Charmsearching.com browser hijacker keeps redirecting users to Bing
CharmSearching.com is a rogue search engine promoted with a help of a variety of browser-hijacking programs. Once installed on Windows or Mac, the associated browser hijacker sets this fake domain as default home and new tab page and assigns it as default search engine. Unfortunately, it hardly provides any additional value to the user and simply forces Chrome to redirect users to Bing search results. The primary aim of this hijacker is to collect browsing-related information from infected computer and possibly initiate intermediate redirects to various ad networks to generate revenue.
According to reports, CharmSearching.com browser hijacker can hide in multiple browser extensions available online or even in Chrome Web Store. Although already removed, examples of such extensions used to be Volume Amplifier and Smart Auto Refresh.
The sole aim of such and similar extensions is to promote fake search engine and cause redirects to legitimate and well-known search engines. As a consequence, computer users start calling these as Bing redirect virus or Yahoo redirect virus. The aim of people behind such rogue browser add-ons is to sneak into computer systems and generate traffic to various domains by causing a series of intermediate hits before landing the user on a search results page.
In addition, such browser hijackers are capable of tracking user’s search queries, geolocation, browsing history, IP address and more. Applications like this might use collected data to serve targeted ads or share it with third-parties. Needless to say, if you do not want this to happen, you should avoid installation of potentially unwanted programs at all costs. If you are already infected, consider ways to eliminate them as soon as possible.
If you’d like to remove CharmSearching.com redirect virus from Chrome on Windows or Mac, please follow the free instructions provided at the end of this article. Alternatively, we recommend using RESTORO for virus damage removal on Windows. For Mac users, we highly recommend using INTEGO for automatic threat removal process.
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|Type||Redirect virus; Browser hijacker; Bing search redirect|
|Associated extensions||Volume Amplifier, Smart Auto Refresh.|
|Serving IP address||184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199|
|Detection names||Phishing (ESET); Malware (Fortinet); Malicious (CyRadar), see full list on VT|
|Activity||Causes redirects to Bing search on Chrome whenever the user attempts to use URL bar for searching the web. Possibly triggers intermediate redirects. Collects browsing-related data.|
|Distribution||Hides in deceptive and untrustworthy Chrome Web Store extensions, awaits in software bundles|
|Removal||Remove CharmSearching.com redirect using instructions provided below. Use RESTORO to cleanse threat remains afterward. If you’re Mac user, consider using INTEGO antivirus.|
Avoid installation of unwanted browser hijackers
Browser hijackers like Charmsearching.com redirect virus typically spread in software bundles, in other words, freeware that contains hidden attachments. When you download a free program from online source or via download agent, its installer might suggest installing partner programs in an unnoticeable way. Usually, such suggestions are hidden in ‘Custom’ or ‘Advanced’ installation options and have to be deselected manually. Some examples of fake search engines being promoted in this way are PDFConverterSearch, Search Baron, TheConverterSearch, SearchLee.com and others.
Unfortunately, you might install this unwanted browser hijacker when looking for a specific extension on Google Chrome store. Some users have reported installing this annoyance and started experiencing Charmsearching.com redirects to Bing after adding Volume Amplifier or Smart Auto Refresh extensions. Although both extensions are removed from the store already, this alarms about possibility to install such unwanted tools from official extension store.
For this reason, we strongly recommend reading reviews about the extension you want to install before doing so. If you notice a strange extension that is relatively new, its developer is unknown and it has no reviews – you might want to opt for a more well-known option.
Remove CharmSearching.com redirect from Chrome easily
If you want to stop annoying redirects to Bing, you should remove CharmSearching.com redirect virus immediately. For that, we recommend following the instructions provided below. Remember to look for recently installed browser extensions and unrecognized programs on your computer system and eliminate them. To finalize the removal on Windows, consider using RESTORO or INTEGO on Mac.
Once Charmsearching.com removal is complete, you can continue your web browsing activities without any worries. In the future, we recommend being more careful and avoid installing untrustworthy apps/browser extensions.
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Charmsearching.com redirect Removal Tutorial
To remove the unwanted program from your computer, use these instructions below to uninstall associated programs or apps from your Windows or Mac computer. Then scroll down for instructions how to clean each affected web browser individually.
Remove Charmsearching.com redirect from Windows
Windows 10/8.1/8 users
Click on the Windows logo to open Windows menu. In search, type control panel and select the matching result. Then go to Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users
First, open Windows menu by clicking on the icon in the lower left corner of the screen. Then go to Control Panel and find section called Programs. Click on the Uninstall a program option under it.
