What is Safe2Search

Safe2Search is the name of a browser hijacker ostensibly meant to increase security whilst surfing the web. The extension takes over some browser settings in order to impose a couple of changes. Besides getting visually altered, your default homepage will be replaced by search.safe2search.com address. This is a new, yet fake search engine that redirects queries to legitimate Yahoo.com. Therefore, Safe2Search ends up totally useless bringing no promised value at all. On the contrary, browser hijackers like Safe2Search may target revenue goals by running the collection of personal data (e.g. passwords, IP addresses, geolocations, etc.). Usually, new search engines along with visual changes are just a cover for rogue activity ran without your consent by cybercriminals. Safe2Search is no exception, which is why it has to be removed from your system as soon as possible. To do this, follow our tutorial below.

search.safe2search.com

How Safe2Search infected your computer

Browser hijackers are categorized as Potentially Unwanted Programs. Such type of software is frequently spread via torrent websites hosting pirated, cracked, or freeware programs. The biggest enemy working against multiple users is inexperience and unattentiveness. Most initiate the installation of third-party software and rush straight down the setup. By doing so, people increase their risk of skipping “Advanced”, “Custom”, or other sections containing additional offers. This is the moment hijackers or other unwanted programs can be allowed to sneak into the system. The only way you can minimize the risk of getting infected with unwanted software is by making sure there are no such promoted during the setup. It is also worth selecting a circle of trusted and well-known websites that post third-party software. This will also contribute to the safer and risk-free installation of apps. Along with removal, our guide below will help you obtain a couple of tips on PC protection against threats like Safe2Search and many more in the future.

Download Removal Tool

Download SpyHunter

compatible with microsoft

To remove Safe2Search completely, we recommend you to use SpyHunter. It can help you remove files, folders, and registry keys of Safe2Search and uninstall hijackers, toolbars, and unwanted add-ons from the Safari browser. The trial version of SpyHunter offers virus scan and 1-time removal for FREE.

Download Alternative Removal Tool

Download Malwarebytes

To remove Safe2Search completely, we recommend you to use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. It detects and removes all files, folders, and registry keys of Safe2Search and several millions of other adware, hijackers, toolbars.

Remove Safe2Search manually for free

Here is a manual step-by-step tutorial for full Safe2Search removal from your computer. This works 99% and was checked with the latest versions of the Safe2Search installer on operating systems with the latest updates and browser versions.

Disable push notifications from search.safe2search.com in browsers

Remove search.safe2search.com from websites, allowed to show push-notifications in Google Chrome

  1. Go to Google Chrome settings, by clicking 3-dots icon in the top-right corner and choosing Settings.
  2. On a Mac you can also go to Chrome and choose Preferences.
  3. Under opened Privacy and security tab, choose Content settings.
  4. Click on Notifications menu (with the bell icon).
  5. Set up preferred overall settings for push notifications and click Manage exceptions… button.
  6. Find search.safe2search.com in the list and click cross icon to remove it. Click Done button to confirm the action.

Remove search.safe2search.com from websites, allowed to show push-notifications in Mozilla Firefox

  1. Go to Mozilla Firefox options, by clicking 3-bars icon in the top-right corner and choosing Options.
  2. Choose Content tab on the left side.
  3. Under Notifications, set up preferred overall settings for push-notifications and click Choose… button.
  4. Find search.safe2search.com in the list and click Remove site to remove it.
  5. Click Save Changes button to confirm the action.

Remove search.safe2search.com from websites, allowed to show push-notifications in Safari

  1. Open Safari, and in the top menu click Safari, choose Preferences.
  2. In the Preferences window, click on Websites tab.
  3. On the left side, choose Notifications. You will see the list of websites and their settings for showing notifications.
  4. Find search.safe2search.com in the list and click Remove button.

