I’ve searched for “How to fix Google Chrome redirecting to Yahoo Search” and “how to remove Yahoo redirect from Chrome” but my results were futile. This annoying malware hijacks your browser and turns your default search engine to Yahoo, no matter how much or how quick you use Google Search and type on your omnibox.
Thought this could help other people who might encounter the same. The Google product forums weren’t helpful because they were directing a deletion for SearchSettings.exe which does not appear on my system.
Notice the URL and how it redirects with many referral links.The malware can be obtained through a SpringFiles program download, which may be bundled in a lot of freeware or torrent. DO NOT TRUST THIS SOFTWARE. REMOVE IMMEDIATELY. This plugin comes with the following malware & rootkit that injects itself to your registry:
- Spigot Inc. [LOCATION: Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs]
- Browser Extension (from Spigot Inc.) [LOCATION: Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs]
- searchinterneat-a-akamaihd-net [BROWSER URL; shows right before redirection to Yahoo]
- Conduit Toolbar [REGISTRY]
- Conduit Search [REGISTRY]
If you’ve found any of these in your PC, uninstall & delete any files associated immediately.
How to Remove Spigot, Yahoo Search Redirect, Conduit Toolbar & searchinterneat-a-akamaihd-net from Google Chrome
This fix was done on a Windows 8 Operating System.
STEP 1: Uninstall SpringFiles
SpringFiles is a search program for any file you can think of. Pretty awesome until you learn that it is also bundled with malware and rootkits. Their claim on the website sounds legit; their webdesign decent. But don’t be fooled. Uninstall this program if you ever find it on your computer.To uninstall: Go to Control Panel > Programs & Features > Add/Remove Program or do the easiest route which is via Run (CTRL+R) and type appwiz.cpl
Find SpringFiles and then hit uninstall. Do not close the Add/Remove Program window just yet.
Be forewarned that this Yahoo search redirect Chrome issue is not yet resolved. Even though you’ve deleted the SpringFiles software, the problem will still persist. Proceed to the next step.
STEP 2: Uninstall “Browser Extensions” by Spigot
While you’re still on the Add/Remove Program window, find a program that says Browser Extensions from Spigot Inc. This is one of the culprits. Click uninstall.
STEP 3: Backup your Chrome bookmarks & sync
If you’re logged into Chrome you need not worry about this, but it’s still better to be sure to have a backup in case anything goes wrong.
Click on the 3-bar icon (upper right toolbar where Chrome settings can be found) > Bookmarks > Bookmarks Manager > Organize > Export to HTML
STEP 4: Reset your Chrome settings
Settings > Scroll to the bottom > Show advanced settings > Scroll to the bottom again > Reset settings
Once you’ve done this, check if your search bar still redirects to Yahoo Search. It probably will, so proceed to the next step.
STEP 5: Scan your computer with Spyhunter
I’ve tried different solutions and countless anti-virus and adware, malware programs – Chrome Fix Tool, AdwCleaner, AVG Anti-Virus, Malware Antibytes, Emsisoft Emergency Kit, Kaspersky TDSSKiller, YAC (Yet Another Cleaner) but nothing detected nor fixed the issue.
Until I came across Spyhunter by Enigma Software. This is where the fix began.
Spyhunter didn’t actually solve the problem. In fact, it only searched my registry and told me which files were infected and had to be removed. The free version only lets you do a scan, and to remove the viruses, malware, rootkits and other bugs you need to have the PRO version (costs about $39.99).
However, it did yield me very useful information so I can do a manual fix.When I saw the phrase “Conduit Toolbar hijacks your browser” I instantly knew this was it. It provided me with the identifying attribute and an address where I can locate the malware and remove it. Turns out it was in the registry. That’s why even if you do a System Restore on your computer, it will return the next minute you start opening your default browser.
There were 2 files that Spyhunter found that was related to this Chrome redirect issue:
- Conduit Toolbar
- Conduit Toolbar > ISM
To delete this hit CTRL+R and type regedit to open the registry and navigate to:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Conduit > ISM
Inside the ISM folder you’ll see a bunch of stuff with names like “default browser” and etc., these registry keys will look familiar to be the ones responsible for the Yahoo search in Chrome. Delete the ISM folder under the Conduit folder and the Conduit folder itself.
STEP 6: Uninstall and Re-install your Chrome
Once you’ve done the uninstall, delete the Google folder. You can find this in the following path:
C: > Users > CURRENT USER > Local > App Data > Google
Inside the Google folder is the Chrome folder and this should ensure that every extension is wiped out to prevent the searchinterneat-a-akamaihd-net malware from coming back.
Re-install Chrome accordingly. There might be a SiteAdvisor plugin that could ask you to install. Deny and remove this extension however it seems legit to you.
STEP 7: Restore your Bookmarks
Import all your existing bookmarks to your newly-installed Chrome with the HTML backup file you exported earlier.
STEP 8: Test if your Google Chrome is fixed
Type any search query in the omnibox. You should be able to search freely after doing the above steps & there won’t be any Yahoo Search redirection once you’ve entered your keywords.
Has this article helped you?
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