How to Eliminate Search Redirecting

Search redirecting is an Internet virus that typically sends search results to spam and malicious websites, displays fake error reports and blocks users from downloading files and programs. Usually caused by malware and often called Google Redirect Virus, it can also highjack the search results for Bing and Yahoo and slow down the operations of Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. Unfortunately, there is no quick-click remedy for this frustrating virus, but following a series of steps can repair the problem.


    • 1

      Verify that your web browser’s Local Area Network (LAN) is not set to allow a proxy server to be used. To do this, open Internet Explorer, go to “Tools” and select “Internet Options.” Click the "Connections" tab, choose the “LAN Settings” button and uncheck the "proxy server" option.

    • 2

      Check the settings for your DNS (Domain Name System) by opening your computer’s control panel and double-clicking the “Network Connections” icon. Right click on “Local Area Connections” and choose “Properties” from the menu. Check the box for “Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)” and click the “properties” button. Next, choose the “Obtain DNS server address automatically” option and click the “OK” button.

    • 3

      Review your file for Windows HOSTS. Begin by going to “C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc”. Double-click on the “hosts” file and select to open it in Notepad. Look for the file “ localhost” in Windows XP or “ localhost ::1” in Windows Vista. There should be only one of these files listed. Remove any others and save the changes.

    • 4

      Manage the add-ons in Internet Explorer and uninstall any search providers or toolbars that appear suspicious or are unknown. This is done by opening Internet Explorer, selecting “Tools” and choosing “Manage Add-ons” from the menu. You will then see your prompt to perform uninstall functions

    • 5

      Apply the “TDSSKiller” tool to eliminate malware that belongs to the “Rootkit.Win32.TDSS” family. Do this by downloading and launching the TDSSKiller.exe file to scan and disinfect your computer.

    • 6

      Remove any remnants of the virus by scanning your computer with legitimate anti-malware software.

    • 7

      Eliminate unneeded system/temp files and browser caches from your computer by downloading and executing software for optimization and cleaning.

    • 8

      If you apply all of these steps and your computer is still infected with the redirect virus, reset your router back to the factory default settings. Next, flush your DNS cache by going to Start->Run (or WinKey+R) and typing in "cmd" -- without the quotation marks. Type "ipconfig /flushdns" -- without quotes -- into a new window and hit the enter button.

Tips & Warnings

  • Information about Windows HOST is available at
  • A detailed tutorial for using TDSSKillercan be found at
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