How to remove Social2Search Ads (Virus Removal Guide)

Social2Search (from technologiesirwilfridlaurier.com) is an adware program that displays pop-up ads and unwanted advertisements on web pages that you visit. These advertisements will be shown as boxes containing coupons, as underlined keywords (in-text ads), pop-up …

Social2Search (from technologiesirwilfridlaurier.com) is an adware program that displays pop-up ads and unwanted advertisements on web pages that you visit. These advertisements will be shown as boxes containing coupons, as underlined keywords (in-text ads), pop-up ads or advertising banners.
Ads by Social2Search

Social2Search virus

What is Social2Search?

Social2Search is advertised as a “social search engine that gives you access to the knowledge of your friends“. Though this may sound like a useful service, the Social2Search program can be intrusive and will display advertisements whether you want them to or not.

The Social2Search advertisements may have a different text under the pop-up: “Powered by Social2Search“, “Brought to you by Social2Search“, “RocketTab powered by Social2Search“, “Ads by Social2Search” or “Ads powered by Social2Search“.

These ads are aimed to promote the installation of additional questionable content including web browser toolbars, optimization utilities and other products, all so the Social2Search publisher can generate pay-per-click revenue.

Ads powered by Social2Search Virus

When your machine is infected with the Social2Search adware, other common symptoms include:

  • Advertising banners are injected with the web pages that you are visiting.
  • Random web page text is turned into hyperlinks.
  • Browser popups appear which recommend fake updates or other software.
  • Other unwanted adware programs might get installed without the user’s knowledge.

To make matters worse, you will also find that Social2Search will cause your computer to act more sluggish or for your web browser to freeze.

How did Social2Search get on my computer?

Social2Search is commonly bundled with other free programs that you download off of the Internet. Unfortunately, some free downloads do not adequately disclose that other software will also be installed and you may find that you have installed Social2Search without your knowledge.

You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this Social2Search adware. 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.
The below instructions are for Windows users, however we also have an Android guide and a Mac OS guide which should help clean up your device.

How to remove Social2Search adware (Uninstall Guide)

This page is a comprehensive guide which will remove Social2Search adware from Windows.
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 Social2Search from Windows

In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious program that might be installed on your computer.

  1. Go to the uninstall menu.

    Windows 10 or Windows 8

    1. To uninstall a program on Windows 10 or Windows 8, right-click on the Windows Start button and choose “Control Panel” from the pop-up menu.
      Control Panel in Windows 10
    2. When the “Control Panel” window opens click on the “Uninstall a program” option under “Programs” category.
      Uninstall A Program on Windows 10

    Windows 7 or Windows Vista

    1. If you are using Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, click the “Start” button, then click on the “Control Panel” menu option.
      [Image: Control Panel in Windows Start Menu]
    2. When the “Control Panel” window opens click on the “Uninstall a program” option under “Programs” category.
      [Image: Uninstall a program]
  2. When the “Programs and Features” screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and uninstall “Social2Search“.
    To view the most recently installed programs, you can click on the “Installed On” column to sort your program by the installation date. Scroll through the list, and uninstall any unwanted or unknown programs.
    If you cannot find any unwanted or unknown programs on your machine, then you can proceed with the next step.
    If you are having issues while trying to uninstall the Social2Search program, you can use Revo Uninstaller to completely remove this unwanted program from your machine.

    Social2Search Removal


STEP 2: Scan your computer with Malwarebytes AdwCleaner

Malwarebytes AdwCleaner is a free utility that will scan your computer for adware programs that may have been installed without your knowledge.

  1. You can download Malwarebytes AdwCleaner from the below link.
    MALWAREBYTES ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will start the download of “Malwarebytes AdwCleaner” on your computer)
  2. Before starting Malwarebytes AdwCleaner, close your web browser, then double-click on the Malwarebytes AdwCleaner icon.
    Open Malwarebytes AdwCleaner
    If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run Malwarebytes AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
    Windows asking permission to start Malwarebytes AdwCleaner
  3. When the Malwarebytes AdwCleaner program will open, click on the “Scan” button as shown below.
    Scan your computer with Malwarebytes AdwCleaner to remove adware
    Malwarebytes AdwCleaner will now start to search for the Social2Search adware and other malicious programs.
  4. To remove the malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the “Clean” button.
    Malwarebytes AdwCleaner removing Adware
  5. Malwarebytes AdwCleaner will prompt you to save any open files or documents, as the program will need to reboot the computer to complete the cleaning process. Please do so, and then click on the “OK” button.
    Malwarebytes AdwCleaner finishing malware removal
    When your computer reboots and you are logged in, Malwarebytes AdwCleaner will automatically open a log file that contains the files, registry keys, and programs that were removed from your computer. Please review this log file and then close the notepad window.

