How Can You Remove Universalsearch.co Effectively?

Yesterday, I found a weird problem on my PC that I was always redirected to this website “http://universalsearch.co” when starting the Firefox browser. This problem persisted even though I have tried restored Firefox’s settings to the default. I wonder if my computer has been infected by some malware which cause this annoying redirection. But when I run a full system scan with my antivirus program (Norton), no threat is detected. What should I do to fix the redirection issue? Please help me.

Solution:

According to your description, we assume that your computer has got infected by a browser hijacker named Universalsearch.co. To fix the redirection problem, you need to get rid of this browser hijacker from your PC completely. This post talks about this threat and also offers the effective guide to remove it. Now you can remove Universalsearch.co by using the malware removal tool provided below.
download-removal-tool

 

More Information about Universalsearch.co

Universalsearch.co looks like a normal search engine that is capable of helping its users to get improved search results quickly. However, if you take a closer look at this search page, you could find it is a false website and basically provides inaccurate search results. Such kinds of search page are typically called browser hijackers and mainly target inexperienced and elderly Internet users who have not taken preventative measures and lack of security awareness.

A large majority of computer users heavily rely on their browser security settings and security utility tools so they will not realize that they have entered a bad website unless they get warnings about deceptive and dangerous websites. If a website does not meet the definition of “unsafe website” or have not flagged as malicious yet, users will take it for granted that the website poses no threat to the system.

Universalsearch.co usually lands on a computer when an Internet user downloads a software client or files from a doubtful website. It pretends to be a legitimate search site and seems to generate the most related sites to match what the user is looking for exactly. But the user will eventually find this domain is associated with browser hijacker when he is redirected to Universalsearch.co even when he has no intention to visit this page.

Some people might feel totally lost and confused about what Universalsearch.co is used for when they see it for the first time. Don’t be tricked into thinking this is a common search site. In fact it is a bogus search engine that serves for generating advertising contents and increasing website traffic.

This unwelcome search site will become your default home page no matter which browser you are using currently. The top web browsers in use like Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox can be its main targets. You may also notice that your search engine is changed to another one without asking for you permission. What’s more, you may face the problem that your browser automatically gets redirected to the websites with http://universalsearch.co/ or other suspicious looking web pages. These malicious redirections mainly bring users forward to ad-supported sites, service purchase pages or the download sites of strange products that you probably never heard of.

universalsearch.co_screenshot

Universalsearch.co browser hijacker not only modifies your browser settings in clandestine way but also might collect or transmit users’ private information to unknown organizations in order to earn advertising revenue. Your personal information and financial details could be in danger once your browser is hijacked by this malicious website. Such browser hijacker is really annoying even though it is not as dangerous as a virulent computer virus which will corrupt the system and destroy your data.

Tips: If your computer has been infected with Universalsearch.co browser hijacker and you don’t have any experience of manually removing malware, then we recommend you to run an exclusive malware removal tool to help you out.

 

The Potential Risks of Browser Hijacker

Do you know what will happen when you get this browser hijacker on computer? Let us talk about the distribution of browser hijacker first. Its installation usually ties in with the PUP, adware and unsafe programs. Nobody likes forcible installation. But nobody is expert so it is impossible not to make a mistake. As great as computer experts and experienced users, even they can make mistakes. You cannot avoid downloading freeware, shareware or PUP when you try to download resources from the internet as even the most legitimate program may have its advertising partners. Browser hijacker is a kind of bundle which attaches to other legitimate programs. Attaching to other installers is the most common distribution means used by this threat. If you have to deal with browser hijacker which you do not have downloaded, changes are you have already downloaded its carrier or clicked on its relevant links. When you get Universalsearch.co homepage popped up on screen, it usually means you may have other potential unwanted programs or threats on system. The nasty installation of browser hijacker is only a start of troubles you are going to deal with. Having a new search page or homepage can create all kinds of angst. But, it turns out, the infection of browser hijacker can actually be just as dangerous, sometimes more so. Seriously speaking, even not all browser hijackers will collect and gather your sensitive details during online surf, most of them will take chance spy on your activities in order to analyze your online habits.