Windows XP users
In Windows XP, click Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs.
Uninstall unwanted programs
Once in Programs and Features, look through the list of installed programs. You can click on Installed on tab to sort the programs by their installation date.
Right-click on suspicious programs you can't remember installing and choose Uninstall. Follow instructions provided by the Uninstall Wizard, click Next and finally Finish to uninstall the unwanted program from your PC.
Remove Charmsearching.com redirect from Mac
- Click on Finder.
- Go to Applications folder.
- Look for suspicious applications you can't remember installing. Right-click them and select Move to Trash.
- After moving all suspicious apps to Trash, right-click the Trash bin in Mac's Dock and select Empty Trash.
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Remove Charmsearching.com redirect from Google Chrome
Remove suspicious Chrome extensions
- Open Chrome and type chrome://extensions into address bar and press Enter.
- Here, look for suspicious extensions, and Remove them.
- Don't forget to confirm by pressing Remove in the confirmation pop-up.
Change Start Page settings
- In Chrome address bar, type chrome://settings and press Enter.
- Scroll down to the On startup section. Check for suspicious extensions controlling these settings, and Disable them.
- Additionally, you can set browser to Open a specific page or set of pages via these settings. Simply choose this option, click Add a new page, enter your preferred URL (f.e. www.google.com) and press Add.
Change default search settings
- In Chrome URL bar, type chrome://settings/searchEngines and press Enter. Make sure you type searchEngines, not searchengines. Additionally, you can go to chrome://settings and find Manage search engines option.
- First, look at the list of search engines and find the one you want to set as default. Click the three dots next to it and select Make Default.
- Finally, look through the list and eliminate suspicious entries. Right-click the three dots and select Remove from the list.
Remove push notifications from Chrome
If you want to get rid of the annoying ads and so-called push-notifications viruses, you must identify their components and clean your browser. You can easily remove ads from Chrome by following these steps:
- In Google Chrome, press on Menu (upward arrow) in the top-right corner of the window.
- Select Settings.
- Go to Privacy and Security > Site Settings.
- Open Notifications.
- Here, go to the Allow list and identify suspicious URLs. You can either Block or Remove by pressing on the three vertical dots on the right side of the URL. However, we suggest the Block option, so the site won't ask you to enable the notifications if you ever visit it again.
Reset Google Chrome browser
- The final option is to reset Google Chrome. Type chrome://settings in the URL bar, press Enter and then scroll down until you see Advanced option. Click it and scroll to the bottom of the settings.
- Click Restore settings to their original defaults.
- Click Restore settings to confirm.
Remove Charmsearching.com redirect from Mozilla Firefox
Remove unwanted add-ons from Firefox
- Open Firefox and type about:addons in the URL bar. Press Enter.
- Now, click on Extensions (in the left section).
- Click Remove next to every suspicious browser add-on that you can't remember installing.
Change Firefox Homepage
- In Firefox address bar, type about:preferences and hit Enter.
- Look at the left and click the Home tab.
- Here, delete the suspicious URL and type or paste in the URL of a website you'd like to set as your homepage.
Alter preferences in Firefox
- Type about:config in Firefox address bar and hit Enter.
- Click I accept the risk! to continue.
- Here, type in the URL which has taken over your browser without your knowledge. Right-click each value that includes it and choose Reset.
Remove annoying push notifications from Firefox
Suspicious sites that ask to enable push notifications gain access to Mozilla's settings and can deliver intrusive advertisements when browsing the Internet. Therefore, you should remove access to your browser by following these simple steps:
- In Mozilla Firefox, click on Menu (the three horizontal bars) on the top-right corner of the window, then choose Options.
- Click on Privacy and Security, then scroll down to Permissions section.
- Here, find Notifications and click Settings button next to it.
- Identify all unknown URLs and choose to Block them. Click Save Changes afterward.
Reset Mozilla Firefox
- In Firefox, type about:support in the address bar and press Enter.
- Click on Refresh Firefox...
- Click Refresh Firefox again to confirm.
Remove Charmsearching.com redirect from Microsoft Edge
Remove suspicious extensions:
- Open MS Edge browser and click on the three dots button in the top right corner, then click on Extensions.
- Look through the list of installed extensions and find the ones you can't remember installing or simply suspicious-looking ones. Right-click on them and choose Uninstall. Then confirm by pressing Uninstall again.
Change MS Edge Start Page and default search engine:
- Click on the three dots again and go to Settings. First, make sure that you choose to Open Microsoft Edge with A specific page or pages option. Then click the X next to suspicious URLs and type in the one you want to set as your homepage. Click the Save icon to confirm.
