Remove SearchGol.com virus (Removal Guide)

Search-Gol is a browser hijacker, which is promoted via other free downloads, and once installed it will change your browser homepage and default search engine to http://searchgol.com/.
[Image: Search-Gol virus]
The Searchgol.com homepage will display advertisements and sponsored links in your search results, and may collect search terms from your search queries. The Searchgol.com hijack is used to boost advertising revenue, as in the use of blackhat SEO, to inflate a site’s page ranking in search results.

Searchgol.com it’s technically not a virus, but it does exhibit plenty of malicious traits, such as rootkit capabilities to hook deep into the operating system, browser hijacking, and in general just interfering with the user experience. The industry generally refers to it as a “PUP,” or potentially unwanted program.
Searchgol.com is an ad-supported (users may see additional banner, search, pop-up, pop-under, interstitial and in-text link advertisements) cross web browser plugin for Internet Explorer (BHO) and Firefox/Chrome (plugin) and distributed through various monetization platforms during installation. The browser extension includes various features that will modify the default or custom settings of the browser including the home page, search settings and in some cases will modify Internet Explorer’s load time threshold, place a lock file within Firefox to prevent competing software from changing its settings as well as disable the browser’s Content Security Policy in order to allow for cross site scripting of the plugin.

Searchgol.com homepage got on your computer after you have installed a freeware software (video recording/streaming, download-managers or PDF creators) that had bundled into their installation this browser hijacker.
For example, when you install VPlay, you will also agree to change your browser homepage and default search engine to http://searchgol.com/.
[Image: searchgol.com virus]
However when you uninstall VPlay from your computer, your web browser’s default settings will not be restored. This means that you’ll have to remove Searchgol.com homepage from your favorite web browser manually.

You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this Searchgol.com 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.

How to remove Searchgol.com browser hijacker – Virus Removal Guide

This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove SearchGol.com from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.
STEP 1: Uninstall SearchGol.com programs from your computer
STEP 2: Remove SearchGol.com from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome
STEP 3: Remove SearchGol.com browser hijacker with AdwCleaner
STEP 4: Remove SearchGol.com virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
STEP 5: Double-check for the SearchGol.com infection with HitmanPro

STEP 1 : Uninstall SearchGol.com programs from your computer

The SearchGol.com redirect may be caused by a program that you have recently installed on your computer.
In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious program that might be installed on your computer.

  1. To uninstall SearchGol toolbar from your computer, click the Start button, then select Control Panel, and click on Uninstall a program.
    If you are using Windows 8, simply drag your mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen, select Search from the list and search for “control panel“. Or 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.
    [Image: Uninstall a program]
  2. When the Add/Remove Programs or the Uninstall a Program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and uninstall BitGuard, BrowserProtect, Search-Gol Toolbar, Search-Gol Chrome Toolbar, Delta Toolbar, Delta Chrome Toolbar and any other recently installed or unknown programs from your computer.
    [Image: Uninstall SearchGol toolbar from Windows]

If you are having issues while trying to uninstall the SearchGol toolbar, you can use Revo Uninstaller to completly remove this unwated program from your machine.
Depending on what program has installed the SearchGol.com redirect, the above program may have a different name or not be installed on your computer. If you cannot find any unwanted or unknown programs on your machine, then you can proceed with the next step.


STEP 2 : Remove SearchGol.com from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome

Remove SearchGol.com from Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the gear icon [Image: icongear.jpg] (Tools for Windows XP users) at the top (far right), then click again on Internet Options.
    Internet Options in IE
  2. In the Internet Options dialog box, click on the Advanced tab, then click on the Reset button.
    Reset Internet Explorer
  3. In the Reset Internet Explorer settings section, check the Delete personal settings box, then click on Reset.
    Internet Explorer back to its default settings to remove SearchGol.com
  4. When Internet Explorer finishes resetting, click Close in the confirmation dialogue box and then click OK.
  5. Close and open Internet Explorer.

