- If your search engine keeps changing to Yahoo, it may be due to the browser hijacker virus.
- Hackers use the Yahoo search redirect virus to earn revenue generated by clicks on Yahoo.
- To get rid of the Yahoo virus, reset your browser settings for Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.
Though Yahoo is a legitimate search engine, if it isn't your preferred site, it can be frustrating to have it continuously pop up every time you open your internet browser.
In fact, if your search engine keeps changing to Yahoo, it may be due to a browser hijacker virus. And even though it sounds scary, there's actually a simple fix. Here's how to get rid of it.
What is a browser hijacker virus?
A browser hijacker virus is a malicious piece of code that modifies your browser's settings behind your back. By hijacking your browser, the virus redirects you – without your permission – to websites that are often malicious in nature.
On top of that, a browser hijacker virus is also used as a means to infect your computer with other types of malware. For example, it might install spyware on your computer behind the scenes, allowing the hacker who is monitoring the malware to steal your personal and financial information.
If your default search engine keeps changing suddenly to Yahoo, your computer may have malware
This problem can likely be attributed to malware — specifically, the Yahoo search redirect virus. This virus works by rapidly redirecting your browser to an intermediary site (or sometimes to multiple sites) and then depositing you onto the Yahoo site.
Any revenue then generated via clicks made on Yahoo will direct some revenue back to those intermediary sites. The hackers responsible for the virus also use it to collect your data and track your internet activity.
So it's not Yahoo's fault, but it is an issue you need to clear up. You don't want to be forced to use Yahoo by malware that can track you and potentially harm your computer.
There are many ways your system can contract the redirect malware, but the solution is the same for most browsers: reset your browser's settings.
How to reset Safari browser settings
How to reset Safari browser settings
1. Click Safari in the menu bar at the top of your screen.
2. In the menu, click Preferences.
3. Select the Advanced tab – the option that looks like two gears.
4. Make sure the Show Develop menu in the menu bar box is checked.
5. Click Develop in the menu bar, and then select Empty Caches.
6. Click History in the menu bar, and then select Clear History.
7. In the pop-up, click the dropdown next to Clear and select a time period – between the last hour, today, today and yesterday, and all history. Then, click Clear History.
8. Go back to Safari's Preferences.
9. Select the Privacy tab – the option that looks like a hand.
10. Click Manage Website Data.
11. In the pop-up, click Remove All.
Now restart Safari and you should be all set.
How to reset Chrome browser settings
1. Open Chrome on your computer.
2. Click the more icon – the three vertical dots – in the top right corner of the browser window.
3. Click Settings in the menu.
4. In the left side menu, click Reset and clean up.
5. In the right panel, click Restore settings to their original defaults.
6. Click Reset settings in the pop-up to confirm.
How to reset Firefox browser settings
1. Open Firefox on your computer.
2. Click the hamburger menu – the three horizontal lines that look like a burger – in the top right corner of the browser window.
3. In the menu, click Help and then More troubleshooting information.
4. Click the Refresh Firefox button.
5. In the popup window, click Refresh Firefox to confirm.
Your browser should now be clear of any malicious add-ons.
Steven John is a freelance writer living near New York City by way of 12 years in Los Angeles, four in Boston, and the first 18 near DC. When not writing or spending time with his wife and kids, he can occasionally be found climbing mountains. His writing is spread across the web, and his books can be found at www.stevenjohnbooks.com.
Why does my search engine keep changing? ›
Search Engine Keeps Changing (to Yahoo or Another) If your homepage or search engine keeps changing, then you may have a redirect virus. At some point you may have clicked a fake “update” pop-up telling you to do things like update your Flash Player or update your browser.How do I stop Yahoo from hijacking Chrome? ›
- Open the Chrome browser and go to Settings.
- From the left pane, select the Search engine option.
- Choose the search engine of your choice from the drop-down list.
- Now, select the Manage search engines option.
- Click on the three dots next to Yahoo and choose Remove from list.
- On your computer, open Chrome.
- At the top right, click More. Settings. On Chromebook, Linux, and Mac: Click Reset settings Restore settings to their original defaults. Reset settings. On Windows: Click Reset and cleanup Reset settings to their original defaults. Reset settings.
