What is Ecosia.org

Ecosia.org or Ecosia is contradictory search engine and browser add-on, that can override default settings of search, homepage and new tab in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari on Windows or Mac OS. On their website, it is stated, that Ecosia is Germany-based internet search engine. It donates 80% of revenue to ecological companies focusing on planting trees. From a technical point of view, this is Bing-affiliated search, that provides results almost identical to Bing.com. The search engine is accompanied by extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox with more than 2 million users. It is difficult to verify whether the statements of developers are true or false, but actions of Ecosia fall into the category of browser hijackers. Many users complained that Ecosia.org appeared in browsers out of nowhere, without their agreement. In this tutorial, we will show how to remove Ecosia.org from browsers and reset browser settings.

How Ecosia.org infected your PC

Ecosia was reported to be distributed via “bundling” with free programs. Usually, free programs, like media players and converters, archiving utilities and many others promote apps like Ecosia to monetize their traffic. Along with the installation of the downloaded program, in the background install process of Ecosia runs. As a result, settings of your browsers get modified to Ecosia.org and new add-on appears in browsers. To prevent such consequences, we recommend you to use the best anti-malware applications for Mac: Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

Download Removal Tool for Windows

Download Removal Tool

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To remove Ecosia.org completely, we recommend you to use WiperSoft AntiSpyware from WiperSoft. It detects and removes all files, folders and registry keys of Ecosia.org and several millions of other adware, hijackers, toolbars.

Download Removal Tool for Mac

Download ComboCleaner

To remove Ecosia.org completely, we recommend you to use Combo Cleaner. It can help you remove files, folders and registry keys of Ecosia.org and uninstall hijackers, toolbars and unwanted add-ons from Safari browser. A trial version of Combo Cleaner offers virus scan and 1-time removal for FREE.

Remove Ecosia.org manually for free

Here is the manual step-by-step tutorial for full Ecosia.org removal from your computer. This works 99% and was checked with the latest versions of Ecosia.org installer on operating systems with the latest updates and browser versions.

Note: Ecosia.org can be installed as Google Chrome extension as Administrator (you may see Installed by enterprise policy inscription near it), and this will not allow removal. Therefore, before starting removal process, perform these actions:

  1. Start the Command Prompt by clicking the Start menu button and typing command prompt (or just searching for “command prompt” in Windows 10 search field). Right click on the Command Prompt result and choose Run as Administrator.
  2. start command prompt as administrator

  3. Type in and execute the following commands:


    rd /S /Q "%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicyUsers"
    rd /S /Q "%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicy"
    gpupdate /force

  4. update group policy in windows

Important update: Ecosia.org hijacker installs malicious Device Profile called AdminPrefs on MacOS, that won’t allow users to make changes to browser search engine and homepage settings. Follow instructions below to remove this profile.

Remove Ecosia.org profile

  1. Go to System Preferences and click on Profiles.
  2. In the list of profiles on the left side choose AdminPrefs and click on “-” button to remove it.
  3. In your case it can be named differently, in this case remove all visible profiles. Check the picture below to see how it looks like.
  4. remove Ecosia.org profile from system preferences

Remove Ecosia.org from Control Panel or Applications

To start removing Ecosia.org you should uninstall it using Control Panel. It can be present by different names – “Ecosia.org” or “Ecosia”. It should uninstall correctly, however, we recommend you to use IObit Uninstaller Pro to clean leftover items after uninstalling. Here are instructions for Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Remove Ecosia.org from Mac:

  1. In the Finder sidebar, click Applications.
  2. Ecosia.org might have an Uninstaller.
  3. Otherwise, drag Ecosia.org or Privacy Toolkit from the Applications folder to the Trash (located at the end of the Dock).
  4. Then choose Finder > Empty Trash.

Remove Ecosia.org from Windows XP:

  1. Click on Start button.
  2. Choose Control Panel.
  3. Click Add or Remove Programs.
  4. Find Ecosia.
  5. Click Uninstall.

Remove Ecosia.org from Windows 7:

  1. Click Start button.
  2. Then go to Control Panel.
  3. Click Uninstall a Program.
  4. Find Ecosia and click Uninstall.

Remove Ecosia.org from Windows 8:

  1. Hover mouse pointer to the bottom-right corner to see Menu.
  2. Click Search.
  3. After that click Apps.
  4. Then Control Panel.
  5. Click Uninstall a Program under Programs.
  6. Find Ecosia, click Uninstall.

Remove Ecosia.org from Windows 10:

There are 2 ways to uninstall Ecosia.org from Windows 10

Way one
  1. Click on the Start button.
  2. In opened menu choose Settings.
  3. Click on the System tile.
  4. Click Apps & features and locate Ecosia.org in the list.
  5. Click on it and then click Uninstall button near it.
Way two (classic)
  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. In opened menu choose Programs and Features.
  3. Locate Ecosia in the list.
  4. Click on it and then click Uninstall button above.

