How to get rid of Search.safefinder.com redirect?

April 21, 2020 |

greater than 14 minutes

The internet is the site of so much that is good in humankind. It is also a cesspit of infection, depending on your luck for each particular day. You might find yourself surfing the web serenely and downloading that program that would help you do that very important task. Likely, you’d be enticed by freeware — after all, nobody really wants to pay for everything.

Here is the catch: the wages of freeware are often browser hijacking. If in doubt, those whose browsers have been taken over by the Search.safefinder.com redirect will quickly disabuse you of your skepticism.

Nobody wants to be told what to do all the time. Less so by a piece of code in a browser that forcefully redirects you to corners of the internet you would rather not visit, thank you very much. Unfortunately, the creators of the Search.safefinder.com redirect don’t care about what you want.

Unlike them, we care. Therefore, this guide has been put together for you. Here, we will explain the ins and outs of this browser hijacking code, which has annoyed many users on Windows 10. You will learn of the best methods to combat this software and free all the browsers on your computer from random and frustrating redirects to God-knows-where.

What Is Search.safefinder.com in My Browser?

Safefinder is many things all at once, and none of them is good for the internet user. It is adware, which means its major purpose in your system is to serve you advertisements programmed by its creators without your permission. It is a browser extension, which means that it is most often not standalone software but is installed as a plug-in or add-on in all your browsers, from where it operates.

Safefinder is also a search engine provider in the sense that it changes your default search engine, such as Google.com, and replaces it with some search engine you’ve probably never heard of. Safefinder is browser-agnostic. That is, it can infect any and all the popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Edge.

Safefinder is a potentially unwanted application created by Linkury Inc. If you find your browser has been hijacked by Safefinder, chances are it happened without your knowledge. Safefinder gets installed on the systems of unsuspecting users in a variety of ways, but most are linked to freeware downloads.

Free downloads. This is a favourite tactic of browser hijackers, adware, Trojans, and sundry other forms of malware. Usually, criminals create websites offering free downloads of very useful paid programs or claiming to have the unlocked versions of freemium applications. Users who get hoodwinked might end up downloading adware or malware, such as the Safefinder virus.

Background installation. This is another favourite tactic of browser hijackers. Safefinder can get installed on your system just by visiting certain websites, even if you don’t click on anything on the page. Some websites are simply unsafe and programmed to automatically download and install malware on the systems of visitors. Sometimes, these websites are able to bypass the browser’s security protocols.

Attachments. Attachments are files linked to an email. Sometimes, you get an email with bogus attachments. If you click on the attachment, Safefinder can automatically get installed on the computer.

Download clients. You’ve probably come across a website or two suggesting you install their download client for faster downloading across the web. Some of these clients are actually browser hijackers in disguise. Once you install them, they proceed to take over your browser, installing multiple plug-ins or changing your browser homepage and search engine.

Fake downloads. Another popular tactic of potentially unwanted applications like Safefinder. The unsuspecting user is notified that their browser or application requires an update. On clicking the provided link, the Safefinder application is installed on the system and inserts itself into the browser in use, changing its homepage to Search.safefinder.com.

User installation. This is another common way through which Safefinder gains access to the user’s browsers. Most of us are always on the lookout for tools that can improve the browsing experience. Many users are conned by the promise of quicker website loading, content sharing and improved notifications. So, they download and install Safefinder on their systems, only to contend with the consequences almost immediately.

Is Safefinder Really Safe?

Everyone knows of search engines like Yahoo, Google and Microsoft Bing. They aren’t the only search providers around. There are literally hundreds of search engines, each one modified for a specific purpose. Most are focused versions of Yahoo or Google search geared towards a specific field like academics, engineering or tech.

The creators of Safefinder tout it as a safe search engine based on Yahoo. According to them, the user’s browsing experience is greatly increased using Safefinder. They can get instant notifications from all social media platforms and emails. Websites also load quicker, and those loaded in a foreign language are easily and automatically translated into the user’s default language.

These benefits are no doubt enticing. There is even an argument to be made that they are for the most part legitimate advantages to using Safefinder. However, all the potential good work is undermined by the underhand practices of Safefinder. It is categorized as adware and a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUP) for good reason. Not to mention Safefinder also tracks your IP.

Safefinder monitors the internet activities of users. It tracks their location and records all the web pages visited — search engines like Google pretty much do the same. However, the sore point of Safefinder is the modification of the user’s internet settings. Most people are pretty much fine with Google or Yahoo or Bing as their search engine. They don’t want to wake up to unknown search engines like Search.safefinder.com in their browsers.

