Applications such as Str-search.com are a very common cause of browsing interruptions, automatic page-redirects and uncontrolled exposure to various sponsored ads, intrusive banners, pop-ups and aggressive commercials and they may also tinker with the settings of the search engine, the homepage or the toolbar of your browser. These applications are usually categorized as browser hijackers and, unfortunately, nowadays it is very easy to accidentally download and install such an app inside your computer without actually realizing it. Hijackers typically spread for free in a bundle with some other free or attractive programs, add-ons, optimization tools, torrents or application updates and you could get them installed on nearly any browser – Chrome, IE, Firefox and Edge are the most typical targets of hijacker aps. That’s why, if you perform a quick and careless installation of a new application inside your PC, you might end up with Str-search.com or a similar ad-generating and page-redirecting piece of software as a “bonus”.
Luckily, you can easily spot the browser hijacker because once it gets installed, it immediately integrates with your main browser (it doesn’t really matter if you are using Chrome, Firefox, Explorer or another one) and starts to generate different types of pay-per-click ads, annoying pop-ups, blinking banners and sponsored redirect links the very moment you open it. In most of the cases, the aggressive ads streaming is accompanied by potentially unwanted changes inside the hijacked browser such as homepage or search engine replacements or installation of new toolbars, buttons and add-ons which are meant to promote more of those nagging commercials all over your screen.
To your relief, none of these changes or aggressive ad generations are aimed at corrupting your PC. Therefore, the applications which initiate them are not considered as computer viruses or aggressive forms of malware. Despite lacking the maliciousness of threats like Ransomware or Trojans, however, pieces of software like Str-search.com are still considered to be undesirable and many people seek methods to remove them and uninstall their changes. If this is your case, we suggest you take a look at the removal guide below and use its instructions to safely uninstall Str-search.com form your system and permanently remove all of its nagging ads from your screen.
Str-search.com may be mistaken for a virus
Due to their rather aggressive advertising approach, most browser hijackers can easily be mistaken for computer viruses. After all, these applications tend to install some new components inside the users’ browsers and flood their screens with sketchy pop-ups without asking for approval. What is more, they may initiate automatic redirects to some third-party websites, which may be totally irrelevant or unfamiliar. Such behavior, as annoying as it is, however, greatly differs from the attacks of Trojan Horses or the file-encryption of Ransomware viruses, for example. It is important to mention that a piece like Str-search.com lacks the harmful code those nasty computer threats have and is generally incapable of affecting anything else inside your OS except for your browser. In fact, if you have concerns about this browser hijacker or it irritates you and you simply don’t want to keep it on your system, you can remove it and uninstall all of its changes without facing any negative consequences. All you have to do is carefully follow the steps in the removal guide on this page or use the professional Str-search.com removal tool for automatic uninstallation.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||Your browser may start to redirect you to various unfamiliar web locations and to display aggressive ads on all the pages that you visit.|
|Distribution Method||Spam, software bundling, free installers, free download links and torrents are some of the most common sources.|
Remove Str-search.com “Virus”
Android user, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.
Mac user, please use our Mac Malware Removal guide.
The following guide will help our readers get rid of the unpleasant Str-search.com software. Follow the instructions and complete each step for best results. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them using our comment section down below.
Preparation: Entering Safe Mode and Revealing Hidden Files and Folders
Before you proceed with the actual removal instructions, you will need to take two extra steps in order to ensure that the guide has maximum effect.
For best results, we advise our readers to boot into Safe Mode prior to attempting to remove the virus. If you do not know how to do that, here is a separate How to Enter Safe Mode guide.
Also, in order to be able to see any potentially undesirable files, you should reveal any hidden files and folders on your PC – here is how to do that.
Step 1: Checking the Task Manager
Open your Task Manager by using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys and go to the Processes tab. Look for any suspicious processes. For example, any unfamiliar process that uses high amounts of RAM and/or CPU. If you aren’t sure if a certain process comes from malware, tell us in the comments.
Right-click on any process that you consider shady and select Open File Location. Delete anything from the file location of the process.
Step 2: Disabling Startup programs
Use the Winkey + R keyboard combination to open the Run search bar and type msconfig. Hit Enter and in the newly opened window, go to the Startup tab. There, look for suspicious entries with unknown manufacturer or ones that have the name Str-search.com on them. Right-click on those, and select disable.
Step 3: Uninstalling unwanted programs
Go to Start Menu > Control Panel > Uninstall a Program. Click on Installed On to sort the entries by date from most recent to oldest and look through the programs that come at the top of the list. Right-click on any entries that appear shady and unwanted and then select Uninstall to remove them from your PC. If you see the name Str-search.com in the list of programs, be sure to remove the software without hesitation.
Step 4: Checking for shady IP’s
To remove parasite on your own, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. If you were to do this, you need to be extremely careful, because you may damage your system.
If you want to avoid the risk, we recommend downloading SpyHunter - a professional malware removal tool - to see whether it will find malicious programs on your PC.
Step 5: Cleaning-up the browsers
You will also have to uninstall any undesirable browser extensions from your browser programs. Here’s how to do that for some of the more popular browsers:
Open Chrome and open its main menu. Go to More Tools > Extensions. Look through the list of extensions and uninstall any that you think could be suspicious. To remove them – click on the trash can icon next to each extension.
You can also use a specialized Chrome CleanUp tool if you cannot manually remove a certain extension. Here is an article where you can learn more about the CleanUp tool.
Open Firefox and go to its Menu. Select the Add-ons button.From the left panel, select Extensions and take a look at the different entries. Remove any of the that might be unwanted.
Once you open your IE browser, click on the Tools button at the top-right corner of the program and from the drop-down menu select Manage Add-ons. Check each one of the four different groups of add-ons and search for anything that seems undesirable. If you find anything, click on it and them select Remove.
Open the main menu of Microsoft Edge and go to Extensions. Find the extensions that you believe could be unwanted and right-click on them. Then, select Uninstall.
Step 6: Checking the Registry Editor
Open the Run search bar again and type regedit in it. Hit Enter and once the Registry Editor opens press Ctrl + F. In the search field type Str-search.com and click on Find Next. Tell us in the comments if any results came up when you searched for Str-search.com in your PC’s Registry.
Step 7: Deleting recent entries
For this step, you will have to open your Start Menu and copy-paste the following lines, one by one:
Hit Enter after each one to open a file directory. In the directories, delete the most recent entries that you find there. In the Temp folder, delete all files.
Step 8: System Restore
In order to be fully sure that the unwanted software has been removed from your machine, you can also try using a Restore Point to roll back your system its last stable configuration. However, in order to do that, you would have to previously had had a restore point created. On most systems, such points get created automatically but this isn’t always the case.
- If you want to learn how to configure System Restore and how to manually create Restore Points, follow this link.
- Open your Start Menu and type System Restore.
- Click on the first result – a setup wizard should open.
- Read the brief description of the process and select Next.
- Now, choose a restore from the presented list. You can also check the Show more restore points option in order to reveal any other restore points that might be saved on your PC.
- Click on Scan for affected programs to see what programs will get deleted or restored after you use the Restore Point. (optional)
- Click on next and take and then select Finish.
- A warning window will appear telling you that once the process starts, it shouldn’t be interrupted. Select Yes and be patient as this might take some time. Do not do anything on your PC throughout the duration of the process.
Step 9: Windows Refresh/Reset
Use this method only if nothing else has worked so far as it is a last resort option. If you do not know how to do it, this separate guide will give you the information that you need.