STEP 3: Scan your computer with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a powerful on-demand scanner which will remove the Social2Search Ads from your machine. It is important to note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.

  1. You can download download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the below link.
    MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware”)
  2. Once downloaded, close all programs, then double-click on the icon on your desktop named “mbam-setup” to start the installation of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Icon
    You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
    Windows asking permission to install Malwarebytes
  3. When the installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard
    To install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware setup wizard
  4. Once installed, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will automatically start and will update the antivirus database. To start a system scan you can click on the “Scan Now” button.
    Start a scan with Malwarebytes scan
  5. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for the Social2Search adware. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is scanning it will look like the image below.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scanning for malware
  6. When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes Anti-malware has found, click on the “Remove Selected” button.
    To remove malware click on the Remove Selected button
  7. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now quarantine all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. When removing the files, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot your computer, please allow it to do so.

STEP 4: Scan your computer with HitmanPro

HitmanPro can find and remove malware, adware, bots, and other threats that even the best antivirus suite can oftentimes miss. HitmanPro is designed to run alongside your antivirus suite, firewall, and other security tools.

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new 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).
    HitmanPro Icon
    Click on the “Next” button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.
    HitmanPro setup process
  3. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malware.
    HitmanPro scanning for Social2Search Ads
  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 malware.
    HitmanPro detected malware
  5. Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    Activate HitmanPro to remove malware

(OPTIONAL) STEP 5: Reset your browser to the default settings

If you are still experiencing issues with the Ads by Social2Search pop-ups in Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome, we will need to reset your browser to its default settings.
This step should be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome has an option that will reset itself to its default settings. Resetting your browser settings will reset the unwanted changes caused by installing other programmes. However, your saved bookmarks and passwords will not be cleared or changed.

  1. Click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled Settings.
    Google Chrome Settings button
  2. Chrome’s Settings should now be displayed in a new tab or window, depending on your configuration. Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Show advanced settings link (as seen in the below example).
    Google Chrome Advanced Settings
  3. Chrome’s advanced Settings should now be displayed. Scroll down until the Reset browser settings section is visible, as shown in the example below. Next, click on the Reset browser settings button.
    Google Chrome Reset button
  4. A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the Reset button.
    Reset Google Chrome settings

Internet Explorer

You can reset Internet Explorer settings to return them to the state they were in when Internet Explorer was first installed on your PC.

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the “gear iconIE Icon Gear in the upper right part of your browser, then click again on Internet Options.
    [Image: Internet Options in Internet Explorer]
  2. In the “Internet Options” dialog box, click on the “Advanced” tab, then click on the “Reset” button.
    [Image: Reset Internet Explorer]
  3. In the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” section, select the “Delete personal settings” check box, then click on “Reset” button.
    [Image: Reset Internet Explorer to its default settings]
  4. When Internet Explorer has completed its task, click on the “Close” button in the confirmation dialogue box. You will now  need to close your browser, and then you can open Internet Explorer again.
    [Image Reset Internet Explorer settings]

Mozilla Firefox

If you’re having problems with Firefox, resetting it can help. The reset feature fixes many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information like bookmarks, passwords, web form auto-fill information, browsing history and open tabs.

  1. In the upper-right corner of the Firefox window, click the Firefox menu button ([Image: Firefox Menu button]), then click on the “Help” ([Image: Firefox Help button]) button.
    Firefox Help button
  2. From the Help menu, choose Troubleshooting Information.
    If you’re unable to access the Help menu, type about:support in your address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting information page.
    Troubleshooting Information in Firefox
  3. Click the “Refresh Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
    Refresh Firefox button
  4. To continue, click on the “Refresh Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
    Reset Firefox settings to default
  5. Firefox will close itself and will revert to its default settings. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click on the “Finish“.

Note: Your old Firefox profile will be placed on your desktop in a folder named “Old Firefox Data“. If the reset didn’t fix your problem you can restore some of the information not saved by copying files to the new profile that was created. If you don’t need this folder any longer, you should delete it as it contains sensitive information.


Your computer should now be free of the Social2Search pop-up ads. You can remove AdwCleaner from your machine, however we recommend that you keep Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro installed to perform regular computer scans.

If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove Social2Search adware from your machine, please do one of the following:

If we have managed to help you, please share this guide to help others.