browser hijacker is particularly known and has a bad reputation for is the fact that the ads it generates are often fake. You might be looking at some particularly interesting offer on a product or service, which you would consider learning more about and possibly even purchasing, so you stop what you’re doing and click on the little box with the offer in it. And it brings you to a page that has remotely nothing to do with what you wanted to see. You might even be familiar with this already and felt deceived. And rightfully so – that’s exactly what this is. Only there’s a darker side to this, too. By clicking on one of these questionable advertisements, you could end up getting redirected to a page that not only does not correspond to what was in the ad, but is filled with viruses, which could enter your system at any given moment. Therefore it is crucial that you avoid clicking on any of the ads that plague your browser, while HightSearch is still on your computer. It’s too big of a risk and simply one not worth taking.

As for distribution, there is one technique so heavily exploited by hackers and browser hijacker developers alike, that it’s safe to say it’s the most common way of getting infected with a browser hijacker (and other unwanted programs). The technique we’re talking about is known as program bundling. It involves the process of packaging HightSearch (in this case) together with some other software, which you would normally want to download. So, when you have located a website (typically some shady open source download platform or torrent site), from which you can download the desired program, you proceed to do that and must finally install it, in order to be able to use it. So far so good, only when you reach the installation setup, you have two options: the default settings and the custom / advanced ones. By choosing the former you will be exposing yourself to whatever predetermined plan the developers have had without even knowing what it is. In the event that you choose the latter (custom settings), you will not only be able to see the bundled in software – you will also have the ability to decide whether or not you will let it get installed too.

Threat HightSearch
Classification Browser Hijacker
Security Alert
Medium
Negative Effects Increased amount of advertisements in your browser. 

HightSearch Chrome Removal

Step1Reveal Hidden Files. If you don’t know how to do this, ask us in the comments.

Step 2Press Start Button => Control Panel => Uninstall a program.

Uninstall in Control Panel

Locate the browser hijacker and any other suspicious looking programs and uninstall them.

Additional 2.1:

Sort the programs by Installed On.

Installed On

Delete recent suspicious entries.

Additional 2.2:

In the search field type => msconfig => hit Enter.

Type msconfig

Go to Startup and disable all entries with Unknown as Manufacturer.

Disable Unknown Manufacturer

Step 3Start Button => Search=> Copy/Paste “notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts” => Enter.

Hosts File

If you notice other IPs different from the localhost IPs – you might be in danger!

Localhost IPs

Ask for additional help in the comments.

Step 4HightSearch Removal from Chrome BrowserChrome

Click Chrome => More Tools => Extensions.

Extensions in Chrome

Locate the browser hijacker and remove it.

HightSearch Removal from Firefox BrowserFirefox

Click Bars in Firefox => Add-ons=> Extensions.

Extensions in Firefox

Locate the browser hijacker and delete it.

Removal from Internet ExplorerInternet Explorer

Press on IE Gear => Manage Add-ons =>

Extensions in IE

Find the browser hijacker and remove it.

Step 5Right click on the Taskbar => Start Task Manager.

Start Windows Task Manager

Navigate to Processes.

Processes in Task Manager

Locate any suspicious processes associated with HightSearch. Right click on the process = > Open File Location => End Process = > Delete the directories with the suspicious files.

Step 6Start Button => Search => Type:

  • %AppData%
  • %LocalAppData%
  • %ProgramData%
  • %WinDir%
  • %Temp%

Type in Search

Hit Enter after each new search. Check each Folder and delete recent entries.

If you run into any trouble – ask us for help in the comments section!

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Daniel Sadakov has a degree in Information Technology and specializes in web and mobile cyber security. He harbors a strong detestation for anything and everything malicious and has committed his resources and time to battling all manners of web and mobile threats. He has founded MobileSecurityZone.com , a website dedicated to covering the top tech stories and providing useful tips for the everyday user, in an effort to reach and help more people. In his off time he is an avid book reader, occasional PC gamer and affectionate football spectator. Daniel would hardly begrudge anyone who might call him a computer nerd, yet this might be just the thing one needs in case of a security issue.