Cannot uninstall Ecosia.org

In some cases, Ecosia.org won’t uninstall and gives you the message, that “You do not have sufficient access to uninstall Ecosia.org. Please, contact your system administrator” when you try to remove it from Control Panel or “Access denied” error when removing Ecosia.org folder and files. This happens, because process or service does not allow you to do it. In this case, I will recommend you to use SpyHunter 5 or Malwarebytes AntiMalware or uninstall Ecosia.org in Safe Mode. To boot in Safe Mode do the following:

  1. Reboot your computer.
  2. While it starts booting type F8 button.
  3. This will open Advanced Boot Options menu.
  4. Choose Safe Mode and wait until Windows loads.
  5. Go to Control Panel > Uninstall a program and remove Ecosia.org

>> See detailed instructions and video tutorial on how to boot in Safe Mode

and for Mac:

If you can’t uninstall Ecosia.org using instructions above, or it keeps coming back, you can use free AppCleaner for Mac to remove all residual data and libraries of Ecosia.org. Follow instructions below:

  1. Download free AppCleaner.
  2. Drag Ecosia from Applications folder to AppCleaner window.
  3. Choose files and folders you want to remove along with Ecosia.org.
  4. Click Delete button.

Remove malicious add-ons from your browsers

Uninstalling Ecosia.org from Control Panel often does not bring desired effect. It sometimes have browser extension and it may still be active in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Here are instructions on how to remove Ecosia.org extension from your browsers manually.

Safari:

  1. Start Safari on your Mac, click Safari to open drop-down menu and choose Preferences
  2. Click Extensions tab.
  3. Find Ecosia extension.
  4. Click Uninstall button to remove it.

Google Chrome:

  1. Start Google Chrome browser
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) chrome://extensions/.
  3. Find Ecosia.org add-on.
  4. Click the trash can icon to remove them.
  5. Also remove other suspicious extensions from the list.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Start Mozilla Firefox browser.
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) about:addons.
  3. Choose Ecosia extension.
  4. Click Disable or Remove button.
  5. Remove all suspicious extensions from the list.

Internet Explorer (9, 10, 11):

Note: There is no feature to remove browser extensions from browser in latest version of Internet Explorer. To remove Ecosia.org from Internet Explorer, please, perform instructions for uninstalling program from Control Panel. To disable Ecosia.org, please, do the following:

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on gear/asterisk icon in the top-right corner.
  3. In opened menu Manage Add-ons.
  4. Select Toolbars and Extensions.
  5. Click Disable Ecosia.
  6. Also disable other suspicious extensions from the list.

Opera Browser:

Generally, Ecosia.org does not install in Opera browser however you can always double check. Do the following:

  1. Start Opera browser.
  2. Go to Tools > Extensions > Manage Extensions.
  3. Find Ecosia extension.
  4. Click Uninstall button.
  5. Also remove other suspicious extensions from the list.

Reset browsers settings (homepage, default search)

Ecosia installs search engine (Ecosia.org), that hijacks your browsers. Here is instruction to reset your browsers homepage, new tab and search engine to default values.

Reset Safari:

  1. Start Safari on your Mac, click Safari to open drop-down menu and choose Preferences
  2. Go to the Privacy section of Safari’s preferences.
  3. Click Remove All Website Data button.
  4. In opened window click Remove Now button to remove data stored by websites in Safari.
  5. Go to the Advanced section of Safari’s preferences.
  6. Click the Show Develop menu in menu bar option.
  7. In the menu click Develop and select Empty Caches from this menu.
  8. Again, go to Safari menu and choose Clear History….
  9. Choose to clear all history and click Clear History button.

Google Chrome:

  1. Start Google Chrome browser
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) chrome://settings/.
  3. Scroll down and find Show advanced settings link.
  4. Click on it and scroll down to the bottom again.
  5. Click Reset browser settings button and click Reset to confirm.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Start Mozilla Firefox browser.
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) about:support.
  3. Click Reset Firefox… button.
  4. Click Reset Firefox to confirm.

Internet Explorer (9, 10, 11):

  1. Start Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on gear/asterisk icon in the top-right corner.
  3. In opened menu choose Internet options.
  4. Click Advanced tab.
  5. Click Reset button.
  6. Choose Delete personal settings and click Reset.

Opera Browser:

  1. Close Opera and open command prompt from the start menu.
  2. Type following command del %AppData%\Opera\Opera\operaprefs.ini
  3. Start Opera.

How to block redirects and pop-ups from Ecosia.org

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Ecosia.org redirects, in most cases, are caused by a program installed on your PC or add-on installed in browsers. However, sometimes it can appear on a clean computer when visiting malicious website, using advertising script. Also, apps that generate “Ecosia.org” are themselves installed from pop-ups. To protect your PC and browsers from phishing websites, pop-up ads, banners, malicious scripts it is recommended to use AdGuard. Download free trial here:

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How to protect Mac OSX from adware like Ecosia.org

malwarebytes for mac Mac OSX is known to be one of the safest operating systems, and for a long time there was no need in antivirus products for Mac. But with the growing popularity of Mac computers and notebooks and evolving technology, viruses, trojans, adware, toolbars, hijackers and other malware paved the way for Mac users. We recommend you to use one of the best anti-malware for Mac available – Malwarebytes for Mac.

Download Malwarebytes for Mac

Final tips

Be careful surfing the internet and downloading software, as programs like Ecosia.org may become a real headache as they are hard to remove and break your privacy. To keep safe from such threats we recommend you always use antivirus and one of anti-malware programs available on the market. Among the best anti-spyware and anti-malware programs are SpyHunter 5 and Combo Cleaner. It can protect your PC from threats, like Ecosia.org.

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