Home » Cybersecurity » How to remove ISTsearch (Virus Removal Guide)

How to remove ISTsearch (Virus Removal Guide)

What is ISTsearch?

ISTsearch (sometimes found as Spellso) is a suspicious search engine and title of a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP) found in the browser hijackers category of computer risks. ISTsearch is known to change existing internet browser settings of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer in order to cause unwanted redirects to istsearch.com and other websites.


The website istsearch.com is utilized by potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and freeware to monetize products and services. If an internet browser is redirecting to istsearch.com it is likely because the computer system has an unwanted program installed and/or additional browser attachments, including add-ons and extensions.

Malware analyst also find that browser hijackers associated with the ISTsearch website may bundle with third-party items, including adware that causes unwanted pop-up advertisements to appear while browsing the web.

The most common symptoms of the istsearch.com virus (although not technically a computer virus) is unwanted browser start-ups and redirects to the website. Most browser redirects occur when a user opens a new browser window, opens a new browser tab, or searches the web using the browser address bar.

   Green Arrow Bullet   How to remove ISTsearch virus

  1. Automatically remove ISTsearch – Scan for and automatically remove istsearch.com and third-party malware
  2. Manually remove ISTsearch – Remove/Uninstall istsearch.com supported software and third-party malware (if necessary)
  3. For Tech Support – Call 1-888-879-0084 and they will kindly assist you with removing this infection

1. Automatic ISTsearch virus removal

Use the instructions below to automatically remove istsearch.com and third-party malware, as well as automatically remove unwanted search engines from your installed internet browsers.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

1. We highly recommend writing down the toll free number below in case you run into any issues or problems while following the instructions. Our techs will kindly assist you with any problems.

if you need help give us a call

2. Install the free or paid version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

Purchase Download

3. Once Malwarebytes is installed, run the program. *Malwarebytes may automatically begin to update and scan your computer at this point.


4. Once the Malwarebytes program has been open, if a scan has not initiated, please click the large Scan Now button or visit the “Scan” tab to initiate a scan. Before the scan is started Malwarebytes may ask to update the software, make sure to do so if prompted to.

malwarebytes anti-malware

5. Once the scan is complete, click the Quarantine All button to remove the files.

malwarebytes quarantine log

6. You may also chose to visit the History tab and click Delete All to remove these files from the Quarantine log, although these files no longer prove a threat.

If you are still having issues with malware it is recommended to download and install a second opinion scanner such as HitmanPro by Surfright to eradicate existing malicious files.


CCleaner can be used to automatically repair internet browser settings startup up settings, and uninstall the istsearch.com hijacker and associated third-party software.

1. Install the free or paid version of CCleaner by Piriform.

Purchase CCleaner for $24.95*   Free Download

CCleaner Analyze Cleaner

2. Once installed, open the program and navigate to Cleaner > Windows/Applications and click the Analyze button. Afterwards, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.

CCleaner Startup

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.

4. To automatically uninstall istsearch.com supported software and other unwanted programs, navigate to the Uninstall tab and search for software used to support the search engine in the list of installed programs. Uninstall the unwanted software as selected by clicking the Run Uninstaller button.

2. Manual ISTsearch virus removal

Use the instructions below to manually uninstall istsearch.com supported software and third-party software using generic Microsoft Windows removal procedures. 

How to uninstall ISTsearch

1. Access Windows Start Menu and navigate to the Control Panel.

2. Click Uninstall a program or Add and remove a program.

uninstall ISTsearch

3. In the list of installed programs search for ISTsearch by APmedia LTD (or other). Once located, double click the unwanted program or highlight it in the list and click the Uninstall button.

How to remove ISTsearch add-ons and extensions

Use the instructions to remove ISTsearch add-ons and extension. Please note, it may be necessary to remove different attachments than suggested and multiple third-party items.

Google Chrome

1. Click on the Customize icon (wrench or 3 bar icon) next to the address bar and navigate to Tools > Extensions.

2. Search for the ISTsearch extension and remove it by clicking the trashcan icon next to them.

Mozilla Firefox

1. Type Ctrl+Shift+A.

2. On the Extensions and Plugin search for the ISTsearch add-on and remove it.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

1. Click Tools and select Manage add-ons.

2. On the Toolbars and Extensions tab search for the ISTsearch add-on and remove it if located.

How to remove ISTsearch search engine

  • In Mozilla Firefox, click the small search magnify glass near the search box (not url/search field) and click “Manage Search Engines…”. Remove the ISTsearch 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 ISTsearch 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 the ISTsearch search engine to remove it.

Please note, If http://www.istsearch.com/ is set as Google Chrome’s default search engine, add (or select) a new search engine (such as Google.com) and select the new search engine as the default search engine, then remove the unwanted search engine by clicking the X next to it.

How to remove istsearch.com homepage

  • In Mozilla Firefox navigate to Tools > Options or click Firefox in the top left corner and click Options > Options. Under the General tab remove istsearch.com from the “Home Page:” field and replace it with your preferred home page URL.
  • In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools >Internet Options. Remove istsearch.com 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 option. Remove istsearch.com and replace it with your preferred homepage URL.

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Sean Moran

Sean Moran is a distinguished tech author and entrepreneur with over 20 years of extensive experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and various other tech domains. His expertise and contributions to the industry have been recognized in numerous esteemed publications. Sean is widely acclaimed for his sharp intellect and innovative insights, solidifying his reputation as a leading figure in the tech community. His work not only advances the field but also helps businesses and individuals navigate the complexities of the digital world.

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