 

Common Signs of Being Infected by Malware Like Universalsearch.co

  • Your default homepage, search engine, new tab, startup page change into another one like http://universalsearch.co/.
  • Lots of new and unwanted bookmarks, extensions, add-ons, plug-ins are added to your web browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.
  • Many unwanted programs are installed on computer without any permission. Some of them may stop being removed through Control Panel.
  • Your web browsers are flooded with numerous pop-up windows, banners, sponsored links. Usually, the error window displays “WARNING! Your COMPUTER MAY BE INFETCED! To remove Viruses, Call Tech Support Online Now!” and then lead you to download a rogue anti-malware program. Be careful!
  • You are always redirected to suspicious website that you never intend to visit.
  • You cannot run your antivirus software or enter the regular website normally.
  • Computer runs slower than usual and often freezes without any signs.

If you have noticed such changes in your PC, you should run a powerful Malware Removal Toolto scan your PC so as to quickly detect and remove the malware on your machine.

 

How Can You Remove Universalsearch.co Browser Hijacker from Your PC Effectively?

Commonly, users will choose to remove a browser hijacker manually. However, the removal result is not satisfactory. After they complete the removal and restart the computer, the browser hijacker comes back. The reason for this problem should be that they do not completely clean all traces (including URL, files, entries, codes, etc) of the browser hijacker from their computer systems. In the following, we will provide two methods that show how to remove Universalsearch.co and clean all its related traces from your PC.

Method 1: Automatically Remove the Browser Hijacker with SpyHunter (Recommended).

Method 2: Manually Remove the Browser Hijacker Step by Step (Not for Novice Users).


Method 1: Automatically Remove the Browser Hijacker with SpyHunter (Recommended).

This method is highly recommended since it is easier, safer and more effective than the manual removal method. What you need to do is to run a professional malware removal tool like SpyHunter to perform a full system scan and fix the detected threats.

What Is SpyHunter?

SpyHunter is an advanced malware removal tool that can detect and remove browser hijackers, Trojans, worms, viruses, rootkits, ransomware and potentially unwanted programs from your computer completely. This tool can also provide real-time protection against malware attacks and stop any malicious processes that attempt to add start-up entries to the Windows registry. Besides, SpyHunter offers 24×7 online assistance to help solve the malware issues that cannot be fixed by the tool autoamtically.

If you have problem with removal of Universalsearch.co, please download and use SpyHunter. Now you take these steps to install and use SpyHunter and fix your malware problems immediately.

Click the button below to download SpyHunter setup file on your PC.

download-spyhunter-now

Then, double click on icon of the setup file you have downloaded just now. When a dialog box appears as below, click the Run button to allow this file to run on your PC.SpyHunter-shortcut

click-Run
Select your language and click OK.

OK-SpyHunter1

Click on CONTINUE.

continue1

Choose I accept the EULA and Privacy Policy and then click INSTALL.

INSTALL3

Now SpyHunter is being installed on your PC. Wait for the installation to complete.

SpyHunter installation step 4

When you are prompted that the setup is successful, click on the EXIT button.

exit

SpyHunter will automatically run on your PC. Now you can start a quick scan by clicking the Scan Computer Now.

scan-computer-now

SpyHunter will start scanning for malware threats hidding on your PC. This will take quite a long time (20 minutes or more), so please be patient.

scanning process

Once the scanning is done, you will be shown all detected threats. To remove them all, you can click on Fix Threats button.

fix threats

Once SpyHunter finishes the removal of all these threats, it may require you to restart your computer. Please allow it to do so. After your computer gets restarted, Universalsearch.co should have been removed completely.

Method 2: Manually Remove the Browser Hijacker Step by Step (Not for Novice Users).

