Why is Google free?no_redirect=1

Google redirect virus is a set of potentially dangerous computer infections that seek to benefit from ad revenue while exposing users to unsafe content

Google Redirect is a term used to describe a variety of infections that affect Google Chrome browser.

Google redirect virus is a term used to describe browser hijackers,[1] adware and other potentially unwanted programs that display intrusive advertisements, change the homepage, alter search results on Chrome web browser. As evident, these infections have nothing to do with Google and are created by third-parties that seek to monetize on ad revenue. In the meantime, users' web browsing experience suffers, as they struggle to find relevant information, battle the annoying pop-ups and have to deal with the slow operation of the browser.

On the other hand, Google itself has received enough criticism for spying on its users[2], bypassing phishing links[3] among its search results and allowing malicious apps into Google Play Store.[4] Despite that, the industry giant is trying to reduce the malware inside its own store by tightening its security, improving scanners that block malicious URLs and providing users with plenty of information on how site admins can protect their visitors from malware.[5]

NameGoogle redirect
TypeAdware, browser hijackers and other PUPs that affect Google Chrome web browser
Infection meansThird-party websites, bundled software, advertisements, official sites of unwanted programs
SymptomsSymptoms vary depending on type of infection; however, users will notice strange behavior on Google Chrome, such as frequent redirects to suspicious sites, pop-up ads, alternative search results, changed startup page and new tab URL, etc.
Risk factorsMalware infection, money loss, sensitive information disclosure to unknown parties, etc.
Detection and terminationYou can always check the list of the installed app on your device and terminate them manually (check our guide below); alternatively, you can use security software that focuses on potentially unwanted apps, such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner
RecoverySome PUPs might act as malware and alter system settings or infect core files. To revert the damage done, use Reimage Reimage Cleaner

The majority of complaints, reporting URL redirects on Google page and similar search engines, was recorded in 2012.[6] However, the threat is still viable as it surfaces once in a while. Both Windows 10, Linux and Mac OS users can be victimized. Note that Google redirect virus iPhone and Android versions also exist. Alternatively, this virus is known as Chrome redirect virus. 

There is no wonder why Google redirect virus is so active this year. Browser hijackers causing redirects typically target Google Chrome user because it is the most popular web browser in the world. Clearly, it means that attacking users of this browser means hitting the right spot with the biggest number of potential victims.

Some experts tend to shorten the term and simply call the infection as Google virus. However, we want to clarify the meaning of it. Google virus is a potentially unwanted program (usually a browser hijacker) that meddles with browser's settings and worsens user's browsing and search experience. Typically, such programs are designed to collect victim's search terms and browsing history data and contaminate regular search results with ads.

In case you noticed an excessive amount of ads in your Google search results or if the appearance of them raises your suspicion, check your system for a browser redirect virus. Some of the programs known to be causing such redirects are: 

In case you have been noticed that Google redirects you to Yahoo[7] or other domains (these sites can be either well-known ones or totally new to you), you should take necessary measures to solve the problem. Just like Yahoo Redirect virus and Bing redirect virus, Safari redirect virus, it functions as a hybrid of a browser hijacker and a potentially unwanted program.[8]

The main problem here is its elimination – the infection can hide under any URL domain name, so it might troublesome to eradicate it manually. Reimage Reimage Cleaner  or Malwarebytes speed up Google redirect virus removal process. They also save your time by wiping all web scripts and “helper elements.” It is of utmost importance to “uninstall” them all in order not to experience this issue again.

Some users start wondering if they're infected with some Google virus after experiencing “Google bookmarks redirecting” issue. If your browser unexpectedly initiates a redirect loop once you attempt to open your bookmarks, do not worry. This issue is common and can be fixed quite easily. Usually, all that it takes to fix the problem is to clear browser cache, cookies, and history, or to sign out of your Google account, close the browser and sign in again.

Do not trust Google Lead Services – its is not related to the real technology company

Google Lead Services is a threat to your computer, and it is not related to Google Ad Services (all the concepts, features and networks that comprise Google AdWords account). You should know that redirects through GoogleAdServices.com occur each time you click on an ad in legitimate Google search results, however, if you happen to be using a fake version of it or a search engine controlled by a browser hijacker, you might experience redirects that go through GoogleLeadServices.com. If you check the website, it states the following (this hoax has nothing to do with Google):

We are not affiliated with or related to Google Lead Services™ in any way. The term “Google” is used as a synonym for “Search”

Google Lead Services has nothing to do with the industry giant Google

It seems that the problem with this domain has been bothering both Windows and Mac users for years. Some people complain about Google Lead Services Cookie that prevents smooth navigation in Safari and other browsers. If you have run into this domain during your browsing session, we highly suggest scanning your computer and removing all files and components associated with it.

In case you experience continuous redirects to the described domain, check if your browser's shortcuts aren't affected. You can find a comprehensive tutorial on how to do it right below the article.

Threats that browser redirect viruses pose

“Is Google redirect virus dangerous”? This is one of the questions curious users might ask. Though technically, it is not as complex as Petna or Cerber malware, its consequences might be as annoying as those caused by these ransomware-type threats.

Before we discuss the prevention of browser hijackers, let's take a look at the most common symptoms of this infection:

  • Google redirects to Comcast, Bing, Yahoo and similar websites. Naturally, it might trigger the appearance of pop-up alerts. In any case, such behavior indicates that the browser is plagued by a browser infection.
  • Altered browser and system settings. Typically, this virus changes the default search engine, new tab, and the homepage. It might also append extra extensions.
  • Foisted commercial content in the search results. If Google search engine is changed to some fishy Ask or PlusNetwork tool, you might notice more commercial ads beside the search result.
  • Tracking your online activities. More aggressive versions of browser redirect viruses might not only compile information about your frequently visited websites and search entries, but gather personal details, such as name, email, IP and home addresses, and trade this data with business partners. 