- Stay current on operating system (OS) and browser patches. ...
- Avoid clicking on suspicious links. ...
- Be careful about downloading software. ...
- Use antivirus software. ...
- Avoid running freeware programs that may unpack software on installation.
Browser hijackers mostly promote fake search engines to generate revenue. Since the phony search engines cannot generate their own search result, users are redirected to search engines like Yahoo. This is how Yahoo becomes the default search engine of Chrome or other browsers.How do I stop Yahoo browser hijacking? ›
- Step 1: Change default engine. ...
- Remove unwanted extensions. ...
- Restore default browser settings. ...
- Uninstall unrecognized programs. ...
- Remove temporary files. ...
- Install an antivirus and run a scan.
Keep in mind that resetting your browser will remove all of your settings (for example, saved passwords, history, your home page, and saved website-handling information). Your Favorites may not be deleted.How do I go back to original settings? ›
- Tap Settings.
- Tap General & Backup and reset.
- Tap Factory data reset.
- Tap Reset device.
- Tap Delete all.
What does it mean to reset a browser? Resetting your web browsers will also uninstall and remove add-ons, toolbars or extensions, reset your homepage and remove all custom settings. Reset Google Chrome to Default Settings. Back up your bookmarks.What does a browser hijacker look like? ›
Symptoms of Browser Hijacking
Searches that are redirected to different websites. Multiple pop-up advertisement alerts. Slow-loading web pages. Multiple toolbars on a web browser not installed by the user.
How do I remove browser Search virus? ›
- Open Chrome.
- At the top right, click More. Settings.
- Click Reset and clean up. Clean up computer.
- Click Find.
- If you're asked to remove unwanted software, click Remove. You may be asked to reboot your computer.
Search hijacking, or browser hijacking, occurs when a third party sneaks files into your computer and alters your browser's settings without your permission. These changes help the hijackers make money by forcing you to look at ads, click on paid links, or give up your private information.How do I stop Google from changing search results? ›
- On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google app .
- At the top right, tap your Profile picture or initial Settings General. Search customization.
- Turn off Search customization.
One possible reason is that you might have recently installed a free software program from the internet. This might have come with a pre-checked option to set Bing as your default search engine. Another reason for this can be that a malicious extension or application may have changed your Chrome browser's settings.How do I stop Safari from changing my search engine? ›
To change these settings, choose Safari > Settings, then click Search. Choose the search engine you want Safari to use for web searches.Why does Google change what I search? ›
If you're asking yourself, “why did my Google search results change?” it might be because what you are searching for is a time sensitive topic that Google thinks needs the most up-to-date results.Why does Google filter my search results? ›
Google uses the information it collects about you to make your search results more accurate and relevant. But by shaping the content you see to match your perceived interests, it also places you in a “filter bubble." This means you may miss out on useful sites that Google's algorithms deem less suitable for you.Should I turn Google Web and App activity off? ›
Turning off tracking means you'll see less relevant ads, less helpful search recommendations and get a less personalized experience overall using the search engine and its apps and services. For those who enjoy personalized ads, turning off tracking will prevent Google from predicting what you might care about.How do I get rid of Bing redirect search engine virus on Windows? ›
- STEP 1: Use Rkill to terminate malicious processes.
- STEP 2: Uninstall malicious programs from your computer.
- STEP 3: Remove malicious browser policies from Windows.
- STEP 4: Remove malicious files and folders from Windows.
- Open Safari on your iPhone.
- Tap the Tabs button .
- Tap Private to show the Tab Groups list.
- Tap [number] Tabs , then tap Done.
How do I get rid of Yahoo Redirect virus on Safari? ›
To remove the Yahoo Search redirect virus from Safari, go to preferences, change your default search engine, remove any suspicious extensions, and reset your browser data. If nothing helps, look for suspicious apps on your Mac and remove them.Why does Safari keep using Yahoo instead of Google? ›
If your Safari browser keeps redirecting your search results to Yahoo when you normally use Google or other search engines, you might have the Yahoo redirect virus, which is more similar to malware that was installed with something you've downloaded.