What is Zodiac Search
Zodiac Search is a so-called “redirect virus” that hijacks browsers, which are installed on your computer. What does it mean? This malware replaces your homepage and default search engine by its own one. When you type something into the search engine, Zodiac Search displays many promotional websites. There are many advertising, banners, coupons, and other commercial content. Developers of the program have many sponsors, which pay them money for each person who clicked on their link. Some of these ads might redirect users to potentially harmful websites, where your PC can be additionally infected. It is highly preferred to remove Zodiac Search from PC.
|Type of threat||Browser hijacker|
|Symptoms||Browser hijacker changes the homepage and search engine of the browser so that users are forced to use them. It fills the targeted browser with commercial content in form of pop-ups, banners, in-text links, audio/video ads, etc. Also, hijackers can occasionally cause redirects to third-party websites|
|Infiltration||Freeware programs, illegal software, software cracks, torrents, fake updates|
|Manual Removal||To eliminate the threat manually, you should remove all files and applications related to the browser hijacker|
|Removal Tool||To completely get rid of hijacker, We recommend using SpyHunter. This is the only way you can be 100% sure that all components of the threat are removed from the system.|
Zodiac Search modifies your browser’s settings, such as the default search engine, new tab page, and homepage, to promote third-party advertisements and search results. The hijacker may also install additional toolbars, extensions, or plugins without your consent, which can slow down your browser’s performance and compromise your privacy. Zodiac Search may also collect your browsing history, search queries, IP address, and other sensitive information to display personalized ads or share with third-party advertisers.
How Zodiac Search browser hijacker spreads
Zodiac Search browser hijacker typically spreads through software bundling, which is a method of distributing free or pirated software with additional unwanted programs. When you download and install a program from an untrustworthy website, the installer may also include Zodiac Search or other PUPs as a “recommended” or “custom” installation option. If you rush through the installation process without reading the terms and conditions, you may inadvertently agree to install the hijacker along with the desired program.
Zodiac Search may also spread through malicious ads, fake software updates, or phishing emails. Malicious ads may redirect you to a website that automatically downloads and installs the hijacker without your knowledge. Fake software updates may prompt you to download and install a critical update for your browser or operating system, but in reality, it is a disguised installer for the hijacker. Phishing emails may contain a link or attachment that downloads and installs the hijacker when clicked or opened.
Signs That Your Browser Has Been Hijacked by Zodiac Search
If your browser has been hijacked by Zodiac Search, you may notice some of the following signs:
- Your default search engine has been changed to Zodiac Search or another unknown search engine.
- Your new tab page and homepage have been replaced with Zodiac Search or another unknown website.
- You see more pop-up ads, banners, coupons, or deals than usual, especially on shopping or gaming websites.
- Your browser is slower than usual or crashes frequently, especially when opening new tabs or windows.
- You cannot uninstall or remove certain toolbars, extensions, or plugins from your browser.
- Your browser’s security settings have been changed without your consent, such as disabling the built-in firewall or antivirus.
If you experience any of these signs, it is likely that your browser has been hijacked by Zodiac Search or another PUP.
Risks Associated with Zodiac Search Browser Hijacker
Zodiac Search browser hijacker is not only annoying, but it can also pose several risks to your system and privacy. The hijacker may track your browsing history, search queries, and other online activities to display personalized ads or share with third-party advertisers. This can compromise your privacy and expose you to targeted phishing attacks or identity theft. The hijacker may also install additional PUPs or malware that can damage your files, steal your passwords, or hijack your webcam or microphone. Moreover, the hijacker may slow down your browser’s performance and consume your system’s resources, leading to crashes or freezes.
How to uninstall Zodiac Search hijacker from your computer?
The easiest and most modern way of removing pop-ups, trojans, ransomware, or other viruses is to use automatic removal tools. This tool can detect and remove stubborn PUPs and malware that may be hiding in your system. See our Anti-malware tools below for further instructions.
Recommended Anti-malware tools:
Try SpyHunter for Mac
Also, you can try to uninstall Zodiac Search hijacker manually.
Sometimes, an extension cannot be removed because it is supposedly “Managed by your organization”. If this is your case, we recommend that you also use this guide – How to remove Managed by your organization from Chrome?
Step 1: Remove Zodiac Search hijacker from Control Panel/Applications
- Click Start.
- Control Panel.
- Then click Add or Remove Programs.
- Find Zodiac Search hijacker.
- Click Uninstall.
Windows 7/Windows Vista:
- Click Start.
- Then Control Panel.
- Click Uninstall a Program.
- Find Zodiac Search and click Uninstall.
Windows 8/Windows 8.1:
- Open the Menu.
- Click Search.
- After that click Apps.
- Then Control Panel.
- Then as in Windows 7, click Uninstall a Program under Programs.
- Find Zodiac Search, select it and click Uninstall.
- Click on the Start button (or press the Windows key) to open the Start menu, and click on the Settings at the top.
- Click on App & features on the left menu.
- On the right side, locate Zodiac Search and click it, then click on the Uninstall button.
- Click on Uninstall to confirm.
Note: If you can’t find the required program, sort programs by date in Control panel and search for the last installed programs.
- Right click on the Start button to open the Start menu.
- Click on App & features on the left side.
- In the opened window, search for the program you want to remove, click on the “3-dots icon”, and click Uninstall button.
- Click on Uninstall again to confirm.
- Open Finder
- In the Finder sidebar, click Applications
- If you see Uninstall Zodiac Search or Zodiac Search Uninstaller (or other suspicious apps that you’ve never installed), double-click it, and follow the instructions
- Drag unwanted application Zodiac Search from the Applications folder to the Trash (located on the right side of the Dock)
After that uninstall Zodiac Search from your browser.
Step 2: Remove Zodiac Search from browsers
If you cannot remove the extension from Google Chrome, as the delete icon is greyed out and the extension is marked as “managed by your organization”, you should first perform steps described in the How to remove Managed by your organization from Chrome? article and only then proceed with the removal.
- Open Google Chrome
- Click on 3-dots icon in the upper right corner and select Tools.
- Choose Extensions.
- Find Zodiac Search.
- Click the trash can icon to remove it.
- Open Safari
- Click Safari menu.
- Choose Extensions.
- Find Zodiac Search or other suspicious extensions.
- Click Uninstall button to remove it.
- Open Firefox.
- Push Shift + Ctrl + A.
- Choose Zodiac Search.
- Click Disable or Remove button.
- Press Settings and more button
- Choose and Click on Extensions
- Find Zodiac Search extension and click settings
- Press Uninstall button
- Start Edge again
- Open IE.
- Push Alt + T.
- Click Manage Add-ons.
- Select Toolbars and Extensions.
- Click Disable Zodiac Search.
- Click More information link in the left-bottom corner.
- Click Remove button.
- If this button is grayed out – perform alternative steps.
Step 3: Resetting your browser search and homepage settings
Reset browser setting in Safari:
- Open Safari.
- Click on the Safari menu.
- Choose Reset Safari….
- Click Reset button.
Reset browser setting in Google Chrome:
- Click the Chrome menu (3 bar button) in the top right corner.
- Choose Settings.
- Click Show advanced settings.
- Go to Reset browser settings section.
- Click Reset browser settings.
- In the dialog that appears, click Reset.
Reset browser setting in Mozilla Firefox:
- Open Mozilla Firefox.
- Go to Help.
- Go to Troubleshooting information.
- Click Reset Firefox… button.