What is SafeSearch (SafeSearch.net redirect)?
SafeSearch (SafeSearch.net) and the SafeSearch Toolbar is potentially unwanted malware, categorized as a browser hijacker referred to as the SafeSearch virus, SafeSearch.net redirect virus, SafeSearch browser hijacker, or simply the Safe Search virus. The SafeSearch virus infects a computer system in order to change existing internet browser settings. SafeSearch changes the home page and default search engine of infected internet browsers, which causes internet searches via the address or omni bar to redirect to safesearch.net and other websites.
With a name like SafeSearch is would seem that the SafeSearch.net search engine would be used for ethical purposes. Unfortunately it has been reported that SafeSearch.net is an unethical website that participates in unethical marketing practices, social engineering, and entrapment in order to generate a revenue stream.
If your internet browser is redirecting to www.safesearch.net, or if you suspect your computer and internet browser is infected with additional malware, use the free instructions in this article to remove Safe Search and third-party malware.
Why is my browser redirecting to SafeSearch.net?
SafeSearch and browser hijackers in general, often bundle with third-parties including software distributors and developers. If your internet browser is redirecting to http://www.safesearch.net and other websites, it is possible that SafeSearch installed alongside third-party downloads, including freeware, shareware, codecs, and torrents.
Furthermore, a redirection to SafeSearch may be initiated manually and without clear detail, often entrapping unsuspecting victims to unethical terms.
How to remove the SafeSearch virus
- Automatically remove malware – Scan and remove SafeSearch.net and third-party malware
- Manually remove SafeSearch.net settings – Remove SafeSearch and repair browser settings
1. Automatically remove malware
Use the instructions below to automatically remove SafeSearch and additional malware from your computer sytem, as well as repair your internet browser settings.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Software
1. Install the free or paid version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software.
2. Once Malwarebytes is installed, open the program. If you are using the free version of Malwarebytes you will be prompted to update the database, please do so. If you are using an existing version of Malwarebytes on your computer, make sure you update the software by navigating to the Update tab.
3. On the first tab labeled “Scanner” select the Perform full scan option and click the Scan button to perform a full system scan. Malwarebytes will automatically detect malware infecting the computer system.
4. Once the scan is over, Malwarebytes will prompt a notice stating malicious objects were detected. Select the malicious objects and click the Remove Selected button to completely remove the malicious files from your computer (the image below shows a file that is NOT selected).
CCleaner can be used to automatically repair internet browser settings, start-up settings, or troubleshoot SafeSearch.net removal and repair issues.
1. Install the free or paid version of CCleaner by Piriform.
2. Navigate to Cleaner > Windows/Applications and click the Analyze button. Afterwards, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.
3. Next, navigate to Tools > Startup and search through each tab starting from windows, internet explorer, etc., all the way to Content Menu, for additional suspicious entries and click Disable and Delete once anything is found.
2. Manually remove SafeSearch.net
Use the instructions below to manually uninstall SafeSearch and any unwanted and potentially malicious software from your computer system and browser. Please note, Safe Search often bundles with third-party software and browser attachments.
How to uninstall unwanted SafeSearch
1. Access Windows Start Menu and navigate to the Control Panel.
2. Click Uninstall a program or Add and remove a program.
3. In the list of installed programs, search for any suspicious third-party software and uninstall the software by double clicking the program’s icon, or highlight the program in the list and click Uninstall.
How to remove the SafeSearch browser hijacker (Attachments)
1. Click on the Customize icon (wrench or 3 bar icon) next to the address bar and navigate to Tools > Extensions.
2. Locate the Safe Search browser extension and/or any third party extensions and remove them by clicking the trashcan icon next to them.
1. Type Ctrl+Shift+A.
2. On the Extensions and Plugin search for the Safe Search browseradd-on and/or any third party add-ons and remove them.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
1. Click Tools and select Manage add-ons.
2. On the Toolbars and Extensions tab search for the Safe Search browser add-on and/or any third party add-ons and remove them.
How to remove SafeSearch.net from your home page
- In Mozilla Firefox navigate to Tools > Options or click Firefox in the top left corner and click Options > Options. Under the General tab remove http://www.safesearch.net from the “Home Page:” field and replace it with your preferred home page URL.
- In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools >Internet Options. Remove http://www.safesearch.net from the Home Page field and replace it with your preferred URL.
- In Google Chrome click the customize icon (wrench or 3 bars) and navigate to Settings. Click “Set pages” under the On startup section. Remove http://www.safesearch.net and replace it with your preferred URL.
How to remove SafeSearch.net search engine
The default search engine is what often causes browsers to redirect to http://www.safesearch.net and other websites. Removing www.safesearch.net from your default search engine, often called the provided or managed search engine will likely stop your browser from redirecting without permission.
- In Mozilla Firefox, click the small search magnify glass near the search box (not url/search field) and click “Manage Search Engines…”. Remove the http://www.safesearch.net search engine from the list of search providers by highlighting the selections and clicking remove.
- In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools > Manage Add Ons > Search Providers and remove the http://www.safesearch.net search engine from the list.
- In Google Chrome, click the customize icon (wrench or 3 bars) and navigate to Settings > Manage search engines… click the X next to http://www.safesearch.net to remove it as your search engine. If http://www.safesearch.net is set as the default search engine, you will need to add or select a new search engine as your default search engine (such as Google.com) before removing http://www.safesearch.net (pictured below).
Use the alternative removal options below to restrict access to SafeSearch.net or learn about additional methods used to change or repair browser and DNS settings.
Some browser hijackers and unethical search engines may alter browser shortcuts on Windows operating systems.
1. Right click on a browser shortcut and select Properties.
2. On the shortcut tab, notice http://www.safesearch.net in the target field. Delete the SafeSearch search engine and click OK. If your shortcut is pinned to the task bar you have to unpin it first, then correct the shortcut in the start menu, and re-pin it to the task bar.