Yahoo is one of the most popular search engines in the world. Its URL is search.yahoo.com, but it can change according to your region. For example, in the United Kingdom, the URL would be uk.search.yahoo.com. Even though Yahoo is a completely harmless site, redirects to another search engine can be alarming.
Search engine changes can signal that malware may have infected your browser. Such malware is better known as a browser hijacker. It modifies your browser settings without your permission.
This article will guide you through the process on how to remove Yahoo Search from Chrome. You will also learn what a browser hijacker is and how to remove such malware from your computer.
Why is my Google Chrome using Yahoo Search?
When you install Google Chrome, Google becomes your default search engine. So, if you haven’t changed your settings and get redirected to Yahoo, there’s an issue. Your internet browser is likely affected by malware, otherwise known as a browser hijacker.
What is the Yahoo Search redirect virus?
When your default search engine redirects to Yahoo, it means that malware, better known as a browser hijacker, has infected your browser. It modifies your browser settings without your knowledge or permission. That’s why it’s classified as a potentially unwanted application (PUA). Such malware can change your default browser settings, homepage, and the URLs of your new tabs.
Accessing and using Yahoo is free, so browser hijackers are not beneficial to you in any way. Some of them only redirect you to sites with advertisements where clicks generate revenue for the hacker.
In some cases, browser hijackers can even be dangerous. They can install malware to spy on your browsing history and collect details about you. Hackers gather information about you to personalize ads for you.
Although on rare instances, identity theft is also a possible outcome of browser hijacking. The hacker can hijack your whole system and steal sensitive information from your device. Therefore, you should remove the malware as soon as possible.
How to remove the Yahoo search engine from Chrome?
Removing the Yahoo search engine from Chrome is going to help get your default search engine back. However, you have to remove the core of the problem so that hackers don’t change it again. This step-by-step guide will help you solve the issue:
Step 1: Change default engine
- Click on the three dots (“⋮”) you see in the upper-right corner of Chrome and go to "Settings".
- On the left side of the screen, press the "Search engine" button.
- In the “Search engine used in the address bar” section, select the search engine you prefer.
- Below, press the "Manage search engines" option.
- Select the three dots (“⋮”) by the Yahoo search engine and click the "Remove from list" button.
Step 2. Remove unwanted extensions
Some redirects can be caused by web extensions that you accidentally installed. You can go through them and either disable or remove them. Yet, when it comes to malicious extensions, you should remove them completely.
Here’s how to do it:
- Click on the three dots (“⋮”) in the upper-right corner of Chrome. Go to "More Tools" and then press the "Extensions" button.
- Press "Remove" when you see any unrecognized extensions.
Step 3. Restore default browser settings
If you see any changes made to your settings, you can also restore them to default in your advanced settings. All of the settings will go back to what they were when you first installed the browser – there won’t be any unwanted modifications.
This is a faster way to change the default search engine and disable extensions. However, it will disable all existing extensions in your browser. You can later enable them by going to Settings – More Tools – Extensions.
- Click on the three dots (“⋮”) on the upper-right corner of the browser. Press "Settings".
- On the left side of the screen, click on "Advanced" and choose the "Reset settings" option.
- Click on the "Restore settings to their original defaults" section.
- You’ll get a pop-up window asking to reset your settings. Click "Reset settings".
- Reopen Chrome.
Step 4. Uninstall unrecognized programs
When restoring Chrome’s settings doesn’t help, an installed application could be at fault. You need to search your computer for unwanted programs and delete the ones that seem suspicious or the ones you don’t need.
The process is different depending on what operating system you use. Below, you’ll find steps on how to delete programs on Windows and Mac.
- Find the Search bar on the taskbar, and type Control Panel. Select it.
- Under Programs and Features select "Uninstall a program".
- Right-click on the program you want to remove. Press "Uninstall" or "Uninstall/change".
- Follow the instructions.
- In the dock at the bottom of your screen, click the Finder icon.
- In the sidebar, click on "Applications".
- If the application is in a folder, open it and check if there’s no uninstaller. If there is one, click on it and follow the instructions. If there is no uninstaller or the application is not in a folder, click on the app and drag it to the Trash on the right side of the dock.
- Once it is in the Trash folder, the app will be permanently deleted when you empty it.
Step 5. Remove temporary files
Sometimes malware is placed in the "temp" folder. This is because users often overlook it and don’t bother to scan it with an antivirus. Here’s how to remove temporary files on Windows and Mac:
- Press Windows + R key combination to open the RUN window.
- In the window, write %temp% and click "OK"
- You are now navigated to the temporary file folder. Delete all of the files and folders in this destination.
- Right-click on your Recycle Bin and press "Empty Recycle Bin".
- Close all of your applications.
- Click the Finder icon in the dock.
- Press Shift+Cmd+G on your keyboard to open the “Go to the folder” section. Type ~/Library/Caches/ and click "Go".
- Choose the unnecessary files and drag them to the Trash folder. Make sure you only remove the files that are not important.
- Empty the Trash folder.
Step 6. Install an antivirus and run a scan
Malware takes quite a while to remove manually. Also, you cannot always be sure whether you’ve removed it completely. That’s why the best option is to choose a reliable antivirus (we recommend TotalAV antivirus) and run a scan.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Choose an antivirus provider and go to their official website.
- Pick a plan and register.
- Add the payment details and buy the product.
- Download the Installer.
- Install the antivirus.
- After the installation, open the antivirus and run a scan.
- Follow the steps to remove the malware.
How do I prevent Windows from installing unwanted apps?
It can be very tiring to keep getting malware on your device. Luckily, you can take a few steps to ensure that your device doesn’t get infected anymore:
- Get a reliable antivirus that performs regular scans and offers real-time protection.This way, not only are you going to avoid downloading suspicious files, but your antivirus will also inform you about harmful websites.
- When you download something, research whether the application is trustworthy. Be cautious and try to download files only from official websites.
- Make sure you update your device and software. This is important because updates can include security patches that older versions lack.
- Use a safe web browser. Yes, a web browser also plays a part when it comes to protection. Some of them offer safety features, such as phishing and malware protection, or add-on installation warnings.
The Yahoo search engine appearing out of nowhere is super annoying. It’s a result of a browser hijacker changing your browser settings. Luckily, you shouldn’t worry too much, as it’s not that hard to remove it.
I’d recommend following this tutorial to clean your device from malicious applications. Make sure you secure your device from future intrusions by avoiding unverified files and getting an antivirus.
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Why does my Chrome search engine keep changing to Yahoo?
Your Chrome search engine keeps changing to Yahoo because it’s infected with malware. To fix this issue, you have to reset the settings of your web browser. If the issue persists, you should delete suspicious programs on your computer. After that, you should check your temporary file folder. For extra security, you should perform regular scans on your device with an antivirus.
What happens if I uninstall Google Chrome?
If you uninstall Google Chrome, it doesn’t automatically delete malware. Your device can still have malicious programs installed on the system. That means that even if you download a different web browser, a browser hijacker can still change your settings. So, uninstalling Google Chrome is not an effective solution. You should rather scan your device with a trusted antivirus and remove the threats.