What is Searchqu?

Searchqu is a non- malicious browser hijacker usually associated with Bandoo Media and iLivid that uses browser helper objects (BHOs) and changes internet browser settings (such as home page/startup page, search tools), installs toolbars (most notably the Searchqu Toolbar), and integrates a search engine into internet browsers titled “Web Search”. Searchqu also creates directory files and registry entries/values on Windows.  Some users have reported that each time they have attempted to search using their internet browsers integrated search form or URL address bar at the top of their browser they are redirected to searchqu.com or search-results.com as opposed to their previous search settings. Though Searchqu seems like malware there have been no reports of malicious incidents, extra installs, nor progressions. Searchqu is voluntarily uninstalled but may be unexpected to some.  There have been no confirmed malicious reports concerning Searchqu, only annoyed users but keep in mind tools like Searchqu, even Searchqu itself may coincidentally install with some forms of adware. Similar hijackers include older versions of Babylon, though both are not considered malicious.

Searchnu
Titles: Searchqu, Searchqu Toolbar, Web Search Add On, Web Search Toolbar

Related browser hijackers: Widgi Toolbar Platform, Text Enhance

Associated webpages: searchnu.com, searchqu.com, searchqu.com/406

Searchqu

What is Web Search?

Web search is the title of the browser helper object Searchqu uses as an integrated search engine (search provider).

Where did Searchqu come from?

How did Searchqu get onto my computer?

Bandoo Media SearchquSearchqu is voluntarily installed and comes bundled with a lot of freeware or shareware type software like Bandoo, iLivid, and coincidentally adware such as Vid Saver (List of extensions). Often during the installation process of freeware or shareware a user is opted to have Searchqu install with their new applications. Many users bypass this, and accidentally install Searchqu onto their computers. Since installation of Searchqu may easily go unnoticed, it causes many internet users to suspect Searchqu is a virus or some sort of Trojan. It’s not and can not harm your computer, but will change internet settings… which is a nuisance.

Searchqu wont uninstall and settings won’t change

Many users have faced the problem with Searchqu being unable to uninstall. This is a common occurrence for many browser helper objects and does not mean Searchqu has infected your system maliciously.

As for browser settings being unable to change while Searchqu is installed, this is also a common occurrence.

Fortunately if you have ran into these issues with Searchqu, they can easily be fixed with the directions below.

How to remove Searchqu

First off, if you expect your computer has been compromised due to freeware, shareware, or malware download the free version of Mawlarebytes and perform a full system scan to ensure computer safety.
[Small_Button class=”lightblue”] Remove Malware [/Small_Button]    

 
Searchqu does not appear in the list of programs to uninstall, so you can’t easily uninstall it from your computer without knowing which files Searchqu has created.

To completely remove Searchqu from your computer and internet browser, and repair your internet browser settings (search, home page, etc) follow the directions provided below for each internet browser which his suspected to be “infected”.

Provided are easy instructions to remove and restrict Searchqu from popular internet browsers Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer, as well as information to manually remove directory files and registry values associated with Searchqu. Apple Safari has not been added due to Window’s no longer supporting the internet browser due to exploits and low numbers. To learn more about how to check Safari extensions, etc read this similar post and follow the instructions per Searchqu terms.

Searchqu Removal Instructions Per Browser/Manual:
  1. Google Chrome
  2. Mozilla Firefox
  3. Microsoft Internet Explorer
  4. Manual Removal Option

1. Remove Searchqu in Google Chrome:

1. Click on the Google Chrome wrench icon and select Settings.

Chrome Settings

2. Under the “On startup” option slect the “set pages” link.

Google Set Homepage

4. Remove any unwanted search engines and change Google Chrome’s homepage on start up to google.com or any preferred startup page and click OK.

Chrome Startup Pages

5. Navigate back to the settings page and select “Manage search engines…”

Manage Search Engines Chrome

6. Select Web Search from the list remove it by clicking the “X” mark and select your preferred search engine, or leave the other search engines alone.

Manage Searchqu Web Search

2. Remove Searchqu Toolbar in Mozilla Firefox:

1. Open Mozilla Firefox and navigate to to Tools > Add-ons.

Tools Addons Firefox

2. Select Extensions. Choose Searchqu Toolbar, Bandoo Media, iLivid, or whatever freeware or shareware was previously installed and click Disable then the Remove or Uninstall button (depending on FF version).

Uninstall Searchqu Firefox

3. Next go to Tools > Options.

Firefox Tools Options

4. Under the General tab reset the startup homepage or change it to your preferred homepage, ie: Google.com, Facebook.com.