Such phenomena should not be ignored even if excessive advertising does not bother you. This issue has nothing to do with safe browsing and, even if you have a reputable malware elimination tool installed on your computer, remain vigilant while adding a new toolbar or a browser extension.

Google redirect is a browser infection that has many forms of disguise. The easiest way to remove Google redirect virus is to scan the system with updated security software.

Google redirect scheme becomes more and more popular

Redirecting users to modified versions of Google, injecting ads and collecting victims' search terms helps companies make money by driving traffic to predetermined sites. Some of the authors of such redirect viruses join hands with online advertisers or specific third parties. By directing users to certain websites, they get a certain share of the profit from web traffic.

As we have already mentioned, some of these sites can be entirely harmless (Yahoo, Bing, Facebook or Comcast), but it does not apply to all of them. Modified search results can contain links pointing straight to deceptive or malicious Internet sites you definitely do not want to enter.

If you notice something suspicious, or if you feel that you can't trust Google results, check if your system isn't infected with:

  • browser hijacker
  • adware app
  • other potentially unwanted program
  • malware

Be aware that the matter is extremely dangerous and can compromise your computer by stopping it from functioning normally, locking your files, stealing your credentials or other sensitive data, or even corrupting Windows operating system.

Avoid malware using these easy tips

At first glance, it may seem that installing a free application from trusted sources will exclude you from the burden of PUP  and malware. However, few users realize that even recklessly installing the latest update of Skype or Java might lead them to install unwanted elements, such as adware, browser hijackers [9], as well.

What you have to do when installing freeware and shareware is to monitor its installation process carefully. Choose “Custom” or “Advanced” installation method. It discloses optional download options. Remove the checkmarks from irrelevant add-ons and only then click on the “Install” button.

Quite often, users might be mislead by skipping text in fine print during the installation procedure. It usually states the following:

By clicking Next, you agree to the Terms and conditions and Privacy Policy and consent to install [app name] app. Your browser may be restarted

For that reason, it is extremely important to check all the fine print, otherwise you might agree to things you never would,

Users often install Google Redirect virus when not looking at the installation procedure of shareware carefully

Due to the flexible form, the malware might also function via web scripts. In that case, you might not spot any specific changes in the browser. Luckily, even then, there is a solution. Proceed to Google redirect removal section.

Remove Google redirect virus from your PC

Run an anti-spyware tool to start Google redirect virus removal process. The software will also locate delete the registry keys associated with this threat. After scanning the system, you need to look over detected items and remove them all at once. With a help of anti-spyware program, this can be done in a single mouse click. They instruct how to get rid of unwanted and dubious browser add-ons.

Full browser reset also facilitates the removal process. If you are still bothered by the occasional redirects, change your proxy settings and host file. You can find the instructions specific for your browser on the Web. Now proceed to the below guidelines. Safari users will also find the Google redirect scam removal instructions for their browser.

Though the infection is widely spread and operates already for several users, it might take the liking of users residing in a specific country, for instance, Germany.[10]

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner . SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

Reimage Reimage Cleaner has a free limited scanner. Reimage Reimage Cleaner offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Google from Windows systems

To get rid of Google redirect problem, you need to uninstall all programs/apps that seem suspicious. Also, you should definitely get rid of programs that you can't remember installing on your computer.

  1. Click Start → Control Panel → Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program.
  3. Uninstall Google and related programs
    Here, look for Google or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes.
  5. Remove Google from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties.
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus.

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Google from Mac OS X system

To fix your Mac OS X, you should try to find all entries that seem unknown to you. All apps that you can't remember installing on your computer should be eliminated.

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications.
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Google or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Google from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons.
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Google and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable:
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes.
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Google removal.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Google redirect from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option.
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear.
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager.
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps.
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries.

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer:
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option.
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator.
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:

Once these steps are finished, Google should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Google from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons → Extensions.
  2. Here, select Google and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries.
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options → General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes.
  6. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information.
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Google removal.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Google from Google Chrome

To fix Google Chrome web browser and forget about redirects to unknown websites, you should double-check your extensions. Make sure you remove all entries that look questionable or that you can't even remember installing on your web browser:

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools → Extensions.
  2. Here, select Google and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries.
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages.
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage.
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings → Manage Search engines under the Search section.
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name.
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings.
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Google removal.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Google from Safari

To remove Google virus from Safari, eliminate unwanted extensions and reset the browser.

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences.
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Google or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them.
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Google, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page.
  5. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari....
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Google removal process.

About the author

Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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  1. ^ Margaret Rouse. Browser hijacker (browser hijacking). SearchSecurity. Information Security information, news and tips.
  2. ^ Alex Hern. Google will stop scanning content of personal emails. The Guardian. World and UK News.
  3. ^ Zack Whittaker. Google let scammers post a perfectly spoofed Amazon ad in its search results. ZDNet. Technology News, Analysis, Comments and Product Reviews for IT professsionals.
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  5. ^Enhance phishing and malware protection. Google Support. G Suite Admin Hep.
  6. ^How to remove the Google Redirect Virus? . Microsoft Community blog.
  7. ^Google search redirects to yahoo. Google Chrome Help forum.
  8. ^Potentially unwanted program. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
  9. ^ Gabriel E. Hall. What are browser hijackers and how to remove them. 2spyware. Security news and virus removal guides.
  10. ^How to eliminate computer malware. Dieviren. IT News, Reviews and Virus removal instructions.

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