How Search.safefinder.com Works

Search.safefinder.com is just the latest in a long line of adware and browser hijackers that change the internet settings of users, often for nefarious purposes. Other examples through the years are trovi.com, hao123.com, istart123.com, and mystartsearch.com. Nor is Safefinder the only hijacker extension created by Linkury. However, all of them have one thing in common: they redirect users to Search.safefinder.com.

When Safefinder gets installed in the browser, it goes to work to modify the homepage of the browser. It also replaces the default search engine with Search.safefinder.com. The next time a user initiates a web search, the Safefinder search engine mixes bogus information among the search results. The idea behind this is to tempt the user to click links or visit websites where they can be served ads or prompted to install fake programs and additional adware.

Before we explain how to prevent the installation of Safefinder and how to remove it from an infected system, here is a summary of what you’re dealing with if Safefinder is already installed in your browser:

What are you dealing with?

The Safefinder adware, the Search.safefinder.com search engine

How does it infect your computer?

Bundled downloads, fake flash player installers, misleading pop-ups, fake attachments, clicking malicious links

How does it affect your browsers?

Redirects, opening new tabs, random and persistent pop-ups, installing random toolbars, hijacking search results

What about the damage?

Loss of privacy, credentials become unsafe, bandwidth used up by unwanted ads and pop-ups, random and persistent distractions, incorrect search results

How to tell something is amiss

Browser homepage changed to Safefinder, search results provided by Search.safefinder.com, ad links in search results

How to Avoid Installing Safefinder

It is a wild, wild west out there on the internet. Despite your best efforts, you may not always succeed in preventing unwanted programs from infiltrating your system. However, by practising the tips given here, you will be able to reduce the chances of browser hijacking by Safefinder to a minimum — if not zero.

  1. Use only trusted download clients. Download clients are dedicated software for downloading media, archives and other types of files from the internet. All of them claim to offer faster downloads, but not all of them are safe. Many so-called download clients come with adware as well. You should carefully make sure that the client you’re about to download doesn’t come with a free browser plug-in. Better still, restrict yourself to downloading clients universally acknowledged as safe and trustworthy.
  2. Use the Advanced or Custom option for installations. When you launch the installer for a product, you’re given the choice of recommended or custom installation. For freeware downloaded from the web, the recommended installation often installs additional software as well. Therefore, to be on the safe side, always choose Custom and manually deselect any additional software or plug-in that isn’t related to what you’re installing.

Weather Ping, Adobe Flash Player, Quick Specs, and Comodo Antivirus are examples of software through which Safefinder is installed and hijacks the computer’s browsers.

  • Avoid Safefinder websites. There are variations of the website created by the developers of Safefinder. Each one is there for the sole purpose of redirecting users. Make sure not to ever click links that direct you to any one of these:
  1. search.safefinder.biz
  2. search.safefinder.info
  3. isearch.safefinder.net
  4. search.safefinder.com
  5. search.safefinderformac.com

In addition, watch out for these websites as they are also created by the developers of Safefinder:

Calligula.net, contactium.info, cakepake.com, wonderhouse.me, logicalocks.com, cornalium.com, grrreat.info, safegrounds.net, classicsearch.info, radio-boom.com, artcart.info, suitup.info, newtab.online, film-addicted.com, moviedime.club, seek123.net, wikicraftpro.com, switch2search.com, gogetsport.com, chumsearch.com

  • Use security software at all times. This cannot be emphasized enough. Always ensure your security software is active and up to date before you visit any potentially unsafe website or click a link to freeware.

How to Remove the Safefinder Virus

Once you know for sure that the Safefinder adware is on your system, removing it isn’t too hard of a process. Despite that it is adware that works by hijacking browser content and serving the user unwanted pop-ups, Safefinder is classified as basic malware. That means that even a complete novice can remove it following simple steps.

Naturally, there are two ways to remove Search.safefinder.com from your Windows 10 PC. You can use the easier, automatic method or go for the manual method that requires you to do the job yourself. Whichever choice you make will lead to the same result: the removal of Safefinder. At the end of the process, your browser will simply go back to how it was before it was hijacked.

How to Remove the Safefinder Virus Automatically

As mentioned, you can remove Safefinder from your computer yourself. It isn’t a big deal. However, the process can become long and boring and the weary user may be tempted to give up midway. Also, removal can become complicated if multiple browsers have been infected at the same time.

