What is “Enhanced by Google”

Enhanced by Google is a label applied by many browser hijackers to their search engines. Usually, it can be met in browsers infected by one of the toolbars from the Mindspark family. There are hundreds of similar toolbars (browser extensions) with different names. The malware of this type (browser hijackers) invade browser settings and change them by adding a new search engine and shortcuts for quick access to preferred websites. Search queries redirected through this category of browser hijackers depict results from the original Google system. You should know that browser hijackers are considered as Potentially Unwanted Programs since they can collect personal data and use it in bad means. They also generate traffic from entered queries to earn additional cash. Thus, negative points definitely overweigh its advantages meaning that you should remove it from your PC to prevent confidential damage.

How “Enhanced by Google” search engine infected your computer

Potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) connect with freeware repacks being represented in the form of additional offers. These offers often get overlooked by unexperienced users who rush till the end of the setup. This, therefore, leads to inevitable infections like browser hijackers or adware that manipulate your settings. Another way of distributing hijackers is via malicious ads that run executable scripts. This is why you should avoid clicking on banners located on third-parties websites because there is a chance that they have been hacked or intentionally created to spread infected software. Our guide below will help you establish strong protection against up-to-date and remove existing threats.

Download Removal Tool for Windows

Download Removal Tool

compatible with microsoft

To remove search “Enhanced by Google” completely, we recommend you to use WiperSoft AntiSpyware from WiperSoft. It detects and removes all files, folders and registry keys of the search “Enhanced by Google” and several millions of other adware, hijackers, toolbars.

Download Removal Tool for Mac

Download Combo Cleaner

To remove search “Enhanced by Google” completely, we recommend you to use Combo Cleaner. It can help you remove files, folders, and registry keys of the search “Enhanced by Google” and uninstall hijackers, toolbars and unwanted add-ons from the Safari browser. The trial version of Combo Cleaner offers virus scan and 1-time removal for FREE.

Remove search “Enhanced by Google” manually for free

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

Note: Search “Enhanced by Google” 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

Remove search “Enhanced by Google” from Control Panel

To start removing search “Enhanced by Google” you should uninstall it using Control Panel. It can be present by different names, usually containing “New Tab”, “Search” or “Toolbar”. It should uninstall correctly, however, we recommend you to use CleanMyPC to clean leftover items after uninstalling. Here are instructions for Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 or Mac.

Remove search “Enhanced by Google” from Mac:

  1. In the Finder sidebar, click Applications.
  2. Program that’ve added search “Enhanced by Google” might have an Uninstaller.
  3. Otherwise, drag suspicious app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located at the end of the Dock).
  4. Then choose Finder > Empty Trash.

Remove search “Enhanced by Google” from Windows XP:

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

Remove search “Enhanced by Google” from Windows 7:

  1. Click Start button.
  2. Then go to Control Panel.
  3. Click Uninstall a Program.
  4. Find suspicious or unwanted program and click Uninstall.

Remove search “Enhanced by Google” 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 suspicious or unwanted program, click Uninstall.

Remove search “Enhanced by Google” from Windows 10:

There are 2 ways to uninstall search “Enhanced by Google” 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 suspicious or unwanted program 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 suspicious or unwanted program in the list.
  4. Click on it and then click Uninstall button above.

Cannot uninstall search “Enhanced by Google”

In some cases, search “Enhanced by Google” won’t uninstall and gives you the message, that “You do not have sufficient access to uninstall search “Enhanced by Google”. Please, contact your system administrator” when you try to remove it from Control Panel or “Access denied” error when removing the search “Enhanced by Google” folder and files. This happens because the 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 search “Enhanced by Google” 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 suspicious or unwanted program

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

and for Mac:

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

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

Remove malicious add-ons from your browsers

Uninstalling search “Enhanced by Google” from Control Panel often does not bring the desired effect. It sometimes has browser extension and it may still be active in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Here are instructions on how to remove search “Enhanced by Google” 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 suspicious 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 suspicious 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 suspicious 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 search “Enhanced by Google” from Internet Explorer, please, perform instructions for uninstalling a program from Control Panel. To disable search “Enhanced by Google”, 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 to deactivate suspicious add-on.
  6. Also disable other suspicious extensions from the list.

Opera Browser:

Generally, search “Enhanced by Google” 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 suspicious extension.
  4. Click Uninstall button.
  5. Also remove other suspicious extensions from the list.

Reset browsers settings (homepage, default search)

search “Enhanced by Google” installs a search engine (search.hfastpackagetracker.net), that hijacks your browsers. Here is an instruction to reset your browser’s 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 search “Enhanced by Google”

adguard pop-up blocker

search “Enhanced by Google” 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 websites, using an advertising script. Also, apps that generate “search “Enhanced by Google”” 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:

Download AdGuard for Windows Download AdGuard for Mac

Alternative way to remove adware browser extensions and reset browser settings

avast browser cleanup For safe and effective browser extension removal use avast! Browser Cleanup utility. Run it with administrator privileges and remove all extensions with bad ratings including related to search “Enhanced by Google”. You can also reset your browser settings for each of your browsers: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox.

Download Avast Browser Cleanup

Cleaning browsers shortcuts

shortcut cleaner You can clean your browser shortcuts manually right-clicking on your browser icon, choosing “Properties” and removing hijacker address from “Target” field (leave just the path to your browser). However it is easier to use free Shortcut Cleaner from BleepingComputer. Download it here – its FREE:

Download Shortcut Cleaner

Final tips

Be careful surfing the internet and downloading software, as programs like search “Enhanced by Google” 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 the anti-malware programs available on the market. One of the best anti-spyware and anti-malware programs is SpyHunter 5. It can protect your PC from threats, like search “Enhanced by Google”.