Main steps:

Step 1: Remove the browser hijacker from the affected browsers.
Step 2: Fix browser shortcuts modified by the browser hijacker.
Step 3: Delete the browser hijacker’s related files & folders from computer.
Step 4: Delete the browser hijacker’s related registry entries from computer.

Attention! The website URLs appearing in the screenshots below are just examples. If your PC gets infected by the Universalsearch.co browser hijacker, you will see the website URL “http://universalsearch.co/”, when you follow the steps below to perform the removal.

Step 1: Remove the browser hijacker from the affected browsers.

When hijacking your web browsers, the browser hijacker may have changed your homepage, startup page, new tab page and default search engine to its own. What you need to do is remove its website URL from the Home Page field and delete its search engine from your browsers.

Mozilla Firefox:

Open Mozilla Firefox browser. Click the Firefox menu (3-bar icon) and then click Options.

click options
In General tab, delete this link “http://universalsearch.co from the Home Page field, and then enter a new website address that you prefer.

remove link_firefox

Then, switch to the Search tab. Under Default Search Engine, click on the drop-down arrow.

remove search engine_1

Then, you will see a list of all search engines installed on Firefox browser. Select the one you want to make as the default. For example, you can choose “Google“.

remove search engine_3

Then, navigate to the One-click search engines section, choose “Search Start Page“, and click the Remove button.

remove search engine_4

Internet Explorer:

Open Internet Explorer browser. Click the Tools menu (gear icon) and select Internet Options from the drop-down list.

click internet options

Under the General tab, remove the unwanted website link, type your preferred one and then click OK.

remove link-ie

Click the Tools menu again and then select Manage add-ons.

click-manage-add-on

Click Search Providers, and you will see all search providers installed on your PC. If you find a search engine called Search Start Page has been set as the default, you should first set a search engine you prefer as the default, and then right click the unwanted one, and click the Remove button.

Google Chrome:

Open Google Chrome browser. Click on Chrome’s Tools menu which is represented by three horizontal lines, and select the option labeled Settings from the drop-down list.

click-settings

In the open page, click Set pages under On startup.

remove startup page_1

A small window will open. If you see an unwanted website URL there, highlight it and click the X button to delete it.

remove startup page_2

Back to the Setting page, locate Appearance, tick Show Home button, and click the Change link.

remove homepage_1

In the popup Home page window, delete the unwanted website link and click OK.

remove homepage_2

Now move to the Search section, click Manage search engines.

remove search-engine_1

In the open window, if your find that your default search engine has been set to the unwanted one, you need to first make your favorite one (such as Google) as the default. Then, highlight the unwanted search engine and click the X button. Finally, click the Done button to exit the window.

delete unwanted search engine_chrome

 

Step 2: Fix browser shortcuts modified by the browser hijacker.

The browser hijacker may modify your browser shortcuts so that you will be redirected to its own domain page whenever your open the web browsers. Now follow these steps to fix the shortcuts in all affected web browsers.

Internet Explorer:

Right click the icon of Internet Explorer on your desktop and click the Properties option.

clean shortcut_ie1

Under Shortcut tab, locate Target, and then delete the unwanted website link located after “…iexplore.exe”. Click OK to save the change.

delete-shortcut_ie

Mozilla Firefox:

Right click the icon of Firefox on your desktop and click the Properties option.

click-properties-firefox

Under Shortcut tab, locate Target, and then delete the unwanted website link located after “…firefox.exe”. Click OK to save the change.

delete-shortcut_firefox

Google Chrome:

Right click the icon of Chrome on your desktop and click the Properties option.

click-properties

Under Shortcut tab, locate Target, and then delete the unwanted website link located after “…chrome.exe”. Click OK to save the change.

delete link from shortcut_chrome

Step 3: Delete the browser hijacker’s related files & folders from computer.

