The SearchAssist.me virus (also known as Search Assist virus) is a suspicious website and title of a potentially unwanted program (PUP) found in the adware and browser hijacker categories of computer infections.
SearchAssist.me changes existing internet browser settings of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer, as well as other popular internet browsers by utilizing Windows software, such as browser helper objects (BHOs) and browser attachments, including add-ons and extensions. In turn, infected computer system and internet browsers will redirect to www.searchassist.me and other websites as well as start-up on the search engine when users open a new browser window, open a new browser tab, or search the web using the browser address bar.
The SearchAssist.me hijacker and associated malware may also have permission to access and collect user information used to display targeted pop-up advertisements. Information collected may also be submitted to third-party contractors for use in mailing and marketing lists. This causes unwanted email spam, junk mail, and even phone calls from telemarketers and potential scam artists.
How does SearchAssist.me get onto a computer?
SearchAssist.me primarily bundles with third-party freeware and shareware distributed by websites such as download.com; However the program is promoted as freeware itself can also be manually downloaded from a variety of locations on the web.
Users may be given the opportunity to accept or decline an offer to install and change their browser homepage and search engine to searchassist.me when setting up third-party freeware, but many times these types of bundle offers are ignored by the download manager and the software will install against user consent.
How to remove SearchAssist.me virus
- Option 1: SearchAssist Removal Software & Tools – This first option details how to remove SearchAssist malware using the free or full versions of HitmanPro by SurfRight software and/or CCleaner by Piriform.
- Option 2: Manually remove SearchAssist – This second option details how to manually uninstall SearchAssist, remove unwanted browser attachments, and remove searchassist.me from your homepage and internet search engine
- For Tech Support – Call 1-888-879-0084 and they will kindly assist you with removing this computer infection.
1. SearchAssist Removal Software & Tools
The instructions below detail how to automatically remove SearchAssist and third-party malware, as well as automatically remove unwanted search engines from your installed internet browsers.
Hitman Pro by SurfRight
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.
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2. Install the free or purchase the full version of Hitman Pro software.
3. Once Hitman Pro is installed, open the program and click Next to start scanning your computer. *If you are using the free version you may chose to create a copy or perform a one-time scan.
4. When the scan is complete, click the Next button again to delete any threats or traces on your system.
5. If you are initially using the free version, to activate it, enter your email address twice and click the Activate button.
6. Restart your computer by selecting Reboot.
Your computer should now be clean of threats, tracking cookies, malware, and other unwanted traces.
CCleaner by Piriform
CCleaner can be used to automatically repair internet browser settings startup up settings, and uninstall SearchAssist adware and associated third-party software.
1. Install the free or paid version of CCleaner by Piriform.
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.
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 SearchAssist.me and other unwanted programs, navigate to the Uninstall tab and search for SearchAssist.me, etc. in the list of installed programs. Uninstall the unwanted software as selected by clicking the Run Uninstaller button.
2. Manually Remove SearchAssist
The instructions below detail how to manually uninstall SearchAssist adware from Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.
How to uninstall SearchAssist.me
1. Access Windows Start Menu and navigate to the Control Panel (on Windows 8, right click the bottom left corner to access the Windows 8 Start Menu – Pictured above).
2. Click Uninstall a program or Add and remove a program.
3. In the list of installed programs search for SearchAssist.me and other potentially unwanted software. Once the adware program is located, double click the unwanted program(s) or highlight them in the list and click the Uninstall button.
How to remove SearchAssist add-ons and extensions
Use the instructions below to remove SearchAssist add-ons and extensions from Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. It may be necessary to remove third-party browser attachments.
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 SearchAssist extension and remove it by clicking the trashcan icon next to it.
1. Type Ctrl+Shift+A.
2. On the Extensions and Plugin search for the SearchAssist 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 SearchAssist add-on and remove it if located.
How to remove searchassist.me 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 searchassist.me 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 searchassist.me 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 searchassist.me to remove it.
Please note, If http://www.searchassist.me/ 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 searchassist.me 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 searchassist.me from the “Home Page:” field and replace it with your preferred home page URL.
- In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools >Internet Options. Remove searchassist.me 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 searchassist.me and replace it with your preferred homepage URL.