Searchqu Firefox Startup Homepage

5. In the URL address bar, type about:config and hit Enter.

6. In the filter at the top, type: keyword.URL

Double click and remove searchqu.com replacing it with http://www.google.com.

3. Remove Searchqu Toolbar in Internet Explorer:

1. Open Internet Explorer. Navigate to Tools > Manage Add-ons.

Manage Add Ons Internet Explorer

2. Select Toolbars and Extensions. Uninstall/disable everything associated with Searchqu: Searchqu toolbar, UrlHelper Class, Bandoo Media, iLivid, or any other freeware or sharware programs which were previously installed.

Searchqu Toolbars and Extensions

3. Next, select Search providers. Choose Bing  or Google search engines for the time being and make it one of them your default search provider. Then select Web Search and click Disable suggestions to disable it.

Searchqu Search Providers Web Services

4. Navigate to Tools > Internet Options.

Tools Intenet Options

5. Select the General tab and click the use blank, current, or default button or enter your own website, ie: Botcrawl.com, Google.com, Facebook.com –  instead of searchqu.com. Click OK to save the changes and complete the removal of Searchqu from Internet Explorer.

Searchqu Intenret Options

Restricted site option

This option will heighten your online security by allowing you to block Searchqu.com/406 on Internet Explorer.

Access: Tools(Alt-x) > Internet Options
Tools Internet Options Internet Explorer
Select the Security tab and click Restricted sites
Internet Options Restrict Site IE
Click the “Sites” button and individually enter: Searchqu.com and Searchqu.com/406 (safe measure to add both though same domain)

Restrict Searchqu IE

4. Manually Remove Searchqu (Optional)

Included are Searchqu files and registry values. Remove all detailed files from your computer to successfully exterminate Searchqu.

Remove Directory Files

Searchqu Toolbar resides in the App Data folders. App Data is by default a hidden folder, to learn how to show hidden files and folders on Windows read this post.

Searchqu App Data path:

Depending on your computer’s operating system, access the file locations shown below. [User Name] is the name of the computer user whom is logged in, our first example image below shows user “Michael” (WinXP) and the second shows user “1” (Win7)

Windows XP C:\Documents and Settings\[UserName]\Application Data

Windows XP Searchqu Application Data
Windows Vista/7  C:\Users\[UserName]\AppData\Roaming

Searchqu Directory Files Windows 7

OR type %appdata% into Window’s start menu search field and press enter.

%Appdata%

Remove all associated Searchqu files detailed below.

  • %AppData%\searchqutoolbar\coupons\categories.xml
  • %AppData%\searchqutoolbar\coupons\merchants.xml
  • %AppData%\searchqutoolbar\coupons\merchants2.xml
  • %AppData%\searchqutoolbar\dtx.ini
  • %AppData%\searchqutoolbar\guid.dat
  • %AppData%\searchqutoolbar\log.txt
  • %AppData%\searchqutoolbar\preferences.dat
  • %AppData%\searchqutoolbar\stat.log
  • %AppData%\searchqutoolbar\stats.dat
  • %AppData%\searchqutoolbar\uninstallIE.dat
  • %AppData%\searchqutoolbar\uninstallStatIE.dat
  • %AppData%\searchqutoolbar\version.xml
  • %AppData%\searchqutoolbar\
  • %Temp%\searchqutoolbar-manifest.xml
Remove Registry Values

To access Window’s registry editor, type: regedit into the Window’s start menu search field and press Enter.

Regedit

Remove all associated Searchqu registry values:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{99079a25-328f-4bd4-be04-00955acaa0a7}\InprocServer32 “C:\PROGRA~1\WINDOW~4\ToolBar\searchqudtx.dll”
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{99079a25-328f-4bd4-be04-00955acaa0a7} “Searchqu Toolbar”
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{A40DC6C5-79D0-4ca8-A185-8FF989AF1115}\VersionIndependentProgID “SearchQUIEHelper.UrlHelper”
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{A40DC6C5-79D0-4ca8-A185-8FF989AF1115}\ProgID “SearchQUIEHelper.UrlHelper.1”
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{A40DC6C5-79D0-4ca8-A185-8FF989AF1115} “UrlHelper Class”
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\SearchQUIEHelper.DNSGuard\CurVer
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\SearchQUIEHelper.DNSGuard\CLSID
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\SearchQUIEHelper.DNSGuard
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\SearchQUIEHelper.DNSGuard.1
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar “Searchqu Toolbar”
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects\{99079a25-328f-4bd4-be04-00955acaa0a7} “Searchqu Toolbar”

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