Generally, when a browser hijacker gets installed on your PC, it may created its related files and folders in your system. Some of files or codes can keep recovering the browser hijacker, and that is the reason why you cannot permanently clean the this threat from your machine even though you have tried many times.To completely remove Universalsearch.co browser hijacker, you need to delete its files and folders from your computer. Follow these steps below:

Open the local disk C, and navigate to the following directories. Look for if there are any folders or files related to the browser hijacker; if there are, delete them.

%Program Files\%
%AppData\%
%Program Files\%
%Documents and Settings\%

You can also use the Windows search function to search for the related files and folder. Double click the “Computer” icon from your desktop, type the browser hijacker’s name into the search box and wait for the search results. Once you find any item related to the browser hijacker, delete it from your PC.

However, this browser hijacker may hide its relevant files and folders in somewhere of your system that you can not find them easily. Actually, less general users can manually find and delete all files and folders of a malware, and as a result, they fail to thoroughly get rid of the malware. If you can not find any files and folders relevant to the browser hijacker, it is suggested that you use a tool to automtically detect and remove them instead.

 

Step 4: Delete the browser hijacker’s related registry entries from computer.

When Universalsearch.co enters your PC, it will add its related entries, keys and values to the Windows registry. You need to open the registry editor and delete all components related to the browser hijacker, especially the browser hijacker’s start-up entry which enables it to run automatically every time the Windows is launched. But you should be careful during the deletion process and avoid mistakenly deleting any important entries from the Windows registry. Below are the steps for you to follow.

Press Window key + R key at the same time, and a Run command box will open. Type “regedit” into the box and click OK. This will open the registry editor.

type-regedit

Now click Edit and select Find option.

edit-find

In the popup window, type the browser hijacker’s name into the box and click Find Next. Wait for a while until you get the search results.Delete any entry, key or value related to the browser hijacker.

delete

To aviod missing any item, please try searching the related items several times, until you are prompted the message as shown below.

ok

Important Note: You should only delete entries related to the browser hijacker. If you cannot find any item in the search result, please do not delete other entries recklessly. This does no good to the Universalsearch.co removal and even could cause damage to your system. To be safe, it is highly recommend that you use a professional malware removal tool to help you instead.


Conclusion

Universalsearch.co appears to be a normal search site that provides the search service. But in fact, it is a browser hijacker that can affect many popular web browsers like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. This browser hijacker usually gets into a target computer in stealthily ways. One of the most common way is to bundled with third-party software. Once gets installed on your PC, it can modify your browser settings and replace your homepage and default search engine with its own. Although this browser hijacker doesn’t perform very malicious actions like a Trojan, it is hated by most users. One of the annoying things done by this browser hijacker is to hijack your web browsers. It keeps redirecting you to its own page and doesn’t allow you to reset the homepage back to the previous one. Its final objective is to boost website traffic and generate advertising revenue. By forcing you to access the Internet through its own website, this browser hijacker can redirect you to certain websites, display ads or sponsored links in your search results, and even collect your search terms as well as other online data. Therefore, it is necessary that you delete Universalsearch.co from your computer as quickly as possible. Above we have given two methods to perform the removal and hope that they will help you.


Friendly reminder: The manual removal method is not as safe and effective as the automatic removal method. In many cases, users fail to manually remove Universalsearch.co browser hijacker due to the fact that they cannot to find out and delete all its related traces from the system. Browser hijackers always deep hide their files and codes in the system, which is hard for a general user to find only with the naked eyes. Without deleting all these traces, the browser hijacker will keep coming back.

Actually, using a professional tool will easily resolve this problem. With advanced scanning algorithm, the tool can quickly detect the browser hijacker’s traces and you can easily delete them with a click of mouse. What’s more, using a tool is much safer. A tool will “know” which files are safe and which files are malicious. But if you are a novice user, you may not be able to recognize them. Any wrong deletion may cause your system to crash or programs to unable to run. Therefore, to effectively and safely get rid of Universalsearch.co from your PC, you can consider using an exclusive malware removal tool.

download-removal-tool

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