How to Remove Yahoo Search from Chrome (& other browsers)?

Scams & Viruses Solved issue

Question asked by:

Milan S.

Issue:

My Search Engine Keeps Changing to Yahoo

Hi there, my browser keeps changing to YAHOO. Is this a virus? I didn't change it myself...
Can you please help and explain what's happening?
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Have you ever opened your browser only to find that your familiar search engine (mostly Google Chrome) has mysteriously switched to Yahoo?
This common issue can be confusing and unsettling, especially when it happens repeatedly without your permission.
If you’ve found yourself wondering, “Why does my search engine keep changing to Yahoo?” We’ve got the complete guide you need. 

TL;DR: Quick Fixes to get rid of Yahoo Search Redirect

If you’re in a rush and just need a quick fix, here are some bullet-point solutions:

  1. Remove unwanted extensions: Begin by checking and removing any browser extensions that you did not intentionally install.
  2. Remove Yahoo Search Engine from Google Chrome: Change the unwanted search engine within your browser settings.
  3. Remove temporary files: Clean up temporary files on your system to eliminate unnecessary data.
  4. Uninstall unrecognized programs: Remove any unfamiliar or suspicious programs from your computer.
  5. Run an antivirus scan with iolo System Mechanic and prevent malware.

We’ll delve into each solution in detail in the upcoming sections of this guide. But let’s begin by thoroughly understanding the error and its causes to address it effectively.

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Search Engine Keeps Changing to Yahoo

Why is Yahoo My Search Engine on Chrome? 

There could be various reasons behind this issue, with a significant factor being malware known as browser hijacker1, and your online behavior (such as accidentally downloading unwanted software or opening unsafe links).
This is probably true in your case if you never changed your default search engine by yourself on purpose.

Now, let’s understand the main culprit behind this problem in detail:

What is The Browser Hijacker? 

Browser Hijacker, often referred to as the Yahoo Search Redirect virus is not a virus; it’s a type of Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP)2 that changes your browser settings, typically altering your default search engine or homepage. It is a constant concern for users globally. Some browsers are more prone to them, while others are less prone, and a few are almost immune. Identifying and removing this hijacker is important to restore your browser’s normal search behavior.
These hijackers often switch your Google search to Yahoo, and can make changes to your browser settings. These changes are usually aimed at driving traffic to specific fake websites to generate ad revenues. 

Note: other browser hijackers you might encounter together with Yahoo as well are Veinmaster.top or Connectivity Repair.

How do hijackers infect your device? 

The user’s online behavior plays an important role. If you frequently install random apps from unverified sources on the internet, you might end up with Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) that can take control of device applications and alter settings. PUPs are commonly in the form of unwanted software or unwanted extensions. These can also be in the form of email attachments, dubious links, or compromised websites.

Signs of a Yahoo Browser Hijacker

Below are the common signs of an infected browser:

  • Browser searches redirect to Yahoo Search, even if Yahoo isn’t your default search engine. Typing queries in the address bar can also lead to Yahoo.
  • Yahoo Search may be set as the default without your permission. The homepage and new tab page might also be switched to Yahoo.
  • Suspicious addition of extensions or programs linked to the hijacker appearing in your browser’s add-ons/extensions list.
  • Slower browser performance and increased pop-up ads signal infection.

Risks of Yahoo Search Redirect Virus:

  • It can track the websites you visit.
  • You may be subjected to ads.
  • There’s a risk of unauthorized access to your personal data.
  • The hijacker may redirect you to fake Yahoo search pages.
  • Browser hijackers can lead to crashes or performance issues.

In the upcoming sections, we’ll provide step-by-step guidance to follow each solution:

4 Easy-to-Follow Solutions to Get Rid of Yahoo Search Redirect Virus (Works for Chrome, Firefox & Others)

Let’s begin with some user-friendly solutions that can help you get your browser back on track. These steps are designed for anyone to follow, regardless of your tech expertise.

These solutions will remove the Yahoo search engine from your Chrome or Firefox browsers, as well as other browsers like Edge or Safari.