- Click on the three dots > Settings. Scroll down and click on Show Advanced Settings. Then scroll down until you find Change search engine button. Click it. Here, select the search engine you prefer using and click Set as default.
Additionally, we recommend selecting and Removing suspicious search engines.
Turn off push notifications in Edge
If you keep receiving pop-up ads or other promotional content while browsing on Microsoft Edge, your browser might be corrupted by a potentially unwanted program (PUP). You have to clean it — follow these easy instructions:
- In Microsoft Edge, open Menu (three horizontal dots) in the top-right corner of the screen and click Settings;
- Click on Advanced settings.
- Scroll down to the Website permissions section. Here, click Manage permissions.
- Find Notifications and Remove all suspicious websites.
Clear browsing data
- Click on the three dots in the top right corner again and click on Settings. Find Clear browsing data section and click Choose what to clear button.
- In the next window, select all options and click Clear.
Remove Charmsearching.com redirect from Safari
Uninstall suspicious Safari extensions
- Open Safari and click on Safari button in the top left corner. Select Preferences in the menu that appears on the screen.
- Now, go to Extensions tab. Look at the left to see all installed extensions, click on suspicious ones and hit that Uninstall button as shown in the picture. Confirm your choice by clicking Uninstall again. Repeat until you get rid of all unwanted extensions.
Change Safari Homepage and default search engine
- In Preferences, open the General tab. Here, check what URL is set as your homepage. Delete it and type in whatever URL you want to set as your Safari Start Page.
- Next, go to the Search tab. Here, choose what Search engine you want to set as default.
- Next, click on Manage websites... then Remove all... and then Done.
Remove push notifications on Safari
Some suspicious websites can try to corrupt your Safari by asking to enable push notifications. If you have accidentally agreed, your browser will be flooded with various intrusive advertisements and pop-ups. You can get rid of them by following this quick guide:
- Open Safari and click on Safari button in the top-left corner of the screen to select Preferences;
- Go to Websites tab and navigate to Notifications on the left side toolbar.
- Click on Safari > Clear History...
- Then choose to clear All history and hit Clear History button to confirm.
- Go to Safari > Preferences and then open Privacy tab.
- Click Manage Website Data... then Remove All. To finish, click Done.
- Finally, clear Safari cache. In Safari Menu, click Develop > Clear Cache.
Remove Charmsearching.com redirect from Internet Explorer
TIP: If you are still using IE, we strongly advise using Microsoft Edge or a different browser because Microsoft is no longer providing technical or security support for IE browser.
Remove suspicious extensions from IE
- Now, go back to Toolbars and Extensions.
- Below Show:, select All add-ons.
- Right-click suspicious extensions and choose Disable, or, if available - Remove.
- If any pop-up appears, confirm your choice.
Tip: If you can't find any suspicious extensions, most likely you have uninstalled them via Programs and Features already. This mostly applies to IE browser.
Change default search provider and remove suspicious ones
- Open Internet Explorer and click on the gear icon in the top right of the window.
- Then select Manage Add-ons.
- Here, click on Search Providers tab.
- Here, we recommend setting Bing, Google or another trusted and well-known search provider as default. To do it, right-click the provider and choose Set as default.
- Now you can right-click suspicious search providers and choose Remove.
Change IE Home Page
- In Internet Explorer, click the gear icon in the top left corner.
- Choose Internet Options.
- Change Home Page URL to whatever page you want to use as your homepage.
- Click Apply.
- Click OK.
Block pop-up notifications on Internet Explorer
Suspicious websites can gain access to your Internet Explorer browser through push notifications. If you enable them even by accident, you will start receiving numerous annoying ads and other advertising content while browsing. The easiest way to remove push-notification viruses is by performing the following steps:
- In Internet Explorer, click on the Menu (the gear button) on the top-right corner of the window, then select Internet Options.
- Go to the Privacy tab;
- Look for Pop-up Blocker section and select Settings;
- Scroll through all URLs and you can Remove them one by one or all at the same time. Click Close.
Reset Internet Explorer
- Click the gear icon in IE menu > Internet Options. Now click on Advanced tab.
- Under Reset Internet Explorer settings, click Reset...
- Click on the checkbox next to Delete personal settings.
- Click Reset.
- To finish, click Close.
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Scott Bolton is a senior content strategist in our Geek’s Advice team. He is exceptionally passionate about covering the latest information technology themes and inspire other team members to follow new innovations. Despite the fact that Scott is an old-timer among the Geeks, he still enjoys writing comprehensive articles about exciting cybersecurity news or quick tutorials.