What is Wowsearch

Wowsearch is a dubious search engine promoted by a potentially unwanted program categorized as a browser hijacker. Such domains will appear as a default homepage each time you boot a browser. As developers claim, their software is meant to provide more accurate search results and customize your homepage to enhance the overall experience. Wowsearch extension adds “Managed by your organization” message into Google chrome interface. Alongside the assigned search engine (search.wowsearch.net), people can use different shortcuts and links to save time on accessing preferred websites. However, likewise other browser hijackers, Wowsearch generates no unique results. Instead, it displays search queries from legitimate Yahoo, Google, or Bing engines. Therefore, Wowsearch is useless and there is no benefit to be excluded from it. Besides that, browser hijackers are capable of monitoring personal data (e.g. passwords, IP-addresses, geolocations, credentials, etc.) and transferring it to cybercriminals. This way, such infiltrations can endanger your data and even slow down your PC by loading lots of resources. Thus, it is necessary to get rid of Wowsearch in order to prevent data leaks and secure yourself from third-parties interaction.

How Wowsearch infected your computer

Applications that provide ostensibly useful experience are downloaded unintentionally from third-parties pages. Such pages are typically held by people who get paid for bundling additional software alongside freeware or cracked programs. In most cases, people do not check downloaded files for viruses. Even if they do, there are other tricks that swindlers exploit to infect systems. They hide third-parties software in “Advanced” or “Custom” options and capitalize on careless users who skip them. Therefore, people get puzzled when facing sudden changes in browser appearance and cannot reset them due to the presence of malware. Furthermore, extortionists tend to proliferate unwanted applications through fake software updaters. Never download or click on messages that claim your software to be out-dated or not working. This is a social-engineering trick designed to catch gullible users. In order to prevent seeing the search.wowsearch.net domain, you should follow the instructions listed below.

Download Removal Tool for Windows

Download Removal Tool

compatible with microsoft

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

Download Removal Tool for Mac

Download Combo Cleaner

To remove Wowsearch completely, we recommend you to use Combo Cleaner. It can help you remove files, folders, and registry keys of Wowsearch 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 Wowsearch manually for free

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

Disable push notifications from search.wowsearch.net in browsers

Remove search.wowsearch.net 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. Open advanced settings by clicking Advanced in the bottom.
  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.wowsearch.net in the list and click cross icon to remove it. Click Done button to confirm the action.

Remove search.wowsearch.net 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.wowsearch.net in the list and click Remove site to remove it.
  5. Click Safe Changes button to confirm the action.

Remove search.wowsearch.net 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.wowsearch.net in the list and click Remove button.

Remove search.wowsearch.net 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.wowsearch.net, 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.wowsearch.net 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.wowsearch.net in the list and click on the cross sign to remove the setting and disable its notifications.

Note: Wowsearch 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 Wowsearch from Control Panel

To start removing Wowsearch you should uninstall it using Control Panel. It can be present by different names – “Wowsearch” or “search.wowsearch.net”. 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 Wowsearch from Mac:

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

Remove Wowsearch from Windows XP:

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

Remove Wowsearch from Windows 7:

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

Remove Wowsearch 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 Wowsearch or other suspicious program, click Uninstall.

Remove Wowsearch from Windows 10:

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

Cannot uninstall Wowsearch

In some cases, Wowsearch won’t uninstall and gives you the message, that “You do not have sufficient access to uninstall Wowsearch. Please, contact your system administrator” when you try to remove it from Control Panel or “Access denied” error when removing the Wowsearch 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 Wowsearch 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 Wowsearch 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 Wowsearch using instructions above, or it keeps coming back, you can use free AppCleaner for Mac to remove all residual data and libraries of Wowsearch. Follow instructions below:

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

Remove malicious add-ons from your browsers

Uninstalling Wowsearch 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 the Wowsearch 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 Wowsearch 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 Wowsearch 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 Wowsearch 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 Wowsearch from Internet Explorer, please, perform instructions for uninstalling program from Control Panel. To disable Wowsearch, 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 Wowsearch or other suspicious extensions.
  6. Also disable other suspicious extensions from the list.

Opera Browser:

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

Reset browsers settings (homepage, default search)

Wowsearch installs a search engine (search.wowsearch.net), 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.

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 rating including related to Wowsearch. 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 Wowsearch 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 Wowsearch.

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