Universalsearches.com Removal Guide

Do you know what Universalsearches.com is?

Universalsearches.com is a questionable search engine that usually comes as a component in a browser hijacker infection. As it is a part of this threat, do not be surprised if you notice that it has altered your homepage and search engine on all your browsers, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox without permission. If you have opened any of your browsers and see the presence of Universalsearches.com, you should know that you have encountered a browser hijacker. These threats often manage to enter those systems which are unprotected, i.e. a reliable security tool is not installed on them. It is also targeted at those PCs which are owned by careless users, i.e. users who tend to visit suspicious web pages, download programs from different sources without making sure that they are trustworthy, and keep clicking on various commercial ads they notice on different web pages. As Universalsearches.com is not the most trustworthy search engine, you should get rid of it for the sake of your system’s safety. We are sure that you will find and set another more reliable search engine after the full removal of this hijacker.

Universalsearches.com itself is hosted on the IP address, and it cannot be put into the category of browser hijackers that are extremely prevalent. Even though it is not very active at the time of writing, specialists say that this might change in the near future because the owner of this search engine, which is, probably, the developer that created a bunch of hijackers that form the ELEX family, seeks to use this search provider to drive traffic to third-party web pages in order to receive money for this activity. It has been noticed that Universalsearches.com is not the only search engine that uses the IP address. Researchers have noticed that yessearches.com, which is considered to be a suspicious search engine, uses it too. We believe that these untrustworthy search engines might belong to the same publisher and they act in a really similar way. Therefore, we believe that it would be best to get rid of yessearches.com too if you ever encounter it.Universalsearches.com Removal GuideUniversalsearches.com screenshot
Scroll down for full removal instructions

The first symptom that Universalsearches.com browser hijacker has managed to enter your system is a different homepage and search engine on all the browsers. In addition, more experienced users will notice that the Start Page value, which is located in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main, has been modified. The prefs.js file (located in C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\{Unique Mozilla Firefox user ID}) will be changed too. Last but not least, you will notice that such files as Preferences, Secure Preferences, and Web Data in C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default will be modified immediately after Universalsearches.com hijacker enters the system as well. We want to emphasize that some versions of this threat might also add extensions to browsers.

In case Universalsearches.com has already replaced your homepage and search engine, you should get rid of it as soon as possible for one simple reason – this search engine might present users with links and third-party ads that redirect straight to unreliable pages. There is a possibility that these ads will be visible on the main page of Universalsearches.com in the future; however, they will be mainly incorporated among decent-looking search results. Unfortunately, it is impossible to say in advance what website you will reach after clicking on any of those commercial advertisements. Moreover, we are sure that Universalsearches.com will also gather information about you. Luckily, these details are mainly associated with your Internet-browsing activities and can be called non-personally identifiable; however, we cannot guarantee that third-party web pages you will be taken to by using Universalsearches.com will not gather personal data.

If you wonder how Universalsearches.com browser hijacker has managed to enter your system, you should know that it has probably been set after you have downloaded a malicious software installer from a third-party web page. Universalsearches.com might also have been dropped on your system by Picexa, which is known to be a potentially unwanted program. If you know that you have this piece of software installed, we suggest getting rid of it too.

You can eliminate Universalsearches.com from all your browsers by resetting your browsers one by one. Instructions which you will find below will help you to do that. If you see that this search engine has not disappeared anywhere, you should scan your system with an automatic malware remover, e.g. SpyHunter. We are sure that this tool will eliminate Universalsearches.com for you, and it will also take care of other undesirable applications that might hide on your system.

Delete Universalsearches.com

Internet Explorer

  1. Open your browser.
  2. Tap Alt+T.
  3. Open Internet Options and click on the Advanced tab.
  4. Click Reset.
  5. Check the Delete personal settings box and click Reset again.

Google Chrome

  1. Open your browser.
  2. Tap Alt+F.
  3. Click Settings and scroll down.
  4. Click Show advanced settings.
  5. Click Reset settings.
  6. Click the Reset button.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open your browser and tap Alt+H.
  2. Select Troubleshooting information.
  3. Click Refresh Firefox.
  4. Click on the Refresh Firefox button once again.

In non-techie terms:

There are hundreds of browser hijackers that exist on the web, so you have to take care of your system’s safety if you do not want to encounter a hijacker once again. The quickest thing you can do about that is to install a security tool on your system. Do not forget to update your tool periodically and scan your system from time to time.