Remove search.safe2search.com from websites, allowed to show push-notifications in Android (Chrome)

  1. Open Google Chrome app on Android, and tap on three dots to open main menu.
  2. In the drop-down menu choose Settings, scroll down and under Advanced section tap on Site Settings.
  3. In the Site Settings menu tap on Notifications.
  4. In the Allowed list of websites allowed to show notifications find search.safe2search.com, tap on it and in the bottom of the window tap on Clean & Reset button.
  5. Confirm your action by tapping on Clean & Reset again in opened dialog box.

Remove search.safe2search.com from websites, allowed to show push-notifications in Microsoft Edge

  1. Open Microsoft Edge, and click on the three-dots menu, in the top-right corner.
  2. In the drop-down menu choose Settings, and in the left part click Advanced.
  3. Under Website permissions section, click Manage permissions button.
  4. Find search.safe2search.com in the list and click on the cross sign to remove the setting and disable its notifications.

Note: Safe2Search 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 Safe2Search from Control Panel

To start removing Safe2Search you should uninstall it using Control Panel. It can be present by different names – “Safe2Search” or “search.safe2search.com”. It should uninstall correctly, however, we recommend you to use IObit Uninstaller to clean leftover items after uninstalling. Here are instructions for Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 or Mac.

Remove Safe2Search from Mac:

  1. In the Finder sidebar, click Applications.
  2. Safe2Search might have an Uninstaller.
  3. Otherwise, drag Safe2Search from the Applications folder to the Trash (located at the end of the Dock).
  4. Then choose Finder > Empty Trash.

Remove Safe2Search from Windows XP:

  1. Click on Start button.
  2. Choose Control Panel.
  3. Click Add or Remove Programs.
  4. Find Safe2Search or other suspicious program.
  5. Click Uninstall.

Remove Safe2Search from Windows 7:

  1. Click Start button.
  2. Then go to Control Panel.
  3. Click Uninstall a Program.
  4. Find Safe2Search or other suspicious program and click Uninstall.

Remove Safe2Search 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 Safe2Search or other suspicious program, click Uninstall.

Remove Safe2Search from Windows 10:

There are 2 ways to uninstall Safe2Search 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 Safe2Search or other suspicious 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 Safe2Search or other suspicious program in the list.
  4. Click on it and then click Uninstall button above.

Cannot uninstall Safe2Search

In some cases, Safe2Search won’t uninstall and gives you the message, that “You do not have sufficient access to uninstall Safe2Search. Please, contact your system administrator” when you try to remove it from Control Panel or “Access denied” error when removing the Safe2Search 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 or uninstall Safe2Search in Safe Mode. To boot in Safe Mode do the following:

  1. Reboot your computer.
  2. While it starts booting press 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 Safe2Search or other suspicious program

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

and for Mac:

If you can’t uninstall Safe2Search using instructions above, or it keeps coming back, you can use free AppCleaner for Mac to remove all residual data and libraries of Safe2Search. Follow instructions below:

  1. Download free AppCleaner.
  2. Drag Safe2Search from Applications folder to AppCleaner window.
  3. Choose files and folders you want to remove along with Safe2Search.
  4. Click Delete button.

Remove malicious add-ons from your browsers

Uninstalling Safe2Search from Control Panel often does not bring the desired effect. It sometimes has a browser extension and it may still be active in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Here are instructions on how to remove the Safe2Search 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 Safe2Search extensions.
  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 Safe2Search or other suspicious extensions.
  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 Safe2Search or other suspicious extensions.
  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 Safe2Search from Internet Explorer, please, perform instructions for uninstalling the program from Control Panel. To disable Safe2Search, 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 Safe2Search or other suspicious extensions.
  6. Also disable other suspicious extensions from the list.

Opera Browser:

Generally, Safe2Search 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 Safe2Search or other suspicious extensions.
  4. Click Uninstall button.
  5. Also remove other suspicious extensions from the list.

Reset browsers settings (homepage, default search)

Safe2Search installs a search engine (search.safe2search.com), that hijacks your browsers. Here is the 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.

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 Safe2Search. 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 Safe2Search 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-virus programs is SpyHunter 5. It can protect your PC from threats like Safe2Search.

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