How to get Searchya off of my computer
February 21, 2014 8:14 AM   Subscribe

I have somehow gotten the search engine highjacker "searchya" on my computer and have followed all the instructions I can find on-line to get rid of it but it still shows up as the default search engine. I have even contacted the searchya website and followed their instructions but its still there. I'm getting very annoyed with this search engine that I don't want and never asked for. Has anyone else been able to resolve this?
posted by mcbeitz to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This has instructions on how to remove Searchya - it includes uninstalling, removing registry settings, removing any browser settings, and running multiple scanning tools to get rid of any traces of it. I would recommend running MalwareBytes (linked in the article) periodically to ensure that you're not getting any other adware or viruses.
posted by graymouser at 8:27 AM on February 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

When we had this, we wiped the computer and reinstalled the OS.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:48 AM on February 21, 2014

Give the stuff in my profile a run if what graymouser has there doesn't work for you.
posted by deezil at 9:02 AM on February 21, 2014 [6 favorites]

When you say "the default search engine", do you mean "the default search engine in the search bar in Firefox/other browser"? My daughter had this recently, and it turned out that the browser search extension had to be uninstalled separately, which I'd not seen mentioned anywhere. To remove it in Firefox, you click the down arrow in the search bar, and then go to manage search engines--you can remove it from there. I'd imagine that it's similar in other browsers.
posted by MeghanC at 9:40 AM on February 21, 2014

If it was me: back up, nuke from orbit, fresh OS.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:52 AM on February 21, 2014

Are you using Chrome? Do you use extensions?

I've had to install at least 4 extensions, some of which I had for months, because they suddenly started serving ads or redirecting my search engine. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of Chrome's silent auto updating is that an unethical developer can change a previously innocuous into an ad-generating machine overnight with no notice to you as the end user. More info here. It's a huge problem, it's been happening for years, and supposedly Google's going to get around to fixing it... by June....

I've noticed that extension hijacking most often happens to extensions developed by hobby developers or small companies, not major companies. (Although, one time I had a fake Pinterest extension where the developer had chosen a name designed to fool people into downloading it, and it took me forever to find because I kept thinking "nah, Pinterest wouldn't serve me ads!")

If you go to chrome://extensions/ and click on "visit website" by each extension, you can see the developer name and research to see if it's potentially sketchy, and then disable on a trial basis until you figure out which one(s) are causing the problem.
posted by lesli212 at 3:33 PM on February 21, 2014

Thank you all for the information. I'll see what happens.
posted by mcbeitz at 4:26 PM on February 21, 2014

I think the problem was in Speed dial 2. I knew that Speed Dial 4 was related to Searchya, but not 2 also. Too bad because I found it very useful , Everything is fine now. Thanks everyone.
posted by mcbeitz at 6:35 AM on February 25, 2014

I mean the speed dial by josorek
posted by mcbeitz at 6:52 AM on February 25, 2014

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