What is Universalsearches.com?

Universalsearches.com is a recently created search engine; unfortunately, it is not a useful tool since our researchers classified it as a browser hijacker. It acts on its own in your system, as it injects your browser with unwanted ads that might be unsafe for your computer. However, it does not take any responsibility for its actions; as a result, we advise you not to trust this search engine. We will tell you all you have to know about this infection, including what it does and why it is dangerous. Importantly, we will provide detailed step by step removal instructions, so you could easily get rid of the browser hijacker when it infects your browsers.test

Where does Universalsearches.com come from?

This search engine is another creation of the ELEX hijacker's originator. To those who have not heard about it, ELEX is a nasty program that generates a lot of various irritating pop-ups and slows down systems. Universalsearches.com can enter your system when you are visiting suspicious webpages. Mostly, such pages show lots of ads, fake system notifications or free application downloads. Normally, users get infected with Universalsearches.com, when they download some free application. Later they install their chosen program with this hijacker. This way of distribution is called bundled downloads, and it can trick a user into installing applications he did not want without realizing it. That is why our team at Anti-spyware-101.com always advise users to avoid untrustworthy webpages. Also, it is essential to have a reliable security tool, that would inform you about the risks when you are about to visit suspicious webpages.

How does Universalsearches.com work?

Firstly, the browser hijacker will change your browser settings without your permission. Universalsearches.com is compatible with all main browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer. If you had your favorite search engine or website that was your homepage, it would be changed to Universalsearches.com in every browser in your system, and that is not something that legitimate programs do. Furthermore, as soon as you begin using this search engine, it starts collecting information about your browsing habits by using your browser cookies. They gather various information that may be considered private, such as your search keywords, visited pages, clicked ads, etc. All this information is used to create personalized ads that would show up in your search results. As a result, these ads might look familiar and attractive to you. With more information gathered ads become more and more tempting. Also, this browser hijacker can display fake links in search results. You might be willing to open these false links because they can be based on your search keywords or they will be related to the latest news. The main problem is that by opening these links or ads you will land on third party websites that might contain malicious code; consequently, it can infect your system with other malware.

How to remove Universalsearches.com?

Removing Universalsearches.com is not that hard, simply follow our instructions below and get rid of it. You will have to locate your browser directories on your PC and delete or modify the files that are listed. Although, do not forget that probably there might be much more malicious software on your PC, especially if you visited suspicious sites. It is crucial that you remove it all at once, because if you leave one threat, it can replace the erased ones. So afterward, delete other suspicious programs, browser toolbars or extensions from your system, especially if you did not download them yourself.

Delete Universalsearches.com from your browsers manually

Internet Explorer

  1. Press Windows Key+R.
  2. Type regedit and click OK to open Windows Registry.
  3. Navigate to this path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main.
  4. Look at the right side of Registry window and locate Value Name Start Page.
  5. Right-Click on Start Page and click Modify.
  6. Replace Value Data with the page you trust and click OK.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Locate this path: C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\{Unique Mozilla user ID}.
  2. Search for Prefs.js file and open it in Notepad.
  3. Find and delete this line: user_pref("browser.startup.homepage", "http://Universalsearches.com/");.
  4. Press CTRL+S and close it.

Google Chrome

  1. Navigate to: C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default.
  2. Locate and delete these files: Preferences, Secure Preferences and Web Data.
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