Solution 1. Remove Unwanted Extensions 

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Extensions can enhance your browser experience, but some can cause trouble. It’s like having too many unnecessary accessories on your phone – they can slow it down or cause unexpected changes. Follow the below steps to remove unwanted Extensions:

  • In your browser, go to the “extensions” or “add-ons” page.
Go to Chrome Extensions
  • Check the list of installed extensions and remove any unfamiliar ones.
Remove Chrome Extension

This process is straightforward for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, just navigate to the menu (usually three dots or lines), then find ‘Extensions’ or ‘Add-ons.’ From there, you can disable or remove any extension that doesn’t belong.

Solution 2. Remove Yahoo Search Engine From Chrome (or other browsers)

If Yahoo keeps showing up in your browser, it’s time to remove it manually. Follow the below instructions to complete both processes:

  • Open your browser such as Google Chrome.
  • Navigate to the browser settings. This is typically found in the menu represented by three dots or lines in the top-right corner.
Click Chrome Settings
  • Look for a section related to search engines or “Search settings” within the browser settings.
  • Find an option like “Manage search engines” or “Search engine preferences”.
  • Locate the list of search engines and select your preferred one as the default. If Yahoo is listed, find it and remove it from the list of search engines.
Make Google Default Browser
  • Confirm your changes and save the settings.

This step ensures that even if a hijacker tries to redirect your searches, your chosen search engine remains in place.

Solution 3. Remove Temporary Files

Temporary files might seem harmless, but they can harbor malware. Clearing these files not only frees up valuable space but also removes potential hiding spots for hijackers. Here’s how you can remove temporary files:

For Windows Users:

  • Type “Disk Cleanup” in the search bar and open it.
Type Disk Cleanup
  • Select your main drive (usually C:) and click “OK”.
  • Check the boxes for “Temporary files” and any other items you want to delete. Click “OK”.
Clear temporary files in disk cleanup

For Mac Users:

  • Open “Finder” and select “Go to Folder” in the “Go” menu.
  • Type in ‘~/Library/Caches and hit ‘Enter.’
  • You can manually delete the contents of these folders, but be cautious not to delete the folders themselves.
_LibraryCaches

Solution 4. Uninstall Unrecognized Programs

Sometimes, the solution is as simple as removing a suspicious program. This step can be a quick fix, because browser hijackers often come with software you downloaded from the internet.

For Windows Users:

  • Open the “Control Panel” and select “Programs” then “Programs and Features”.
Click Programs and Features
  • Look through the list for any programs you don’t recognize or remember installing. If something looks fishy, it probably is.
  • Select these programs and click “Uninstall”. Follow the prompts to remove them.
Uninstall Unwanted Program

For Mac Users:

  • Go to the “Finder” and select “Applications”.
  • Drag any unknown applications to the “Trash”. Empty the “Trash” to permanently remove them.
Drag app to trash

4 Advanced Solutions to Get Rid of Yahoo Search Redirect

For those who’ve tried the basic fixes, it’s time to delve into more advanced solutions. These steps require a bit more technical know-how, but fear not – I’ll guide you through each process with clear, easy-to-understand instructions.

Adv. Solution 1. Complete Scan for Virus using Microsoft Defender or Any Reliable Antivirus Software

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Running a virus scan for potential viruses can be helpful in dealing with this problem effectively. Use reliable antivirus software or  If you don’t have one, Microsoft Defender (for Windows) to scan for and eliminate any threats. This might take some time, but it’s worth the wait.