Why remove Safefinder manually when you can simply sit back and watch software do the dirty work for you? Of course, we’re talking about dedicated spyware and malware removal tools that clean up your PC at the click of a button. With trusted security software, your malware woes will be swiftly confined to the dustbin of history.

There are many malware removal tools out there, but when it comes to value for money, none works as effectively as Auslogics Anti-Malware. Whether you’re just scanning your PC in case malware has slipped in without your knowledge or trying to get rid of a virus you’ve spotted, Auslogics Anti-Malware will do what you need cleanly and efficiently. Unlike other security software, it doesn’t take an age to load or finish scanning, and quarantining even the most stubborn Trojans and spyware is a breeze.

Once you’ve downloaded, installed and launched the software, Auslogics Anti-Malware goes to work instantly. It scans everything on your computer, from startup processes to browser extensions, making sure there is no security threat lurking anywhere. You can choose from Quick, Deep or Personalized scan to search for threats. The Deep scan option will help you erase malware and potentially dangerous items from even the remotest corner of your hard drive that you might not even know existed.

Auslogics Anti-Malware is versatile software. You can use it on its own or make it a complement to your primary antivirus. You can schedule a scan to run at specific times, move flagged items to quarantine or restore them if you’re convinced they’re safe.

If you’re having to contend with the Safefinder adware extension on your PC, a quick scan with Auslogics Anti-Malware will remove the malware and restore your browser to how it looked pre-infection.

How to Remove the Safefinder Virus Manually

The Safefinder virus most often installs itself as a browser extension in whichever web browser you used to visit a dangerous site or download the unsafe freeware. Sometimes, however, it is installed as a parent app on the computer, which then automatically installs different plug-ins and extensions into the browsers on the machine.

Whichever the case, you can safely and easily remove Safefinder from your PC using the tried and tested methods given here. Removing the parent program requires using the Programs and Features setting in the Control Panel. To remove the Safefinder browser extension, you have to manually disable the extensions in each browser.

Let us go through each method.

Remove Safefinder Through the Control Panel

This process is pretty much the same on Windows 10 and Windows 8:

  1. Move your cursor over to the bottom left of the computer screen.
  2. Then right-click the Start menu icon, and the hidden system shortcuts menu will be displayed. This contains shortcuts to some of the most useful system features.
  3. The one we’re interested in is the Control Panel. Move the cursor over to Control Panel in the menu list and click on it to launch the applet.
  4. When the Control Panel window opens, make sure the View by mode is set to Large icons.
  5. Look for Programs in the Control Panel menu and click it.
  6. In the Programs window, select Programs and Features.
  7. Scroll through the list of programs on the system. Look for entries related to Safefinder, Search.safefinder.com or Linkury Inc.
  8. Once you’ve found what you’re looking for, right-click the entry and select Uninstall.
  9. Follow the instructions in the uninstallation wizard to completely remove the Safefinder parent program from your computer.

Once you’ve gotten rid of the Safefinder PUP, we recommend you scan your computer immediately to remove other malware that might still be lurking. You can also use third-party uninstallation software to make sure that all the Safefinder files and registry entries have been completely removed. After this, reboot the PC and all will be well with the world.

Remove the Safefinder Extension from Your Browsers

The Safefinder browser hijacker uses various tactics to attach itself to the browser and serve users with malicious content. Usually, it works as a browser extension. However, the search engine can be changed to Search.safefinder.com. The homepage is often changed to Safefinder as well. Even desktop shortcuts can be modified to direct the user straight to Search.safefinder.com rather than the browser homepage.

Eliminating Safefinder from the browser manually involves removing each of these modifications.

Here is how to eliminate Safefinder and Search.safefinder.com from Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge.

Remove the Safefinder Browser Hijacker from Google Chrome

To eliminate Safefinder from Chrome, the first thing to do is check whether there is a malicious browser extension and remove it if found:

  1. First of all, launch Chrome.
  2. Look for the “Customize and control Google Chrome” icon and click it to expand the menu. The icon is the three dots stacked vertically in the top right corner of the browser window.
  3. Hover the cursor over “More tools” in the dropdown menu and then click Extensions from the expanded “More tools” option.
  4. Look for the Safefinder extension here. If you don’t find it, move to the other steps below. If you find it, you need to disable and then remove it.
  5. To disable the extension, simply click the toggle button. It should change from blue to gray, indicating that it has been disabled.
  6. To remove it, simply click the Remove button.

Next, you need to fix the shortcut target for Chrome. If the target has been changed to Safefinder, doing this will restore it to its default settings:

  1. On your desktop, find the Chrome shortcut.
  2. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties.
  3. In the Shortcut tab of the Chrome properties window, check the entry in the “Target” field.
  4. If there is anything after “C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe”, delete it.
  5. Click Apply, then OK to save your changes.