Remove SearchGol.com from Mozilla Firefox

  1. Remove SearchGol.com extensions from Firefox.
    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 SearchGol, Delta toolbar, BitGuard, BrowserDefender and any other unknown extensions from Mozilla Firefox.
    [Image: SearchGol.com Firefox extension]
  2. Reset your default search engine and homepage from SearchGol.com 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]

Remove SearchGol.com from Google Chrome

  1. Remove SearchGol.com extensions from Google Chrome.
    Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button on the browser toolbar, select Tools and then click on Extensions.
    Google Chrome Extensions
    In the Extensions tab, remove SearchGol, Delta toolbar, BitGuard, BrowserDefender and any other unknown extensions by clicking the trash can [Image: Remove an extension from Chrome] icon.
    Basically, if you have not installed an extension, you should remove it from your web browser.
    [Image: SearchGol.com Chrome extension]
  2. Set Google Chrome default search engine from SearchGol.com to Google.
    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.
    [Image: SearchGol.com Customized Web Search Chrome]
    Search for SearchGol in the Search Engines list, and click the X button that appears at the end of the row.
    [Image: SearchGol.com Chrome removal]
  3. Change Google Chrome homepage from SearchGol.com to its default.
    SearchGol 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 SearchGol.com browser hijacker with AdwCleaner

  1. You can download AdwCleaner utility from the below link.
    ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download AdwCleaner on your computer)
  2. Before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.
    [Image: AdwCleaner Icon]
    If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
  3. When the AdwCleaner program will open, click on the Scan button as shown below.
    [Image: Adwcleaner Scan]
    AdwCleaner will now start to search for SearchGol.com malicious files that may be installed on your computer.
  4. To remove the SearchGol.com malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the Clean button.
    [Image: AdwCleaner removing infections]
    AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or data as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the OK button.

STEP 4: Remove SearchGol.com virus from with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free

  1. You can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free from the below link, then double-click on the icon named mbam-setup.exe 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, then at the last screen 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 searching for the SearchGol.com malicious files.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Quick Scan]
  4. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for SearchGol.com as shown below.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scanning for SearchGol.com virus]
  5. When the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan has finished, click on the Show Results button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan results]
  6. You will now be presented with a screen showing you the computer infections that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected. Make sure that everything is Checked (ticked), then click on the Remove Selected button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware removing SearchGol.com]

STEP 5: Double-check for the SearchGol.com infection with HitmanPro

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
  2. Double-click on the file named HitmanPro.exe (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or HitmanPro_x64.exe (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
    HitmanPro scanner
    Click on the Next button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.
    HitmanPro installation
  3. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for SearchGol.com malicious files.
    HitmanPro detecting for SearchGol.com virus
  4. When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the Next button, to remove SearchGol.com adware.
    HitmanPro scan results
  5. Click on the Activate free license button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    [Image: HitmanPro 30 days activation button]

Your computer should now be free of the SearchGol.com infection. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future, and perform regular computer scans with HitmanPro.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove SearchGol.com 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.

  • Shubham

    super awesome

  • Margaret

    What a relief — all fixed. Thanks so much!

  • kevin

    thank you its a great job well done

  • Ash

    This post is really helpful …even my system speed has increased manifold …thanks !!! great

  • Ryan

    Tnx alot man! ur da best!

  • Shazpuss

    Really appreciated the help thank you

  • Sparky

    Fantastic, all sorted.

  • Dyer

    Excellent. Thanks very much.

  • Karis

    Thank you, so, so, SO much!

  • jason

    A million thanks!!!! I am so grateful for this guide!

  • Kaya

    Thank you so much.. : – )

  • Kaya

    Thank you so much…you genius !! : – )

  • Aneesh KK

    Thank you genius !

  • Shari

    Thank you so much!!! This has helped me tremendously!! Everything that you said to do worked perfectly!!

    One thing I might add for Chrome users: you may have to reset your browser settings. Even after I did everything that this article said to do, searchgol kept coming up every time I opened up my browser. After I had reset it, everything was completely back to normal! It no longer appeared in my search engines box nor did I see its URL.

    So thank you once again! I appreciate your help!

  • Harbir

    1000 thx u , u solved my problem it works great

  • Ola

    Thank you so much :) I lost a couple of hours, but it worked well :)

  • Johnnie

    Super helpful. thank you so much!! was trying to get rid of it using heaps of different sites but none seemed to be working. this one worked like a charm!!! thanks man. fuck SearchGol those bastards.

  • belen

    WOW this was VERY HELPFUL. Thank you very much. I just came across this “virus” and didnt know what to do. Your tips and links helped me a lot.