Microsoft Defender:

  • Open “Settings” from the “Start” menu and go to “Update & Security.”
  • Click on “Windows Security” and choose “Virus & Threat Protection.”
  • Select “Full Scan” and follow on-screen instructions to start the scan.
  • After the scan, follow the software’s instructions to deal with any detected threats. 
Virus & Threat Protection Scan options
Choose Full Scan

Third-Party Antivirus: (we recommend all-in-one solution from iolo)

  • Launch your antivirus software from the system tray or Start menu.
  • Find the “Full System Scan” option within the program.
  • Initiate the scan and follow on-screen instructions.
  • After the scan, review results and take appropriate actions for detected threats.
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Adv. Solution 2. Resetting Your Browser

Resetting your browser would help you get rid of any unwanted changes and bring settings back to normal. Here are the steps that you need to follow:

For Chrome:

  • Go to “Settings”, then “Advanced”, and finally “Reset and clean up”.
  • Click on “Restore settings to their original defaults”. This won’t affect your bookmarks and passwords. 
Chrome Restore settings to their original defaults

For Safari:

  • Open “Safari” and go to “Preferences (macOS Monterey and older) or “Settings” (macOS Ventura).
  • Click on the “Privacy” tab, then “Manage Website Data”, and remove all website data.
  • Go to the “Advanced” tab and check “Show Develop menu in menu bar”.
  • In the menu bar, click “Develop”, then “Empty Caches”.

Adv. Solution 3. Enhance Browser Security

By adjusting settings to be more secure, you make it tougher for online troublemakers to mess with your browser, ensuring your preferences stay safe and protected. You may proceed with the following steps:

  • Dive into your browser’s privacy and security settings.
  • Enable features like “Safe Browsing” in Chrome and “Tracking Protection” in Firefox.
  • Consider installing trusted security extensions or add-ons that offer additional protection against malicious websites and downloads.

This action prevents Yahoo from being an option in your search engine list, cutting off one avenue through which a hijacker can operate.

Adv. Solution 4. Reinstalling the Browser 

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If all else fails, consider a more drastic step like reinstalling your browser. But remember, this is like resetting your phone to factory settings – you’ll lose all your data, so use this as a last resort.

For Windows:

  • Uninstall the browser from “Apps and Features” in Windows Settings.
  • Optionally, delete the browser’s “User Data” folder in C:\Users\[YourUsername]\AppData\Local\[BrowserName]\. (This step is optional and may result in data loss. Consider backing up your data before implementing this step)
Uninstall Chrome
  • Visit the official website of the browser (e.g., https://www.google.com/chrome/) and download the latest version from the official website.
  • Run the downloaded installer and follow the on-screen instructions for installation.
Download Google Chrome

For macOS:

  • Open “Finder”, go to “Applications,” find the browser, and move it to “Trash”.
  • Optionally, delete the browser’s “User Data” folder in ~/Library/Application Support/[BrowserName]/. (This step is optional and may result in data loss. Consider backing up your data before implementing this step)
  • Download the latest version from the official website or the App Store for Safari.
  • Run the downloaded installer and follow the onscreen instructions.

Remember to back up any important data like bookmarks before uninstalling, as reinstalling the browser may result in the loss of certain settings or data.

Additional Tips and Solutions to Deal
with Yahoo Search Redirect Virus

Below are some additional tips and solutions that could be of help:

  • Keep your software updated: Ensure your software and operating systems are up to date. These updates typically bring important security fixes, patches for vulnerabilities, and essential maintenance to keep your system secure.
  • Be cautious with downloads: Always download software from trusted sources and pay attention during installations to prevent accidentally adding unwanted programs to your system.
  • Create a New User Profile: Consider creating a new user profile in your browser. This step can sometimes reset settings altered by a hijacker.

Final Words

Protecting your browsing from hijackers like “Yahoo redirect” can be challenging. It requires awareness, knowledge, and sometimes a bit of troubleshooting.

All of our provided solutions were tested by our team and we’re confident that if you followed them you managed to successfully remove the Yahoo search redirect from your Chrome browser (or any other for that matter).

Still having issues? – feel free to mention them on our comment section below.

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If your Yahoo Search Redirect virus is still not removed — feel free to reach out to us via email and share your problem.

  1. What is a browser hijacker? — via Techopedia []
  2. What is a PUP? — via Wikipedia []
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About the author
Ross Zilbert - Expert Author

Ross is an avid author on WindowsGuided.com. He’s been working in the field of software and networks as a technician for more than 6 years.

Now he’s sharing his expertise and awesome guides with the broad public.