To change your startup page back from Safefinder in Chrome, do the following:

  1. Click the Chrome menu icon.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Find the “On Startup” option.
  4. Select “Open a specific page or set of pages.”
  5. Find the entry for Safefinder.
  6. Click Delete.

You can also remove Search.safefinder.com as your default search engine in Chrome. Sometimes, the previous tweaks don’t remove it, so you have to do it manually:

  1. Click the Chrome menu icon.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Look for the “Search engine” option and click the “Manage search engines” option.
  4. You should find Safefinder listed as default here.
  5. Click the three vertical dots icon to the right of the Safefinder entry and select “Remove from list”.

You can go ahead to choose Google as your default engine or select another safe option.

Remove the Safefinder Browser Hijacker from Mozilla Firefox

The process for eliminating Safefinder from Firefox is pretty similar to that for Chrome.

First, let’s eliminate the malicious extension:

  1. Launch Firefox.
  2. Click on the hamburger menu icon on the top right. That’s the icon consisting of three vertical lines.
  3. When the dropdown menu is displayed, click the “Add-ons” option.
  4. Select Extensions in the left menu bar of the Add-ons window.
  5. Find the Safefinder extension in this window and click it once.
  6. Select Disable to remove it from Firefox.

Next, you must fix the shortcut target for Firefox, assuming it has been hijacked by Safefinder. If the target has been changed to Safefinder, doing this will restore it to its default settings:

  1. On your desktop, find the Firefox shortcut.
  2. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties.
  3. In the Shortcut tab of the Firefox properties window, check the entry in the “Target” field.
  4. If there is anything after “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe”, delete it.
  1. Click Apply, then OK to save your changes.

If Safefinder is your homepage in Firefox, here’s how to remove it:

  1. Click on the hamburger menu icon on the top right. That’s the icon consisting of three vertical lines.
  2. From the dropdown menu, select Options.
  3. Click Home in the left menu pane of the Firefox Options window.
  4. In the menu next to “Homepage and new windows”, select Firefox Home to restore your homepage to the default set by Firefox. You can also choose the “custom URL” option and enter a new web address.

If you keep getting redirected to Search.safefinder.com in Firefox, you can stop this by changing your search engine.

  1. Click on the hamburger menu icon on the top right. That’s the icon consisting of three vertical lines.
  2. From the dropdown menu, select Options.
  3. Click Search in the left menu pane of the Firefox Options window.
  4. In the “One-click search engines” list, find Safefinder and click on it.
  5. Click the Remove button to delete the Search.safefinder.com search engine from Firefox.

You can go ahead and choose another engine from the list.

Remove the Safefinder Browser Hijacker from Microsoft Edge

As with Chrome and Firefox, you can remove the extension, restore the shortcut target to its default, change the homepage back, and restore the search engine in Microsoft Edge.

To remove the Safefinder extension from Edge:

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge.
  2. Click the three horizontal dots icon in the upper right corner of the browser.
  3. Choose Extensions from the dropdown menu.
  4. A list of Edge extensions will appear. Right-click the Safefinder extension and select Uninstall to remove it.

To change a hijacked Microsoft Edge homepage back from Safefinder to another page, do the following:

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge.
  2. Click the three horizontal dots icon in the upper right corner of the browser.
  3. Select Settings to open the settings window in the right corner of the browser.
  4. Under the “Open Microsoft Edge with” option, you’ll find the current homepage website.
  5. Click the X next to Search.safefinder.com or any other related website linked to Linkury Inc.
  6. Click the “Add new page” link to enter a new URL or expand the dropdown just above it to choose the Edge default homepage.

If your search engine has been hijacked by Safefinder in Edge, don’t worry. Here’s how to easily change it back:

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge.
  2. Click the three horizontal dots icon in the upper right corner of the browser.
  3. Select Settings to open the settings window in the right corner of the browser.
  4. Go to “View advanced settings” > “Change search engine”.
  5. Select Safefinder from the list and click the Remove button.
  6. Now, select your preferred search engine and click “Set as default”.

That’s all. Following these steps should rid your browser of any traces of Safefinder. This works whether you’re using Windows 10 or 8.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that annoying browser hijackers make the life of users miserable with constant pop-ups, browser redirects and misleading search results. Using the methods presented here, you should successfully get rid of the Safefinder adware, hijacking and redirect software.

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