Remove SafeSearch toolbar (Uninstall Guide)

SafeSearch is a program that offers a web search engine (www.safesearch.net) and toolbar which are being promoted via other free programs, and once installed on your computer, they will hijack your browser homepage and replace your default search engine.
Futhermore, this program will display ads and sponsored links in your search results, and may colect search terms from your search queries.
[Image: SafeSearch]
SafeSearch Toolbar got on your computer after you have installed another free software or add-on that had bundled into their installer this browser hijacker.
For example, when you install vPlay, you’ll also install the SafeSearch Toolbar, set your browser homepage to safesearch.net and change your default search engine to http://SafeSearch.net.However, when you uninstall iLivid from your computer, your web browser’s default settings will not be restored. This means that you’ll have to remove SafeSearch Toolbar from your favorite web browser manually.
[Image: SafeSearch installation process]
You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this browser hijacker. Be very careful what you agree to install. Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.

SafeSearch Toolbar – Virus Removal Instructions

STEP 1 : Uninstall SafeSearch Toolbar from your computer

  1. To uninstall SafeSearch Toolbar program from your computer, click the Start button, then select Control Panel, and click on Uninstall a program.
    If you are a Windows 8 user, you can right-click on a bottom left hot corner (formerly known as the Start button) and select Control panel from there, then select Uninstall a program.
  2. Search and uninstall SafeSearch from your computer.
    [Image: Uninstall SafeSearch program]

Please note that on some computers these programs might be renamed or missing,search for any program developed by SafeSearch, and uninstall it from your computer.


STEP 2 : Remove the SafeSearch Toolbar residual damage from your browser

SafeSearch Toolbar has installed a browser extension, has changed your homepage and set your default search engine to safesearch.net.

Remove SafeSearch Toolbar from Internet Explorer

  1. Remove SafeSearch Toolbar add-ons from Internet Explorer.
    Open Internet Explorer, then click on the gear icon [Image: Internet Explorer gear icon] (Tools for Windows XP users) at the top (far right), then select Manage add-ons.
    Internet Options in IE
    From the Toolbars and Extensions tab, select SafeSearch Toolbarand SafeSearch add-ons, and click on Disable.
    [Image: SafeSearch Internet Explorer add-ons]
  2. Set Internet Explorer default search engine from safesearch.net to Bing.
    To change your default search engine, click on the gear icon [Image: Internet Explorer gear icon] , select Manage Add-ons, and then, under Add-on Types, click Search Providers. Click the search provider you would like to set as the default, click Set Default, and then click OK.
    Next, click SafeSearch in the list, click on Remove, and then click Close.
    [Image: SafeSearch Internet Explorer search engine]
  3. Change your Internet Explorer home page from safesearch.net to its default
    To change your homepage, click on the gear icon [Image: Internet Explorer gear icon] , select Internet Explore options, and in the General tab,under the Home page section, click on Use default, to restore Internet Explorer default home page.
    [Image: SafeSearch Internet Explorer home page]

Remove SafeSearch Toolbar from Mozilla Firefox

  1. Remove SafeSearch Toolbar extensions from Internet Explorer.
    At the top of the Firefox window, click the orange Firefox button, then select Add-ons.
    Firefox addon menu
    Select the Extensions tab, then remove SafeSearch  extension from Mozilla Firefox.
    [Image: SafeSearch  Firefox extension]
  2. Reset your default search engine and home page from safesearch.net to their default.
    To reset your search engine and homepage to their default, we will use the SearchReset extension.This add-on is very simple: on installation, it backs up and then resets your search preferences and home page to their default values, and then uninstalls itself. This affects the search bar, URL bar searches, and the home page.
    You can download SearchReset from the below link, and then we will just need to install it to revert Firefox to its default settings.
    SEARCHRESET DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open another web page from where you can download the SearchReset Firefox extension)
    [Image: SearchReset Extension for Firefox]

Remove SafeSearch Toolbar from Google Chrome

  1. Remove SafeSearch Toolbar extensions from Google Chrome.
    Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button on the browser toolbar, select Tools and then click on Extensions.
    In the Extensions tab, remove (by clicking on the Recycle Bin) the SafeSearch extension from your Google Chrome.
    [Image: SafeSearch Chrome extension]
  2. Set Google Chrome default search engine from safesearch.net to google.com .
    Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button, then select Settings and click on Manage search engines in the Search section.
    In the Search Engines dialog that appears, select Google and click the Make Default button that appears in the row.
    Search for SafeSearch in the Search Engines list, and click the X that appears at the end of the row.
    Set Google as your default Search Engine in Chrome
  3. Change Google Chrome homepage from safesearch.net to its default.
    The SafeSearch Toolbar has modified your Google settings to open their webpage whenever you start your browser, so we will need to revert this change.
    Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button, then select Settings and click on One the New Tab page in the On Startup section.
    [Image: Change Google Chrome homepage to its default]

STEP 3: Remove SafeSearch Toolbar registry keys with AdwCleaner.

  1. You can download AdwCleaner from the below link.
    ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download AdwCleaner on your computer)
  2. Before starting this utility, close all open programs and internet browsers.
  3. Double click on adwcleaner.exe to run the tool.
  4. Click on Delete, then confirm each time with Ok. Adwcleaner utility
  5. Your computer will be rebooted automatically. A text file will open after the restart.
  6. NEXT, double click on adwcleaner.exe to run the tool.
  7. Click on Uninstall, then confirm with yes to remove this utility from your computer.

STEP 4: Run a computer scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

  1. You can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free from the below link, then double click on it to install this program.
    MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a download page in a new window from where you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free)
  2. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the setup process. DO NOT make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, make sure you leave both the Update Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware checked, then click on the Finish button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware final installation screen]
  3. On the Scanner tab, select Perform quick scan and then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Quick Scan]
  4. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer as shown below.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scanning for SafeSearch Toolbar]
  5. When the Malwarebytes scan will be completed, click on Show Result.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan results]
  6. You will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has detected.Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image. Make sure that everything is Checked (ticked) and click on the Remove Selected button.
    [Image:Malwarebytes removing malware]

STEP 5: Run a computer scan with HitmanPro

  1. Download HitmanPro from the below link, then double click on it to start this program.
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
  2. HitmanPro will start and you’ll need to follow the prompts (by clicking on the Next button) to start a system scan with this program.
    HitmanPro installation
  3. HitmanPro will start scanning your computer for malware, as seen in the image below.
    HitmanPro scans for SafeSearch Toolbar
  4. Once the scan is complete,you’ll see a screen which will display all the infected files that this utility has detected, and you’ll need to click on Next to remove these malicious files.
    HitmanPro scan results
  5. Click Activate free license to start the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    HitmanPro 30 days activation button

If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove SafeSearch Toolbar  from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

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ABOUT STELIAN PILICI

I am the creator and owner of MalwareTips.com.
My area of expertise includes malware removal and computer forensics. I'm active in the various online anti-malware communities where I do researches for new malware threats as they are released.
I live in Bucharest (Romania), where I run my own local computer repair shop.
I repair both hardware and other operating systems related issues, however most of my business is malware related problems.

You can follow me on Google+ and I will keep you up-to-date with the latest computer infections and malware threats.

  • JJ

    Brilliant – very thorough yet really straight forward. Many thanks!

  • Sassiegirl

    Thank You thank you !!!! I can open my next tab without that annoying “safesearch” blocking everything!!!