- Step 1: Scan for Malware with Malwarebytes
- Step 2: Get a Second Opinion with HitmanPro
- Step 3: Remove Junk Files and Repair Settings
- Step 4: Manually Repair Browser Settings
- Step 5: Stay Protected Against Future Threats
What is Search4tops.com Virus?
Search4tops.com is a malicious website that takes control your existing internet browser search settings without permission. The website utilizes cooperating potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and browser extensions that use unethical marketing methods infiltrate your computer and modify the home page, new tab page, and shortcut in order to cause your browser to redirect to the website.
The Search4tops.com website replaces your existing internet browser settings of each internet browser installed on the machine simultaneously. The website will replace the home page, new tab page, default search engine, and shortcut which will cause affected web browsers to start-up on the website and redirect to the website when a search is performed in the address bar or a new browser tab is opened.
Windows programs and browser attachments used to alter your browser settings are typically bolstered by malicious advertising platforms and rogue download managers. In addition the platforms and download managers will advertise and bundle the initial threat with other rogue programs, malware, and malicious files.
Search4tops.com is a website that is associated with a browser hijacker infection. If your existing browser settings have been replaced with this website it means that your computer is infected with a potentially unwanted program and browser hijacker. The website acts as a search engine that grabs search results from various search engines and popular websites. The website will display commercial search content and advertisements to visitors.
Potentially unwanted programs and browser attachments that change browser settings to this search engine typically bundle with free downloadable content. This includes freeware, shareware, plugins, and torrents. Downloading free items online can result in potentially unwanted programs, adware, and malware infecting the computer system. Even if a program is commonly used by many people and reputable (Google Chrome, Microsoft Word, etc.), if it is download from a malicious website or via an untrustworthy download manager it can lead to a computer infection.
Some advertisements embedded by various websites and third-party download managers may also claim that the program used to change browser settings or another program a user might seek to download is something it is not. The program may also be offered as a custom install which allows users to manually chose to accept or decline the download.
Step 1: Scan for Malware with Malwarebytes
1. Download and Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software to scan for malware and automatically remove malicious files from your computer.
2. Open Malwarebytes and click the Scan Now button – or go to the Scan tab and click the Start Scan button.
3. Once the Malwarebytes scan is complete click the Remove Selected button.
4. To finish the Malwarebytes scan and remove detected threats click the Finish button and restart your computer if promoted to do so.
Step 2: Get a Second Opinion with HitmanPro
5. Download and Install HitmanPro by Surfright to perform a second-opinion scan, remove remaining trace files, and automatically repair certain settings.
6. Open HitmanPro 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.
7. Once the HitmanPro scan is complete click the Next button.
8. To activate the free version of HitmanPro: enter your email address twice and click the Activate button.
9. Click the Reboot button.
Step 3: Remove Junk Files and Repair Settings
10. Download and Install CCleaner by Piriform to automatically remove junk files, repair your registry, and manage settings that may have been changed.
11. Open CCleaner and go to the main Cleaner screen. Click the Analyze button. When the process is complete, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.
12. Go to Tools > Startup and search for suspicious entries in each tab starting from Windows all the way to Content Menu. If you find anything suspicious click it and click the Delete button to remove it.
13. Go to the Registry window and click the Scan for Issues button. When the scan is complete click the Fix selected issues… button and click Fix All Selected Issues.
14. Make sure that your browser settings have been repaired by opening your affected web browser. If the browser was not repaired use the tutorials below to manually repair your browser settings.
Step 4: Manually Repair Browser Settings
- How to change your Google Chrome homepage
- How to change your Google Chrome search engine
- How to remove extensions from Chrome
- How to change your Mozilla Firefox homepage
- How to change your Mozilla Firefox search engine
- How to remove add-ons from Firefox
- How to change your Microsoft Internet Explorer homepage
- How to change your Microsoft Internet Explorer search engine
- How to remove add-ons from Internet Explorer
Step 5: Stay Protected Against Future Threats
The key to staying protected against future infections is to follow common online guidelines and take advantage of reputable Antivirus and Anti-Malware security software with real-time protection.
Real-time Security Software
Malwarebytes and Vipre Antivirus have real-time features that can block malicious files before they spread across your computer. These programs bundled together can establish a wall between your computer and cyber criminals. It is recommended to purchase these programs to take advantage of full-time protection in order to stay protected against future threats. Without real-time security software your computer cannot protect you against malware and hackers.
Common Online Guidelines
- Routeinely backup your computer and personal files to an external drive or online backup service
- Create a restore point on your computer in case you need to restore your computer to a date before infection
- Avoid downloading and installing apps, browser extensions, and programs you are not familiar with
- Avoid downloading and installing apps, browser extensions, and programs from websites you are not familiar with – some websites use their own download manager to bundle additional programs with the initial download
- If you plan to download and install freeware, open source software, or shareware make sure to be alert when you install the object and read all the instructions presented by the download manager
- Avoid using torrents and P2P clients (if one is on your computer unistall it)
- Do not open email messages from senders you do not know
- Avoid emails that claim to be a bill, invoice, payment, or involve you paying money